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Canada Piracy News

The Behind-the-Scenes Campaign To Bring SOPA To Canada 171

An anonymous reader writes "SOPA may be dead (for now) in the U.S., but lobby groups are likely to intensify their efforts to export SOPA-like rules to other countries. With the Canadian DMCA back on the legislative agenda at the end of the month, Canada will be a prime target for SOPA style rules. In fact, Michael Geist reports that the recording industry wants language to similar to that found in SOPA on blocking access to websites, new termination policies for subscribers, and an expanded SOPA-style liability for sites that could include YouTube and cloud-based services." Another reader points out that similar mischief is afoot in Ireland: "The Irish government's new 'statutory instrument' threatens to do some of the same things as SOPA, mainly introducing the power to force ISPs to block websites suspected of having copyrighted material on them."
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The Behind-the-Scenes Campaign To Bring SOPA To Canada

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  • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Monday January 23, 2012 @04:52PM (#38796939)

    I can probably get more bang for my buck by buying one of their politicians instead of buying one in the U.S. anyway.

    • Politicians on the cheap 1 USD = 1.015 CAD
    • If you look at the global rankings, [], Canada's politicians are rated higher than US ones, which means less corrupt, and therefore, more expensive.

      In Uzbekistan they are really cheap, but what would you do with your bought politicians there?

      Those Scandinavians will cost you a bundle . . .

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by NIK282000 ( 737852 )
        It doesn't matter how much more expensive it is to buy politicians here, the Canadian government will without fail just follow along with what ever the US tell it to do. Why else would it sell oil lumber and power to the US at a loss?
        • by morgauxo ( 974071 ) on Monday January 23, 2012 @06:05PM (#38797807)
          Have you seen what the US does to countries that don't?
        • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

          Parliamentary [] are more fluid in governance and leaders are subject to much more public exposure. Especially when the is a minority government and a third party tends to end up with control (the leading opposition party always tends oppose). The leader, the prime minister can be replaced in public opposition grows to strong, this provides the opportunity for the party to attempt to rebuild it's reputation with another leader. Overall it seems to function better than di

    • Lobbying an MP in Canada is nowhere near as useful as lobbying one in the US. If an MP defies the party line in a vote of any consequence it becomes a major scandal. So, unless you make that cheque out to a certain Mr. Harper you're wasting your money.
      • by Xest ( 935314 )

        This is the way "democracy" works in the UK too.

        Under our FPTP system parties are often elected to be given effective 100% of power in parliament with sometimes as little as 30% of the public vote. Then, when parties are in power, they form a cabinet, which is basically 10 - 20 or so people with the PM at the top, the PM heavily influences the cabinet, but then what the rest of the part things is irrelevant as if they want to push something through they can use the whip, which largely forces MPs to vote alo

  • by roman_mir ( 125474 ) on Monday January 23, 2012 @04:55PM (#38796979) Homepage Journal

    Same [] answer [] applies [] every [] time [] abolish copyrights and patents. []

    Copyrights and patents prevent speech, prevent innovation, prevent progress.

    The only real free market approach to protecting your ideas is a trade secret, that's all. Government must not be allowed to meddle with businesses and protect business models and practices.

    When somebody uses his savings to start a woodshop, as an example, if they fail and business dies out and they are out of their investment, there won't be government standing there with a handout, and it shouldn't be - it's personal risk.

    Same with copyrights and patents - these are government handouts at the expense of the larger free market economy and it makes no sense to protect one type of investment over any other type. Government shouldn't be subsidising any businesses at all ever (banks, insurance companies and Solyndra come to mind).

    Abolish copyrights and patents and check out the link I posted in this comment, it leads to my other comment on the same topic, but it's not my comment that is of interest, it's the response to my comment, with /. readers being vehemently opposed to the idea.

    Why are /. readers opposed to this? Because they think that their business model is more important than a woodshop founder's business model. So the woodshop or a restaurant founder can go eat shit if his business fails (and a woodshop and especially a restaurant is a very location based heavy business, if you are in the wrong location, your business will fail, while on the Internet, businesses have access to near global markets, so there is a huge advantage for the software/book/movie/audio, etc. types of businesses there).

    It's hypocrisy, it's short-sightedness, it's hubris and it shows the true colours (as in character) of the crowd.

    • by Anrego ( 830717 ) * on Monday January 23, 2012 @05:02PM (#38797043)

      This attitude is just part of the problem.

      Both sides are full of unrealistic extremists and it's getting us nowhere. The digital world is very different in regards the reality of property. For the same reason that traditional property rules don’t apply well (or at all), the kind of logic you are applying doesn’t either.

      We need rational thinking where both sides meet half way, not two sides screaming their extremist views at each other... especially as one side has a lot more influence to wield that the other.

      • ...not two sides screaming their extremist views at each other...

        "I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!"

        • by Anonymous Coward

          An American quote.

          Remember here in Canada, we got our independence through a series of meetings in which control was gradually transitioned over.

      • by Hooya ( 518216 )

        A reality check for congress critters and senate squatters: []

        Meeting halfway my ass. If the media companies were so precious that we needed all kinds of laws to specially protect them, how about protecting the much bigger industry that they are about to destroy?

      • by dbet ( 1607261 )
        Reasonable compromise? That sure worked well for Obama vs the Republicans.
      • You what is unrealistic? Expecting other countries to give a shit about your copyrights and patents once they have all the manufacturing and you depend on them for everything.

        You know what's extremist? Using government to give powers to businesses that they would not have otherwise and call that a good economic model that promotes competition and growth of economy.

        There is no middle ground, the side that doesn't care about patents and copyrights will win.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Normally I'd agree with you, but current copyright law is already extreme. As in, extremely one-sided. You can't take a reasonable position vs. an extremist, because you'll be expected to compromise, and that compromise will still be extreme, just not as extreme as it could have been.

        For instance:

        MAFIAA: All websites that host, point to, or in any way facilitate or encourage copyright infringement should be shut down immediately with no due process and no method of appeal, and the website operators should

      • by JesseMcDonald ( 536341 ) on Monday January 23, 2012 @05:55PM (#38797669) Homepage

        We need rational thinking where both sides meet half way...

        This topic, like how much murder is tolerable, or what level of slavery is most beneficial, is not one which is amenable to half-hearted compromises. The only difference is that this issue remains undecided.

        Depending on the principles you start from, you end up in one of three basic positions: (1) copyright, etc., are fundamental rights, which should persist for at least the lifetime of the producer (and possibly inherited) and should never be infringed upon; (2) copyright, etc., are legitimate constructs, not rights, instituted to promote the social good, and should be set at whatever point optimizes this good, infringement being a crime against society for subverting this policy; or (3) copyright, etc., contradict fundamental rights, such as the right to own and use private property in a non-aggressive manner, and thus have no legitimacy.

        Compromise is only really possible within the second category, over issues such as the optimal length, or socially-beneficial exceptions. This is possible because the second position ignores the question of natural rights entirely; it assumes that producers do not have a natural right to control distribution of their work, and that the government has legitimate authority to curtail use of private property. All that remains is to work out the details.

        You can't "meet halfway" between category (1) and category (3), or even between either group and category (2), however, without one side or the other forfeiting their integrity. In the case of group (1), while they might be individually willing to shorten their claims or forgo them entirely, they can't make that decision for all producers everywhere. However much they may want to compromise on behalf of "their side", they don't have the authority to do so. Group (3) has the same problem; any compromise would affect not just themselves, but everyone else whose property rights are to be violated to incentivise production of creative works.

        A willingness to forgo one's own perogatives and preferences to arrive at a mutually-acceptable compromise is an admirable trait. However, one must never compromise one's core principles—and that is exactly what would be required to "meet halfway" in this situation.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 23, 2012 @05:03PM (#38797051)

      No, this is stupid. We want people to publish their developments and techniques: so that more people can use them. Also, copyright (for a limited time is a good thing). 70 years after your death (more likely, indefinitely, due to the inevitable increase in this duration) is too long. Patents are probably good, I don't know about the duration. However, design, business method, and obvious patents are not.

      Would we be better off without them at all (than what we have now)? Possibly. But it would be best to have a fine-tuned system that actually encouraged invention, instead of stifling it.

      • by Anrego ( 830717 ) *

        Thank you!

        This is the kind of rational thinking I was talking about above. Cut out the patents on obvious stuff, cut down the duration to something reasonable, and it's actually not a terrible system. The "everything is public domain" approach is a nice pipe dream, but fails the reality test.

      • by earls ( 1367951 )

        If you're intent on keeping the current system, you're going to figure out a way to universally enforce it with "fair" penalties that deter the copyright and patent infringement. I've yet to hear a solution, only criticism.

        • by dgatwood ( 11270 )

          Or just formalize what has historically been standard operating procedure for this sort of thing by limiting copyright infringement proceedings to those who profit from the infringement, under the assumption that the small fish aren't worth frying.

      • people were publishing things long before there was copyright enforcement. or patents. in fact, the liveliest periods in world history are these, despite the technological drawbacks of earlier ages.

        • That's ridiculous. The liveliest time in the world by far is the modern age. Today there are about 300,000 new books published per year, just in the USA. You are telling me there were more published in the years before copyright? Same for inventions. It used to be few rich people who would dabble with new technology in their spare time which is a joke compared to the huge business that it is today.

          • That's ridiculous. The liveliest time in the world by far is the modern age. Today there are about 300,000 new books published per year, just in the USA

            thats only because your vision and perception is as shallow as to DIRECTLY compare your contemporary time, with the earlier centuries, as if the circumstances in both centuries are the same.

            excuse me, but it stands on borderline stupid. because it is too easy to perceive the important circumstantial differences in between the times.

            PROPORTIONALITY is important.

            back 300 years ago, there were only few who could engage in arts and sciences, due to the social conditions of the time. and, the technological ameni

            • back 300 years ago, there were only few who could engage in arts and sciences, due to the social conditions of the time. and, the technological amenities that makes everything easier today, were not around.

              therefore, any amount of activity per population back at that period, counts much more than any activity per population for this period.

              Sorry, your argument is utter nonsense.

              the period in between 1750-1850 is the most active period in science and literature in history

              Ridiculous. TODAY is the most active

      • No, this is a balance between how much freedom you want to give up to your government and how much you want to keep (and SOPA and PIPA will be back and ACTA and DMCA exist now).

        Trade secrets increase competition, they don't diminish it, because if somebody is doing something profitable, other people will look at it too, and if there is a trade secret involved, they'll be looking for another solution, either they'll find the same one or they'll stumble upon something new.

        Trade secrets increase competition an

      • by Sabriel ( 134364 )

        "But it would be best to have a fine-tuned system that actually encouraged invention, instead of stifling it."

        The trouble with any finely-tuned system is that it all goes to hell when you introduce humans. Whether it's copyrights, patents, trademarks, regulations, taxes - any legislation, really - the more complexity you add to cover all of the little loopholes in your system, the more you create opportunities for those with the resources to exploit the permutations and game the system. The result of this

    • by Overzeetop ( 214511 ) on Monday January 23, 2012 @05:15PM (#38797191) Journal

      ...just not as it is currently implemented.

      Terms of 7/14/20/28 years may still be appropriate, as the rise of technology has made duplication of intellectual works easier to copy and disseminate. Those who create content are no longer concerned about a dozen possible sources of competition in duplication, but tens of millions. The ease of publishing and typical shelf life should, actually, serve to reduce - not extend - copyright and patent terms, as the ability to bring a product to mass market is on a significantly shorter timescale than 200 years ago.

      Interestingly, there are methods in place which provide for (almost) easy compliance with copyright laws. but they apply to only the narrowest slice of content. I'm talking about mechanical licensing fees - 10c per physically recorded track or permanent digital download. Problem is, it only applies to the composer of music, and only to mechanical rights. Not to arrangement. Not to synchronization (video). Not to masters (people performing the work). Not to written or spoken work. Not to images. Not to video clips. Not to patents.

      The biggest problem is not the existence of patents and copyright, but the byzantine implementation and licensing, and the one-sided legislation which is being written to perpetuate these institutions.

      IP laws are a good thing; the way they are implemented is flawed.

    • The reason /.ers are opposed to your "ideas" is that there is apparently some common sense left in the world. Abolishing patents would mean there is zero incentive to invest into innovation and all incentive in the world to copy. A smart investor will look around for idiots willing to put time and money into research and development, buy one sample and send it to China for mass production under another label.

      • Nonsense. It's the copyright and the patent idea that is abomination and that prevents free flow of implementations and even worse - free flow of ideas. This ends up hurting the economy, and the people who will not suffer from it will be those, who will chose in their market not to care about such artificial impositions by government power over people's freedom by protecting ridiculous business models, that don't have any actual right to exist (as in to be protected by government force over freedom of the p

      • Haven't you ever done something slightly different than other people, and found it worked better than the way most people were doing? You just innovated.

    • Ok, riddle me this: I'm an inventor, I invented a piece of software that replaces ms outlook with a superior client (friends & family told me).

      Do I...

      go get a DVD burner and start making discs of my software?

      File a patent and let a factory make the disks and handle the marketing when they buy the rights to my product? (I am entitled a split moving forward here usually)

      Our system in place is a joke, along w the rest of the bureaucratic US government, however...

      You need to protect the inventors too. Wh

      • You already have copyright to protect the software you created. No patents are required for a factory to make you disk or market your work.

      • Louis C.K. apparently doesn't see this as a problem [], you do. His show is available on torrents and download sites, and he said he understands that risk and is just grateful to people who do end up buying the show for $5. He does have the copyright protection under law, but that's not what he is using in his business model, and he would still end up covering the costs and making all that money without copyright law.

        Also you can buy movies, software, music and other bootleg products all over the world for a

  • Any provisions that can be boiled down to

    A Association Is Collaboration

    B Accusation is Conviction

    needs to result in the bill being killed.

    Linking to %BadContent% should not be a crime per say (unless thats a majority of what you do). And Blunt killing of a server (or server farm) should not even be considered.

    Also there should be a short waiting period (to send a takedown REQUEST to the site owner) before a whole server gets nuked.

    The last thing that should be in any law is if it is found that the complainant acted "In Bad Faith" then he should receive 7/8ths of the punishment that was involved (and be open to CIVIL remedies).

  • Government/ corporations, by and large, don't know how the Internet works, and what they know about it they don't like. And by "government/corporations" I mean almost any government (note the "almost": it is possible that there are exceptions. Notably, this is not limited to the U: the US just happens to be where many of the most powerful corporations, and the most powerful government, exist) and most non-tech corporations (a few do get it, mostly smaller ones or those who have made their living through the

    • by ackthpt ( 218170 )

      They're trying to keep their old business model alive as long as possible.

      Understandable, from the point of view of keeping electronic fund management programs, which buy and sell stock based upon numbers moving in certain directions. Who's going to invest in a studio that gives its films away after the initial Tour de Theatres? The belief is that the really big money is in holding onto the film for 2 or 3 hundred years (where they once burned the originals in the backlot, eh?) Hollywoods is cranking out

  • Not on my watch.

    It was amusing to see so many of my contacts (Canadian, American, and many from the other side of the globe) take an active interest in protesting SOPA. With some interesting changes in the Liberal party direction [], we may see a lot of actively useful resistance in informing and combating such measures.

  • by na1led ( 1030470 ) on Monday January 23, 2012 @05:04PM (#38797063)
    Why does Tyranny always come back to societies over and over. Seems throughout history, humans just can't put an end to dictatorship rule! All these new laws are being put in place to control our lives until we all become puppets on a string.
    • thats because people are self-indulged, self-centered. in an environment such as this, the most self-centered get ahead.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Positions of power must exist in order for humans to organize themselves. Civilization is logically dependent upon such positions.

      People who desire positions of power tend to put effort into attaining them, whereas people who have no such desires tend not to expend such effort (or even to put effort into avoiding the responsibility).

      Most motivations for desiring positions of power are either the maximization of personal profit, or the purely corrupt desire to control others. Not all, just most.

      So, since p

      • by Ihmhi ( 1206036 )

        A few policies would severely curtail this stuff from happening.

        1) Term limits are firm and uncompromising. One term of x years, that's it. My logic on this is while some presidents have done good with 2 terms (Clinton, FDR (3!), etc.) it's way more likely that they will do a lot more damage during their second term. Imagine how different the world would be if Bush were defeated in 2004.

        2) Holding another job (especially another political office, such as being both a state senator and a county sheriff - som

    • by deblau ( 68023 )

      Why does Tyranny always come back to societies over and over. Seems throughout history, humans just can't put an end to dictatorship rule! All these new laws are being put in place to control our lives until we all become puppets on a string.

      Look in the mirror. If you have to ask the question, then you aren't out fighting the dictators, so it's your fault.

  • This is simply abuse on the opposite side of the spectrum of copyright law. Copyrights and patents have a real use to help foster the inventor but when it is abused in sue for profit schemes and the like, it is time for reform, not abolition. The patent and the copyright, as our forefathers envisioned, was not for the major, global corporation but for the small time inventor. Maybe patents should not be allowed to be granted to corporations and universities but individuals.
  • they just will NOT quit... remember folks... we have to be lucky ALL the time, they only have to get lucky once...
  • If you want a bill to pass you write is with a few outrageous things added that people can get all upset about. Then you remove those additions and get it passed in the form you originally wanted anyway. Its a standard procedure.

  • No more sure sign of a Bought Government than one which acts against the best interests of its people.

  • And the war is being perpetuated by a certain very small minority in united states, against ALL the peoples of different nations, through the influence and usage of the intermediary groups that are also minority in their countries.

    this is not democracy. this is, flat out class war. the only ones not acknowledging that there is a class war, are us, the majority.

    • You are in the minority.

      Most people believe in intellectual property laws to some extent. They might not agree with the RIAA suing teenagers for billions of dollars, but they also don't think you have a right to download all the movies you want without paying for them.

      There is some rational reasons why there should be stronger piracy laws and there are also rational concerns why the laws can be abused and limit freedom of the Internet. Just because some politicians don't agree with you, doesn't mean they

      • Most people believe in intellectual property laws to some extent.

        and there is our problem. that is creating the grounds for exploitation.

        for, these people are causing us to play on home ground of the exploiter. let me picture it with an analogy :

        the stance of these people resembles people who believed in aristocracy and feudalism, but thought that nobles should not abuse the people.

        as long as you play in their ground, they will have the upper hand.

        • If I write my own book, I believe that no one should be able to steal my work and profit off of it without my permission. If I write a piece of software, I have the right to choose to open source it or sell it to others. Good luck convincing me and the masses that they shouldn't profit off their own work.

          There are legitimate concerns about the SOPA and the current IP laws, but not one is going to care that you feel exploited because you can't download Skyrim or the latest Twilight Saga for free. I am sur

  • by CohibaVancouver ( 864662 ) on Monday January 23, 2012 @05:35PM (#38797431)
    Sorry to taint a vitriolic stereotype-ridden debate with facts, but the fact is part of the reason lobbying isn't as effective in Canada is we enacted stringent campaign finance reform a number of years ago. ...something the USA woefully needs.

    From []

    - Only Canadian citizens and permanent residents may make contributions to registered parties, registered electoral district associations, leadership and nomination contestants of registered parties, and all candidates.

    - Individual contributions to these political participants are limited to a maximum of $1,000 annually (adjusted for inflation).

    - Individuals may also make contributions that do not exceed $1,000 (adjusted for inflation) in total per contest to the leadership contestants of a registered political party. This is an aggregate cap applying to all the contributions given by one individual to all leadership contestants in the same leadership contest.

    - Corporations, trade unions, and other unincorporated associations are prohibited from making contributions to registered parties, registered electoral district associations, leadership and nomination contestants of registered parties, and all candidates.

    Yes, you read that right ONE THOUSAND BUCKS. Makes it pretty tricky to buy your MP.
    • As a canadian, I think that you are being a little naive about "contributions", considering the reality that a leadership campaign can cost millions of dollars to run. Monetery donations are not the only donations and after all the vast majority of individuals in parliament are lawyers that have spent their careers creating and circumventing laws.
    • Tricky, sure, but nowhere near impossible.

      Rather than giving the money to their campaign, you give it to family members, in the form of low-work, high pay jobs. Or employ the MP in a similar position after they get their asses booted from office.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Donations and campaign finance rules do nothing to prevent MPs from using their time creating laws (or just general behind the scenes work) benefiting an industry/company/etc., then receiving compensation after leaving Parliament. I think this is an exceptionally malignant form of corruption that currently exists in Canadian politics.

      Perhaps I'm just not thinking of it the right way, but I can't picture our government supporting such ideas as SOPA as being anything other than from some form of corru

    • I don't know if you actually live in Van right now (I did). And I've also live in Ottawa.

      Spend a few years in Ottawa and review your post. Observe what goes on. Need I add, work in government? I can almost guarantee that your post while probably factually correct is not reality.

      As someone else has already replied, politicians are for the most part all lawyers. Lobbiests are lawyers as well. Mash the two brains together and they will come up with very legal ways to get around the laws. Remember that they wro

    • The United States had such a law. []

        It was struck down by Supreme Court on First Amendment grounds: []

    • I actually like these rules.

      Not that they will help much in this regard, since Canada can easily be bullied by US politicians.

  • Does this mean we need to organise more blackouts?

    I'd like to see google actually blackout properly, like wikipedia did....

  • ... and I'll say it again here...

    There was an international cooperation of people running websites all over the world protesting SOPA in the USA... how many will do likewise for Canada?

  • Juicy target (Score:4, Insightful)

    by wiedzmin ( 1269816 ) on Monday January 23, 2012 @08:29PM (#38799405)
    Oh that's a very good investment by the copyright trolls, none of the content available in the US is available in Canada (Hulu, some YouTube videos, Netflix titles, Kindle titles and collections, you name it). You couldn't get it by paying for it, even if you really wanted to, so it's a prime market for piracy. Also, Canadians pay a levy on recordable media, so it's legal for them to create "backups" of things for "personal use"... good place to try to make some money in lawsuits and seizures.
  • Personally, I'm old and cynical and believed these threats would come as the internet [well, the web mainly] became more dominated by commercial forces. So I think the answer for 'us' is encryption everywhere and structures and tools like Tor: [] and Freenet: [] I know that many people on here know about these, but links for those that don't.

    It's no accident that the USA tried and tries to place export limits on encryption methods and tools.
  • Jackboot your own people, and get the FUCK out of Canada!

If graphics hackers are so smart, why can't they get the bugs out of fresh paint?