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Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory: why the government’s Copyright Board plans threaten to spark another lobbying battle

By Michael Geist      

With a framework in place to win broad support on the administration of copyright and a process at the House Industry Committee to grapple with the substantive issues, the government established a viable reform process that seems suddenly set to go badly off-track.

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains, pictured, and Canadian Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly announced the substantive policy questions would be left to the copyright review, but that the government would move quickly to address the administration of copyright by introducing long-overdue reforms to the Copyright Board of Canada. The Hill Times photographs by Andrew Meade

OTTAWA—Copyright reform has long been viewed as one of the more contentious policy issues on the Canadian agenda, pitting creators, education groups, innovative companies, and a growing number of individuals against one another in processes that run for years and leave no one fully satisfied. Indeed, the copyright review currently underway before the House Industry, Science and Technology Committee promises to run for months with MPs hearing from a broad range of stakeholders presenting perspectives that will be difficult to reconcile.

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