Did Canadian Politicans Give In To Hollywood's Demands On Copyright Reform?

from the the-hollywood-lobby-works dept

It looks like the Canadian battle over camcording in movie theaters was merely a prelude to the main show concerning copyright reform. If you don't remember, Hollywood lobbyists made a strong show earlier this year trying to convince Canadian politicians that camcording movies was a huge problem in Canada demanding much stricter laws. The problem was that the numbers that the lobbyists were tossing out (and which many in the press repeated without question) simply weren't true. Both the threat and the current condition of Canadian laws were exaggerated. Yet, it worked. Canada did, indeed, pass a much stricter law concerning camcording in theaters, despite little evidence that it would make the slightest difference or that it was even needed.

However, the bigger prize is a broad copyright reform act in Canada -- and having successfully walked politicians down the road before, it appears those same lobbyists may have done so again. Michael Geist reports that Canada is about to announce its latest copyright reform bill and it's a dreamlist of everything that the entertainment industry desires: DMCA-like anti-circumvention laws, retaining the private copying levy, no flexible fair use/fair dealing rules, no parody exception, no time-shifting exception (out, out, damn TiVo) and many others. The details aren't out yet, so it may be a bit premature to discuss this. However, Geist tends to have good sources on these things, and he's worried that this Hollywood dream bill will get fast tracked with little opportunity for people to speak up and complain that their rights are being taken away in favor of a number of big corporations and that the types of things that encourage new innovation and content creation are actually stifled by these types of draconian laws. Therefore, it makes sense for people to at least start making some noise now to get others aware of what is possibly in this bill and make it clear to the politicians that they won't stand for such a one-sided law.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Dirk Belligerent, Nov 28th, 2007 @ 12:38am

    Who cares if Canucks lose their rights?

    At least their socialized health care will still be "free"!

     

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  2.  
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    Anon, Nov 28th, 2007 @ 1:20am

    A different view

    The thing that stuck out to me while reading this was the press repeating the un-true facts. It's one thing for them to be pushed by someone that has something to gain from it, but for a source of information which alot of people take as fact and rely upon to not check these is just worse.

    If the party is biased, it gives you a heads-up that the convenient numbers that align perfectly with their argument may be inaccurate. For that source to be free from bias, but still give inaccurate numbers, there is no warning.

    Oh, and Dirk Belligerent, I especially liked the post about the bank intern busted by facebook. Cheers.

     

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  3.  
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    SteveD, Nov 28th, 2007 @ 1:23am

    Coppyright lobbyists seem to be winning a lot of e

    Surely this can't go through. The entertainment industry itself has to throw up its arms at things like the no parody.

     

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  4.  
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    David M, Nov 28th, 2007 @ 4:09am

    off topic (sorry people)

    Dirk Belligerent, at lest people can get healthcare in Canada with out all the crazy risks. At lest we can change jobs with out risking of a setting time with no coverage. And the irony of it all is both of our governments pay out the same amount per-capita for health care, only we actual receive care. What Canada needs is to put money back in to health care that they took out in the late 80's and 90's in order to wipe out the national debt. BUT if they return the funding then people will be covered and then there will no controversy about so call how bad our system is, and there will be no chance to sell it off.

    So if you are already paying for your health care wouldn't it be nice to get it with out extra fee's on top of it all with a system for profit?

     

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  5.  
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    David M, Nov 28th, 2007 @ 4:18am

    o' Canada

    I find it funny that parody would be removed from possible exceptions of copy right law because, because our CBC is notorious for it's comedy shows based on parody.


    -CBC or Canadian Broadcast Corporation is a government owned tv and radio media organization much like the BBC is in the UK.
    -Canada has no protection for the freedom of speech.

     

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  6.  
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    slide23 (profile), Nov 28th, 2007 @ 4:30am

    Analogous to AA

    The media companies' gyrations and machinations are amusing to me in their parallels to Alcoholics Anonymous. I have had many friends and acquaintances attempt the 12-step program. Some succeeded, most failed.

    When a member starts to falter anywhere along the way, response of the sponsor and group is typically: "You need more of it!" The failures I have witnessed are spectacular The media companies are doing the exact same thing. Treating customers like crap isn't working, so obviously the companies are not treating enough people badly enough!

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2007 @ 5:41am

    Mike, why do you use your own articles as sources? That is logical. I am right, because I am right. And your only other source was a blog.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2007 @ 6:48am

    jeez...

    no parody exception???

    might as well change the name of the country while they're at it; Iran, Myanmar...those sound more appropriate.

     

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  9.  
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    Vincent Clement, Nov 28th, 2007 @ 7:41am

    Re: o' Canada

    Canada has no protection for the freedom of speech.

    Really? Hmmm. What is all that stuff about "freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication" in Section Two of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms?

     

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  10.  
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    David M, Nov 28th, 2007 @ 10:53am

    ^you got me on that one

    sorry I totally must have miss understood a lesson at school, bought in to some crazy US propaganda. I've been under that impression of a long time. My bad.

     

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  11.  
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    CN, Nov 28th, 2007 @ 5:05pm

    Can't have you cake and eat it too.

    DMCA-like anti-circumvention laws, retaining the private copying levy, no flexible fair use/fair dealing rules

    So... we can't copy anything... but still have to pay the levy for copying?

     

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  12.  
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    Russell McOrmond, Nov 28th, 2007 @ 7:05pm

    Getting active in Canada.

    I'm the host for digital-copyright.ca , a citizens forum aimed at helping fellow Canadians get involved in copyright revision. If we don't get active and make sure MPs know that this bill is a bad idea, it is a done deal. Canada has been receiving massive pressure from primarily US special interests (major label recording industry, major studio motion picture industry, USPTO, USTR, US ambassador, etc), so it will take a massive number of Canadians clearly stating how this direction is wrong.

    Note: Canadian law isn't going to loose copyright exceptions for parody -- we simply never had them. The reality is that there are many ways that Canadian law is already far "stronger" (in favor of copyright holders) than US law, contrary to what the various industry associations commonly lie about. Heck, if the Sony Betamax case is ever tested in Canada we would likely find out that VCR's and modern variations like ViVO's are all illegal in Canada. Fortunately this hasn't been tested, and Canadians can blissfully ignore some of the nasty aspects of our already excessive copyright act.

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Vincent Clement, Nov 28th, 2007 @ 8:19pm

    Re: Can't have you cake and eat it too.

    Well, of course. How else do you expect foreign media companies to make money?

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2007 @ 5:18am

    no parody ex!

    what's a story without name dropping?

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 8th, 2007 @ 10:10am

    canadas americas little bitch. enough said, and bitch as in a female dog.

     

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