Private member's bill pushes for update to rules on interoperability of farm equipment

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The pace that technology and manufacturing advances can, at times, be dizzying. It’s no wonder then, that rules and laws on the books concerning copyright and intellectual property might need updating once in a while.

Saskatchewan Conservative MP for Cypress Hills-Grassland, Jeremy Patzer, has put forward private member’s bill C-294, in an effort to amend the Copyright Act to better reflect the reality of modern-day manufacturing.

Patzer says the Canada’s outdated rules on the topic of equipment interoperability were mentioned in the New NAFTA negotiations, and that they were seen as a barrier to innovation for manufacturers.

The amendments would bring Canada’s rules up to speed with other countries’ rules, such as Australia and the U.S., and would mean farmers would have more choices on header options regardless of combine colour, for example.

The bill has passed second reading and is now headed to the committee stage for more discussion and cross-examination of the bill’s intent and outcomes.

“What we see both in Canada… is that we’re lagging behind what the international community is doing on this issue. So the Americans already have an exemption, I think they’ve had the exemption in place already for about five years. Australia is already pushing the narrative even further, so is the European Union… So I think because this bill will only bring this up to what the what the current standards are in other countries around the world and into where our competitors are at,” Patzer says.

Not just applicable to the agriculture industry, Patzer says this bill will have an impact on construction, mining, and forestry industries, as well. He adds that manufacturers are also on-side, as the bill will create a more competitive landscape, too.

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