The crisis that resulted from the 1967 conference in Stockholm led, for Canada, to a reengagement with the Berne Union, and sparked a new resolve that Canada should become a more influential and active player. Some Canadian government officials hoped that the discourse of development now being established within the Berne Union, having been absent when former colonies like Canada joined the Union, might be translated to apply to Canada. However, the idea that provisions for developing countries should apply to Canada conflicted with the established discourse that placed Canada as a middle power, associated with industrialized countries. Efforts to associate Canada with developing countries were unsuccessful.
Simultaneous diplomatic conferences would be held in 1971 to revise both the Berne Convention and the Universal Copyright Convention. The purpose of the 1971 conferences was to come to a more workable agreement after the 1967 attempt to revise the Berne Convention failed.
The 1971 conferences resulted in revised texts of the Berne Convention and the Universal Copyright Convention that were widely accepted. At the same time, the crisis of 1967 had shown that copyright revision would no longer be easy. Following the 1971 agreement, no further major revisions have been attempted. The 1971 text of the Berne Convention is still in force today.
This chapter outlines a period of relative distance between Canada and the Berne Union. Between the 1940s and 1960s the wheels of Canadian copyright reform had grown rusty. Canada’s 1924 Copyright Act had now been in place for over forty years, and its last revision had taken place in 1938. During this period of legislative inactivity, a policy shift occurred. Canada did not ratify the 1948 revision of the Berne Convention and moved, instead, to join a new international copyright treaty: the American-inspired Universal Copyright Convention.