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You will have received many submissions from institutional stakeholders. I am writing this submission as an individual member of the public with an interest in changes to Canadian copyright law.
I am a classical musician who depends regularly on the public domain. To provide one example of how the public domain interacts with my life, almost every day I use the website of the International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP.org), which makes public domain scores available freely and conveniently. IMSLP has enabled me to discover hundreds of works by forgotten composers, including composers outside Europe and women composers. The website has been an invaluable tool in my development as a musician and has given me a basis to create works of my own.
I am making this submission to emphasize to the staff of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada that copyright law affects not just large institutions or existing copyright-holders, but every member of the Canadian public.
The consultation paper shared by ISED Canada invited comments on measures that could accompany the impending extension of copyright terms.
The key point I wish to emphasize in this submission is that the consultation paper is focused on institutional actors (e.g., the libraries, archives, and museums mentioned in sections 4.1–4.2), and the Government should not forget about individuals.
Most Canadians are not institutions. It would be extremely dicult for normal members of the public to navigate the administrative requirements of the current orphan works licensing regime (4.1, option 1), and it would likewise be costly and burdensome to deal with a collective licensing regime (4.1, option 2).
I therefore urge the Government in this process to consider measures that would give broad scope for noncommercial use of orphan works and out-of-commerce works by individuals. My preferred option may seem somewhat radical: if at all legally possible, I request that works in their final 20 years of copyright be made available for Canadian individuals to copy or share noncommercially, even online, if they preserve the copyright notice and provide proper attribution to the author. If this is not possible, I am in favour of a registration requirement for the last 20 years of copyright, despite ISED's misgivings noted in the consultation paper.
Whatever option the Government ends up pursuing, I urge the Government to make the widest commitment possible under the constraints of CUSMA to preserving the spirit of the public domain and allowing wide access to works, especially decades after the works' original publication, and especially orphan and out-of-commerce works.