Calgary Herald on Bill C-61

Catherine Ford at the Calgary Herald today struck upon what I consider to be the biggest negative aspect of this bill that everyone can easily relate to, and it will explicitly criminalize the vast majority of all Canadians.

She said: "There are at least 400 movies and an uncountable number of television shows on about 200 VHS tapes stored in my den. ... Should the amendment to Canada's copyright law pass without change, I will apparently be branded a thief"

It is this aspect of criminalizing behaviours, which have long been considered socially acceptable which will raise opposition from a great many people who otherwise would either not care enough, or would be supportive of it.

How many people have a collection of VHS recorded TV shows that they keep in a library? I don't know, but even in this day and age, I'm sure the number is huge. Under this bill every single one of those people will be tarred a criminal.

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Not sure this is true.

I believe the term "criminalize" is being used in its street meaning which is to "make illegal", and not what the term means in legal circles. These activities do not rise to the level of criminal law (unless I missed something in the bill), and still require lawsuits launched by the copyright holders (as opposed to court cases investigated and prosecuted by the state).

The other thing to remember is that, absent a Fair Use regime in Canada, these activities were already generally understood in copyright law circles as illegal. But nobody worried about them as copyright holders weren't willing to exercise their legal rights for this activity. The bill makes it far more clear that these activities are illegal, but I don't believe it *makes* them illegal. Whether copyright holders will be more likely to sue under C-61 is also totally uncertain.

Note: The right solution to the problem would have been to adopt a US-style living Fair Use regime in Canada. Unfortunately we didn't even get any actual additions to our extremely limited Fair Dealings regime, with the additions to section 29 of the act not qualifying as Fair Dealings since they can (and will be) revoked by contract.

Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS) consultant.

Not criminal, but still a contemptible law.

I concede your point about using the term crimialize. Obviously criminal acts are only those that are listed in the criminal code. Copyright violations, thankfully, and for the most part, are not listed there.

WRT these activities already being illegal, we are getting into grayer areas. I've heard several opinions in the past that, if a judge were to rule on this, there was good reason to believe that the judge could rule such activities as being covered by fair dealing. Especially in light of the CCH Canadian Ltd. v. Law Society ruling.

This bill does a great job of clearing up any ambiguity on this subject, so 10 points for clarity, but minus several million for being just plain stupid. Nobody (well very few) want to be law breakers. To make laws which turn us all into law breakers for doing things we believe are reasonable only breeds contempt for the law itself. If if fact the CPC wants to do away with copyright all together, this might in fact be a reasonable first step.

If you want respect for the law then it has to be reasonable in the eyes of the majority of Canadians. NOT JUST ONE GROUP.

WRT the revoking of fair dealings through contract. That cannot apply in this case. C-61 only state that contracts take presidence in the case of media acquired via the Internet 29.21(2), 29.22(2), 29.23(2)