Archive for Copyright

Canadian Government Revives Copyright Bill… Here We Go Again

Posted in Commentary with tags , on June 3, 2010 by itnerd

The Canadian Government who tried to introduce a rather poorly thought out, highly restrictive, highly punitive, copyright revisions a couple of years ago are at it again. Industry Minister Tony Clement yesterday introduced a new version of that bill that has the following “features:”

  • Anyone convicted of bypassing the digital rights management of anything will be subject to a fine of up to $5,000. But if the circumvention of DRM is done for profit, then the fine is raised to $1 million.
  • Downloaders of copyrighted materials will face a fine of $5,000, down from the present day maximum of $20,000 that to my knowledge has never been enforced.
  • Canadians will be allowed to use copyrighted materials to create mashup videos for sites such as YouTube, and the law books will finally acknowledge that commonplace activities such as recording TV, radio and internet broadcasts are okay. The same applies for backing media for personal use or archival purposes. That is as long as you don’t screw with the digital rights management.

So it is better than their last attempt, but there are still issues with it:

Michael Geist, a University of Ottawa law professor and an advocate for more flexible copyright law, called the bill flawed but fixable. He said it contains marked improvements over otherwise very similar legislation proposed in 2008.

Prof. Geist lauded the expansion of exceptions that allow education institutions to use copyrighted materials as well as allowances for Canadians to employ them in producing satire or parody.

But he said the legal supremacy given to digital locks is still a big drawback, adding that he worries it will encourage other copyright owners to add such encryption to products.

“It’s one thing to tell consumers we’re now legalizing some of your everyday activities like the act of making a backup copy … but to suggest those rights cease to exist the moment someone puts a digital lock on that same material, I think throws out the very balance the government was hoping to achieve,” Prof. Geist said.

So while I applaud the Canadian Government for attempting to come up with more balanced legislation, they need to go further.  Canadians shouldn’t hesitate to let their MPs know that a better balance is required.

Canadian Government Asks Citizens About New Copyright Law… Tell Them It Sucks

Posted in Commentary with tags , on July 22, 2009 by itnerd

Here’s something different. The Canadian government is consulting the public before drafting a new copyright bill. They have launched a website (which is currently Slashdotted as I type this) designed to provide a public forum for discussion. I guess the reaction from the last time they tried to draft such a bill made them consider a different approach. In any case, before you think that the Canadian government is doing something good you might want to consider the this. Just because they’re soliciting feedback doesn’t mean they’ll listen to it. More than likely, they’ll cherry pick public responses that support what they were going to do anyway. Then claim that they have “public support”. But I suppose it can’t hurt to make your voice heard. Check it out and tell the Canadian government that US style copyright laws suck and have no place in Canada

Canada Gets A New Industry Minister…. Hope He’s Better Than The Last One…

Posted in Commentary with tags , , on October 30, 2008 by itnerd

I’ve been very critical of the totally useless and completley impotent outgoing Industry Minister Jim Prentice in the past. Well, there’s a new Industry Minister in town and his name is Tony Clement. He got the job as part of Prime Minister Stephen Haprer’s cabinet shuffle that came out of the recent Canadian Election. Clement has his share of critics when he was Minister Of Health because he objected to the existence of a safe injection site in B.C. called Insite. However he won praise when he was the Minister Of Health in the Provnce of Ontario during the SARS crisis in 2003. So who knows which Tony Clement we’ll get. But I will say that this is the man whom people who care about Copyright reform and Net Neutrality should e-mail so that he fully understands those issues and does a better job then the the loser person who came before him.

Technology Issues Appear In The Dying Days Of The Canadian Election

Posted in Commentary with tags , , , on October 12, 2008 by itnerd

In the dying days of the Canadian election, there’s news from the copyright reform front as well on the net neutrality front. I’ll start with copyright reform. The Conservatives have served notice via a platform document that they will reintroduce their copyright reform bill if re-elected:

“A re-elected Conservative government led by Stephen Harper will reintroduce federal copyright legislation that strikes the appropriate balance among the rights of musicians, artists, programmers and other creators and brings Canada’s intellectual property protection in line with that of other industrialized countries, but also protects consumers who want to access copyright works for their personal use,” the platform document says.

Well that sucks. Their last attempt at this was an American inspired bill that was dead on arrival in the view of many Canadians. The Conseratives have just given many Canadians one more reason not to vote for them.

Next there’s NDP leader Jack Layton who thanks Internet users for bringing issues like Net Neutrality and copyright reform to the table during this election. Take a look here:

So if you’re Canadian, take a look at both these items before you visit your local polling station on Tuesday. They may help you decide whom to vote for.

Funeral March Planned For Bill C-61 In Vancouver Next Sunday

Posted in Commentary with tags , on September 28, 2008 by itnerd

I just got this media release (Warning: PDF) from a group calling themselves the “Vancouver Fair Copyright Group” who are planning a Funeral for Bill C-61:

“On September 7, 2008, An Act to Amend the  Copyright Act – known to his friends as “Bill C-61” – died prematurely during an election call. The Vancouver chapter of Fair Copyright for Canada will be holding a funeral on Sunday, October 5 to remember the life and times of Bill C-61.

At 12:00pm, a funeral procession bearing the coffin of Bill C-61 will make its way from Waterfront Station, heading south on Seymour Street. The body will be laid to rest in front of a tombstone at the south entrance of SFU Harbour Centre on West Hastings Street.

Canadians are reminded that although this bill is being laid to rest, the issue is far from dead: how we vote in the next election will determine what the next version of this bill is going to look like.

Theatrics aside, this group has a point. The fact that the bill died because an election call doesn’t change the fact that this rather crappy American inspired bill will likely resurface in some other form. Therefore those running for office, need to know that Canadians are still interested in this issue and they need to act accordingly. If you’re in the Vancouver area, show your support by coming out to this funeral.

The Only Good Thing About The Canadian Election: The Canadian “DMCA Bill” Is Dead

Posted in Commentary with tags , on September 8, 2008 by itnerd

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper decided to call a federal election on October 14th. The bad news, this is the third election in four years for Canadians. The good news, Bill C-61 which is the so called “DMCA Bill” is dead as any bill that is in Parliament when the election is called is as dead as disco.

Don’t go celebrating just yet.

Some version of this bill may reappear at some point. Consider the fact that the Conservatives who were the rocket scientists that came up with that bill are currently ahead in the polls and could be headed for a majority government. If that actually happens, they’ll ram this through Parliament.

Canadians would be well advised to quiz their politicians to see where they stand on this issue. Then make your voting choice based on their answer. Oh, while you’re at it, ask them about where they stand on net neutrality too.

Prentice And Angus Trade Shots…..Angus Proves That Prentice Is A Tool

Posted in Commentary with tags , on June 20, 2008 by itnerd

This video (with commentary below the video) was posted on Digital Copyright Canada yesterday. It proves that the incredibly dumb and moronic Industry Minister Jim Prentice knows nothing about bill C-61 by the way he answers questions from NDP MP Charlie Angus in Parliament. It’s quite a funny exchange and worth watching. When you’re done watching, you should pop over to this post and help to put an end to this stupidity.

Jim Prentice Interviewed On CBC Radio… It Didn’t Go Well…

Posted in Commentary with tags , on June 19, 2008 by itnerd

The brain dead and completely useless Industry Minister Jim Prentice was interviewed by Jesse Brown on the CBC Radio show Search Engine at 11:30am EDT today with the topic being Bill C-61. He struggled to answer questions because he knows his bill is bad for the Canadian public, and it’s clear that he does not understand his own legislation nor can he defend it in any way shape or form. You can listen for yourself if you click here. But here’s the bottom line. HE HUNG UP ON THE HOST. How classy of him!

This is a clear sign that C-61 is a bad bill. This is also a clear sign that Jim Prentice is not the man that should be the Industry Minister. The Conserative Government needs to pull this bill and dump Prentice before any more damage is done. Otherwise it may find that it will have a very difficult time governing.

It also means that Canadians should rachet up the pressure as it is clearly getting to the Government.

Timely Cartoon About Bill C-61

Posted in Commentary with tags , on June 16, 2008 by itnerd

Take a look at this cartoon from UserFriendly. It’s timely and it hits the nail right on the head.


Fight The New Canadian Copyright Bill…..Here’s How

Posted in Commentary with tags , on June 13, 2008 by itnerd

As you know, the absolutely useless Industry Minister Jim Prentice has introduced Bill C-61 which basically makes Canadians potentially liable for all sorts of things that we take for granted. Rather than go into all the reasons why this is bad here, I would recommend that you look at my previous post on this issue or better yet take a look at this article by the always insightful Michael Geist on this issue. In this article, he actually says that the bill is actually worse than the DMCA in the US.

The question is, how do you stop this? The answer is actually quite simple. Tell your MP to vote against this bill. This website makes it really easy to identify your MP and send them a very well written letter with Jim Prentice and Josée Verner (the Minister Of Canadian Heritage who is also in on this circus) carbon copied. As I write this, over 1500 people have done so. Don’t forget to tell your friends about this too. The more pressure that Parliment gets, the less likely that this flawed legislation will pass.