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The Copyright Bill – call your MP to say you’re opposed to this version of it.

Some may be wondering what I’m referring to with that title. Instead of me trying to explain it, let me quote Dr. Michael Geist, the premier authority on copyright and internet issues in Canada, from his Facebook Group, Fair Copyright For Canada:

The Canadian government is about to introduce new copyright legislation that will be a complete sell-out to U.S. government and lobbyist demands. The new Canadian legislation will likely mirror the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act with strong anti-circumvention legislation that goes far beyond what is needed to comply with the World Intellectual Property Organization’s Internet treaties. Moreover, it will not address the issues that concern millions of Canadians. For example, the Conservatives’ promise to eliminate the private copying levy will likely be abandoned. There will be no flexible fair dealing. No parody exception. No time shifting exception. No device shifting exception. No expanded backup provision. Nothing that focuses on the issues of the ordinary Canadian. Instead, the government will choose locks over learning, property over privacy, enforcement over education, (law)suits over security, lobbyists over librarians, and U.S. policy over a “Canadian-made” solution.

Public pressure apparently led Prentice to initially back down from introducing this legislation, (as Dr. Geist mentions, a tremendous number of Canadians have joined the Facebook group, and coverage of this issue is widespread) but apparently Prentice is rumoured to be re-introducing it in the next few days, possibly due to pressure from the US and copyright lobby groups, as well as possibly figuring the longer he waits, the more opposition he will face from Canadians on having virtual clone legislation of the US’s copyright act.

This bill cannot stand in its current form. Many Canadians have let Jim Prentice know they do not like it in its current form, but many more are going to need to do so as well. If you want to know how to put public pressure on the government to not cow-tow to the American lobby groups and instead bring forth Made-In-Canada legislation that truly balances the rights of the consumer, Professor Geist has a helpful list of ways you can do this here.

You will find many of the Progressive Bloggers affiliated blogs are following this issue closely and are opposed to this bill in its present form and calling for action, and indeed you’ll see that the main Progressive Bloggers site also officially opposes this. Some may remember Prog Blog formally called for a couple of MP’s (one each from the Liberals and Cons.) defeat last election because of the view they were too concerned with lobbyists from the Copyright Industry and not enough for the common person. This is just an extension of it… but this need not be a Progressive thing – I have seen at Professor Geist’s blog in comments and at the Facebook group that many Conservative supporters don’t like the bill in its present form either. I call on those conservatives and Blogging Tories who believe in Fair Copyright to support this campaign.

Update @ 10:00AM: Thanks to Red Tory for informing me that the folks at Canadian Cynic have also been railing on this version of the Canadian DMCA. And yet another Prog Blogger shows her opposition to this.

UPDATE [email protected]: More Progressive blogs join in their opposition to the “Canadian-citizen-blasting Canadian DMCA“. Heh. nice way to put it. And still more here and here and here.

6 comments to The Copyright Bill – call your MP to say you’re opposed to this version of it.

  • I would call my MP to express my lack of enthusiasm.  But I face two issues:
    1) My MP is Bev Oda, who practically was paid to make sure this would be an issue.
    2) Oda isn’t ever in her office… or at least when people are awake and alert enough to visit her office.

  • Call your MP and state you don’t support ANY version. I still don’t know what is wrong with our copyright law as it stands, that it must be changed.

  • Basil

    I am working with my MP to find a way to make this a Liberal campaign platform issue- it’s not one of those divisive issues that alienate half the voters while rallying the other half, this is simply people versus american companies. Any political party who sides with the people will get voter support.

  • RT:

    I didn’t realize he had been on this issue – haven’t been over that way in awhile. I’ll put an update in.

    (I also didnt realize you’d put a hiatus on your blogging, which shows you how much out of the loop I’ve been on knowing some of this. Get back to blogging soon, RT).

  • Jim

    While my blogging has slowed of late, I support the Fair Copyright campaign as well.

  • You should have given a tip of the hat to the folks at Canadian Cynic who have been hammering on about this for weeks now.  

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