Canadian Newspaper Association (CNA)

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Canadian Newspaper Association (CNA)



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Submission from Canadian Newspaper Association (CNA) received on October 10, 2001 via e-mail

Subject: CNA Submission

PDF Version

October 3, 2001

Comments - Government of Canada
Copyright Reform
c/o Intellectual Property Policy Directorate
Industry Canada
235 Queen Street
5th Floor West
Ottawa, Ontario

Re: Consultation Paper on Digital Copyright Issues

Introduction and Fundamental Principles

The Canadian Newspaper Association ("CNA") is pleased to provide this response to the invitation to comment on the Consultation Paper on Digital Copyright Issues ("Consultation Paper")(1). CNA is supportive of the government's initiative to reform the Copyright Act and is encouraged that the government has chosen to deal with issues of digital copyright in the near future.

The Canadian Newspaper Association is a non-profit trade and lobby organization representing 101 Canadian daily newspapers (English and French). CNA membership represents 99% of the almost 5.1 million copies of newspapers sold daily across Canada.

CNA believes that strong and effective copyright protection benefits both copyright owners and users by providing an incentive to create and make works available. Over the last number of years, newspapers have sought to establish their presence and define their role as bearers of news in the information age and are exploring new models for delivery of their content in digital formats to meet the demands of the public.

CNA is supportive of the government's intention to reform the legislation and is generally supportive of the Consultation Paper. There are four areas on which CNA would like to comment.

1. Technical Protection Measures:

Most newspapers in Canada provide open access via websites to much of the current content for which they own the rights. However, newspapers are now utilizing, testing, and developing different platforms to meet the demands of customers who want more content. A key component of many of these new platforms is an element of access control where additional content is made available in digital form only to password holders or subscribers. A variety of technical protection measures are already being utilzied and others are emerging as national and local papers look at means to make works available(2).

The Consultation paper outlines various options for the scope of amendments to prohibit circumvention of technical protection measures. CNA believes that such provisions must encompass both the making and selling of devices/services used to circumvent technical protection measures and the act of circumvention itself. The legislation must address both measures that prevent unauthorized access and, insofar as devices are concerned, measures that prevent unauthorized copying of a copyright protected work. In addition, such provisions must apply to all works protected by copyright(3).

2. Rights Management Information:

The Consultation Paper rightly acknowledges that the current Copyright Act does not contain measures to protect the integrity of rights management information and that amendments are necessary as "rights owners should have effective remedies against such manipulation of their rights management information"(4).

The Consultation Paper presents two different options for defining the rights management information that will be protected. The key difference in the second option, Option B, is that it does not include "terms and conditions" and "the owner of any right" in the work within the definition of rights management information. Both of these elements are of great significance for copyright owners such as newspapers(5).

3. Making Available

CNA notes that no amending legislation is required in respect of making available insofar as this relates to literary works. CNA endorses that position and therefore makes no recommendations of its own, but reserves the right to comment in light on any recommendations that may be received.

4. ISP Liability:

CNA does not support any provision that would place strict liability on Internet service providers. The Consultation Paper proposes a complaints driven notice and take-down process. CNA believes that the overriding policy must be to ensure that all parties have clear and well-defined rights and obligations in any specific notice and take-down process which evolves.


The CNA appreciates the consideration of its submission and looks forward to participating fully in the upcoming consultation process.




2 For example, the Halifax Herald and the New Brunswick group already provide for online access to some content, which is restricted to their subscribers.


3 Subject to minimal exceptions, such as those adopted following the report of the United States Copyright Office: Exemption to Prohibition on Circumvention of Copyright Protection Systems for Access Control Technologies, Final Rule 37 CFR Part 201.


4 Consultation Paper, page 21


5 Newspapers will, for example, provide terms and conditions permitting certain uses by individuals yet prohibiting commercial re-use of material, posting on another website, etceteras.

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