Nanaimo Cowichan NDP riding association bringing copyright resolution to Convention

The following is a resolution that the Nanaimo Cowichan NDP riding association is bringing to the national convention. This isn't necessarily going to be NDP party policy, but like many things the journey is as important as the possible destination. Having more people debate the type of policy in this resolution is always helpful.

I strongly support the parts are those which oppose the abuse of technical measures by copyright holders to circumvent our property, privacy and other rights. I also strongly support the suggestion that we should move to a fixed term of copyright from the date of creation or publication, rather than the countdown towards works entering the public domain being from the death of the author. We need to move towards always celebrating our creative citizens, not having policy which causes people to secretly wish these people would die younger.

Nanaimo – Cowichan Copyright Proposal

Whereas proposed changes to Copyright Legislation could cost the Canadian education system millions of dollars, threaten research into computer security and invade personal privacy, harm Canadian culture by enlarging the billion dollar Canadian culture deficit, and put Canadian business at a competitive disadvantage;

and whereas Canadian schools currently spend millions of dollars each year on copyright licenses to provide students with access to educational materials, and that the Supreme Court of Canada recently ruled that teachers, students and schools do not have to pay for certain uses of these materials (including research, private study, and certain classroom instruction);

and whereas contrary to the Court's ruling and despite the millions of dollars schools already pay for copyright materials, last year's C-60 proposal would have required schools to divert millions of dollars more from education budgets - from students, schools and taxpayers - to pay for publicly available material on the Internet;

and whereas proposed changes would have outlawed the disabling of technological protection measures, including spy ware such as the Sony “root-kit”, that monitored how you listened to a song, read an e-book or watched a DVD, or that it would have made it illegal to break locks on this content, even if your actual use of the content was perfectly legal;

and whereas previous proposals called for a "notice and termination" system where, on the basis of untested claims and potentially without judicial oversight, copyright holders would be able to use computer generated notices to pressure ISPs to cancel Internet access for potentially thousands of Canadians, thereby blocking access to health and financial websites as well as email;

and whereas multinational corporations must not be entitled to use technology to block small amounts of copying for personal use that copyright law traditionally permits, or make efforts to get around that technology to exercise your legal rights illegal;

and whereas our culture depends upon the ability to use and re-use creative work;

and whereas Canadians should not be denied the right to fairly use materials for which they have paid, such as copying material they already own from 8 tracks or cassettes to CD;

and whereas business rivals have inappropriately used copyright laws to create artificial monopolies and stifle competition, forcing small and medium sized businesses – the engines of our economy – to face the threat of copyright lawsuits as they seek to bring products to market;

and whereas many Canadian recording artists, including Avril Lavigne, Sarah McLachlan, Chantal Kreviazuk, Sum 41, Broken Social Scene, Stars, Raine Maida of Our Lady Peace, Dave Bidini of Rheostatics, Billy Talent, John K. Sampson of Weakerthans, Sloan, Andrew Cash, Bob Wiseman, a co-founder of Blue Rodeo, and the Barenaked Ladies have recently launched the Canadian Music Creators Coalition and are concerned with the prospect of record-label lawsuits against MP3 file sharers, and the continuing march toward greater restrictions on the use of music;

and whereas the Canadian Music Creators Coalition has stated they believe that the use of technological protection measures increase the labels' control over the distribution, use and enjoyment of music, nor do they support laws that prohibit circumvention of such technological measures, including Canadian accession to the World Intellectual Property Organization's Internet Treaties that are designed to give control to major labels and take choices away from artists and consumers;

Therefore be it resolved that the New Democratic Party promote the adoption of the following principles in copyright legislation.

1.Copyright law should protect creators and consumers, not restrictive technologies. We must not allow technological protection measures to remove consumers fair and legal use of material they have already purchased.

2.The NDP supports balanced copyright law that promotes the advancement of society as a whole by giving effective protection for the interests of creators as well as the rights of users for fair and reasonable access in order to encourage creativity, innovation, research, education and learning.

3.Copyright law must not be used to force consumers to use a particular make, model, or brand of software to enjoy the content they have legally purchased.

4.Copyright law must not be used to protect old and outdated business models at the expense of consumers and companies or organizations with new distribution models.

5.Copyright law should protect creators from inequalities in bargaining power.

6.Copyright Law should not allow collecting societies to charge for access to publicly available material on the Internet.

7.It should be illegal to use technological protection measures that surreptitiously modify, damage, spy on users computer systems or other products, or otherwise prevent the legal use, including use for personal purposes of the product purchased or acquired through legal means.

8.Technological protection measures must expire when the term of copyright has expired.

9.Reformatting of material to make it accessible for visually, aurally or learning disabled persons should not be considered an infringement of copyright and should be considered as reasonable and fair access.

10.For works in digital format, without incurring a charge or seeking permission all users of a library should be able to:

browse publicly available copyright material;

read, listen to or view publicly marketed copyrighted material privately, on site, or remotely;

copy, or have copied for them, by library and information staff a reasonable proportion of a digital work in copyright for personal, educational or research use.

11.The term of all copyright shall expire after 50 years from creation.