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CIC Victoria: Canadian Copyright and Canada’s International Trade Obligations

November 7, 2023 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm PST

When: Tuesday, 7 November

Where: The Sticky Wicket Pub, the Strathcona Hotel, 919 Douglas Street

Time: 5 – 7:00 pm PT (doors open at 5 pm)

Have you ever purchased a pirated DVD, a knock-off designer bag or sunglasses? Or perhaps a fancy fake Rolex? Many of us have and this is just the tip of the copyright iceberg that our latest event, with Hugh Stephens, will explore. Indeed, it is worth reminding ourselves that, as in other areas, when it comes to copyright Canada is bound by bilateral and multilateral commitments through treaties and trade agreements and ongoing discussions that have shaped, and continue to shape, the development of copyright law in Canada. Stunningly simple in its principles (creators should have control over the exploitation of their work for a specified period of time subject to certain limitations and exceptions), copyright can be complex when it comes to implementation. Many Canadians, however, only have a superficial knowledge of copyright, and indeed often confuse it with other forms of intellectual property (IP) protection, such as patents and trademarks. But it is one of the fundamental aspects of a free, democratic society, underpinning freedom of expression and the sanctity of private property. Today, new issues are crowding on to the copyright agenda, from use of artificial intelligence (AI) to create new works, often based on ingesting copyrighted works of living creators, to widespread uncompensated copying by Canadian educational institutions of published works under the guise of exercising the rights of students to access content for educational purposes, to controversial legislation requiring large social media platforms, namely Google and Meta, to compensate news content providers for making news content available to users on their platforms. To explore all of these issues we are delighted to welcome Hugh to our next PIP!

Based in Victoria, Hugh Stephens is currently an Executive Fellow at the School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary and teaches in the MBA program at Royal Roads University as an Associate Faculty member. Before returning to Canada in December 2009, he was, for almost a decade, Senior Vice President (Public Policy) for the Asia-Pacific region with Time Warner and was located at the company’s regional headquarters in Hong Kong. In recent years, he has written and commented extensively on Canada’s engagement with the Asia Pacific region as well as on current copyright issues, including articles and op-eds published in The Globe and Mail, National Post, Ottawa Citizen, iPolitics, Open Canada, Quill & Quire and others. He currently writes an award-winning blog on international intellectual property issues (www.hughstephensblog.net) and in August, 2023 published “In Defence of Copyright” (Cormorant Press), a guide to copyright and copyright issues in Canada. Prior to joining Time Warner in 2000, Hugh spent 30 years in the Canadian Foreign Service with the Department of External Affairs, later the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT). His last Ottawa assignment was as Assistant Deputy Minister for Policy and Communications in DFAIT. He also served abroad as the Canadian Representative in Taiwan, Counsellor and Charge d’affaires at the Canadian Embassies in Seoul, Korea and Islamabad, Pakistan, and, among a number other overseas and headquarters assignments, served at the Canadian Embassies in Beirut, Lebanon, Beijing, and China. Hugh was educated at the University of British Columbia (BA-Hons), University of Toronto (B. Ed) and Duke University (MA), and has a Certificate in Mandarin from the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

To register please email cicvicpip@gmail.com no later than Friday, 3 November 2023. This PiP is open to CIC members only and the cost to attend is $22.50, which will cover your first drink and a round of appetizers. Attendance is limited so please don’t wait to register.  Along with confirmation of your attendance once we hear from you, eTransfer payment instructions will also be provided and payment by eTransfer is strongly encouraged. If you are not able to attend after registering, and there is a waiting list, your registration fee will be reimbursed. If we do not have a waiting list, unfortunately refunds cannot be given.


November 7, 2023
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm PST


CIC Victoria Branch