Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?
Government Your Rights Online News

Canadian DMCA Proposal About To Die 186

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."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Canadian DMCA Proposal About To Die

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 06, 2008 @01:12AM (#24898049)

    As a writer I find it odd and upsetting that people feel that I should have severely limited rights to my own work. Why should anyone but me have the right to my work, especially during my lifetime but even beyond that. My legacy to my family are my collected works. If no one wishes to buy the work that's called the free market and I'm fine with that but why should other people have free access to my work? Lets say after the 14 years as some have proposed I no longer control my work so companies begin producing film adaptations of my work for which they will benefit financially but I won't. Writers generally work many years before being recognized so say half my work falls out of copyright without being published due to copyright laws but publishers and studios retained copies. I become popular so then they are able to go to their vaults and pull out copies of my work and exploit them without me receiving a cent ever for my work but they profit. Allowing writers and other artists to retain control of their work harms no one but removing their rights potentially removes their ability to make a living from their work. I've already chosen to retire in three years in part because of the change in attitudes towards artists rights. I'll continue to write because writers have a need to write but I won't release future work to the public. How is this benefiting the public? I know other artists that are considering similar life changes. The surest way to retain rights to your work is to never make it public. I've improved dramatically over the years and I definitely feel my best work is still to come but the public won't benefit from that work. Allowing artists to retain rights in no way harms the public but driving them underground does.

  • 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!)

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • by m.ducharme ( 1082683 ) on Saturday September 06, 2008 @09:25AM (#24900063)

    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 [] 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.

  • by rruvin ( 583160 ) on Saturday September 06, 2008 @10:24AM (#24900403)

    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 ratboy666 ( 104074 ) <> on Saturday September 06, 2008 @01:23PM (#24901765) Journal

    Actually, it has been decided in court. []

    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" provision. That part of the ruling was put aside (too bad), and is still open.

    But merely downloading is not enough to infringe copyright in Canada.

UNIX is many things to many people, but it's never been everything to anybody.