Government of Canada Launches Consultation on How to Implement its CUSMA Commitment to Extend Canada’s General Copyright Term of Protection

News release

OTTAWA, February 11, 2021

In today’s fast-paced creative economy, it is critical for Canada to maintain a comprehensive copyright framework to encourage creation, acquisition and commercialization of copyrighted content.

Under the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA), Canada has agreed to extend, by the end of 2022, its general copyright term of protection from 50 to 70 years after the life of the author. Today, the Honourable Philippe-François Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, and the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage, launched a public consultation to consider whether to adopt accompanying measures to mitigate the potential implications of this longer term of protection.

This consultation will be informed by the recent parliamentary review of the Copyright Act, and will support the development of a copyright framework that promotes a healthy marketplace.

The consultation will provide the public and interested stakeholders with an opportunity to discuss possible impacts and to consider measures that may address potential implications of the extended term of copyright protection.

Canadians are invited to share their views on:

  • the adoption of accompanying measures to term extension, including which measures, if any, should be considered; and;
  • any additional ideas, comments, legal analysis and evidence in support of potential accompanying measures.

Participants have until March 12, 2021 to submit comments.

Following the consultation, responses will be published online and will inform the policy development process. The government is also reviewing recommendations stemming from the parliamentary review of the Copyright Act and will hold additional consultations on a modern framework for online intermediaries and a modern framework for artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things by summer 2021.


“Every Canadian is affected by Canada’s copyright laws and I invite them to share their views on term extension. Canadians expect copyright law to be fair and balanced, and to keep pace with technological and social change. These consultations will help meet our commitments under CUSMA and guide us as we move forward with copyright reform.”

—The Honourable Philippe-François Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

“We want Canadian creators to be able to operate on a level playing field with their international partners. Our creators and rights holders should reap the full rewards of their work, and Canadians should have access to a variety of content. Implementing our CUSMA commitment to extend the general term of copyright protection will contribute to a healthy Canadian copyright marketplace.”

—The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage

Quick facts

  • On July 1, 2020, the new Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) entered into force. Signed on the margins of the G20 Leaders’ Summit in Buenos Aires in November 2018, CUSMA outcomes preserve key elements of the long-lasting trading relationship and incorporate new and updated provisions that seek to address 21st century trade issues and promote opportunities for the nearly half a billion people who call North America home.

  • An extensive list of stakeholders participating in the recent parliamentary review of the Copyright Act shared diverse views on term extension and its potential implications.

  • Online Intermediaries:

    Intermediaries are entities that facilitate access to online content, including copyright-protected content (e.g. Internet service providers, “cloud” storage services, web hosts, social media and other public content-sharing platforms and search engines, among others).

  • Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things:

    Artificial intelligence (AI) is a technology intended to replicate human thought by analyzing, learning and reacting to challenges without human direction. AI serves a role in software and technologies by customizing the user experience, simplifying the analysis of data, or reducing the costs of human labour.

  • Internet of Things (IoT) refers to networks of devices equipped with software and sensors that connect and exchange data with other devices using the Internet. Common IoT devices include smartphones, televisions, and vacuums. IoT is also significant for the medical, agricultural and manufacturing sectors.

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For more information (media only), please contact:

John Power
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Camille Gagné-Raynauld
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Canadia

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage

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