Copyright term extensions headed for rubber-stamp vote in CommonsProposed legislation that would merge the National Archives of Canada and the National Library of Canada – a bill that would also increase copyright terms for some dead authors – has passed second reading in the same form recommended by the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage, with the extensions intact, despite a last-ditch effort by the Canadian Alliance to remove the controversial clauses. In the House of Commons yesterday, motions by Alliance MP Chuck Strahl that would remove the term extensions in Bill C-36, give control over Communication Canada’s depository services program to the merged Library/Archives, and give power to the Librarian and Archivist to review any claims by the minister of Canadian Heritage that material is of a personal or political nature, were defeated, largely along party lines, with the Alliance, Tories and Bloc Québécois pitted against the Liberals and New Democrats. The bill, which now goes to third reading, is essentially the same as was introduced by the government late last spring (CNM, May 15/03). A “technical” flaw was hastily fixed during a committee hearing while Parliament was in recess last June, but otherwise the bill is little changed (CNM, June 25/03). Copyright term extension is one of the issues being opposed by the recently-formed Balanced Copyright Coalition, which has told Parliament it believes the existing copyright term of life of the author plus 50 years is sufficient to act as a creative incentive (CNM, Sept. 26/03).