The Impact of Implementing a 25-Year Reversion/Termination Right in Canada
Journal of Law, Technology, & Policy, Forthcoming
41 Pages Posted: 30 Mar 2020
Date Written: 2020
Canada is actively considering legislation to limit the enforceable length of copyright transfers. Under current proposals, authors would either automatically get back their copyrights twenty-five years after a transfer or would have the opportunity to exercise an American-style termination right at year 25. This paper reports previously unpublished data from UK and Canadian book markets on the negative effect of term length on the in-print status of titles and also presents new data on the market effect of existing reversion rules deriving from the 1911 Imperial Copyright Act. Data on Canadian musicians who have used the US termination right to regain their US copyrights is also presented. The report concludes that some portion of consumer welfare losses caused by term extension in Canada may be offset by the adoption of a termination right. Although the report was prepared at the request of Canadian Heritage, a branch of the Canadian government, it represents only the views of the author.
Keywords: Copyright, Term Extension, Reversion, Termination, Canada, South Africa, Empirical, Data, Books, Music, Public Domain, Monopoly, Pricing
JEL Classification: K00, K11, L12, L13
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation