Librarians and other beneficiaries of Canada’s fair and balanced approach to Copyright are embracing the pragmatism of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) that Canada signed yesterday.

In 2016, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a broader agreement that would have made over 40% of global economic output nearly tariff-free, seemed plausible until the U.S. election made it clear that the deal would not proceed. The deal being signed today covers just over 13% of global trade.

“Libraries and the people who use them would have been very poorly served under the original TPP,” said Alix-Rae Stefanko, Chair. “This new agreement does not contain the copyright and content restrictions that had been pushed heavily by the U.S., which is good news for Canadians.”

Under the original deal, librarians and other leaders in the cultural and academic sectors were very concerned about numerous provisions affecting copyright law that would have meant drastic changes.

The Term of Protection for Copyright and Related Rights would have seen copyright terms extended by an additional 20 years on top of the existing term of life-of-the-author plus 50 years before entering the public domain. In Canada, those changes would have been very difficult for content users, researchers, teachers and students to bear. As the second largest economy (after Japan) in the CPTPP, Canada took a firm stand on copyright and other IP revisions that were removed from this agreement.

“We are glad that the federal government took the opportunity of U.S. withdrawal from the TPP as an opportunity to further solidify our country’s copyright term in line with the Berne convention,” added Stefanko. “We hope to see the government continue its strong commitment to balanced copyright in the legislative review that will take place this year on the Canada Copyright Act.”

The Canadian Federation of Library Associations/Fédération Canadienne des associations de bibliothèques (CFLA-FCAB) is the national voice of Canada’s library associations. Our purpose is to advance library excellence in Canada, champion library values and the value of libraries and influence national and international public policy impacting libraries and their communities.


For more information please contact:

Katherine McColgan
Executive Director
Rob LeForte, Public Affairs