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April 2005 Telephone: (450) 658-5933

ALAI CANADA Fax: (450) 658-1907

1981 McGill College Av., Suite 1100, Montréal (Québec), H3A 3C1 E-mail :


First, I would like to say to all those who have travelled to attend this AGM, thank you for being here. You are the ones who make this association come alive.

The high point of 2004, no doubt, was last year’s colloquium in Ottawa, organized in collaboration with the University of Ottawa, the Department of Canadian Heritage, and Industry Canada in May 2004. We hosted more than 150 participants and had a chance to discuss the very foundations of copyright, something that we do not often have the opportunity to do. All points of view were welcome at that conference, both the propositions made by the panellists and the many and vigorous interventions from the floor.

You will agree that interest never flagged throughout the two days of the conference. ALAI Canada can also be proud of the fact that the event drew praise from many members of foreign groups and institutions with an interest in copyright. We thus made Canadian copyright better known on the international scene.

So, I would like once again to thank Professor Daniel Gervais, of the University of Ottawa, Marcus Bornfreud, the event coordinator, and their team on site for their great efforts. I would also like to extend my warmest gratitude to Industry Canada and the Department of Canadian Heritage not only for having provided financial support for the project but also for having encouraged us to set ambitious objectives and take the plunge.

I must mention the important work done by the members of the ALAI organizing committee for this conference: Stéphanie Duquette, Ysolde Gendreau, Laurent Carrière, and Benoît Clermont.

Although the colloquium stole the show in 2004, we also had a lively year of dinners with speakers in both Toronto and Montreal. First in Montreal, soon after the last AGM, Éric Lefebvre and Colette Matteau gave a talk on the status of the artist statutes, where labour law and copyright meet. In September 2004, Lise Bertrand, of Borden, Ladner, Gervais, came to tell us about the latest chapter in the phase of legal issues over SOCAN’s Tariff 22. Dr. Elizabeth Adeney, from Australia, came in October 2004 to talk about the protection of Aboriginal folklore in her country through moral rights. In November 2004, Marek Nitoslawski, of Fasken, Martineau, shed light on a decision by the Federal Court in the EROS case with regard to software copyright. In January 2005, Daniel Drapeau, of Ogilvy Renault, gave a talk on the “nuclear arsenal” of the Anton Piller orders and seizures in revendication in both federal and Quebec law. In March 2005, Johanne Daniel, of Legault Joly Thiffault, discussed the new round of disputes between freelance journalists and the media in the Ontario courts. Of course, the season in Montreal is finishing with a flourish here as Stefan Martin, of Fraser, Milner, Casgrain, reviews copyright jurisprudence in 2004.

Now to Toronto. In June 2004, Scott Jolliffe, of Gowlings, launched the year in Toronto by giving a first edition of a copyright jurisprudence review. I hope that this event will have as long a life as the series of talks given by our speaker this evening, Stefan Martin. In November 2004, Corporal MacInnis and Constable Laurence, of the RCMP, discussed their police force’s perspective on crimes associated with intellectual property. In January 2005, Jill Bradbury, Sylvie Charron, and the Honourable John Morden compared procedures before the Copyright Board and the Opposition Board with regard to trade-marks. In February 2005, Liinda Nagel, of the firm Rafe, Engle, discussed processing of intellectual property disputes within Advertising Standards Canada.

Now looking at the international scene: some of you participated in the ALAI International colloquium in Oaxaca, Mexico. I am hoping that we will send a larger delegation to the next ALAI International colloquium, which will be held in Paris September 19 to 21. I should remind you that the deadline for registration to take advantage of the preferential rate is April 15, 2005. You can register online. The coming year promises to be full of legislative developments, since the federal government recently announced the tabling of a bill to reform the Copyright Act in Parliament this spring.

For those who have not had a chance to analyze the details of the news release, here's an overview. This reform will contain, first of all, amendments allowing Canada to accede to the WIPO treaties, including a mechanism for the making available right for rightsholders of and performers on sound recordings; extension of copyright infringement to the circumvention of technological protection measures for works and to the removal of rights management information; and extension of a right of first distribution to rightsholders. In addition, performers will benefit from moral rights, performers on sound recordings will benefit from complete reproduction rights, protection of sound recordings is extended to 50 years from first publication, and an exemption will be extended to Internet service providers when they are acting simply as conduits for information (but the Internet service provider will be required to transmit to the subscriber any notice received from a rightsholder and to retain subscriber information after this notice).

Measures have been announced to support the use of information technologies in education, but the precise form of these measures has not been revealed. It was announced, however, that the exception desired by the education sector targeting the use of documents publicly available on the Internet will require more public consultations. It is specified that amendments will also be made to facilitate remote learning by extending exemptions and existing licences, and to facilitate interlibrary loans. The issue of holding of rights for photographs will be reformed to eliminate most distinctions with other works. In all cases the photographer will be the first rightsholder subject to an obligatory licence accorded to individuals who commission a photograph for personal or domestic purposes. Then, the term of copyright protection for photographs will be standardized to the life of the author plus fifty years. Finally, the government confirms that the next phase of reform will target private copying and other issues identified as being subjects to deal with in the medium term, including the right of reproduction for broadcasters. There is therefore much to keep an eye on!

I would like to thank the members of the board of directors for their full involvement in the association’s activities: Andrea Rush, of the Toronto firm Heenan, Blaikie; Stéphanie Duquette, of SOPROQ, who is chair of the organizing committee for the dinners with speakers; Sophie Gravel, of Publications du Québec, the association’s secretary and head of the publications committee; Benoît Clermont, of the firm Ogilvy Renault, who is our treasurer; Laurent Carrière, of the firm Léger Robic; Ysolde Gendreau, law professor at the Université de Montréal; Daniel Gervais, law professor at the University of Ottawa; Michel Beauchemin, of AQAD; and France Lafleur, of SOCAN, our outgoing president. I would like to mention once again the extraordinary contribution of Nelson Landry, of Ogilvy Renault, our special advisor, who continues to contribute very actively to the association and has given us the benefit of his great wisdom. I would also like to mention the essential contribution of Suzanne Lecompte, who continues very skilfully to provide support for the association’s activities.

In closing, I would like to announce that the next ALAI Canada colloquium will take place on October 18, 2005. This one-day conference will deal with copyright issues that involve retail marketing of books, recordings, and visual works of art. In a month, we will circulate the detailed program for the conference.

In this time of change for copyright, you can be sure that ALAI Canada will continue to follow new developments very closely and will pursue its mission as a clearinghouse in this regard. Thank you in advance for your participation in all our events throughout the year, since ALAI Canada is, above all, its members, who disseminate copyright culture across the country.

Jean-Philippe Mikus

Chairperson: Jean-Philippe Mikus

Past chairperson: France Lafleur

Vice-president: Andréa Rush

Treasurer: Benoît Clermont

Secretary: Sophie Gravel

Special counsel: J. Nelson Landry


ALAI Canada welcomes the following new members:

  • Nicole Brousseau –Stikeman Elliott

  • Gilles Lessard – SODART

  • Véronique Wattiez-Larose – McCarthy Tétrault

  • Catherine Tremblay – APFTQ

  • Mélanie Borgognon – Léger Robic Richard

  • Jocelyn Poirier – Groupe TVA Inc.

  • Nathalie Blais – Alliance Atlantis Vivafilm

  • Catherine Dennis – Cassels Brock & Blackwell

  • Bernice Karn – Cassels Brock & Blackwell

  • Jason Klein – Cassels Brock & Blackwell

  • Paul Morrissette, student


- May 5 (Qc): Technologies vs. authors: The law and the jurisprudence as battlefield – Georges Azzaria and Nicolas Sapp

  • May 17: WHAT'S MINE IS MINE : An examination of the Law of Copyright as it applies to a musician's "Sound" – Dan Wolfensohn.


For the third year in a row, ALAI offers creators’ associations the opportunity to benefit from made-to-measure continuing education – that is, fulfilling the association’s needs with regard to copyright – free of charge. For more information on the services offered and how grants are awarded, please contact us by e-mail at


ALAI invites all members to get involved and let us know about their news. You can send your news to:

We look forward to hearing from you. Have a great vacation!

Sophie Gravel

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