Protecting our Canadian Culture ... from Bill C-60.

Dear Prime Minister Paul Martin,
Minister of Canadian Heritage and Minister responsible for Status of Women Liza Frulla,
Minister of Industry David Emerson,
Member for Ottawa-South David McGuinty,

On November 23, 2005, Canada became the first country to ratify the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) International Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. I agree that this is something that Canadians can be proud of.

This convention recognizes that the protection of culture, including through instruments like Copyright law, is about more than protecting the established methods of production, distribution and motivation (including funding) of creativity. Bill C-60, tabled by the government earlier this year, has a primary goal of protecting the incumbent methods of production, distribution and funding from competition and diversity. The bill does not protect the interests of the majority of Canadian creators, nor does it protect Canadian cultural diversity. The bill protects from competition the already dominant media, content and "software manufacturing" industry players. Bill C-60 will not increase our cultural exports, but will increase our trade deficit in intangibles.

I have a simple question. How can Prime Minister Paul Martin and Minister of Canadian Heritage Liza Frulla be proud of both the quick ratification of the UNESCO treaty while at the same time continue to rush forward with the implementation of the 1996 WIPO treaties? Is the UNESCO convention support a feel-good election event that is intended to be later negated by the passage of 1996 WIPO treaty implementation bill in the next parliament, or is the Liberal government truly unaware of the inherent conflict between the UNESCO convention and the protectionism of incumbent (primarily US) interests represented by the 1996 WIPO treaties?

Russell McOrmond
305 Southcrest Private,
Ottawa, ON
K1V 2B7

See also: