It's Baaaaaack. Canadian DMCA On The Way

from the if-you-wait-long-enough,-maybe-people-will-forget dept

You may recall that last fall, Michael Geist notified the world that the Canadian government was about to announce a Canadian version of the DMCA, that was effectively a Hollywood wishlist of unnecessary copyright controls. The politician in charge of pushing this through, Jim Prentice, thought that he could get it approved quietly with no one noticing -- figuring that copyright is a boring subject that no one cares about. He was wrong. Thanks to Geist shining some sunlight on the bill, tens of thousands of individuals suddenly became quite vocal in opposition to the bill -- and even a bunch of big Canadian companies came out against the bill. Prentice delayed the bill, insisting that he would listen to consumer and business concerns... though there were never any open hearings or public discussions.

Instead, it looks like Prentice made a very minor change in the bill (allowing "time shifting") and then has waited for a convenient time to re-release the bill. It's expected that the bill will once again be introduced this coming Wednesday (just before Prentice is set to leave town). Once again, Michael Geist has all the details including what the likely talking points are in support of the bill... and why they're totally bogus. It sounds like Prentice is going to stick to the entirely false claim that Canada needs to approve this bill to meet its "international obligations" as found in various treaties it's signed. This is a common trick used by the entertainment industry and politicians to justify bad legislation. But, as Geist notes, Canada already is in compliance with the treaty in question. It's too bad Canada didn't follow the lead of other countries in standing up for the rights of its consumers.

In the meantime, as Geist notes, Prentice seems to think that this particular bill will sneak through again without much opposition. It's surprising that he thinks that, given what happened last time. But, if he's going to think people forget things that quickly, perhaps its time for Canadian citizens to make it clear that they don't forget, and they don't appreciate Prentice selling out their basic rights to folks in Hollywood who are too lazy to update their obsolete business models.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Jun 2008 @ 1:37pm

    You know, I found the YouTube video of King Kong ride quite sad to watch yesterday. One would think that Hollywood and Music would see renewed value in YouTube/Internet distribution strategy thingy, especially for old content that's just sitting on the shelves. I mean, if it's just boxed up and in a corner, who is benefitting from it's very existence? Memes are cool..

    Oh well.

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  • identicon
    Grem135, 2 Jun 2008 @ 3:06pm

    I know my Canadian freinds will make thiers voices heard on this... i think its time for Prentice to leave town permanently.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Haywood, 2 Jun 2008 @ 4:09pm

    open hearings or public discussions.

    "there were never any open hearings or public discussions." Having dealt with government a bit, All hearings and public discussions accomplish, is; To give them a point to fall back on when it is complained about after the fact. I've attended several, so called hearings and public discussions, a more apt description would have been: Presentation.
    I've been to these where public opinion was vocal and decidedly against, and the powers that be essentially said; don't confuse us with the facts, our minds are made up.
    Later when anyone brought up the subject they would always say; we held meetings on that.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Buzz, 2 Jun 2008 @ 7:14pm

      Re: open hearings or public discussions.

      This is completely true, and it drives me nuts! The university I attend has several ridiculous policy changes either being implemented or being prepared to be implemented. I attend the meetings, supposedly "chances to make your voice heard". Well, that's all that happens; it's "heard". Nothing can change the faculty's mind. They just want to be able to say that "students were given a chance". It is the same with government-related meetings. Everyone comes, opposes the stupid idea, and the government proceeds to implement the idea anyway. Thanks, Democracy...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Tony, 2 Jun 2008 @ 8:14pm

        Re: Re: open hearings or public discussions.

        Yep - and it will keep happening as long as the voters keep putting the same people in charge.

        The voters COULD change things. They just don't want to. Call it apathy, call it laziness, but the truth is, the public at large just can't be riled up enough to actually change anything.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Chiropetra, 3 Jun 2008 @ 5:11am

        Re: Re: open hearings

        Grunnion runs.

        That's what we used to call these "open hearings" when I was a newspaper reporter. Named after the tiny fish that periodically descend on California's beaches, throw themselves out of the water to spawn and die.

        At least the grunnions got to continue the species. All the commenters get out of these public comment hearings is a chance to let off steam.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    MikeR, 2 Jun 2008 @ 4:37pm

    Address for your MP

    Canadians who want to discuss this with their MPs can find the contact info here:

    Enter your postal code and all contact methods come up. Let them know what you think

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    chris g, 2 Jun 2008 @ 8:02pm

    I did ...

    I just sent my MP a message. God i hope enough people make enough noise.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    pat donovan, 3 Jun 2008 @ 4:56am

    can cmda

    wrote letters, postde a video (sent to korea where copyright is 1 yr only), posted comments,

    area163 on youtube for a couple vids (under 1 min)

    net neutralizing freedom (of info)
    web 3.0 is owned by providers.
    thru filtering (sites)
    throttling (your bis so THEY can pick it up)
    and ad-inserts.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Killer_Tofu (profile), 3 Jun 2008 @ 5:59am

    Re #4 MikeR

    I am not Canadian but American. So I do not think I can have much a voice on this particular issue. However, I wanted to say thank you for making it easy for anyone reading here to be able to send their "representatives" a letter or email.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    John Wilson, 3 Jun 2008 @ 12:40pm

    Remember....there's an election coming

    Jim Prentice can bring this thing back all he wants. After it makes it past second reading, if it manages that before the Commons prorogues for the summer, and that's a HUGE if.

    For our American friends, we all need to remember that the Tories are a minority government and they do not control when the committee will sit that will look this bill over and what the schedule may be. Prentice may want it in the dog days of summer though my bet is that the Opposition will schedule it for just after Labour Day so that it gets maximum coverage before the House is called back for the fall sitting.

    While anything is possible given our Prime Minister, I can hardly think that they'll cast this bill as a matter of confidence in an effort to ram it through the Commons. I can't honestly see him campaigning on anything even remotely this bad.

    (Again for our American friends, if the Government loses a vote on a bill that they say is a matter of confidence there's close to a 100% chance we'll all be traipsing to the polls in late fall or early winter. Canadians have a habit of punishing Governments that pull that timing off by "tossing out the bums".)

    If it makes it past the Commons there's the Senate to consider who have been showing the odd flash of activity and sense recently. Surprising as that is!

    So it ain't over till the fat lady sings. More to the point it ain't over till the G-G signs the bill to bring it into force and until the Courts have their look at it.

    I can guarantee that one thing that will lead to serious opposition to this bill is the charge that as far as the MPAA/RIAA and Bush Administration are showing Canada is merely an extension, less than a colony even, of the United States. Seriously the wrong way to get any legislation passed.



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