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.
Chapter 3 outlines the conditions of Canadian copyright prior to the establishment of the Berne Convention in 1886. In the nineteenth century copyright in Canada was governed both by Canadian legislation and British Imperial copyright. This chapter shows that in nineteenth-century Canada, alongside the vision of copyright put forth by dominant copyright powers, a counter-hegemonic view of copyright was developing in Canada. However, Canadian politicians were reluctant to confront the difficult political and constitutional issues involved in achieving legislative independence over copyright. The chapter discusses the difficulties posed by the limited legislative and institutional capacity of the Canadian government to confront these issues.
This discussion is set against a backdrop that describes Canada’s relationships with Britain and the United States during this time period and the main Canadian interest groups involved in nineteenth-century Canadian copyright.