James Palawaga

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From: James Palawaga
Sent: February 12, 2021 1:39 PM
To: copyrightconsultation / consultationdroitdauteur (PCH)
Subject: Copyright Term Extension

Public Domain Day is a celebrated day in Canada. It allows information, artistic creations, and other works of creativity to enter into a new phase of discourse of performance, derivation, etc.

I am a knowledge worker whose livelihood strongly relies on strict protections on intellectual property. The value I generate is protected only by the affordances gifted to me by the intellectual laws that govern our land.

Given this. I strongly oppose any extension greater than what the letter of the law requires. Here are my reasons:

  • The NAFTA renegotiation, i.e. USMCA was an agreement brought forth for pro-American reasons, at the expense of Canada. We got little in return. Given the Americans have already benefited from the USMCA, I do not feel that our regulators need to enforce any stricter law on the people of Canada than absolutely necessary/required by the revised trade agreement.
  • Copyright limits restrict creativity, innovation, and knowledge spread from works that enter the public domain elsewhere. Creative innovation that happens here will be reduced by more tightly controlling the works available in the public domain.
  • In continuation to the above: Canada, being highly regulated with respect to Copyright, becomes less competitive to countries who do NOT implement a life + 70 -year copyright term. Works may simply be created or conducted out of the limits of the country. For example, every country that in the TPP does not have longer copyright terms due to the suspended copyright clause. As a result, we end up knee-capping ourselves versus countries with shorter terms.
  • Life + 50 is already long enough for both the original creator and their beneficiaries to benefit and profit from original works. Life + 70 is 3 generations (or more) of copyright protections. The major benefactors of these copyright terms are not people, but massive corporations who have acquired the rights to these works. If we're going to expand the term to 70 years, why not just be honest with ourselves and make copyright indefinite?
  • Not all works are created equally, and protecting all works the same is nonsense policy. If there is no interest in protecting a work, why are we still protecting it hundred+ years?
  • We have the chance to create a made-in-Canada policy that's the needs and views of Canadians, not one that merely represents industry voices.

With that being said, I suggest the following:

  • Requirement of registration for term extensions. This is a commonly suggested requirement and I think it's a good one. I'd go a step further and suggest that the works need to be registered by the original author, ideally within a certain timeframe of creation, but certainly NOT after the original author's death.
  • Write into law a requirement that requires a referendum on any future extensions, to protect the interest of the Canadian people, and to make sure that their voices are heard on this important topic. We should not allow other countries to push Canada around any longer on this topic, as this topic serves to further foreign interests at Canada's expense.

Please take these points into consideration. The laws you implement today will have repercussions for decades.

Respectfully, James Palawaga