Comments on the UGC provisions of the Canadian Bill C-32Download
The paper was prepared in October 2010 in the middle of the debates on Bill C-32 to amend the Canadian Copyright Act. At that time, it was not published. The reason for its present publication is that recently certain documents of the European Commission have raised the idea of a possible amendment to the acquis with the purpose of facilitating the creation and use of adaptations of works protected by copyright in the form of "user generated content" (UGC), and the new Canadian legislation (the amendments have been adopted in the meantime) has been referred to as a possible model. The paper may be useful to point out to what kinds of unintended negative consequences - and potential problems with certain international norms - the Canadian model might lead. It reflects the position that it is only in respect of the freedom of creating and using parodies where there may be truly a need for legislative clarification but that the new provision of the Bill on parody would have been sufficient to address and settle the issue. It goes without saying that the author's position is the same in respect of the acquis; in view of Article 5(3)(k) of the Information Society (Copyright) Directive on an exception for the purpose of charicature, parody or pastiche it is quite doubtful that a specific "UGC exception" might be necessary and justified.