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-For Immediate Release-

Canadian Library Association Releases Proposed Technical Amendments to Bill C-11

Legislation which does not include the right to bypass digital locks for non-infringing purposes is fundamentally flawed

(Ottawa, February 16, 2012) – The Canadian Library Association (CLA) is releasing its proposed technical amendments to Bill C-11, An Act to Amend the Copyright Act. The bill recently passed at second reading and will now receive further scrutiny by the Legislative Committee on Bill C-11.

Librarians across the country continue to hear that copyright laws must reflect the public interest. Over 21 million library users are seriously concerned about the shape of Canadian copyright legislation.

"CLA applauds significant improvements to Canada’s copyright regime contained in the bill," said Karen Adams, CLA President. "However, changes are required to ensure the legislation ultimately succeeds in its objectives of being both balanced and technologically neutral. Our overriding concern remains the unnecessarily proscriptive protections for digital locks, which dramatically limit the additions and reduce the impact of the exceptions to fair dealing."

As Bill C-11 moves into this critical round of debate around the Committee table, CLA proposes that technical amendments be made in the following sections:

  1. Section 30.1 (1) – the proposed amendment would clarify that multiple alternative formats of materials can be made by libraries, archives and museums for preservation purposes.

  2. Section 32.01 – the proposed amendment would permit the cross border movement of an alternative format "without the authorization of the rightholder" and with no requirement for royalty payment or reporting to "an authority".

  3. Section 41 – the proposed amendment to the definition of "circumvent" will ensure Canadians’ ability to invoke their full rights as information users by allowing them to bypass digital locks for non-infringing purposes.

"Legislation which does not include the right to bypass digital locks for non-infringing purposes is fundamentally flawed," said Adams. "If digital locks trump access for legitimate purposes, Canada’s libraries will have difficulty in fulfilling their mandates and Canadians will lose access to some information that is currently available."

Canadian libraries are the public interest. They play a vital role in providing Canadians access to all forms of material. This access to information is integral to ensuring that Canadians are regular contributors to the economic, social and cultural well-being of their communities.

CLA has shared these proposed amendments with the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of Industry, as well as all members of the Legislative Committee on Bill C-11.

"CLA appreciates the consideration of the Legislative Committee members and all Members of Parliament of these proposed technical amendments," concluded Adams. "We remain committed to working together with government to develop fair and balanced copyright legislation that is in the public interest."

To access the full document, CLA Proposed Technical Amendments to Bill C-11, please visit:

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The Canadian Library Association/Association canadienne des bibliothèques (CLA) is Canada’s largest national and broad-based library association, representing the interests of public, academic, school and special libraries, individuals who work in libraries, and all those concerned about enhancing the quality of life of Canadians through information and literacy.

For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact:

Alana Fontaine
Tel.: (613) 233-8906
Cell: (613) 299-4017
cla@impactcanada.com


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