Bill C-61

Conservative government tables Bill C-61, "An Act to amend the Copyright Act" on June 12, 2008. Please see Industry Canada: Copyright reform process.

Bill C-61 grants new "copyright" related rights to non-copyright related rights-holders?

Many people remark about how similar Bill C-61 is to the USA's DMCA. While Industry Minister Jim Prentice claims that things like the time and device shifting are "made in Canada" (See: Made Worse in Canada (feat. Jim Prentice)), these types of changes were unnecessary in the USA with their many decades old living Fair Use regime. This living Fair Use regime makes US law already far more balanced than Canadian law. If we want to do things right we should drop those excessively limited provisions from the bill, and instead adopt a living Fair Use regime similar to the one in the USA.

As a technical person, my focus is of course on technological measures which is entirely about what software citizens are and are not allowed to run on their own computers.

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US political party that gave us the DMCA/WIPO also pushes MS Silverlight?

An interesting set of threads on SlashDot about the Democratic Convention website using Microsoft's Silverlight platform to distribute multimedia -- excluding anyone not running Windows or MacOS. This is the same party who through policy-laundering their NII policy through WIPO gave the USA their DMCA and was the blueprint for Bill C-61.

It may be interesting for Canadians to speculate what outcome of the 2008 US election will be worse for harming the rights of technology owners. Other thoughts?

See also: ZDNet: Joe Biden's pro-RIAA, pro-FBI tech voting record by Declan McCullagh

(Digital) Locks are multipurpose tools, and can be used or abused

In an interview by Jesse Brown of CBC's Search Engine, Jim Prentice suggested that "even for private personal use ... one should not be breaking a digital lock". This statement, along with many others made in the interview, suggest that Minister Prentice does not understand the controversy around the uses and abuses of digital locks. His suggestion that the recording industry has been moving away from digital locks also reminds us that he is unaware that most of the controversy is not around locks applied to content, but locks applied to devices (Even in the “DRM” debate, Content is not King).

Read the rest of this entry on IT World Canada's blog »

Linked to: Rattling Books, a Canadian audio book publisher based in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Garth Turner: copyright law everyone hates

Some interesting notes in an article on Garth Turner's blog:

And for a half hour before the main event, Dion and I met with three or four dozen bloggers, where he fielded questions on everything from a current right-wing assault on the Supreme Court to the copyright law everyone hates. Although I would not call him a digital guy, he clearly understands the power of the medium to reach increasing numbers of voters and citizens. Most importantly, as I mentioned yesterday, my very relationship with this man is worth marking. Harper read my blog and threw me out. Dion reads it, and asks us all in.

Hat tip to Michael Geist.

Vancouver Centre NDP candidate Michael Byers on C-61

Michael Byers posted a link to the interview I did with him, and is continuing the conversation in comments on his blog. Noticing that Hon. Hedy Fry, the incumbent Liberal in that riding, has been going around doing consultations with Canadians I asked Mr. Byers his impressions of what she has been saying.

Bruce Stanton Copyright town hall on Aug 28

The August issue of Standon's "Staying Connected" lists riding events, including a Copyright town hall.

August 28'th -- Copyright Reform
Coldwater -- Royal Canadian Legion Branch 270 (2 Michael Anne Dr.) 7pm-9pm

Folks from Toronto have organized a bus and made a facebook event. Looking forward to reading summaries/etc.

Copyright crusaders to launch cyber campaign

A Canadian Press article published by CTV and Google talks about the movement for fair copyright. Michael Geist and Kempton Lam are features, with Industry Minister Jim Prentice and Liberal MP Sukh Dhaliwal also mentioned.

Article linked via SlashDot.

Copyright shift format

Today's globe and mail has an editorial on Bill C-61 which is critical of the bill, but not nearly critical enough. Here is the reply I sent to the editor. I could have said much much more, but the likelihood of being printed and the length of the submission has a very strong inverse relationship.


Hedy Fry’s Copyright Balance

Jeremy Costin writes on about recent statements made by Dr. Hedy Fry on copyright and C-61. It references an article by fellow constituent Chuck LeDuc Díaz which includes a reply letter from Dr. Fry.

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