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.

Jesse Hirsh on The Clash Over Copyright

Cultural and technology activist Jesse Hirsh interviewed on CBC about C-61 and some of the possible outcomes of creating a "war on copyright".

While I don't agree with Jesse that Canada's current law is lax given our law is currently far more tilted in favour of copyright holders than the USA was before their ratification of the 1996 WIPO treaties. Our already strong Canadian Copyright law is in fact why a Canadian DMCA will make our laws considerably worse than the US situation which is greatly harming their international competitiveness.

Appropriation Art Coalition Condemns Proposed Copyright Bill C-61.

The Appropriation Art Coalition is a 600 member Coalition of Artists, Art Professionals and Art Groups concerned for the future of Canadian Culture.

Yesterday Harper's Conservatives introduced legislation that would make Canadian copyright the most repressive in the free world. This, sadly, is neither rhetoric, nor sensationalism.

National Post: Copyright amendment targets traffickers

An article by David George-Cosh of the National Post includes interviews with industry lobbiest Barry Sookman and myself. Barry and I seem to always seem to be at the opposite sides of these debates. Barry claimed the new legislation is intended to go after companies that profit from illegal file-sharing, "not the ordinary Canadian." This is false, given the most controversial provisions go after the providers of multi-purpose interoperable technology, meaning it will legalize, legally protect and encourage information technology being locked down and under the control of someone other than its owner.

That very much circumvents the tangible property rights of ordinary Canadians.

common illegal activities

Here is a list of all the common and socially acceptable activities which will become illegal under this legislations

Definitely Illegal

Television Recording (when 'NO COPY' broadcast flag is set)

The Bill pretends to give fair use rights to time shift tv viewing 29.23(1), however the TPM clauses take precedence 29.23(1)(b). Therefore all the broadcasters need to do to take this right away is to set the 'NO COPY' flag in the digital broadcasts. They have absolutely no motivation not to do this, any plenty of motivation to do it. So expect it.

ComputerWorld Canada: Canada to ratify copyright treaty

An article by Greg Meckbach of ComputerWorld Canada includes ideas discussed in an interview we had.

But Russell McOrmond, who heads and writes a blog for IT World Canada, warns developers they should read the fine print.

"They go through all of these interesting exceptions and then they say, later on, 'Well actually if you're wrong about whether it was or wasn't an infringement, you're liable for (a fine) of up to $1million or five years in prison or both."

Is the Conservative government being dishonest with their mislabelling in C-61?

The heading in the current section 29 of the Canadian Copyright Act is "Fair Dealings", and it lists a number of limits to copyright where a copyright holder cannot require permission in order for citizens to do these activities. These limits to Copyright are necessary to allow for any balance between the interests of existing copyright holders and the rights of new creators and the public at large.

Bill C-61 has a number of new additions that have numbers such as 29.21 (Reproduction onto another medium or device), 29.22 (Reproduction of music), and 29.23 (Reproduction for later listening or viewing). Contrary to the numbering, however, none of these additions are "fair dealings" limits to copyright.

A first look at Canada's "Born in the USA" Copyright bill.

Having a chance for a quick read of Bill C-61, I can say that it will likely be decades before we fully understand how this bill will be interpreted by the courts. Contrary to what the Minister claimed, this bill reduces certainty in the marketplace, not increases it.

The largest portion of this bill is a Canadian DMCA, which is to say an implementation of the 2 1996 WIPO treaties and an ISP liability regime. The ISP liability regime is similar to the Liberal Bill C-60 from 2005 in that it codifies the current voluntary regime used by ISPs which is notice-and-notice.

The 2 1996 WIPO treaties are well understood to be a policy laundering of the 1995 National Information Infrastructure (NII) implementation bill, a Clinton/Gore era bill which was largely authored through consultations with the then successful copyright holders who saw new media and the Internet as a threat.

TPM and Bill C-61

Here is a quick summary of some of the negative effects on everyday activities from my reading of the bill

29.21 (1) It is not an infringement of copyright for an individual to reproduce a work or other subject-matter that is a photograph or is contained in a book, newspaper, periodical or videocassette, or any substantial part of such a work or other subject-matter, onto another medium or device, if the following conditions are met:

One Million Dollars! Limits to harm from TM not useful.

For circumventing a technical measure, up to 1 million, 5 years, or both.

(3.1) Every person, except a person who is acting on behalf of a library, archive or museum or an educational institution, is guilty of an offence who knowingly and for commercial purposes contravenes section 41.1 and is liable

(a) on conviction on indictment, to a fine not exceeding $1,000,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or to both; or
(b) on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding $25,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to both.

I have registered the domain, which will simply be a shorter URL pointing to this site.

I realize I am doing this before reading the text of the bill, but the information released by Industry Canada already confirms what I feared.

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