The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) will have an impact on many intellectual property rights including copyrights.
It appears that the biggest impact will be on copyright in Canada. For natural persons, Canada currently grants copyright for life plus 50 years. Under the new agreement this must be at least 70 years. Here’s the language from Chapter 20 of the USMCA:
Article 20.H.7: Term of Protection for Copyright and Related Rights
Each Party shall provide that in cases in which the term of protection of a work, performance or phonogram is to be calculated:
(a) on the basis of the life of a natural person, the term shall be not less than the life of the author and 70 years after the author’s death;59 and
(b) on a basis other than the life of a natural person, the term shall be:
(i) not less than 75 years from the end of the calendar year of the first authorized publication60 of the work, performance or phonogram; or
(ii) failing such authorized publication within 25 years from the creation of the work, performance or phonogram, not less than 70 years from the end of the calendar year of the creation of the work, performance or phonogram.
59 The Parties understand that if a Party provides its nationals a term of copyright protection that exceeds life of the author plus 70 years, nothing in this Article or Article 20.A.8 (National Treatment) shall preclude that Party from applying Article 7(8) of the Berne Convention with respect to the term in excess of the term provided in this subparagraph of protection for works of another Party.
60 For greater certainty, for the purposes of subparagraph (b), if a Party’s law provides for the calculation of term from fixation rather than from the first authorized publication that Party may continue to calculate the term from fixation.