What if I was the Bill C-32 lead from the Official Opposition Liberals?

On Thursday I met for a half hour with Pablo Rodriguez, MP for the Quebec riding of Honoré-Mercier, and the Heritage critic for the Liberal party. Copyright is joint between Heritage and Industry, so this is a key MP when it comes to the future of Copyright bill C-32. (See also: List of MPs I have met)

I came with some of my regular material:

Read full article and my proposal via IT World Canada's BLOG >>

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Bill C-32


I'm beginning to think that we may be going about this wrong. A re-read of Bill C-32 makes me think that it could be used to chase the American firms out of Canada. I'm still going over it, very carefully, but I think that the bill as it stands may actually be in our favor, as Canadian creators.


Too strong Copyright?

I think you are thinking that if Canadian copyright is too tilted in favour of copyright holders, that "American firms" that build their businesses on top of creative works (Pandora, etc) won't come here.

I don't think this is the right set of businesses and business issues to be looking at.

Here are my questions:

  • Are we protecting the rights of Canadian creators to create new works and make a living from their creativity.
  • Are we enabling or harming businesses that build on top of copyrighted works (distributors, etc)
  • Are we heading into more of a deficit or towards a surplus in our balance of trade with other countries

I believe that C-32 makes all 3 of these areas worse (harms creators, harms other businesses, increases deficit).

I don't see how it matters if US firms wouldn't be coming here. I don't think that US firms setting up shop in Canada is a bad thing generally, or even a bad thing when it comes to those three questions. I don't think Canadian audiences care if the companies are Canadian or not, and won't pay for services that don't meet their needs (IE: too expensive, too restricted, etc). Canadian firms will fail with bad Canadian law just as much as US or any other foreign firms would.

For instance, having follow-on companies like Pandora in Canada may encourage them to hire Canadian music specialists. These specialists may help increase the visibility of Canadian music outside of Canada, which is a great possibility. Alternatively, having a Canadian firm expanding outside of Canada would possibly be even better. Both possibilities are harmed by C-32 style legislation.

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