Letter to MP

Well, in light of yesterday's new copyright Bill, it looks like it is time to start becoming active again. Below is the letter I drafted this morning to my MP.

If we are to have any chance of effecting real change to this bill, or killing it if change is not possible, then we must be vocal with our MPs and let them know how unhappy we are with it.

With Bill C-61 there was enough vocal opposition to it that it was delayed many months in the house until the government was finally prorogued. We must be able to do this again.

Please send letters to your MP at the same address as is on my letter. No stamp is required. If you do not know your MP you can find it here

Honourable Lois Brown, MP Newmarket-Aurora
House of Commons,
Ottawa, ON, K1A 0A6

CC: Honourable Tony Clement, MP, Minister of Indistry
CC: Honourable James Moore, MP, Minister of Canadian Heritage
CC: Honourable Charlie Angus, MP Timmins – James Bay
CC: Right Honourable Stephen Harper, MP, Primer Minister
3 June 2010
RE: Bill C-32 – An Act to amend the Copyright Act

Dear Ms Brown

This Bill was introduced in the House of Commons on 2 June. I am pleased with some of its clauses; making iPods and TV show recording legal for the first time in Canadian history, and allowing for parody as fair dealings.

However I am particularly troubled by the absolute legal protection for digital locks. Please explain why it should be OK for me to copy my CD to my iPad, but not also my DVD. Effectively what this sort of blanket protection for Digital Restrictions Management does, is allow copyright owners to completely disregard every user right granted and acknowledged in this Bill. So users have expanded fair dealing rights. Except when copyright holders say they don't.

One step forward and two steps back, in regards to real copyright reform.

This does not find a balance between copyright owners and users rights. It completely emaciates users rights in favour of copyright holders. In recent years music publishers have been moving away from DRM technology in acknowledgement of its failings. This Bill however, will encourage them to re-embrace DRM so they can take advantage of the wide breadth of new rights this Bill offers them. If music, software, and book publishers all do so (as the movie producers already have with Blu-Ray and DVD) then there will effectively be no such thing as fair dealings any more in Canada.

I implore you to change the act so that it is NOT illegal to circumvent digital locks when done to enable acts that would otherwise be legal. Unless you do this, there is no point in even having something called fair dealings.

There are many other areas of the act that could be improved, as well as other timely reforms that should be implemented such as crown copyright, but this one is by far the most egregious, and should reasonably be considered a deal breaker by all MPs. I would be pleased to discuss this and other issues with the Act whenever you may have time to do so over the summer.

Kind Regards,

Darryl Moore