New Copyright Border Regime Now in Effect
A new copyright border regime is now in effect in Canada. Border remedies allow the detention (at the border) of allegedly infringing or pirated copyright materials from being imported into Canada. Until January 1, 2015 under the old copyright border regime, a copyright owner could only get Canadian Customs officers at the border to detain suspected infringing copies of works if the copyright owner or exclusive licensee had a court order from the Federal Court of Canada or from a superior court of law in one of the provinces. Details of border remedies and how to obtain a court order are set out on pages 226 – 228 of Canadian Copyright Law, Fourth Edition. The border remedies set out in the Copyright Act are in addition to any other rights a copyright owner may have under the Customs Act.
Canada’s Combating Counterfeit Products Act
On 9 December 2014, Canada’s Combating Counterfeit Products Act passed and received Royal Assent. The sections of the Act on Canada’s new border enforcement regime came into force on 1 January 2015. The Act amends the Trade-Marks Act and the Copyright Act and this blog post focusses on the changes to the Copyright Act. In terms of copyright, the changes will help copyright owners combat the importation and distribution of unauthorized goods in Canada. One of the explicit border measures now include rights holders being able to “request for assistance” (RFA) to the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) Intellectual Property Rights Program to detain unauthorized goods. The copyright works in question do not have to be registered with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office. In addition, the CBSA is now able to send samples and information to rights holders about the detained goods, as well as information about the identity of the importer, if a request for assistance has been filed. It will no longer be necessary to obtain a court order and have full knowledge of the particulars of the incoming unauthorized goods. Click for form BSF738 – Request for Assistance.
There is no fee to file an RFA however rights holders are liable for costs related to storage, handling and destruction of any detained goods in specified circumstances, and must begin a civl action within 10 days of any notice of detention (extendable by 10 days) or the goods will be released.
For further information, see the Explanatory Note by the Government of Canada in the Canada Gazette on 31 December 2014 fixing 1 January 2015 as the day on which certain provisions of the Combating Counterfeit Products Act come into force.
Learn more about Canadian Copyright Law.