On November 2, 2010, the federal government announced the second reading of Bill C-32, its latest effort to modernize the Copyright Act.

As part of the second reading legislative stage, a committee was formed to hear further debate on the Bill and to invite additional public and industry comment on the proposed changes to copyright rules, including:

Anti-Circumvention Provisions. Bill C-32 would prohibit the circumvention of technological protection measures used by rights-holders to secure and control their digital content and the provision of circumvention services and technology to others.

Changes to Fair Dealing. The government has proposed expanding the existing categories of fair dealing exceptions to include dealings for the purpose of parody or satire as well as for education purposes.

Limited Liability for ISPs and Search Engines. Bill C-32 would limit the liability of ISPs and operators of Internet search engines. Copyright owners would be entitled to send a notice of claimed infringement to an ISP in a prescribed form. The ISP would be required to forward the notice without delay to the alleged infringer and, for a period of six months to one year, retain records that would help determine the identity of the alleged infringer.

New Rights for Educational Institutions. In addition to the new fair dealing exemption noted above, Bill C-32 provides a number of rights and exemptions relating to education. Exemptions permitting educational institutions to reproduce, display or perform works in the classroom would be rendered more technologically neutral. A number of proposed amendments are also intended to facilitate the use of new digital technologies in the classroom.

New Rights for User-Generated Content. Bill C-32 would also permit individuals to use legitimately acquired works in the creation of user-generated content for non-commercial purposes. Requirements would include that the source of the original work be identified, and that there be no substantial adverse effect on exploitation of the original works.