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Standing up for Canada?

For Harper and the Conservatives on copyright issues, it would appear not so much, if this report is to be believed:

According to Austin, the decision to introduce U.S.-style DMCA rules in Canada in 2007 was strictly a political decision, the result of pressure from the Prime Minister’s Office desire to meet U.S. demands. She states “the Prime Minister’s Office’s position was, move quickly, satisfy the United States.” When Bernier and then-Canadian Heritage Minister Bev Oda protested, the PMO replied “we don’t care what you do, as long as the U.S. is satisfied.”

Professor Geist adds: “it would appear that the PMO’s decision to side with Canadian Heritage Minister James […]

Don’t throw the Conservatives a life jacket on copyright bill

Apparently, Industry Minister Tony Clement realizes he and the Conservative government are going to get a rough ride on their 2nd attempt at coming up with a new Copyright Bill, and he’s literally begging the opposition parties to help him and the government pass this.

If the new copyright bill is as draconian as it’s rumoured to be, there’s no way the opposition parties – particularly the Liberals – should aid the Conservatives passing this bill. There will be probably another massive public campaign as there was last time the Conservatives tried to modify copyright law, and the opposition parties should stand out of the way and let the Conservatives […]

What needs to be done to stop 'heavy-handed' copyright bill.

There are strong rumours coming out from Professor Michael Geist and others that the Conservative government will again attempt to being forth a copyright bill, and one that once again is very consumer-hostile:

All signals suggest Heritage Minister James Moore has triumphed over the objections of Industry Minister Tony Clement, setting up Canada to march in excessively protected lockstep with a United States that boasts the toughest laws against pirated music or movies on the planet. It may well be a legal constraint that’s impossible to enforce, but the rumble out of the PMO suggests the new law will ignore the extensive public consultations that advocated a go-easy take on […]

Speak Out on Copyright! (.ca)

Professor Michael Geist has set up a new website in response to the Canadian government’s Canadian Copyright Consultation forum, which is seeking input from Canadians on what type of Copyright laws they wish to see in Canada.

Why the new website? Professor Geist says its important to not allow a repeat of Bill C-61 to come back and to encourage Canadians to participate in the process:

There has been some criticism over the past week about perceived “A” lists for those invited to roundtables and those excluded. My view is that the only list that really matters is the list of people who take the time to make a public […]

Conservatives proposed copyright law making news even in rural newspapers

I noticed this article over at the Law is Cool blog today about how the Conservatives proposed new copyright law, known as Bill C-61, is rallying Canadians in unprecedented numbers (now over 87 000 members at the Fair Copyright For Canada Facebook group) to oppose this legislation.

I believe this is reinforced by the fact that the local paper around here, The Tillsonburg News, ran a front-page story today talking about the proposed legislation and informing the area about a public meeting that would be held to tallk about it:

..this week, thanks to Tillsonburg’s Linux Users Group (tillug), anyone interested can learn more about this important issue. Sam Trosow, an associate professor at London’s University of Western Ontario, is a recognized expert in intellectual property rights and has co-authored a citizen’s guide to Canadian copyright law. He will be in Tillsonburg on Wednesday, July 16th at the invitation of the tillug to discuss what the legislation proposed in Bill C-61 means to Canadian users and producers of copyrighted material.

I have said before that Bill C-61 and the proposals the Conservatives have put in this bill to update the copyright legislation could be the sleeper issue in the upcoming federal election. The opposition to this bill continues to grow, and when it’s provoking concern in smaller communities like Tillsonburg and warranting frontpage coverage and details about public meetings on this issue, it has the potential to blow up in the Conservatives face.  And it should – as this legislation is not the kind of reforms we need for copyright law.

Fair Copyright for Canada’s Facebook group continues to grow in numbers.

Now over 63 000 members as of this blogpost. 3000 more new members of the group in over 12 hours.

By the way, this is one of the things the Fair Copyright For Canada FB group is recommending its members do over the summer:

Take 30 minutes from your summer to meet directly with your MP. From late June through much of the summer, your MP will be back in your community attending local events and making themselves available to meet with constituents. Give them a call and ask for a meeting. Every MP in the country should return to Ottawa in the fall having heard from their constituents on […]

Your Fair Copyright for Canada Facebook membership update.

Susan Delacourt of the Toronto Star was blogging a few days ago that she’d be interested to see how the grassroots reacted to the Conservatives new Copyright reform legislation, and she did a mention of how the Fair Copyright For Canada Facebook group had amassed large numbers of members, merely on rumours of the proposed legislation.

I think it’s safe to say it’s going over like a lead balloon. The group is now up to close to 57 000 members as of this blogposting.  Another 6000 new members since my blogpost about it yesterday,  for a grand total of 9000 new members joining over the weekend.. and 16 000 new members since Bill C-61 was unveiled by Jim Prentice and the Conservatives.

Unbelievable. I know some political parties that would be in heaven to get new members at that rate.

The sleeper issue of the upcoming election campaign is taking root.  The Conservatives ignore this grassroots movement and its demand for Fair Copyright laws at their electoral peril.

[email protected]:54pm – Now up to 59 042 members as of this update. More then 2000 members in a single day. WOW!

LAST UPDATE, Monday, June 16/2008 @ 10:45 am: The group has now gone over 60 000 members.

People aren’t liking the looks of Bill C-61’s proposed copyright reforms apparently.

There’s a story at the CBC’s website about how the Fair Copyright For Canada Facebook group has had its membership surge since the introduction of Bill C-61, the Conservatives and Jim Prentice’s proposed Copyright Reform legislation. As of 6:20 pm last evening when the story was posted at the CBC’s website, membership had gone from 41 000 at the start of the week to 48 000 last evening.  It’s gone up even further this morning: as of this blogposting, the group stands currently at 51, 316 51 423 members – another 3000 members joining the group in little over 15 hrs since that story was published, and 10 000 new members to the group since Thursday AM, when Prentice first introduced the bill.

This is galvanizing a lot of people – people that may not normally get involved in politics. It’s good to see.

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