It's Baaaaaack: Canadian DMCA Bill Expected Next Month
from the the-copyright-change-that-never-dies dept
You knew it had to happen sooner or later. The US (mainly via entertainment industry proxies) has been pushing Canada to introduce even more draconian copyright law for years — despite the fact that, in many ways, Canada’s copyright law is already much more draconian than US law (for example: no real fair use provisions). What the entertainment industry and (thanks to entertainment industry lobbying) the US government really want is for Canada to introduce its own version of the DMCA, with things like anti-circumvention clauses. There is no reason for this whatsoever. The claims that Canada is not in agreement with “international obligations” is simply false. It’s a smokescreen used by lobbyists.
Back in 2007, under such pressure, Canada got ready to introduce its own version of the DMCA… though calling it “its own” was a misnomer, since it was basically written by US entertainment industry interests, and was… well… let’s just say a “copy” of the US’s law. Thankfully, after lots of protests from businesses and the public, the bill, C-61, eventually was shelved.
However, the pressure kept mounting and for a little while, it looked like Canadian politicians might not give in to entertainment industry pressure. The two politicians most involved in drafting new copyright laws, Heritage Minister James Moore and Industry Minister Tony Clement, both seemed to understand that a different, more forward-looking approach made sense. Following that, there were the very open public consultations on copyright in Canada, that allowed many, many Canadian citizens to express their concerns over how US-style copyright law would be immensely troubling (such submissions significantly dwarfed the calls for stronger copyright laws). Yet, as we noted just a few weeks ago, there appeared to be a well-coordinated media campaign that just so happened to pop up as the new bill was being finalized, that pushed for much stronger, US-style, draconian copyright laws.
So it should come as no surprise that reports are coming out that, indeed, despite all of the public concerns, Canada has decided, once again, to introduce a Canadian DMCA, similar to the US one in all its draconian provisions. Despite his earlier statements, apparently Heritage Minister Moore was on the side pushing for such a law, while Industry Minister Clement pushed for a more forward-looking law. Moore apparently won.
Once again, hopefully, public outcry from content creators, consumers, organizations and businesses will stop Canada from making the same mistake that the US has made, and which has resulted in repeated misuse to stifle creative expression and free speech, while holding back important innovation.