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Canada May Lose Copyright Fair-Use Rights 303

DotNM writes with an article from the CBC reporting that the Canadian government is considering removing fair-use rights from Canada's copyright law. From the article: "Exacerbating the situation is intense pressure from the United States, where Canada is considered a rogue when it comes to copyright and intellectual property. It still hasn't ratified a 1997 World Intellectual Property Organization copyright treaty... Two of the most controversial issues are [DRM] and the closely related technological protection measures."
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Canada May Lose Copyright Fair-Use Rights

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  • Fight.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by QuantumG ( 50515 ) * <qg@biodome.org> on Sunday January 14, 2007 @03:49PM (#17605006) Homepage Journal
    now is the time for Canadians to get out there and tell their elected representatives that they don't want US copyright. Do it now, before your politicians trade your dental plan for a keg of beer for their meetings.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by arth1 ( 260657 )
      US beer? They'd never accept!
    • Seriously. (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Do what you can to save your country. We already lost ours.
    • Re:Fight.. (Score:5, Informative)

      by Doytch ( 950946 ) <markpd@gmailFORTRAN.com minus language> on Sunday January 14, 2007 @05:01PM (#17605698)
      If you don't have your MP in your address book, then here's the lookup site:

      http://www.parl.gc.ca/information/about/people/hou se/PostalCode.asp?Source=SM [parl.gc.ca]

      I already sent my MP a letter, do your part if you're pissed.
    • Re:Fight.. (Score:5, Informative)

      by JebusIsLord ( 566856 ) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @05:37PM (#17606090)
      First, go here to find your representative:

      http://webinfo.parl.gc.ca/MembersOfParliament/Main MPsCompleteList.aspx?TimePeriod=Current&Language=E [parl.gc.ca]

      then, email them the following (just a suggestion):

      Hi [representative],

      This is my first time writing to you, as a new constituent. I am writing concerning an article I read today on CBC.ca. http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2007/01/11/copy right-canada.html [www.cbc.ca]

      I am fairly concerned about possible changes to Canadian fair-use laws. I consider myself a patron of the arts, and one of the music industry's best customers. As a modern, technology-savy citizen, I primarily listen to the music CDs I purchase on my portable iPod, or on my PC. Changes to fair use laws would make the act of "ripping" these songs to my computer, illegal. I consider myself an ethical consumer, and I don't see how in any way this activity harms the music industry. I suppose one could argue that, should this law come into effect, I could purchase my music online and therefore no "illegal" copying from CD would take place. However, these downloadable files (by way of the iTunes music store, for example) already defeat fair-use by restricting your ability to move them to new devices, new PCs etc.

      In short, this law will punish good consumers, like me. Unethical consumers of music are already breaking the law by downloading pirated music, so this law will not affect them. If such legal changes are made, in order to continue listening to music in the manner I have been for years, I will probably opt to simply break the law - as I expect will the majority of iPod-owning Canadians. I will also seriously question whether or not such an industry should be supported financially by my hard-earned paycheques.

      Thank you for listening,
      [insert name here]
      • Thanks for the example. I made some personal modifications and sent it off to my MP.
      • Re:Fight.. my letter (Score:4, Interesting)

        by saskboy ( 600063 ) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @09:49PM (#17608328) Homepage Journal
        I wrote one last year, but here's a new more topical version people can use and modify:
        My letter:
        Dear Mr. Breitkreuz,

        I'm writing concerning this story in the media cbc.ca/technology/story/2007/01/11/copyright-canad a.html

        If the Conservative government makes it a crime to put CD music onto iPod MP3 players, the government will be a laughingstock in the eyes of music consumers. Canadians in Yorkton-Melville regard the gun registry as an unenforceable, and intrusive law that makes criminals out of law abiding long gun owners. In the same way, removing Fair Use from Canadian copyright law will make criminals out of ordinary, law abiding Canadians, and does very little to help the people the law is supposed to protect.

        As with previous emails on the topic of Copyright Act revisions, I offer you my expertise if you have questions regarding the technical nature of Digital Restrictions Management, and why there is an organization of professional Canadian musicians opposed to DRM, and the removal of Fair Use.

        A short reply to acknowledge you received this letter, would be appreciated.

        Thank you for your time,
        Yorkton resident
        [phone number]

        CC. Hon. Bev Oda, Hon. Maxime Bernier
    • Re:Fight.. (Score:4, Informative)

      by saskboy ( 600063 ) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @07:14PM (#17607060) Homepage Journal
      I've written my MP about copyright at least 3 times last year, and didn't get one response. The Conservative MP for Yorkton-Melville obviously doesn't care about Canadian artists or stopping DRM.
      • by CokeBear ( 16811 )
        There is an election coming soon. You know what to do.

        (For those in Canada that don't, here are the basics: first, find out which of the 2 alternatives in your riding is more likely to win, the NDP or Liberal candidate*, call the office of that candidate *now* and make sure they know you are available to volunteer during the election to help out any way you can. That could include things like organizing events, planning, going door-to-door with the candidate, etc. While you are helping out, getting to know

  • what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by macadamia_harold ( 947445 ) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @03:56PM (#17605084) Homepage
    Exacerbating the situation is intense pressure from the United States, where Canada is considered a rogue when it comes to copyright and intellectual property.

    You mean, "levy-paid-to-RIAA-on-all-blank-media-regardless-o f-use" Canada? Are we talking about the same country?
    • Re:what? (Score:5, Informative)

      by temojen ( 678985 ) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @04:16PM (#17605272) Journal
      No, it's Levy paid to CRIA for blank CD's and audio tapes (not HDDs or DVDs), but you can't be sued for downloading music or videos.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by LunarCrisis ( 966179 )

        No, it's Levy paid to CRIA for blank CD's and audio tapes (not HDDs or DVDs), but you can't be sued for downloading music or videos.

        I am not a lawyer!

        I'm sorry, but I've been pouring through the Canadian Copyright Act, and I cannot find anything which substantiates your claim. This is the only clause I can find which is relevant to this situation, but please tell me if I've missed something. (Edit: now that I am done writing this comment I am no longer as sure as when I started, so please read to the end)

        From http://www.cb-cda.gc.ca/info/act-e.html#80 [cb-cda.gc.ca]: (emphasis mine)

        Copying for Private Use
        80. (1) Subject to subsection (2), the act of reproducing all or any substantial part of
        (a) a musical work embodied in a sound recording,
        (b) a performer's performance of a musical work embodied in a sound recording, or
        (c) a sound recording in which a musical work, or a performer's performance of a musical work, is embodied
        onto an audio recording medium for the private use of the person who makes the copy does not constitute an infringement of the copyright in the musical work, the performer's performance or the sound recording.
        (2) Subsection (1) does not apply if the act described in that subsection is done for the purpose of doing any of the following in relation to any of the things referred to in paragraphs (1)(a) to (c):
        (a) selling or renting out, or by way of trade exposing or offering for sale or rental;
        (b) distributing, whether or not for the purpose of trade;
        (c) communicating to the public by telecommunication; or
        (d) performing, or causing to be performed, in public.
        1997, c. 24, s. 50.

        Now, the first thing to notice here is that this only appli

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by RealGrouchy ( 943109 )

      You mean, "levy-paid-to-RIAA-on-all-blank-media-regardless-o f-use" Canada? Are we talking about the same country?

      s/RIAA/CPCC [www.cpcc.ca], but yes.

      Actually, I recall a Canadian [Supreme?] court case that said that this blank media levy effectively makes music-downloading legal. They can't claim that the "artists" (nudge nudge) aren't getting paid, because they are, through the levy.

      The really evil thing is how the exception [cpcc.ca] to the levy works. Some types of groups (follow link for full list) are excempted from the le

    • by gravesb ( 967413 )
      How is the US pressuring Canada to get rid of fair use, when the US still has it? Granted, the RIAA is trying to chip away at it, but its still there. The US pays the blank media tax as well, I wish we had a court that would say the tax exempts consumers from piracy charges like Canada's did. Maybe the US is trying to get something like the DMCA passed to protect DRM, but not fair use. The article goes on to talk about pirated music, which has nothing to do with fair use. Fair use is based on music you
  • Taxes (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 14, 2007 @03:58PM (#17605098)
    Will it get rid of the damn taxes on CD's?
  • Like anything (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RichPowers ( 998637 ) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @04:05PM (#17605162)
    It's harder to get fair use rights back once you lose them. Better to fight now than fight later...
    • I agree wholeheartedly. Yes CA folks pay special tax on blanks, and unless there is some pretty creative bookkeeping going on up north of the border, I'd be willing to bet a beer or 6 that the annual check to the **AA mafia rather handily exceeds the royalties actually lost from any so-called piracy.

      I look at you all as a beacon of common sense in the wilderness, a thorn in their side if you will. As I'm equally sure the **AA legals are telling their bosses that daily in an attempt to justify their bloate
  • by dsanfte ( 443781 ) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @04:06PM (#17605180) Journal
    The Conservative Party in Canada is always on about cutting government intervention in the economy, and then goes and supports legislative corporate welfare like Bill C60. They're clearly just out to make their media friends some more bucks.

    Sadly, the biggest lie circulating is that these changes will somehow better promote "Quebec culture". There's this unfounded belief out there that more and more "protections" and "rights for creators", at the expense of their customers, will result in more content. I just don't see it.

    The US has some of the most restrictive copyright legislation out there, and the slide of music sales has only just now been stemmed by paid downloads. Where are the creators and all the extra content those laws were supposed to encourage? Yeah, on Youtube.com, giving their stuff away for free, rendering all these laws moot.

    If the Canadian government really wants to promote Quebec culture, work with Google to put up a Canadian bilingual version of Youtube on Google.ca. This is a no-brainer, guys...
    • by JFMulder ( 59706 ) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @04:18PM (#17605284)
      Sadly, the biggest lie circulating is that these changes will somehow better promote "Quebec culture".
      Seriously? I mean, no offense, but if there's one culture that needs protection, it's the rest of the Canadian culture. The music and movie industry in Quebec is going great (not as great this year as last year tough). Quebecers actually go and see movies from Quebec. It's not the majority, but it's a non negligible portion. The rest of Canada don't watch a lot of movies from Quebec, but then, they hardly watch their own either.
      • The rest of Canada don't watch a lot of movies from Quebec, but then, they hardly watch their own either.
        Big money lies in big markets.
        Canadian movies are usually made to appeal to that big market down south. So they end up with all the originality and edginess of a Hollywood movie, and the budget value of a Canadian movie. i.e. cheap and bland.
        Talented people make for exceptions, but this is showbusiness, and businessmen call the shots: Spend less, sell more.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Mauriac ( 1048278 )
      It's quite clear that the conservatives don't want to promote what you call "Québec culture" with this law. There's already enough protection for Québec artists and creators, and the conservatives don't want to change this situation. The truth is that the conservative party want to protect a well-established industry, and respond to U.S. pression to change the foggy legislative background of "fair-use" in a more radical way. This change can be linked to many positions in Stephen Harper's governeme
      • Moi aussi.. :) This attention the "conservatives" have been paying to us is utter bullshit. It shames me our hatered for the liberals allowed them into power. I mean I hope one day to call a sovereign Quebec my country, but damn this is no way to achieve that.
    • The Conservative Party in Canada is always on about cutting government intervention in the economy...

      Conservative parties everywhere are all the same: hypocrites. They're in favor of cutting regulations where they stand in the way of big business, but are just as happy to introduce new regulations when industry lobbyists say it will help big business. When the conservatives are in power, the corporations gain more influence over our lives... and they're anything but subject to the democratic process.

    • by nightfire-unique ( 253895 ) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @05:28PM (#17606008)

      As a Quebecer I can't describe how terrible it would feel to know our government used us as an excuse to damage copyright law in Canada. :(

      Here's a letter I wrote in 1999 when this issue last came up:

      Subject: CPCDI concern


      I am a Canadian citizen residing in Montreal, QC. I recently learned of your request for comments regarding the implementation of a Canadian version of the controversial American DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act), through provisions of the Consultation Paper on Digital Copyright Issues (CPCDI). I would like to voice my concern.

      To anyone who has studied the history of the United States - from the inception of an independent democracy to the frequent creation and repeal of unjust law - the DMCA appears to be a gross perversion of both copyright law (practically, and in spirit) and the American constitution.

      It seeks to impose the criminal status on individuals who would otherwise be practicing constitutionally protected freedoms, while having a questionable effect, if any, on those who are already criminals - those who wilfully violate copyright law. It allows for the criminalization of the act of making fair use (media excerpts, backup copies, transfers of ownership, research for the purpose of publishing, use under unsupported or unapproved digital devices, and others) of copyrighted material, because these fair uses can be controlled through the use of encryption.

      Where formerly these would have been civil issues (contract violation), they become criminal issues.

      This, as we have seen recently in the United States, has already begun to have a chilling effect on scientific research (see the cases regarding Dmitry Sklyrov, Dr. Felten, and Jon Johansen - all of whom were enguaged in previously protected activities for the good of the public). Of course, the frightening commonality in each of these cases is that the requests for prosecution were perpetrated by large media centric, for-profit corporations.

      At the end of the day, many criminal acts can be prevented through proactive prosection, criminalization of related activity, and errosion of fundamental privacy.

      But as a citizen of Canada, I oppose these excessive measures. To me, living in a free country means being given the choice to use tools for good or bad purposes. It is the trust instilled by the Canadian government and the Canadian people which makes this country great.

      I urge the Canadian government to maintain the fair, delicate balance between copyright holders and individuals, and to remove the overbroad, anti-consumer provisions of CPDCI.



      I'm working on the next one right now. It's a shame we have to keep doing this.
    • This is as much about Quebec culture as Harper's softwood lumber agreement with the US was about protecting BC logging: not at all. Harper wants to align with an ideological equal and Canadians citizens come second. Had the Liberals not become such a haven for kickbacks and gerrymandering he would still be no more than a prairie curiousity.
  • The WTO (Score:4, Insightful)

    by nurb432 ( 527695 ) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @04:09PM (#17605204) Homepage Journal
    is the most insidious thing going rght now. It has the potential to usurp most of our rights ( and not just IP type rights )

    One world order, here we come ( via the backdoor )
  • by tehSpork ( 1000190 ) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @04:15PM (#17605262)
    "It's a big black market effect and so instead of 25 per cent [of the market], it's eight per cent here. People are simply abandoning the marketplace altogether, and they've made the decision they'll just download the music and worry about how the artist gets paid later."

    If you're dealing with a major record label the artist barely gets paid anyway, I doubt they see the difference.

    Sounds like Canada's copyright law might be going the way of Australia's [wikipedia.org], eh. Pretty soon we'll all have to move to Sweden to be safe. Oh wait, that didn't work out so well for TBP [thepiratebay.org] now did it...
    • by init100 ( 915886 )

      Oh wait, that didn't work out so well for TBP now did it...

      It didn't work out well for a few days, then they had relocated their servers to several other countries. They are actually back in Sweden now. Whether they will actually face any charges is still unknown, but the police is still holding most of the servers from the colocation facility, even many of those that had nothing to odo with TPB. I suspect that the police does this to make TPB a pariah that no colocator can accept as a customer. "Host TPB and risk shutdown of your entire operation for months or e

  • Contact info (Score:3, Interesting)

    by phorm ( 591458 ) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @04:16PM (#17605270) Journal
    How about some contact info for those interesting in writing the powers that be about this issue?
    • Re:Contact info (Score:5, Informative)

      by Mashiki ( 184564 ) <mashiki@ g m a il.com> on Sunday January 14, 2007 @04:27PM (#17605374) Homepage
      http://www.gc.ca/ [www.gc.ca] is your friend.

      BERNIER, Maxime
      Parliamentary Address
      House of Commons
      Ottawa, Ontario
      K1A 0A6
      Telephone: (613) 992-8053
      Fax: (613) 995-0687
      E-Mail: Bernier.M@parl.gc.ca

      Constituency Address
      11535 1st Avenue, Suite 430
      Saint-Georges, Quebec
      G5Y 7H5
      Telephone: (418) 227-2171
      Fax: (418) 227-3093
      1083 Vachon Boulevard North, Suite 201
      Sainte-Marie, Quebec
      G6E 1M8
      Telephone: (418) 387-4224
      Fax: (418) 387-8124


      ODA, Beverley J. (Bev) (Conservative)
      Parliamentary Address
      House of Commons
      Ottawa, Ontario
      K1A 0A6
      Telephone: (613) 992-2792
      Fax: (613) 992-2794
      E-Mail: Oda.B@parl.gc.ca

      Constituency Address
      68 King Street East, Unit 2
      Bowmanville, Ontario
      L1C 3X2
      Telephone: (905) 697-1699
      Fax: (905) 697-1678
      Toll Free: 1-866-436-1141
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Shabbs ( 11692 )
      It does not get any easier than this for Canadians:

      http://www.onlinerights.ca/get_active/copyright_re form_action/ [onlinerights.ca]

      Web form that sends a letter to your MP as well as Maxime and Beverley.


  • More Criminals (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nurb432 ( 527695 ) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @04:22PM (#17605326) Homepage Journal
    Once you make the entire public criminals, its easier to strip them of the rest of their rights and control them.
  • Bev Oda (Score:5, Informative)

    by maytagman ( 971263 ) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @04:31PM (#17605402)
    Bev Oda's (Canadian Heritage minister) campaign was funded by major record companies such as Universal Records. Basically the record companies are buying these new draconian laws. 'http://bevoda.ca' has recently pulled down the contact info after an obvious flood of hateful email. This has been extensively covered on http://boingboing.net/ [boingboing.net] and as usual days, weeks and months ahead of slashdot.
    http://www.boingboing.net/2006/09/11/how_hollywood s_mp_in.html [boingboing.net]
    http://www.boingboing.net/2006/11/08/canadian_copy right_c.html [boingboing.net]
    http://www.boingboing.net/2006/06/08/can_heritage_ ministe.html [boingboing.net]
    http://www.boingboing.net/2006/01/04/hollywoods_ca nadian_.html [boingboing.net]
    http://www.boingboing.net/2006/05/24/canadian_stud ents_as.html [boingboing.net]
    http://www.boingboing.net/2006/01/15/editorial_in_ toronto.html [boingboing.net]
    http://www.boingboing.net/2005/09/29/canadian_copy fight_t.html [boingboing.net]
    http://www.boingboing.net/2006/01/03/canadian_mp_i mports_.html [boingboing.net]
    http://www.boingboing.net/2005/06/21/canadas_dmca_ dissect.html [boingboing.net]
    http://www.boingboing.net/2006/09/18/canadians_how to_stop.html [boingboing.net]
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Cadallin ( 863437 )
      What, you mean corporations in the rest of world are figuring out what those in the USA have known for decades? Buying elections is CHEAP. If I was a Multinational Corporation with revenues in the Billions, I could buy an American Congress for as little as a couple hundred million dollars, which realistically is nothing. I'd guess that other, smaller and/or poorer democracies would be even cheaper. I'm not sure what it would cost to buy the Mexican government, but it can't be more than $50 million.


  • No problem (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hammock ( 247755 ) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @04:34PM (#17605414) Homepage
    I don't oppose this at all, however, first they have to refund the millions they have stolen by way of the blank media tax. As soon as I see some real money back that those motherfuckers stole from me when I bought backup media for my servers, we can talk about copyright reform.

    I am waiting to hear back from you.
    • Absolute true. The "assume its free" and other quotes from the article from the Canadian RIAA are total bullshit. You pay a levy for all blank media that goes to them that is more than the bloody media.
  • vote (Score:2, Insightful)

    by FudRucker ( 866063 )
    With your wallets that is, I have not bought a single music CD or movie in many years. I wish more would follow suit...
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Ironsides ( 739422 )
      I buy lots of CDs and DVDs. None of it goes to the MPAA or RIAA or the Canadian equivalents. Just about everything I buy is from companies outside those cartels. You might want to look at doing the same and learn of some new artists you've never heard before.
  • First (Score:3, Funny)

    by JustOK ( 667959 ) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @04:48PM (#17605566) Journal
    They made us get rid of the Avro Arrow, and now this???
  • loose once and we' (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ckedge ( 192996 ) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @05:01PM (#17605688) Journal
    JHC. We have to fight this all over again every fucking 1-4 years. Each time we win we only win for 1-4 years, and then we have to fight all over again.

    If they win once, just once, they've won. Period.

    How the fuck is this considered democracy? How are we supposed to prevent a perpetual slow glide down into tyrrany if they can keep passing more new laws forever and ever?

    Have you ever heard of a law being revoked or reversed?
    • society is going to reach a point where there occurs a critical mass of unreasonable laws.
      when this occurs people will simply stop following the laws.
      people will break them en masse and the police will be unable to enforce all the law breakers.
      • ... which leads to law-makers trying to create a surveillance society like they've got in the UK, which in turn gets out of hand, and eventually someone with power realises it's no longer working and does away with it; sure. But that process can take decades or even centuries. Life's too short.
  • Fair dealing (Score:3, Informative)

    by Ghost-in-the-shell ( 103736 ) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @05:10PM (#17605818) Homepage
    Canada does not use Fair-Use in its copyright laws, it uses Fair dealing and the constructs are totally different. The actual debate in Canada is should we move to adopting Fair Use or continue to use the restricted but spelled out uses of Fair Dealing.

  • Same old story (Score:5, Insightful)

    by troll -1 ( 956834 ) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @05:17PM (#17605880)
    Close observers of the file say all signs point to a new regime that will improve safeguards for major music, film and media companies and artists for unpaid use of their material, but neglect to make exemptions for personal use of copyrighted content.

    Bullshit! You can reform copyright laws all you want, people are still gonna record their favorite shows and share stuff on P2P. Sharing copyrighted content, for example, is at an all time high, in spite of its illegality and all those *IAA lawsuits.

    Remember the US Betamax [wikipedia.org] case? Yeah, if these guys had their way VCRs would be illegal. The problem is that their business runs on a static model. They seem incapable of seeing the world differently.

    You can moralize all you want about the rights and wrongs of technology but it doesn't alter the fact that it's here to stay and all the laws and lawsuits in the world won't stop people from copying (and distributing). It would be funny if it wasn't so pathetically sad.
  • I just saw an old South Park last night - Vive le resistance!
  • Fight Online (Score:4, Informative)

    by CarlJagt ( 877688 ) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @05:48PM (#17606202) Homepage

    Fight Online -- send a letter asking for a balanced copyright reform: Visit http://www.onlinerights.ca/get_active/copyright_re form_action/ [onlinerights.ca]

    Your letter will read:

    I am a constituent who cares about Canada's cultural policy, and I am writing in regard to legislative proposals for "copyright reform." During the last Parliament, Bill C-60 provided some very sensible approaches to this complicated topic, but it also left room for improvement. As you consider the issue of copyright reform, I hope that you will work to ensure that any new legislation is not a regression from the sensible policies set out in Bill C-60.

    In particular, I do not believe that "digital rights management" (DRM) technologies should stop the public from making lawful uses of their legitimately acquired media. Publishers using DRM push aside the delicate balance between copyright and the rights of the public - a balance set according to an assessment of the public interest by legislators - and replace it with one-sided rules that reflect publishers' private interests. Even artists disagree with publishers' anti-consumer use of DRM, as evidenced by the recently formed Canadian Music Creators Coalition. Therefore, as in Bill C-60, new copyright reform legislation should not make it illegal to circumvent DRM for lawful purposes.

    I am also concerned that the use of DRM can threaten computer security and consumer privacy, as in the recent Sony-BMG "Rootkit" fiasco. When content companies routinely use technological measures to control how people enjoy entertainment in the privacy of their own homes, I think we need protection *from* DRM more than we need protection *for* it.

    These concerns are shared by a substantial and growing number of informed Canadian citizens. I hope that you will take them into account when considering any changes to Canadian copyright law. Thanks very much for your time.

  • by Hamster Lover ( 558288 ) * on Sunday January 14, 2007 @05:53PM (#17606250) Journal
    For those that have no clue about Canada's current political situation, the governing Conversative party holds minority power, less than 50% of the seats in Parliament, and as such requires the votes of the other parties, the NDP, the Liberals or the Bloq Quebecois, to pass any legislation. The Liberals, which have the largest number of seats after the Conservatives, have also just elected a new, dynamic leader to head their party and he is out for blood. So, regardless of the legislation that is introduced it is going to be amended when the bill heads to committee (second reading), if it even gets that far. Once the bill heads to committee look for it to be sliced and diced by the opposition if for no other reason than to earn some political points with the public. A similar situation occured when the Liberals amended the Conservatives much vaunted crime reform bill and watered down or removed key sections of the legislation.

    Stephen Dion, the new Liberal leader, has also indicated that he will not co-operate with the Conservatives on any legislative initiatives and has intimated that he will vote to bring down the government on the next confidence motion and force an election. So we may not even make it that far.

    Don't hold your breath on this passing.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by dodongo ( 412749 )
      For those that have no clue about Canada's current political situation

      So in other words "Attention US Citizens:"

      For more information, see here [www.cbc.ca].
  • by Strych9 ( 126433 )
    We have been very fortunate not to have the draconian laws that are totally one sided. We as Canadians pay a levy on all our CDs /etc when we are using said media for legitmate uses. Listing of Canadian MP's by Postal Code [parl.gc.ca] Take some time and let your MP know that this issue is important and the current buzz over the environment doesn't mean people are going to ignore this. Remember, doing nothing is doing something. That something is allowing the music industry lobby groups walk all over you and say th
  • by Kernel Kurtz ( 182424 ) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @06:20PM (#17606528) Homepage
    Make this a voting issue, and make it clear to your MP and other government representatives that it is. We have a minority government here right now, and an election is likely sooner rather than later. Issues like this could swing the balance of power, or make the difference between a majority or another minority government.

    I voted CPC last election, but if they take away my fair use rights they will not get my vote again. Ever.

  • petition (Score:3, Informative)

    by jeffstar ( 134407 ) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @07:24PM (#17607142) Journal
    A petition [digital-copyright.ca] exists which has around 2500 signatures already and is sent to parliament as new batches of signatures are received.

  • I never paid attention, but while reading this article in an easy fashion, it suddenly struck me that these are all 'pretty' names for some public enemy measures in order to protect the wealthy elite groups whereas forcing their monopoly on art/creativity market.

    are we, people, stupid enough not to realize that is the case, or what ?
  • by frdmfghtr ( 603968 ) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @11:39PM (#17609200)

    Graham Henderson of the Canadian Recording Industry Association, one of Canada's top lobbyists for stiffer copyright controls, notes that a variety of digital services have taken off in the United States and started to make up a large percentage of music revenues.

    "In Canada, that's not happening and it's not happening because we have a culture here where people just assume it's free," said Henderson.

    "It's a big black market effect and so instead of 25 per cent [of the market], it's eight per cent here. People are simply abandoning the marketplace altogether, and they've made the decision they'll just download the music and worry about how the artist gets paid later."

    What is he referring to as "free?"

    And they ALREADY paid the artists...isn't that what that extra levy on recording media you all pay up there is for, reimbursing the artists for copyright infringement that's assumed to be happening (even though there is NO evidence that GUARANTEES that the media one purchases is going to be used for copying music/movies/etc.)
  • by JohnKrasnay ( 160382 ) on Monday January 15, 2007 @12:14AM (#17609432)
    Dear Ms. Oda,

    I currently live with my family in north Oshawa and I have been a resident of Durham Region for most of my life. As one of your constituents, I read with concern this article recently published by the CBC: http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2007/01/11/copy right-canada.html [www.cbc.ca].

    As a consumer and a content producer (I've written software professionally for the last 15 years, including a large application that I've licensed for public use and redistribution), I believe that copyright law strikes a delicate balance between the rights of content producers and society at large. Any changes to that balance must be very carefully conceived. While I obviously can't comment on the proposed changes you are currently preparing, I would like to offer some of my concerns about where copyright reform appears to be headed.

    Firstly, I believe the push behind copyright reform is coming from the film and recording industries. No other stakeholders appear to have any pressing desire to reform copyright law. The software industry, in particular, realized years ago that technological copyright protection measures (euphemistically called Digital Rights Management today) were an un-winnable arms race that served only to frustrate their legitimate customers, and for the most part have stopped the practice. They seem to be happy with going after egregious copyright violators while letting their own customers create backup copies of their purchased software in peace.

    Further, I do not believe that the recording industry is acting in the interest of the artists (in fact, several prominent Canadian artists have actually said as much over the last year); instead, I believe they are trying to preserve an outmoded business model (shipping information around on CDs with trucks) against the Internet, which does the same job far more efficiently. Rather than adapt to the progress of technology (for example, by looking for ways to use the Internet to expose more artists to more fans), they have chosen instead to pressure governments to enact legislation disrupting the balance of our current copyright laws. I feel such changes, especially made in haste, will disadvantage both consumers *and* artists in favour of propping up an industry that is in decline.

    As a result, I feel that any changes to copyright legislation proposed by the recording industry must be viewed with a large degree of scepticism, and that changes, if any, must be made carefully and with the full consultation of the Canadian people. I would urge you in particular to steer clear of a couple of particularly misguided concepts:

    1. Canada must not implement the equivalent of the "DRM anti-circumvention" clause of the American DMCA. Laws preventing open discussion of algorithms (i.e. mathematics) are perilously close to recognizing thought-crime.

    2. Canada must not reduce fair-use rights, such as the right to time- and format-shift legitimately purchased content. To do so would be to criminalize ordinary Canadians for doing things they believe they have the inherent right to do.

    I thank you sincerely for your time.

    John Krasnay
  • by akohler ( 997911 ) <kohler.a@gmail.com> on Monday January 15, 2007 @01:45AM (#17610048) Homepage Journal

    If you want to submit your comments as "Concerned Global Citizens", the Canadian Copyright Policy Branch has a Web Form [pch.gc.ca]


    I don't know if the Canadian government cares what citizens of other countries think, but I don't believe that we will ever get any real Copyright Reform until we convince our respective governments to stop being so myopically nationalistic.

  • by Grendel Drago ( 41496 ) on Monday January 15, 2007 @02:56AM (#17610340) Homepage
    I was sure they'd move from Life+50 to Life+70 before Winnie the Pooh went out of copyright, but no, the works of A. A. Milne (and a hojillion others [copyrightwatch.ca], including Alfred Kinsey, Jackson Pollock, and H. L. Mencken) are in the public domain in Canada. If they manage to hold out for another year, the public domain will grow to include (for instance) John von Neumann.

    At least they've managed to keep their laws reasonable compared to those in the U.S., though that's not saying much. If they keep being an oasis of comparative sanity, I may end up moving there. Here's hoping they'll stay that way for a good long while.

Mathemeticians stand on each other's shoulders while computer scientists stand on each other's toes. -- Richard Hamming