On November 22, 2011 we had the fourth time when the House of Commons debated Bill C-11 (at Second Reading).
I am glad that Ms. Elizabeth May (Saanich—Gulf Islands, GP) included discussion of the constitutional questions raised by Bill C-11.
The problems are in two areas, and I will refer to the first. Briefly, it is constitutional. The constitutional problem is simple to describe. Copyright is clearly an area of federal jurisdiction, whereas property rights are provincial. To the extent that we have intruded into property rights, we have a problem. This has been described in a learned article published by professors Crowne-Mohammed and Rozenszajn, both from the University of Windsor, in the Journal of Information, Law and Technology in which the authors describe the problem this way:
The DRM provisions of Bill C-61 represent a poorly veiled attempt by the Government to strengthen the contractual rights available to copyright owners, in the guise of copyright reform and the implementation of Canada's international obligations.
Let us de-link them. Let us protect the rights and protect copyright reform without acceding to pressure from U.S. interests, which want to have excessively restrictive controls in the form of digital locks. That is setting aside the constitutional issue.