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Monthly Archives: November 2007
Yesterday I blogged about the Canadian DMCA, and the effects it will have on the Canadian consumer — I also recommend that you write your Member of Parliament (MP) regarding the issue, here are some ideas that you can include in a letter to your MP (Modified list courtesy of Russel McOrmond at Digital Copyright Canada):
- Pressure for this bill came largely from the United States, and does not protect Canadian interests.
- We should be learning from the mistakes of the United States, not duplicate them.
- Canada's copyright law is not "weaker" than the United States, just different. Canada's Copyright Act is stronger than the United States in many respects.
- Anti-circumvention is based on flawed policy conceived before the Internet became popular. It suggests that if new technology can be abused to infringe copyright, that private citizens should not be allowed to own and control their own technology. The new economy is dependent on private citizens controlling their technology and fully participating.
- Hundreds of Canadians have already signed the "Petition to protect Information Technology property rights" that opposes anti-circumvention legislation in Canada. Thousands have signed the "Petition for Users' Rights" which calls for balance in the legislation between the rights of past copyright holders and "users" which includes creators of new works.
- Canada has no obligation to ratify these treaties — signing is to ratifying like dating is to marriage. We should instead be working at WIPO to amend these treaties to fix flawed thinking.
- That all MPs need to become informed on this issue so that the future of Canada's position in the knowledge economy can be protected. This should not be left entirely to Heritage or Industry given this policy has implications across all areas of policy.
To find your MP, use the Postal Code Lookup on the Government of Canada site. Remember, sending mail to your MP is free!
Michael Geist reports that the "Canadian" (and I put Canadian in quotes because it's exactly the same as the DMCA without fair-use provisions — an American entertainment industry bill) copyright legislation update is going to be most likely fast tracked in the new year and supported by the Conservative and Liberal (and most likely the Bloc) governments. The updated copyright legislation will be even worse than the last Canadian copyright proposal, the defeated Bill C-60.
The legislation will contain anti-circumvention clause that prohibits breaking the locks off your music and movies in order to move them to new devices or watch them after the company that made them goes out of business, or decides to stop authorizing you to watch your purchase. There will be no flexible fair-use ideals — no parody, time shifting (such as recording a TV show and watching it later when it is convenient for you), device shifting (copying a Music CD to your MP3 Player) or expanded backup provisions.
This legislation will make criminals out of most Canadians, whom participate in most of these activities on a daily basis. Please consider writing your Member of Parliament or following Michael Geist's 30 Things You Can Do about DMCA-like legislations.
Edit: I have made a post about ways to write your MP in regards to the current legislation attempt.
The Ottawa Citizen confirms that the revised Copyright act "will be tabled in the next four weeks", this is a direct result of increased pressure from the United States and lobbyist organizations.
Increasing reliance on intellectual property by strengthing copyright laws for large corporations is not a sure way to economic success, it makes us too reliant on our ideas and not on being a industrial nation that can produce it's own goods. Canada is slowly going down the same slippery economic slope as the United States, which is a sure-fire way to create a depression.
When will the government (and the industry — mainly entertainment) realise that passing laws to prop up a failing business model will not be successful? When will the Canadian government (be it Conservative or Liberal), learn from the mistakes of our "friendly" next door neighbour?