Canadian copyright legislation hits snag

Copyright Act of Canada delayed in Parliament

TORONTO -- Long-awaited copyright reform that threatens heavy fines for Canadians found with illegally downloaded material on their iPods or laptop computers faces a delay in the federal Parliament.

Federal Minister of Industry Jim Prentice told reporters on Wednesday that he will not introduce amended Copyright Act of Canada legislation until it strikes "the appropriate balance" between consumer rights and demands from copyright holders.

The legislation, which was originally expected to be introduced to Parliament in December, proposes that authorities be allowed to inspect digital devices for evidence of infringing materials, with confiscation and fines as possible penalties.