Reply letter from Minister of Heritage does not address questions asked.

(Also on p2pnet)

I am posting a text version of a letter that my MP, Mr. David McGuinty, received from Bev Oda's office in response to a question he forwarded from me. It may look familiar to many people, as it seems nearly identical to replies sent to other people. One example is the Appropriation Art coalition which posted a copy of the letter on their website.

The letter from the Minister of Heritage did not address my question. The issue of technical protection measures is not really an issue of copyright at all, but an issue of property rights of owners of technology. This is why we are collecting signatures for the Petition to protect Information Technology property rights, to draw the attention of parliamentarians to this issue.

The fundamental question is: should the rights of the tangible property owners of technology be protected in the law, which includes legally protecting their right to choose the rules (the software) that this hardware will obey. The direction of the previous government's Bill C-60 was to protect various attacks on these property rights, and I am very concerned that the new Conservative government does not adequately understand the property rights implications of so-called "copyright" related changes to the law.

The letter my MP received also has the date of July 7, 2006. If you also received a mildly modified version of this letter, I would be interested to know.


Mr. David J. McGuinty, M.P.
Ottawa South
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A6

Dear Mr. McGuinty:

Thank you for your correspondence regarding copyright reform in Canada. I appreciate your advising me on your constituent's concerns and have carefully noted his views with respect to this matter. Please excuse the delay of my reply.

Please assure your constituent that the Government of Canada is aware of the sensitive nature of the issue of technological protection measures. I will be working with the Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of Industry, on new copyright legislation for Canada. Issues on copyright reform are complex and the Government is presently considering the concerns of all Canadians as it moves forward with copyright reform.

The Government is committed to ensuring that copyright promotes both the creation and dissemination of cultural and other works. The cultural policy objective of the Copyright Act is to ensure adequate protection for creators and cultural content as well as appropriate access for all Canadians to cultural works.

Government officials will continue to monitor developments around the world as they plan the next steps that Canada will take on this matter. The Government wants to ensure that the rights of Canadian creators are adequately protected by law, and that these rights are balanced with the ability of the public to access works.

Your interest in copyright reform is appreciated. updates and further information on the ongoing copyright reform process are available on the Department of Canadian Heritage Web site at http://www.pch.gc.ca/progs/ac-ca/progs/pda-cpb/index_e.cfm .

I trust that this information is useful. Please accept my best wishes.

Yours sincerely,

Bev Oda, P.C., M.P.