Federal private member's Bill C-244 renews last year's efforts to amend the Copyright Act in furtherance of repair
8 February 2022
Liberal MP Wilson Miao introduced a private member's bill today in the House of Commons that renews last year's efforts by Cambridge MP Bryan May to amend Canada's Copyright Act. The previous Bill C-272 sought to add a new exception to Canada's anticircumvention provisions which would make it lawful to circumvent digital locks for the "sole purpose of diagnosing, maintaining or repairing a product in which the computer program is embedded." Unfortunately, May's bill died on the Order Paper in late 2021 when the federal election was called. Up until this point, May's bill had received the unanimous support of Parliament, bridging many of the usual partisan divides.
Thankfully, MP Miao's Bill C-244 effectively reintroduces the previous Bill C-272. Speaking to Parliament on February 8, MP Miao remarked that Bill C-244 is "...aimed at addressing copyright that is being used to stop Canadians from repairing and maintaining items that have been purchased and are owned by Canadians. It is a targeted bill that creates specific exemptions to copyright. When an individual makes a purchase of an item, the owner should have a right to repair it and not be restricted by the manufacturer. Being able to repair the items we own is critical to the well-being of our environment."
There is much to agree with in MP Miao's statement. Though there are no guarantees in politics, we anticipate that Bill C-244 will receive the support of Parliament in the coming months.
Ministerial mandate letters show promise toward the Right to Repair in Canada
16 December 2021
Today Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued mandate letters to the Canadian Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry as well as the Minister of Environment and Climate Change. Each of these mandate letters requested that the Ministers take action toward the Right to Repair in Canada.
In the letter to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, Prime Minister Trudeau requested that Minister Champagne "...[W]ork with the Minister of Environment and Climate Change to implement a 'right to repair' to extend the life of home appliances, particularly electronics, by requiring manufacturers to supply repair manuals and spare parts, and by amending the Copyright Act to allow for the repair of digital devices and systems".
Likewise, in the letter to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Prime Minister asked Minister Guilbeault to "...[W]ork with the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry to implement a "right to repair" to extend the life of home appliances, particularly electronics, and require businesses to inform Canadians of the environmental impacts of consumer products."
Ministerial mandate letters are an important part of setting government priorities. By explicitly including mandates for these ministers to implement the Right to Repair, the future looks promising for future legislative amendments in this direction.
Join Fixit Clinic and CanRepair for an Online Fixit Clinic: 20 November 2021 at 1:00pm Eastern
9 November 2021
CanRepair has partnered with Fixit Clinic to host an online fixit clinic for Canadians. Participants with things to repair and fixers are encouraged to join and participate. The event will be held on 20 November 2021 at 1:00pm Eastern.
Participant registration can be found here, and Fixer/observer registration can be found here. Be sure to select "Spotlight CanRepair CAN" as the Clinic you will be attending!
CanRepair is especially encouraging the attendance of our fantastic repair cafes and tool libraries across the country!
CanRepair's Autumn Summit and Meeting: 25 October 2021 at 6:00pm Eastern
7 October 2021
CanRepair will be hosting its inaugural Repair Summit and Meeting on Monday, October 25 at 6:00PM Eastern Time (Zoom).
At the Summit we will receive an update from various stakeholders in the Canadian Repair community on their work in moving the #RightToRepair forward. This includes recent developments on the federal, provincial and grassroots levels. We will also hear about some exciting research underway on repair-related issues in Canada.
Have some news to share? We would love to hear it. To receive your invitation to the event, please join our mailing list!
Opportunity to make your voice heard: The Government of Canada's Modern Copyright Framework for AI and the Internet of Things
23 July 2021
The Government of Canada's Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada ("ISED") has announced that the public will be consulted regarding its ongoing efforts to ensure that the Copyright Act is responsive to innovation and investment in the context of new technologies. This round of public consultation will be inviting comments regarding the application of copyright to artificial intelligence systems and Internet of Things ("IoT") devices.
The Press Release prepared by the Government of Canada stresses the importance of ensuring that Canada's copyright framework is "able to respond effectively to new challenges". The consultation will seek to address specific topics in relation to copyright, including repair and interoperability issues related to technological protection measures.
Technological protection measures, also known as "digital locks", can present significant barriers to repair. They can prevent independent repairers from accessing diagnostic information, prevent replacement parts from activating, or in some cases, completely disable devices which are repaired by anyone other than the original equipment manufacturer.
CanRepair is inviting all repair advocates in Canada and beyond to consider making submissions to the consultation, which remains open until 17 September 2021. You can find the consultation paper here, and more information regarding the public consultation process and format in the Government's press release.