Canadians: tell Parliament to preserve Canada's public domain!

Michael Geist sez,

Canada celebrated New Year's Day this year by welcoming the likes of Ernest Hemingway and Carl Jung into the public domain just as European countries were celebrating the arrival of James Joyce and Virginia Woolf, 20 years after both entered the Canadian public domain. Canada's term of copyright meets the international standard of life of the author plus 50 years, which has now become a competitive advantage when compared to the United States, Australia, and Europe, which have copyright terms that extend an additional 20 years (without any evidence of additional public benefits).

In an interesting coincidence, the Canadian government filed notice of a public consultation on December 31, 2011 on the possible Canadian entry into the Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations, trade talks that could result in an extension in the term of copyright that would mean nothing new would enter the Canadian public domain until 2032 or beyond. The TPP covers a wide range of issues, but its intellectual property rules as contemplated by leaked U.S. drafts would extend the term of copyright, require even stricter digital lock rules, restrict trade in parallel imports, and increase various infringement penalties.

Now is the opportunity to help preserve the public domain in Canada by speaking out against TPP copyright provisions that would extend the term of copyright or impose even stricter digital lock rules. The consultation is open until February 14, 2012. All it takes a single email with your name, address, and comments on the issue. The email can be sent to Alternatively, submissions can be sent by fax (613-944-3489) or mail (Trade Negotiations Consultations (TPP), Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, Trade Policy and Negotiations Division II (TPW), Lester B. Pearson Building, 125 Sussex Drive, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0G2).

Help Preserve the Canadian Public Domain: Speak Out on the Trans Pacific Partnership Negotiations


  1. Harperco. is not an easy foe to overcome. Despite spreading the word on this and sending a message to the appropriate party, I sense the Harpergov. will just do whatever the hell it wants, sigh. Three and a half more years of eschatological nutbags running Canada. I don’t know if I can handle it…

  2. I love how capitalists say “Let the market decide” when the market says “Ya we don’t think its worth ur sticker” the capitalists cry…..

  3. > which have copyright terms that extend an additional 20 years (without any evidence of additional public benefits)

    When have copyrights ever been for public benefit?

  4. At after dead, it is no longer even for promoting artistic or creative work. It is simply there to make more money for corporations. Apparently 50 years of profits after the creator is dead and in the ground is not enough. The need 70 years. This is simply a matter of they have lobbyists and lawyers, and an insatiable greed for more profit (for the sake of shareholders of course). Because things are slanted for corporations in that way, the inexorable march of diminished public rights is the result, copyright being only one of them.

    Of course one could argue if you are a public shareholder of one of these companies it is in the public interest. That’s a pretty weak sauce argument however.

    Also First Post is correct. Harper Gov hasn’t cared one whit about what the public actually wants, or even what is current reality. This is an ideological government which will do whatever it thinks matches its fantasy land. So we can all cry and rail against the injustice, but I severely doubt it will do anything.

    You could make a petition with 20 million signatures  saying the Canadian people do not want this, and they would be in the media saying how they have personally talked to Canadians that say they do, and they they know what Canadians want. They are voluntarily and purposefully disconnected from reality.

    Also if you need 70 years + the entire lifetime of the creator, lets say another 50 years, to make a profit then you are doing it wrong. If you cannot break even in 120 years of state sanctioned monopoly, you shouldn’t be in the business. It should be setup like a car warranty. The life of the content creator, OR 50 years, whichever is sooner. Really it should be 25, but I am trying to compromise.

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