Karl Ethan-Vicker Hudson

The information on this Web page has been provided by external sources. The Government of Canada is not responsible for the accuracy, reliability or currency of the information supplied by external sources. Users wishing to rely upon this information should consult directly with the source of the information. Content provided by external sources is not subject to official languages and privacy requirements.

From: Mailer Daemon
Sent: February 15, 2021 8:40 AM
To: copyrightconsultation / consultationdroitdauteur (PCH)
Subject: Consultation on how to implement Canada's CUSMA commitment to extend the general term of copyright protection

In today's world of rapid advancements, copyright and patent laws remain a hindrance to progress. The scope of what is able to be copyrighted and patented is too broad. The terms for these protections far exceeds the rate at which society is evolving, and the strict measures in place to enforce these copyrights serves to hurt artists rather than to protect. The Canadian government should seek to scale back copyright protections rather than embolden them.

Currently, the Canadian government allows computer board schematics to be copyrighted work; with climate change and pollution posing an increasing threat to the world, access to these schematics can allow individuals to repair existing devices rather than contributing to the drain on energy and resources associated with with scrapping and recycling, as well as contribute to a stronger tech sector overall. Furthermore, patents on computer software are frequently applied in a way which stifles innovation and progress. A clear example of this is Sony's patent on navigation arrows, US patent no. 6,200,138; this patent is still in effect, and is one of the reasons why navigation systems cannot simply display an arrow in 3 -dimensional space pointing to a target. Could such a system be implemented? Definitely. But with a legal threat looming over developers, anything that resembles this system cannot be implemented and navigation systems are largely unintuitive as a result. It is safe to say that if software patents and copyrights were as aggressively applied to the Apollo missions, our current understanding of the solar system would be years behind as we would be stuck waiting for patents to expire before being able to apply known working control systems to keep pilots and paload safe. Especially in aerospace, where people's lives are at risk, the ability to use and improve known working systems is better than designing a new system with unknown properties (and subsequently patenting it and narrowing the options for the next group of people).

Referring once again to the Apollo missions, it is a matter of good fortune that the patents and copyrights associated with these missions were held by a government body. In today's climate, however, that is not the case. Commercial entities are pursuing space endeavours and, as expected, applying for patent and copyright protections along the way. If we set the copyright term to 50 years, then any subsystem employed by these commercial entities can be used against new commercial entities to block their entry into the space. In this context, even a 20 year delay is too much. There is no obligation for one company to license a patent for another company to use. As it relates to the technology sector, major advancements in technology happen every 4 years leaving anything prior to that obsolete and unused. Nonetheless, anyone wishing to advance the state of the art or even enter the market with a new product must wait for 20 years before being able to do so. It was around this time 20 years ago that AMD started introducing multi-core computer processors. Today, any computer that doesn't have dual or multi core processing can barely even run the base operating systems of today. Had AMD not allowed multi core processing to be developed by other companies by abusing the patent system, can you imagine how far behind our current technology would be?

Finally, with respect to copyright, it is a well known fact that society is advancing today at a rate unprecedented in human history. Much of this rapidly-shifting landscape exists because of the Internet. This global communication system allows cultural influences from around the world to influence everywhere else in the world. Europe, Asia, America, and Mexico can all access classical Canadian content that has expired copyright and benefit from the works that have shaped Canadian society for the last 20 years. Many of these Canadian works are still relevant and help to shine light into the openness of Canadian society. By extending the copyright protections, the content by which Canadian values are defined cannot or will not be accessible to foreign markets. Effectively, Canada is shutting itself off from the rest of the world. While it is possible for this information to be presented, the legal implications are strong; given the litigious nature of Americans, it is fair to say that no individual will be safe. An infamous case of copyright over-protection is in the case of Katy Perry Dark Horse plagiarism in which Canadian singer Katy Perry was fined for producing an original work due to a music company arguing similarities to other musical works. In reality, this was a case which can be compared to Mozart sueing Beethoven and was absolutely ludicrous. A common complaint against copyright is the idea of copyrighting the 'E' note. If you could never use the note 'E' in musical works, music as we know it could not exist.

In conclusion, I would like to reiterate that copyright protections are already too heavily applied. The over-reach of patent and copyright laws are excessive and any agreements made regarding term limits should seek to restrict rather than extend. Especially in an era where cultural influence can spread at light speed and new entrants into various industries can be stifled as a result of rapid technological advancement combined with severe legal liability for any attempts to advance the state of the art, the current system is far too out-of-touch with reality and can only hurt Canadians and the world as a whole if allowed to be emboldened.

I thank-you for your time.

Karl Ethan-Vicker Hudson