Canadian lobbying group the Creators Copyright Coalition (CCC) is demanding government action to reform the country's copyright laws.

In a "public platform" statement published today (Jan. 21), the CCC calls on the Canadian government to implement the World Intellectual Property Organization Treaty it government signed over a decade ago. The organization claims the 18 groups forming its membership represent a total of 100,000 people working in the creative industries, ranging from film producers to musicians and songwriters.

The CCC also wants reproduction rights strengthened, and the expansion of the private copying regime, which provide compensation to rights holders when their material is transferred between media.
The organization is also pushing for a "notice and takedown" system which would force Internet service providers to deal limit copyright offenders.

Its statement said: "the CCC feels that it would be only fair for the enterprise that enjoys the profits generated by an activity (making available on an Internet network) also to assume the responsibilities that flow from this very activity -- such as ensuring that their customers' activities on their network do not infringe on the interests of third-party copyright holders."

The CCC says it "defends the interests of authors and performers in the revision of the Copyright Act of Canada."

Canada's outdated copyright laws have been criticized by some for not providing enough protection against digital downloading. In early December the Conservative government was expected to introduce amendments to the Copyright Act, but those changes were shelved following criticism by a number of groups, including an online campaign led by University of Ottawa professor Michael Geist. Geist claims the legislation would curtail consumer rights by protecting digital locks on some material.

The CCC was formed in 2002 as a working group to provide mutual support and collective representation to government and the public on issues related to the reform of the Copyright Act and the rights of creators working as freelancers in the media marketplace.

In the public platform statement, the body writes: "Artists everywhere -- not just in Canada -- are experiencing an unprecedented erosion of rights, and reductions in earnings. Creators need to be able to protect their rights in the media marketplace, as do rights holders who are not creators but corporations who engage or hire creators."

The CCC's members include the Songwriters Association of Canada and the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada, as well as the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists and the American Federation of Musicians.