Impact of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement on Canadian copyright legislation

On September 30, 2018 the Canadian government announced the completion of negotiations toward a new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). This agreement, the successor to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), has potential implications for the interpretation and application of intellectual property at UBC. Relevant sections of the updated trade agreement are contained within Chapter 20: Intellectual Property Rights. Of particular interest is Article 20.H.7: Term of Protection for Copyright and Related Rights, which states that copyright terms for all signatory countries shall extend for the life of the author plus an additional 70 years. This reflects an additional twenty years of protection from what is currently afforded to creators in the Copyright Act of Canada. In addition to the term extension, there are other intellectual property provisions enumerated in the agreement that are not currently reflected in Canadian legislation.
As noted on the Government of Canada’s website, the USMCA agreement is subject to further refinement and additional legal review. At this time, NAFTA still remains in force. We will continue to update the UBC community as more information on the implementation of the USMCA becomes available.