Mauril Bélanger (Ottawa - Vanier, Liberal Party of Canada)

Dear Mr. McOrmond,

Thank you for your email of January 10, 2006, regarding technology law. I appreciate you enclosing a link to the in-depth survey provided to you by the Liberal party on technology issues. This survey outlines the Liberal party's position on these issues and is your best source of information.

It is worth adding a couple of additional points:

On June 20, 2005, the Ministers of Canadian Heritage and Industry jointly introduced a bill, C-60, to amend the Copyright Act. This Bill did not make it through the legislative process before the opposition forced an early election. The Bill would have made it possible to improve protection for works placed online, and at the same time clarify the responsibilities of internet service providers with respect to the dissemination of works protected by copyright.

Under the Bill, copyright holders would have had the exclusive right to determine whether their works are to be made accessible on the Internet or not. This would have made it easier to determine whether posting on the Internet or sharing files among computers constitutes a copyright violation.

The Bill also would have established legal protection measures for technological ways of protecting content (encryption, mandatory passwords, etc.) and rights management systems that would make it possible to monitor the use of works.

Failing to comply with, bypassing or altering these technological restrictions would have constituted a copyright violation.

Under the provisions of the Bill, legal action could have been taken against individuals for sharing copyright-protected files without authorization. It would, nevertheless, still be the responsibility of the copyright holders to avail themselves of these new provisions.

The Bill also would have ensured that Internet service suppliers would not be held responsible for the dissemination of copyright protected works on their networks when they are simply acting as intermediaries.

However, Internet service suppliers would have been required to send notices of alleged violations from copyright holders to their subscribers.

I hope this additional information is helpful.

Thank you for taking the time to write.

Mauril Bélanger
Liberal Candidate for Ottawa-Vanier
(613) 742-6229