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Bryan Adams Lends His Voice For Change in Canada's Copyright Law

  • By Amsa Yaro


Bryan Adams Lends His Voice For Change in Canada's Copyright Law

Bryan Adams, International Canadian rock-star, is lending his voice in changing one word in Canada’s Copyright Law. To change the word “Death” in Section 14(1) to “Assignment”. Why you might ask? Well, this is the section that states that authors and composers who transfer or assign the copyrights of work by contract must wait until 25 years after death to get them back.

The United States, back in 1978, made a revision to their copyright law that grants artists “termination rights’ to get their work back after 35 years of transferred ownership, provided they apply 2 years prior to the 35th year. Creatives are hoping to push a change like this forward during the music copyright hearings that are taking place on Ottawa now.

The Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage Launched a Study on Remuneration Models for Artists and Creative Industries in the Context of Copyright in the spring of 2018. With the hearings rounding up next week, a visit from an internationally renowned star like Bryan Adams shows the need to make such a change in the copyright laws. “…if you write a script or you write a book or you write a song, and you assign your copyright to a company, you have to wait 25 years after you die to get it back," Adams told the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage.

"The transfer of rights under copyright laws are meant to allow artists to work with agents, or intermediaries, to more widely disseminate what they produce," says Daniel Gervais, an intellectual property law professor at Vanderbilt University Law School.

"But there has to be a balance between artists, who are often vulnerable when just starting out, and their agents," said Gervais to the standing committee via video streaming. "It is time to rebalance this relationship between authors and those that exploit their works by contract."

The current Copyright law was established by the Copyright Act of Canada in 1921. The most recent amendment was made in 2012. No decisions have been made to make any change to the Act but the hearings are actions towards ensurings that creators are eventually compensated for their works.




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