Copyright Modernization Act (Bill C-11)

Charlie Angus: Mr. Speaker, we have looked at some of the hon. member’s amendments. We find some of them, in a way, overly focused.

We believe in the general principles of technological protection measures, but it has to be defined in a very clear manner. If we link the breaking of a technical protection measure to infringement, then that is breaking the law. However, we see that the hon. member is getting right down to how to negotiate a contract with Rogers or whomever on a PVR signal.

I am worried about the implications of going to that level of specificity in terms of unintended consequences. I find it is the same with her position on education and the idea that we would turn it over to the Governor in Council to define education. This has been one of the most difficult issues we have found.

The Supreme Court has dealt with the overall issue of how to define fair dealing, and we also have the Copyright Board to adjudicate these matters. The New Democratic Party is certainly very uncomfortable with the idea of giving that decision-making power to government. The member says it will be more nimble and flexible, but we are worried about accountability and actually doing it on the basis of evidence.

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, I am sure there could have been better solutions, perhaps during committee and so on. However, I think we have to ask ourselves whether we really want the meaning of “education” and the context of fair dealing to be a matter for the courts when we still have an opportunity to get some control over those aspects during the legislative process.

I agree with the member that having it go to the Governor in Council, which is essentially the cabinet, may not be as satisfactory as having the legislature come up with the definition, but in looking at who has access to the courts, who is most likely to take this to the Supreme Court and how the intent of fair dealing might be distorted through this process, I would refer to the advice and the citation that my hon. friend used, which were not my words but the words of Prof. D’Agostino from Osgoode Hall and York University. I think it is worth a chance.

In the meantime, of course I would be grateful for any support the official opposition gives to any of my amendments. I accept that the opposition finds some of them troublesome.