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Facebook and Google want Ottawa to maintain status quo on copyright
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Facebook and Google want Ottawa to maintain status quo on copyright

Written by
Charlie Pinkerton
Published by
iPolitics
on
November 26th, 2018

Facebook: “Platforms of scale would be very challenged and would reduce the ability for, in this case, artists and rights holders to reach large audiences.”

Canada’s existing copyright system strikes an appropriate “balance” between right holders and users, and pursuing structural changes to mirror the European Union’s polarizing new Copyright Directive would stifle innovation and creativity, representatives from Facebook and Google said Monday.

Kevin Chan, Facebook’s head of public policy in Canada, and Jason Kee, Google’s public policy and government relations counsel, presented similar calls to preserve the country’s current copyright model as they appeared before the House Industry, Science and Technology Committee for its statutory review of the Copyright Act.

“We think the balance is struck pretty well between rights holders and users and folks who want to innovate with content. We would urge the committee to continue down that path of having a flexible system,” Chan told committee members during testimony.

Kee urged legislators to remain at an arms-length on certain issues concerning copyright, explaining that in many copyright cases government should play a facilitator role for stakeholders to work through the issues themselves.

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Both Chan and Kee cautioned that Canada should avoid moving towards a copyright system like the EU’s Copyright Directive, which will make platforms liable for infringement and is currently being formalized by the parliamentary body.

“Platforms of scale would be very challenged and would reduce the ability for, in this case, artists and rights holders to reach large audiences,” Chan said of the EU’s plans for copyright.

Echoing Chan’s comments, Kee said that the imposition of EU copyright rules in Canada would create difficulties for Google-owned video sharing website Youtube because of the vetting that would be required by the platform. Earlier this month, Youtube launched a campaign (called #SaveYourInternet) in opposition to the EU’s pending rules.

Chan would not answer questions from reporters following Monday’s meeting. He refused reporters’ questions following a committee appearance earlier this year as well, as he faced heated questioning over Facebook’s lobbying disclosures.

© [iPolitics] (https://ipolitics.ca/2018/11/26/facebook-and-google-want-ottawa-to-maintain-status-quo-on-copyright/)

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