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Industry Canada seeks input on copyright, artificial intelligence and the internet of things

July 23, 2021

Yay! Another consultation

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada has launched a consultation on copyright, artificial intelligence and the internet of things, which is open for comment until September 17, 2021. The launch  was accompanied by a consultation paper, which sets out its goals:

With this consultation, the Government invites both evidence of a technical nature and views on potential policy directions described in more detail in the paper. AI and IoT are fast evolving technologies, uses of these technologies are changing, and consumers and businesses are facing new copyright-related challenges when using these complex technologies.

The types of technical evidence sought in this consultation include technical information about how an AI model integrates data from copyright-protected works as it "learns" from that data, the roles of various human players involved in the creation of works using AI, the extent to which copyrighted-protected works are integrated in AI applications after they are trained and commercialised, and the uses of AI-assisted and AI-generated works by businesses and consumers. With respect to IoT, evidence sought includes technical information about TPMs, how stakeholders interact with TPMs in their respective industries, and the necessary steps, third party assistance, and devices required to circumvent a TPM and perform associated tasks, such as repair or achieving interoperability of two products. Relaying experiences in other markets or jurisdictions that have enacted new measures related to AI and copyright would also be of interest.

In considering possible copyright measures relating to AI and IoT, the Government will be guided by the extent to which measures would help achieve the following objectives:

  1. Support innovation and investment in AI and other digital and emerging technologies in all sectors in Canada. AI has tremendous potential for society if used ethically and responsibly, and could also drive productivity growth across the economy.
  2. Support Canada's cultural industries and preserve the incentive to create and invest provided by the economic rights set out in the Act. Creators, innovators and rights holders should be adequately remunerated for their works or other copyright subject matter.
  3. Support competition and marketplace needs regarding IoT devices and other software-enabled products. Consumers want to be able to maintain and more easily repair the products they own, while innovators want flexibility and certainty to develop software-enabled products that are interoperable with those of other manufacturers.

Specific topics covered include the questions of authorship and ownership of works created by artificial intelligence and the right to repair in the context of the “internet of things”.

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