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Canada Your Rights Online

"Canadian DMCA" Rising From the Dead 211

mandelbr0t writes "The Canadian Conservative government is preparing to reintroduce amended copyright legislation on Thursday (we discussed the rumor some weeks ago). Most sources say that the proposed legislation is very similar to Bill C-61, generally dubbed the 'Canadian DMCA.' It still includes definitions of 'technological protections' and criminalizes 'circumvention' of those protections. Bill C-61 died in the summer of 2008, facing massive opposition from the Canadian public. Once again, it's time for Canadians to get politically active; ORC ran a large campaign with the last attempt, and will likely be updated soon with the new proposed legislation." Read below for more of the submitter's thoughts on the coming battle.

As with Bill C-61, the Conservative government has launched a campaign of misinformation to attempt to force the law down our throat. Industry Minister Tony Clement is trying to convince people that "format shifting" is currently illegal. Of course, it is not actually criminal, and enforcement of private infringement, as always, is prevented by the fact that massive invasion of privacy would have to occur. Second, Mr. Clement is claiming that this law is necessary to bring Canada into line with the WIPO Treaty. The above readings discredit WIPO altogether. Furthermore, the two articles that are being referred to are Articles 11 and 12. Note the use of the phrase "effective technological measure" and the absence of any criminality requirement. This legislation is not necessary to provide amended copyright law that is consistent with the WIPO treaty, and will hopefully die an uneventful death, to be buried for eternity.
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"Canadian DMCA" Rising From the Dead

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  • by RandomFactor ( 22447 ) on Monday May 31, 2010 @11:32PM (#32414186)

    Bad law can fail a thousand times, but it only needs to pass once.

  • by arkenian ( 1560563 ) on Monday May 31, 2010 @11:33PM (#32414204)
    Congratz to canada for resisting this so far, and the support from us sorry sods and brethren to the south to do it again. Hopefully if you prove it can be resisted the US will learn hope once more...
  • by cosm ( 1072588 ) <thecosm3.gmail@com> on Monday May 31, 2010 @11:33PM (#32414208)

    If the government passes this bill, do you think they would axe this tax? Would they be required to?

    IANAC, but from experience here in the US, once a tax is in effect, it is like a cancer. All it does is grow, and no matter what you do to get rid of it, it usually pops back up in one form or another.

  • by grelmar ( 1823402 ) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @12:10AM (#32414464)
    The current state of the political scene is working against the Conservatives here, so hopefully this will die another death.

    The NDP will vote against this as a matter of policy. Heavy handed copyright just doesn't fit with their philosphy, and they know they would be in deep trouble with their core supporters if they played nice with the Conservatives on this. There really isn't any middle ground for them on this.

    The Grits, in theory, could go either way. They've tried to push through copyright reform when they were in power as well (an failed). But they're lagging in the pols, so I would suspect they'll take the expedient, populist route (in fine Grit tradition) to try and close the gap a bit. Iggy's an academic, and the academic circles are almost universally opposed to this reform, so it would fit with his background to oppose the legislation. It might just be the podium he's been waiting to pound on the get some good press for a change.

    The Bloq... Aww, heck, who knows. I suspect they'll oppose this just for the populist support in Quebec, but you never know. The Bloq is brutally unpredictable when it comes to national policy.

    Overall, I'd say the chance of this passing is 51/49 against. But it's slim. If the Tories make this a confidence vote, it will really put the other parties against the wall, because a snap election works in the Tories' favour at the moment.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @01:05AM (#32414790)

    I've been wondering this for a while.

    What good is the word of the people when no matter how many times they say no, to multiple things the government of Canada and the US for that matter just wait and try again.

    It's like a spoiled child asking for something over and over again.

    I/We said no the first goddamn time, quit asking. Once the public has said no it should be off the table for at least 10-15 years. But, in the current systems it just keeps coming back like a bad horror movie villain.

  • by rtfa-troll ( 1340807 ) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @01:46AM (#32415020)
    Well how about a) naming him and b) trying to get a protest against him organised some time soon in his constituency? If you leave it as "my MP" then there's nothing anyone can do about it (except call all their own MPs and try to identify who the enemy is).
  • by Phrogman ( 80473 ) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @02:23AM (#32415254) Homepage

    sucking Hollywood's cock. They keep trying to ram this shit through, I guess the bribes are still being paid in full.

    I sincerely hope my fellow Canadians wake up and elect anyone other than Harper and his cronies. Anyone would be better, even Ignatieff.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @02:56AM (#32415458)

    I find it truly unnerving that something as trivial as digital entertainment (and the oligarchical business model) is going to be placed with higher social value than my rights as an individual.
    As far as I am concerned, if the movie and music industry cannot cope with the realities of modern technology, then they should withdraw to their own controlled environments. If they want control of their product from beginning to end, then the movie makers should pull out of he home market and stick to their theatres only. If music wants to retain total control of their product, they should stick to touring and radio play only. I see no reason why this industry should have the right to enforce their will over my purchases, in my home. They can argue all they want about consumers not having the "right" to diminish their profits, they also do not have the "right" to diminish my freedoms.

    Get the fuck outta the home market if you don't like what's happening there. Someone else will step in to fill your shoes, I guarantee it. You want to keep control of your product? Supply us with an environment of your own, and don't offer the product outside of that environment. You know, like how you used to, before he home market was ever created.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @03:42AM (#32415628)

    To safely remove a tax, the government would first need a budget surplus greater than or equal to the money brought in by that tax.





  • by Errol backfiring ( 1280012 ) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @04:20AM (#32415784) Journal

    I don't think so.

    Forgive me my pessimism, but I do. Public consultations are meant to influence public opinion, not to actually ask the people anything. When the European Constitution was rejected, the politician's reaction was that they "apparently had not explained it enough", not off course that the people were in any way right. For a politician, the people are only right when they elect your party or share your exact point of view, and wrong in any other case.

  • by silentcoder ( 1241496 ) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @04:30AM (#32415816)

    >Format shifting is illegal with DMCA.
    >So, we got a tax which has an illegal source.

    Nothing new about that, profit from illegal activities is still taxable for example. Remember, they couldn't nail Al Capone for his drink smuggling during prohibition - but they nailed him for not declaring the income he made from it on his tax return.

  • by Errol backfiring ( 1280012 ) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @05:31AM (#32416118) Journal
    Well, governments have a "natural" period that is the time between elections. But I think that is a bit short. My gut feeling is that any any government that tries to force an already rejected bill into law should explain to the judge (in any decent country that has a separation between law-making and law-enforcing powers) why that government wants to abuse its power and tries to circumvent the democracy. Punishable by a verdict that the government in question is not fit to rule.
  • What lobbyist's do (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MrKaos ( 858439 ) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @06:44AM (#32416438) Journal

    Watching these laws being tried and re-tried all over the world demonstrates the will of the establishment in action. These legislations are continually presented all over the world and sometimes I wonder how long it will be before they eventually pass into law. They just keep trying over and over until they get what they want and all our freedom gets diminished into an illusion. Democracy is offered as the ultimate parody of that freedom.

    I'm trying hard to remember where I saw a law passed that actually increased our freedoms. It takes a lot of time to read and critique legislation when you do a day job. Whats guiling is there are people out there who are *paid* to lobby for a reduction of freedoms.

    It really brings home Jefferson's wisdom when he said "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance."

  • by dkleinsc ( 563838 ) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @07:14AM (#32416562) Homepage

    The Pirate Party will NEVER have enough clout to spread it's message. All they will succeed in doing is splitting the vote even more.

    Given the success of the Swedish Pirate Party, with 2 seats in European Parliament and currently the third-largest political party in Sweden, I'd say your pessimism is unjustified. It's taking time, but the Pirates are slowly winning.

  • by Znork ( 31774 ) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @07:15AM (#32416570)

    Bear in mind that copyright holders are using economics arguments

    Copyright holders have very few valid economic arguments; the economic effects of copyright are fundamentally equivalent to any other taxation scheme. Claiming that more copyright is better for the economy is equivalent to claiming more tax is better for the economy.

    The more likely flow of argument is that industry goon tells USTR representative that more copyright is good for him, then the USTR threatens various countries, who cave in as handing money to the industry goon is cheaper than fighting trade wars.

    Of course, the main reason they get away with that is because IPR funding isn't accounted for in state budgets as it's an externally gathered tax. Had the actual state budget had a '"insurance" payoffs to the MAFIAA so nothing "happens" to our trade status' line it might have been a bit harder to motivate.

  • by Dunbal ( 464142 ) * on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @07:18AM (#32416590)

    I'm trying hard to remember where I saw a law passed that actually increased our freedoms.

          Kind of a contradiction in terms, really. Laws NEVER increase freedom. By definition they do just the opposite for "somebody", setting (hopefully) concrete boundaries.

          While not all laws are bad, unfortunately we seem to be legislating and restricting every single aspect of human nature. By default you are required to know the law since ignorance of the law does not excuse you from non compliance with the law. However law degrees for all citizens are not mandatory at the kindergarten level (which is the age where some people have begun to be held accountable under the law) yet.

          In fact, I think this should be another law. /sarcasm

  • by metacell ( 523607 ) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @07:52AM (#32416792)

    Bear in mind that copyright holders are using economics arguments, which are always going to be perceived as being much stronger than "I don't like this law because I don't think it's very nice" arguments.

    It's ironic you should say that, because economic arguments are the strongest arguments against copyright.

    For example, there is no doubt that copyright terms are far, far too long to be beneficial to society. One or two decades is more than enough to give creators an incentive to create; having longer copyright terms than necessary will only prevent society from enjoying the full benefits of the works already created. (Read Against Intellectual Monopoly [ucla.edu] for more economic arguments.)

    It's mostly a matter of lobbying. For example, here in the EU, record companies approached politicians with scary-sounding numbers of how much the industry loses on pirating, explained how many people would lose their jobs if it continued, and got an extension to the copyright of music performances. So now Elvis Presley's recordings are kept out of the public domain for a few more decades (yes, the copyright to Elvis Presleys recordings are held by a German music company). The politicians themselves were too uninformed to see through the layers of bullshit.

  • by metacell ( 523607 ) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @07:59AM (#32416832)

    Well, sometimes laws are passed which limit the government's freedom, effectively increasing everyone else's.

  • by Syberz ( 1170343 ) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @08:09AM (#32416886)

    IAAC (I am a Canadian) and I can tell you that you're right. Taxes here never go away. For example, the income tax which is taking half my salary was a temporary measure to pay for the costs of the FIRST World War... temporary, my arse...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @09:45AM (#32417668)

    Amusingly enough, the previous Liberal goverments did run surpluses. They paid down the debt, too. They did this by being reasonably responsible (on a grand scale) and not buying votes (or participating in ideological masturbation) with tax cuts and banking those surpluses for when they would actually be needed. They reduced taxes fairly strategically, too.

    They got booted out due to spending scandal that involved a few hundred thousand dollars. Meanwhile, we have a Conservative government that mismanaged the economy to the tune of several billion.

    Where's our Gomery inquiry for cutting government revenue right at the tip of the worst recession in history? You know, the one you thought "wasn't a big deal" and would just "blow over".

  • by Rary ( 566291 ) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @09:50AM (#32417728)

    It's ironic you should say that, because economic arguments are the strongest arguments against copyright.

    For example, there is no doubt that copyright terms are far, far too long to be beneficial to society.

    Ah, but therein lies the problem. You're concerned with the economic benefits to society, rather than the economic benefits to the copyright holder. The problem is that modern governments aren't made up of idealistic intellectuals. Modern governments are made up of businessmen, and businessmen aren't interested in the original purpose of copyright law to benefit society, they're interested in the modern bastardized purpose of copyright law to guarantee perpetual profits to copyright holders.

  • by kent_eh ( 543303 ) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @10:12AM (#32417984)

    No more stupid, inefficient, buggy, paper ballots. I'm sure it'll happen eventually, maybe not in my lifetime though..

    As opposed to those efficient, slick, shiny electronic ballots that our neighbours to the south use?
    No thanks, I'll stick to the proven method that takes much more effort to screw with.

  • by Scrameustache ( 459504 ) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @10:18AM (#32418058) Homepage Journal

    Clearly the copyright holders are asking for silly things and getting them.

    We need to ask why that is.

    It's because of corruption and bribes.

    Is it because nobody is contacting their representative to say "hang on a minute here..."? Or is it because the arguments we put forward are viewed as being so pathetically weak that they may as well be ignored?

    It's because of a variation on the second one: Our arguments don't come with a fat, plain brown envelope and/or a spoken agreement for a high paying job as soon as you leave office after changing the law to benefit my industry. This is how the world has always been, and we need to be aware of it to fight it.

  • by Scrameustache ( 459504 ) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @10:23AM (#32418114) Homepage Journal

    I never vote in general elections

    Then STFU. If you don't bother with politics, politics will bother you.

    If you can't in good conscience vote for the fuckers who are alternating their turns to screw us, do what I do: Vote for someone you'd like to win, even though they have no real chance. If we all bothered to do so, they would have a chance.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @12:22PM (#32419810)

    I object to paying any tax or fee in order to be able to do what I want with my own property. I already paid a fee when I *purchased* the item in question. I don't see why I need to pay additional money to the government in order for them to recognize my rights to *my* property. All you're doing is shifting *who* acquiesces to allow you to do things, you're not fighting for the central principle of the freedom to do it in the first place.

Can anyone remember when the times were not hard, and money not scarce?