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From: Mark J. Szymanski
Sent: March 9, 2021 3:06 PM
To: copyrightconsultation / consultationdroitdauteur (PCH)
Subject: Copyright Term Extension - CUSMA/NAFTA 2.0 Greetings and hello.
I offer into the record my personal view regarding the planned implementation of copyright term extension to seventy (70) years plus life of the author as part of the North American "Free Trade" Agreement 2.0, aka NAFTA 2.0, aka CUSMA. I do not hold or represent any right holders. I am a born- and-raised private Canadian citizen.
I am very disappointed that Canada is allowing the public commons and domain to be deprived of works for enjoyment and/or use by its own citizens via an extension of copyright. It certainly seems like a perpetual copyright system will eventually be implemented in another twenty to thirty year period, which is entirely predictable and unacceptable.
As I pointed out in my 2018 submission to the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology (INDU) public review:
"Copyright terms, in my opinion, should be reduced, not expanded. Corporate influence and government acquiescence has basically been the reason why terms have increased further than is necessary. A system which started in the U.S. with a 14 year term had good intentions. But with the first copyright term extension to 28 years, it seemed apparent how the structure could be manipulated. Today, especially with the present U.S.-Mexico "NAFTA 2.0" talks, we see how discussions behind closed doors with no public input allows corp orations to dictate laws with the help of government trade negotiators. This was not how copyright was supposed to be used. Implementing a government sanctioned "limited monopoly" on works of art or other intellectual property needs to be just that -- "limited". Going beyond this basic definition negates the validity of copyright itself especially when the rules are set by large corporations which significantly benefit from them. There needs to be a proper balance with the population at large.
One of the biggest challenges a government faces is maintaining a proper balance between the interests of business and those of the public. Corporations and business cannot exist without people. People are the ones that supposedly elect our government. It would be another slap in the face for elected representatives to allow a further copyright extension after seeing the actions taken in the late 1990's to increase terms an additional 20 years in the U.S. to ensure Mickey Mouse wouldn't enter the public domain. This ... merely appeases the greed and control large corporations seek. We see how they work in the shadows to implement their will which speaks loud and clear about how our laws are determined. Who will have the courage to re-balance this equation?"
I am sorry to see that no one was willing to stand up and re-balance the equation as I stated in 2018, although some interest in doing so was initially apparent.
In my opinion, NAFTA 2.0/CUSMA is unconstitutional -- in Canada -- and that the entire agreement should be invalidated due to whom the President of the United States was when it was signed off on and ratified. The U.S. cannot bully its way into forcing laws onto other (supposedly) sovereign countries. Therefore, CUSMA should be ignored (as the U.S. does with laws it doesn't agree with or see as valid, whenever it so chooses) or the entire process must start from scratch once again with a seemingly more dignified leadership figure "ruling".
I thank you for your time and for providing the (very brief) thirty-day window in which comments from the public will be accepted and included--for the record.
-Mark J. Szymanski