Thursday, November 03, 2016

Senate Banking, Trade and Commerce Committee Hearings on Copyright Board Conclude November 3, 2016

The Senate Banking, Trade and Commerce Committee held four hours of hearings about the Copyright Board today and yesterday. The schedule and links to the archived video – already available – are here. My contribution begins the 12:12:40 mark of the second day and in the Q&A that follows. My conclusion in my oral presentation was that “the solution is very simple”. We need:
·        Less resources.
·        More regulation including deadlines – like every other efficient court or tribunal anywhere.
·        Less excuses.

My written brief can be seen here. The gist of my submission is that we need less resources, more regulations (which need not await 2017) and eventually some “machinery” changes, which would require legislation and could be dealt with in the 2017 context. I offered very specific suggestions for the subject matter of the regulations and nature of the machinery changes, which are summarized at page 2 of my brief, which will eventually be posted by the Senate in both official languages, along with material from others.

There was general agreement that things take much too long at the Board. The Board and several witnesses proposed more resources as a solution, although there was no specific indication as to how this would help.

In a rare if not unique occurrence, Graham Henderson of Music Canada and I both suggested that less resources might actually help to get the job done faster. When he and I agree on something, it is notable and probably means that we are right.

The transcripts will be posted soon in due course. More comment possibly to follow in due course and certainly after the Report. The Senate BANC Committee has said that it will “submit its final report no later than Wednesday, November 30, 2016, and that the committee retain all powers necessary to publicize its findings until 180 days after the tabling of the final report.”


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