Send a letter to your member of parliament about copyright (2010)

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Dear [your MP]
Member for [electoral district name]

Copyright law, and the changes proposed in Bill C-32 tabled June 2, 2010, re-tabled as C-11 on September 29, 2011, are of concern to me. While copyright is often described as a balance between the interests of creators and the interests of the general public, the debate has been dominated by special interest industry lobby groups representing intermediaries (people who are neither creators nor the general public).

Bill C-11 may have been supported by these industry intermediaries, but was highly controversial with creators, and not supported by users. Industry lobby groups such as the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA, which renamed itself Music Canada after acknowledging music copyright infringement on a massive scale) can no more legitimately claim to politically represent the interests of creators than the owners of the major banks can claim to politically represent the interests of people who have bank accounts.

One of the many controversial aspects involved the legal protection of technical measures used by copyright holders. It may be appropriate to protect technical measures applied by copyright holders to their own content, which help enforce the contractual terms included in their copyright licenses. What cannot be allowed is the legal protection of technical measures that affect devices that they do not own (e.g. my home computer). It is also inappropriate to protect contracting terms, a provincial contract issue, in federal Copyright law.

The Sony-BMG case, which infected hundreds of thousands of networks of computers with a "RootKit" and "SpyWare", resulted in many lawsuits against Sony-BMG. Speaking to a group of copyright holders about this issue, Stewart Baker, Department of Homeland Security's assistant secretary for policy, said, "It's very important to remember that it's your intellectual property -- it's not your computer. And in the pursuit of protection of intellectual property, it's important not to defeat or undermine the security measures that people need to adopt in these days."

Not only should we not be protecting this abuse of technical measures, but we should be passing laws which clearly make it illegal to apply a technical measure to something without the informed consent of the owner.

Thousands of Canadians, including people who are in creative or innovation industries, have signed the "Petition for Users' Rights" which articulates a more balanced vision. Creators support this balance as they realize that creativity builds on the past, and that the protection of Creators' Rights includes the protection of Users' Rights. In order for there to be a future generation of creators we must limit the control of past creator or non-creator copyright holders.

More information on the Petition to protect Information Technology property rights

A Frequently asked Questions and Answers for Bill C-11

Do you support this balanced vision?

Would you be willing to meet with me and/or members of our community to discuss these issues?

[your name and contact information]

Please ensure that your letter is signed with your real name, address, and postal code. The staff for Members of Parliament will often check the address to verify whether you are a constituent, and may ignore the letter otherwise.