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.

Filed Under: canada, copyright, dmca, jim prentice, michael geist


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  1. 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.

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