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Canadian DMCA Proposal About To Die 186

Posted by Soulskill
from the aboot-time dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Like the previous Bill C-60 before it, the proposed Bill C-61 that would bring DMCA-like laws to Canada is poised to die on the order table, never to receive a vote, as the current minority government falls. An election call is expected in days. Everybody expects that some form of these laws will be back yet again (third time's a charm?). There are too many interests pushing for change to let it go. But here's a chance for Canadians to influence politicians about it in an election campaign, and hopefully strike a better balance. And for those of you in the rest of the world who are laboring under a DMCA-like copyright law, let's hear your stories about why such laws are a good or bad idea, and if bad, how you would amend the law to make it tolerable. With the polls probably on Oct. 14th, Canadians will be looking for a few good ideas."
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Canadian DMCA Proposal About To Die

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  • Legends (Score:5, Funny)

    by magus_melchior (262681) on Saturday September 06, 2008 @12:04AM (#24897755) Journal

    Okay, did anyone else read the title and think "Gauntlet"?

    "Canadian DMCA... needs food!"
    "Canadian DMCA... needs food, badly!"
    "Canadian DMCA... your life force is running out!"

  • by LM741N (258038) on Saturday September 06, 2008 @12:09AM (#24897781)

    For making my record industry stocks plummet. Now I will end up having to live in low income housing, and download my music for free.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Its funny, but theres more people living in the state of California than there is in Canada. The Idea that Canadian file sharing could possibly be doing that much harm to the record industry is laughable.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Vectronic (1221470)

        Not that im for laws against file sharing, but if Canada had no restrictions on file sharing, then I'd imagine there would be a lot of Canadian rippers, and the USians could download from them, which would contrast with the US laws, and then either force Canada back into laws against it, or restrict the transfers between Canada and the US, since corporately many reside in/on both countries, unlike most central European, south American, or African places, etc.

        Alternatively though, it may just force the corpo

        • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 06, 2008 @05:51AM (#24899147)

          Orignal AC here;

          Thing is we do have laws that cover file sharing, Our existing copyright laws already make distribution illegal (assuming your not authorized to of course). The problem US corporations have is that the Canadian system is substantially different from the US one in several ways.

          The most prominent of these would be our Blank Media Levy, A portion of every sale on blank media like CD-R's is payed to the CRIA (our local version of the RIAA) This levy is widely held to cover any possible losses that companies might suffer from copying. This means as Canadians our fair use rights are a bit more ironclad, we are quite literally paying for them. Because of this blank media levy it's actually not even certain if pirating music is illegal or not, as we have in effect already paid for it (This has NOT been decided in court yet one way or another)

          The next important difference is that we don't have a a DMCA like peice of legislation, meaning cracking DRM in Canada is also still in Legal Limbo, with no law saying its illegal to unlock your software the courts would tend to fall back on existing laws, and the logic of "You bought it its yours to do with as you please provided your not in violation of any laws" is pretty easy to follow. The aforementioned Blank Media Levy also makes format/time shifting a no brainier too, why pay a surcharge to a music industry on a product if you can't copy your music to it? So in Canada DRM is even more pointless as theres no law protecting it, which means companies can't try to lock you in to a certain product/vendor through tie ins and judicious use of DRM. And groups like the RIAA are pretty stupid about DRM they still think its going to be their saviour, and thanks to the DMCA in the US its almost working.

          Finally, and in a more general way, Canadian consumer protection laws are more strict (that is to say in favor of the customer) than in the USA, may corporate practises that work in the USA don't work here. Most notably EULA's are not enforceable under Canadian law.

          These factors are the death knell for the tactics that the BSA and RIAA and their ilk have been using in the states, and as the people trying desperately to hold onto an outdated business model thats bad (for them). A DMCA ish piece of legislation is nothing more than an industry trying to legislate it self a larger profit margin and we as Canadians neither need nor want it.

          Again in case I wasen't clear Canada has copyright laws, and they cover fileshareing. What we don't have are the broken lobbyist bought laws that the USA suffers under, and we sure as fuck don't want em. And as a taxpaying citizen I think my government has spent enough of its time and my money on the issue. The recording industry continues to post record breaking multi-billion dollar profits, clearly they are not going under, time to focus our time and energy on more pressing concerns like oh say insuring we have enough energy to power the country in 5 years (we're a power hungry country, we need more damn power plants) or what we're going to do about a primary energy source other than oil. And of immediate concern is that the collapsing US dollar is basically killing our manufacturing industry, and were not just talking a few layoffs here, entire plants are closing down. American companies just can't afford to buy as much of our crap anymore between the sky high price of gas and a dollar at near parity.

          • by monxrtr (1105563)

            Hi Original AC. Come videotape me Live downloading anything and everything, itching for free sacrificial RIAA money. These bastard are at the ready to rip off every word I might utter. Of course I'm marked and can't upload anything for the moment. I Won precisely because of absurd copyright laws. Pass some more! Give me more free money from the music industry coffers! Every single upload and every single download by any and all bloody RIAA pirate representatives has been and forever will be recorded to perf

          • by LM741N (258038)

            Actually I care more about those great BC seeds and "stuff" that comes over the border (here in OR). After a bit of that, I don't need to download anything- the music comes right out of my head.

          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by MobyDisk (75490)

            There is one good part of the DMCA: The Safe Harbor stuff that makes ISPs not liable for content their users upload. Now, it just plain seems obvious to me that ISPs aren't responsible for policing their users, so I'm not sure if a law stating that is really necessary. But what is obvious and common sense isn't always what the law interprets. So it might be a good thing to have.

          • I think the most important thing is, though, the CRIA likes the levy, and was not interested in the Canadian DMCA.

            That says a lot. I don't really give a shit about what movie companies say. There are none in Canada, and if there are, they're either incredibly shitty, owned by americans, or tiny shops that wouldn't mind more exposure.

            What were they thinking with the DMCA? I mean, what we need is a murdering of corporations like Rogers and Bell, not encourage them. If Verizon came to Canada we'd pay their off

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by ratboy666 (104074)

            Actually, it has been decided in court. http://www.cippic.ca/file-sharing-lawsuits/ [cippic.ca]

            The ruling was that merely downloading and making available are not enough to infringe copyright. This is probably limited to music; the personal copy provision is explicit in that only music is covered (not even audio books).

            The decision was appealed, and stood.

            Making available on a folder on the hard disk was important. The personal copy provision allows for downloading. But the Copyright Act has a "no telecommunication" pr

        • by monxrtr (1105563)

          if Canada had no restrictions on file sharing, then I'd imagine there would be a lot of Canadian rippers, and the USians could download from them

          Uhh, no, I mean, Yes. Infantry. Cavalry. General and Officers. Let Canada absorb the influx of illegal USA-ian laws school graduates.

          Hehe. "A 'Threat'". Maybe in a land and a time far far ago. We can download anything and everything whenever we wish, to check to make sure that none of our own IPs are being violated as per established by the representatives of the RIAA methodology. Don't forget to /salute the Uploading Special Forces, Pirate Bastards! :P

  • by francisstp (1137345) on Saturday September 06, 2008 @12:15AM (#24897805) Homepage
    Had the Conservatives been governing under a majority government, this bill would have passed long ago (plus we'd be even more involved militarily). Let's hope the situation stays identical for a long time.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by fyoder (857358) *

      Let's hope the situation stays identical for a long time.

      No, lets hope the NDP form a majority government.

      Ah ha ha ha, kidding, I know that some things just aren't possible, esp. when people who might have voted NDP vote Liberal because they're justifiably frightened of Harper and his Reform/Alliance/Conservative Party.

      • by sayfawa (1099071) on Saturday September 06, 2008 @12:44AM (#24897935)
        I know that some things just aren't possible, esp. when people who might have voted NDP vote Liberal because they're justifiably frightened of Harper and his Reform/Alliance/Conservative Party.

        I've taken a hard stance that I like to talk about: I have sworn to myself that I won't fall for fearmongering any more. I now vote only for the party that I actually want to be in power, consequences be damned. I've convinced myself that our form of democracy just doesn't work if you don't vote for who you actually support. And I've been ranting to anyone who will listen: The Liberals aren't *that* much different from the Conservatives. So if, by some amazing chance, my (or your) vote for the NDP or Greens (or the Bloc if you're into that kind of thing :) ) could have been the deciding vote between the Libs and Cons, the situation is still largely the same. Especially if it's a minority.

        But, it's hard convincing people. Even people who like the NDP. Even after I let them know that each vote means more funding for that party, so it isn't just a "wasted vote". Even after convincing them that the Libs wouldn't even have this "green shift" platform if it wasn't for the recent upswing in the Greens' numbers. Even after I show them Tommy Douglass' Mousland speech [youtube.com]. Sigh.
        • by Bieeanda (961632) on Saturday September 06, 2008 @01:07AM (#24898027)

          I've taken a hard stance that I like to talk about: I have sworn to myself that I won't fall for fearmongering any more. I now vote only for the party that I actually want to be in power, consequences be damned. I've convinced myself that our form of democracy just doesn't work if you don't vote for who you actually support.

          Precisely. That's why we have the concepts of majority, minority and coalition governments. I prefer minority governments for exactly the outcome we have here-- Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition actually has the chance to keep shit like this from steamrolling through, when the ruling party doesn't have enough seats to overwhelm the opposing vote.

        • by innocent_white_lamb (151825) on Saturday September 06, 2008 @04:13AM (#24898765)

          I like to think that I'm a reasonably well-informed and educated person. I take an interest, greater or lesser, in a great many things, including politics and the world around us.

          I have, in several elections, gone to the polling station, taken my ballot to the little booth and after unfolding it, I re-fold it and return it to the clerk for her to put into the ballot box. I vote, but I make no mark on the ballot at all if, in my opinion, no candidate is worthy of receiving my vote.

          And I am Canadian.

          • by cp.tar (871488) <cp.tar.bz2@gmail.com> on Saturday September 06, 2008 @05:11AM (#24898953) Journal

            On the same note, I would really love to see a system where empty ballots are counted as such — and where a number of empty ballots could get an empty seat in the parliament.
            It is unlikely the empty ballots would ever reach a majority, but even a few empty seats would show most vividly that some people are not at all represented, and remind the politicians that not everyone supports them. You need a majority for something? Well, the empty seats are against it; deal with it.

            It might not change much, but at least the current abstainees would now have a reason to vote, even if it is for no-one.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by eikonos (779343)
          I like you're idea of voting for the party you actually support. I actually did last time around, but I'm worried about the Conservatives getting back in, so I'm not sure this time. If you're in BC, vote for STV next year: http://stvforbc.com/ [stvforbc.com]
        • by msim (220489)

          Just remember. No matter who you vote for, a politician still gets in.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Curtman (556920)

          I now vote only for the party that I actually want to be in power, consequences be damned.

          That might work if the politicians were limited in the scope of bills they could introduce by what they promised to do during the election. Did I have any idea that Steven Harper would run all over the world shouting about how great and wonderful Israel is, and how we'll support them no matter what crimes they commit? I don't even remember it being an election issue. I don't remember people asking him to bring us

        • by roman_mir (125474)

          Giving more funding to NDP? That's just criminal.

          I agree with you on one thing though, always vote for the party that you really support. Libertarian.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by rbergstrom (819587)

        frightened of Harper and his Reform/Alliance/Conservative Party.

        But the "Canadian Conservative Reform Alliance Party" had such an appropriate acronym.

      • by gobbo (567674)

        esp. when people who might have voted NDP vote Liberal because they're justifiably frightened of Harper and his Reform/Alliance/Conservative Party.

        That's actually the Conservative Reform Alliance Party, or C.R.A.P. -- at least it was called that publicly for a whole day, until they caught on. No crap!

  • As a previously loyal conservative voter, I cannot vote for the conservatives this time largely due to C61. I have been thrust, unwillingly, into the arms of the NDP as they are the only one of the three major parties in Canada with a rational position on the subject. This bill proposes to make a criminal of me and virtually everyone I know.

    I will be donating money and volunteering my time to ensure that the conservatives do not attain a majority.

    That and Harper and Prentice are both industrial strength douchebags. Both of them can go straight to hell as far as I am concerned.

    • by tonywong (96839) on Saturday September 06, 2008 @02:21AM (#24898327) Homepage

      I'd moderate you up, but I have more to say.

      Just remember that this is the Conservative Party is the one that is modeled after the Republican Party in the United States. Not all of the the philosophies, but in operation. The have been in constant election mode and that means that they put their partisanship before any real governance.

      This includes things like Bill C-61. If you are a Canadian and you are reading this site you should know what and how Bill C-61 is and how it can affect you. It is dead simply because of a quirk in politics, not because it died in any readings. The Conservatives can and will reintroduce a third bill like C-61 simply because they can. They are in line with 'big business' and lobbyists at the expense of your average Canadian. If you allow the Conservatives to gain a majority then they will ram a successor to C-61 down you throats and you have NO ONE but yourselves to blame in allowing this to happen.

      Just remember that this is the governing party that has allowed an innocent man (Maher Arar) to be renditioned and tortured in Syria via the United States on poor and mistaken evidence that he was a terrorist, and then tried to cover it up by denying any fault. What makes you think that a government that would allow this would give any consideration to average Canadians about criminalizing downloads?

      You have a little more than 30 days to get the word out that the Conservative Party is not out for any citizen's interests but is totally willing to follow the will of corporate interests, the largest of which are headquartered in the United States. Funny how Bill C-61 looked like the DMCA...

      • by Brickwall (985910)
        Right. Canadian election finance laws do not allow for contributions from big business any longer, which is one reason the Liberals - who were the party of big business, just look at contributions before Chretien changed the law - are broke. The Tories raise all their money - lots of it - from individual Canadians, with the average contribution being, IIRC, $75. But you keep believing that the Tories are mean and in the pockets of business, and keep forgetting that the Liberals stole your tax dollars to pay
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by m.ducharme (1082683)

        I agree with most of what you said, but would add this: if anyone is interested in what's wrong with C61, check out Michael Geist's blog [michaelgeist.ca] where he's running "61 Reforms to C61". It's scary as hell, C61 is MUCH worse than the DMCA.

        And two, although Harper's government is complicit in the rendition of Maher Arar, Arar was actually rendered to Syria on Paul Martin's watch.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by rruvin (583160)

        Just remember that this is the governing party that has allowed an innocent man (Maher Arar) to be renditioned and tortured in Syria via the United States on poor and mistaken evidence that he was a terrorist

        No, that happened in 2002, three and a half years before the Conservatives came to power. The party in power back then was the Liberals.

        • by roman_mir (125474)

          Wow, truth is moderated as a Flamebait? Let me restate the parent:

          Fucking Liberals allowed Arar to be tortured in Syria.

      • by Pig Hogger (10379)

        Just remember that this is the governing party that has allowed an innocent man (Maher Arar) to be renditioned and tortured in Syria via the United States on poor and mistaken evidence that he was a terrorist, and then tried to cover it up by denying any fault

        Er, no. It was the liberals who let Ahar to be deported to Syria. Granted, the tories will give even less a shit about that, but here the blame squarely lies with the liberals and, most importantly, the Royal Corrupt Maudit Police.

    • by Wowsers (1151731)

      As a previously loyal conservative voter, I cannot vote for the conservatives this time largely due to C61.

      I see your problem. If they made it C90 then maybe that would seem better voter value than a C61, I mean, you can get 45 minutes per side from a C90!

    • by Xelios (822510)
      The worst part about this is the bill can be voted down over and over, and they'll just reintroduce it, over and over. It only has to pass once, and that's the depressing part.

      But at least for now, Mr. Stephen Harper; we're setting you adrift, idiot. [youtube.com]
    • And I will be joining you my friend. As will many of the 91,000 facebook users. I wonder how many of them were former Tories like us?

      If any candidate has the stones to show up at my door, I will let them know what issues matters for me.

  • Make it tolerable? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Gr8Apes (679165) on Saturday September 06, 2008 @12:21AM (#24897835)

    Make it tolerable ... By rejecting it and rolling back copyrights to their original limited lifespan of 14 years after registration. (Although I don't mind the automatic copyright granted which should last for no more than one year pending registration, nor the application/grant of one extension for another 14 years)

    Oh, and I would increase registration requirements and a provision to provide library copies with actual submissions in open source storage formats completely free of DRM.

    IOW, the only tolerable DMCA is a dead DMCA.

  • Oh well... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Safiire Arrowny (596720) on Saturday September 06, 2008 @12:21AM (#24897837) Homepage
    I wrote my MP for nothing.

    Joking aside, she did write me back a with a proper letter and said she was against the bill and would vote no, so I suppose I should get off my ass and vote for her party in this election? (The NDP if you're wondering).
    • Re:Oh well... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by neoform (551705) <djneoform@gmail.com> on Saturday September 06, 2008 @12:51AM (#24897963) Homepage

      While I don't think Layton would be a good prime minister, I'm gonna be voting NDP just because they will fight bills likes this, even if the NDP doesn't win many seats.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Please look at the chance of success in your riding first. If the vote might actually put in an NDP, go for it. If there's no chance you're going to have anything but Conservative, go for it. But if you're in a riding that can make a difference by stopping a Conservative win by voting Liberal, sigh and do the right thing. (Then go bawl out your Lib MP for what a useless party they still are.)

        I'm in the last type of riding. It ain't a happy thing, but my god we'll be fucked if the Conservatives get more seat

    • Re:Oh well... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by rbergstrom (819587) on Saturday September 06, 2008 @01:43AM (#24898155)

      I wrote mine (James Rajotte, Conservative). I asked him why this bill criminalized fair use, exactly how he proposed to enforce it while upholding the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and how it looked like suspiciously like everything the American recording/movie industry lobbyists asked for.

      Got a nice form letter back saying it was a "made-in-Canada" solution that "protected consumers". So, making me a criminal for watching a DVD on my linux-based laptop is protection? I think I'll do fine on my own, thank you.

      Despite Rajotte winning this riding by about a 30% margin the past few elections, I guess I'm voting Green.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by JediTrainer (314273)
      Good for you!

      For my part, I wrote to my MP as well. Unfortunately my MP happens to be Bev right now (yes, the infamous Ms Oda herself). All I got back was a form letter telling me how the bill is 'fair and balanced', and the fines are 'relatively low' if you copy for personal use unless you break digital locks.

      F*** you, Bev. You're not getting my vote. And I'll do what I can to get my neighbours to not vote for you too.
    • by roman_mir (125474)

      You would have to rotate me slowly over a bone fire, while waterboarding, pouring boiling tar into my eyes, thumbscrewing, booting and lashing and stoning and torturing in 20 more different ways for me to vote NDP.

      I always vote with libertarian principals in mind, at times this means conservative if there is no good libertarian to vote for, but NDP? Fry me in boiling oil and quarter me first.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Jorophose (1062218)

      I have no idea what my MP is saying on it, but I'm pretty sure he's against at this point (McGuinty).

      IMHO, if your local representatives are shit, or they won't stand against the DMCA, vote Green. If only because even though I disagree with the whole socialist-green-politics, the Greens need the votes. If you get as many people convinced to vote Green too all the better. And one Green seat means one less conservative/liberal vote, and one less chance of stupid bills being passed.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by earthforce_1 (454968)

      I always thought it would be a cold day in hell when I would vote NDP, but I am now wondering if their nanny state tax & spend socialism is a lesser evil than facing astronomical fines for playing my DVDs under Linux, unlocking my cellphone or watching foreign DVDs on region free players.

      If Bob Barr ever gives up on the US of A, I wonder if he would be inclined to help start/resurrect the libertarian party of Canada.

  • ... the fact that it is difficult to enforce!

  • Ok, two thoughts. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jd (1658) <imipak@yaCOLAhoo.com minus caffeine> on Saturday September 06, 2008 @12:47AM (#24897943) Homepage Journal

    First, there's never going to be a "good" DMCA, at least not in those terms. The copyright holders (not the artists, who generally get less from DMCA than they did prior to such laws) are trying to have their cake and eat it. Doesn't work.

    Second, if you absolutely have to have such a law, or ANY law on technology, then it has to be written in collaboration with technologists who can help politicians understand what will and won't work, and what is and is not enforceable. You CANNOT EVER make a good law in a vacuum. Every single time politicians and a single special-interest side of the debate try to control everything, it falls apart. If you don't listen, you cannot learn. If you do not learn, you cannot hope to avoid the mistakes of the past.

  • by plasmacutter (901737) on Saturday September 06, 2008 @12:50AM (#24897959)

    If you tie anti-circumvention to actual infringement rather than blanket-ban it, that's a proper balance.

    This would mean tools which meet the betamax standard for substantial non-infringing uses could still be produced and marketed.

    among those tools would be region free dvd players, mod chips, etc.

  • But let's not count the chickens before the eggs hatch, because the conservative "government" might not be wiped out entirely in this election.

    Of course conservative party has never really held a real majority passed Sir John A MacDonald's days, or maybe Diefenbaker. So they could quite likely fall in October.

  • Is the Canadian DMCA proposal's life force running out?
  • by xra (1021817) on Saturday September 06, 2008 @01:16AM (#24898063)
    One more reason to make sure the conservatives do not form a majority government.
  • by erroneus (253617) on Saturday September 06, 2008 @05:07AM (#24898935) Homepage

    The balance in the the copyright industry's interests already even without their DMCA laws. It would be good to see a "better balance" but it is already pretty far in their favor with their "blank media" laws collecting them royalties in advance of its use (whether it is used for personal-use copying or not!)

  • Canadian DMCA Proposal Needs Food Badly... (which is when the stupid wizard shoots the f*ing food)
  • Technically... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Brickwall (985910) on Saturday September 06, 2008 @08:36AM (#24899813)
    The government did not "fall" - that is, it was not defeated in the House of Commons on a confidence measure. PM Stephen Harper is expected to request an election writ tomorrow, but the Governor-General is under no obligation to dissolve the house. She could ask the opposition parties if they could form a coalition government (unlikely, but possible), or she could refuse, and send Mr. Harper back to the House, where he could either dare the opposition to defeat him on a confidence measure (which would likely have to be a bill so contentious as to hand the opposition a ready-made election issue), or wait until Mr. Harper's own law which set an election date for late 2009 comes into effect.

    Again, technically, once back in the House, Harper could introduce a confidence motion, and then ensure enough of his MP's were either absent or abstained so that he was defeated, but this would be so transparent that many Canadians would be annoyed, and not support him at the ballot box. Parliamentary democracy is so much fun!

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