Pirate Party of Canada Evidence Based Policy Making

Reduce Copyright Terms

The Pirate Party of Canada seeks a copyright term length that optimizes both economic advantage and social benefit. It is the party’s stance that, at present, copyright terms are too long to fulfill these criteria and that terms must be shortened until the optimum copyright term is found, even if it means no copyright at all.

We will reduce the duration of copyright to 10 years, closer to the original duration of 14 years, reflecting the much greater ease with which works can now be made and distributed. Shorter copyright will encourage artists to keep on creating new work; will allow new art forms, such as mash-ups; and will stop businesses from relying on large back-catalogues rather than investing in new content.

Prevent ‘restarting the clock’ by ensuring that new copyrights are not created unless the new work represents a substantial change, we will remove the loophole in current copyright law that allows ‘restarting the clock’ by simply moving content to a new format or making an incremental change to it. This will be of particular benefit to our education system where making slight changes to extend the copyright on textbooks is rampant.

The following policies have been approved by the Political Council and will be sent to the membership to be voted on:

-We will shorten copyright terms from the current length of the author’s lifetime +50 years to a more economically justifiable length of 10 years from the date of publication.


-Copyright owners will be granted the ability to commit their works to the public domain permanently at any time.

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