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MPs demand to see legal opinion on private copying provided to departments

News | 03/17/2004 5:00 am EST

Parliamentarians responsible for shepherding through modernizing reforms to the Copyright Act say they’re outraged that the government is withholding crucial information from them. On March 9, members of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage heard from Canadian Heritage minister Hélène Chalifour Scherrer that bureaucrats in her department and at Industry Canada have received a legal opinion on whether changes need to be made to the private copying regime before Canada can implement or ratify the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Internet treaties. Making any changes could delay the process, but that opinion is being kept secret until staff determine whether the information is a form of advice to Cabinet that must be protected.

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