Bill C-60

Bill C-60, “An Act to amend the Copyright Act” , with first reading June 20, 2005. Please also see our Bill C-60 specific pages.

Bill C-60?

Those of us watching the bill numbers increase may notice that after Bill C-59 (Camcordering) it jumped to Bill C-61 (An Act to amend the Geneva Conventions Act, An Act to incorporate the Canadian Red Cross Society and the Trade-marks Act). While I had joked in the past that the Conservatives were waiting until Bill C-60 to table their own bill to abrogate the protection of IT property rights (AKA: implementing/ratifying the 1996 WIPO treaties, including anti-circumvention), it turns out that Bill C-60 in this parliament is the Main Estimates bill (According to the Hill Times -- I can't see it on the parliamentary website).

DMCA hitchikes north to Canada, catches a lift with Conservatives

An Ars Technica article by Nate Anderson talks about the recent news that the Conservatives plan to table a bill that is likely to be even worse, and less respectful of property rights, than the Liberal Bill C-60.

See also: im addicted BLOG.

Canadian DMCA To Be Introduced This Spring

Michael Geist reports:

The Hill Times reports this week (issue still not online) that the Conservative government will introduce copyright reform legislation this spring provided that there is no election. The paper points to two main changes from the Liberals Bill C-60 - tougher anti-circumvention legislation (ie. DMCA-style laws that ban devices that can be used to circumvent as well as provisions that block all circumvention subject to the odd exception) and an educational exception that will provide for free access to web-based materials.

See also: Slyck, p2pnet.

Doctorow VS DRM: Who You Got?

Fellow Canadian Science fiction writer Ryan Oakley posted a blogTO message about Cory Doctorow.

I was surprised when I saw Cory Doctorow speak about Digital Rights Management at Ad Astra. He's a man with a lot of passion, humour and smarts. The smarts and humour, I knew about. It was the passion that surprised me.

Telus Joins Call for Fair Use

This Agora VOX article by Michael Geist includes the following quote from a letter from Telus to Heritage Minister Bev Oda:

In order for Canada to continue to foster innovation and play a leading role in the development and usage of world class communications technologies, our copyright system must be flexible enough to adapt in a timely manner to the rapidly changing technical and entertainment environment we now face, while ensuring a proper balance is maintained between the rights of creators and the rights of consumers and other users.

Twilight on the Spanish Main: Is 'piracy' gone?

It's the pirate's sunset. The outbreak has been contained. Perhaps the industry has realized their mistake? How long will it take for our representatives in Parliament to get the memo?

Today, the head of the RIAA has declared that illegal downloading is "contained". The heads of the industry have now recognized that providing music on-line is a growing market (a 77% increase, this year). The rate of decline in CD sales seems to be much slower at 3%. I seem to recall that CDs were seeing the same rate of decline in previous years.

More on Captain Copyright

Personally, I'm quite impressed that someone has taken the time to help teach children about copyright concepts. Since these concepts embody some of the rules that assist us in our exchange of creative ideas, they should be explained to children in a clear, balanced manner.

There are a number of errors of omission in the lessons on the site. The teacher's notes to Activity 4 do not explain Private Copying. Perhaps a less controversial example (rather than music downloading) could have been used?

I'm also concerned if the discussion of things like Activities like 3 & 4 are valuable when teaching Grades 1-3. I'm not certain that children of this age can grasp the "world economic impact of copyright" (I'm still struggling with this question!). Perhaps discussion of artists and the role of art in our society might be a better form of introduction?

Commentary on Captain Copyright

I have my own commentary on the Captain Copyright website. A collegue, MC, attempted to send his thoughts to the Captain but unfortunately the Captain does not seem to be ready to receive e-mail yet. I'm reprinting those comments (with permission) as inspiration to others who might want to send a balanced comment to the Captain.

I just stumbled on your website. It's quite interesting. As a software developer I think it is important that people understand the importance of copyright. However, while the information that is contained on the website is quite accurate, I am a bit worried that children will emerge thinking that there is only one way to deal with copyrighted information.

Hon. MP Bill Siksay on copyright legislation in Canada

Responding to an edited letter sent by me through Digital Copyright Canada's "Send a letter to your member of parliament" campaign, the Honourable MP Bill Siksay of Burnaby-Douglas has kindly sent me the following reply.

Dear Mr. Lee,

Thank you for your most recent letter about copyright legislation in Canada. As I have stated before, copyright is always a difficult balancing act between the fair use of the consumer and fair remuneration for artists. What has made the issue more difficult is the explosive growth of digital technologies in recent years.

File sharing is an asset, not a problem

The Ottawa Citizen (March 18, 2006, pg B7), Vancouver Sun (March 22, 2006, pg A17) and The Windsor Star published an article by Tom Flanagan and Gemma Collins. Mr. Flanagan is a professor and Ms. Collins is a graduate student in the department of political science at the University of Calgary. Mr Flanigan also has close ties with the Conservative party.

The article focused on the differences between Lockean real property and "intellectual property", as well as the confusing (and not well understood/documented) "making available" right included in the 1996 WIPO treaties, mentioned in the 2004 filesharing case (BMG vs Doe), and included in Bill C-60.

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