by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
canada, copyright, dmca

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.

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  • identicon
    Tyanna, 6 May 2010 @ 6:11am

    Well then, looks like I have some letters to write....

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

  • icon
    packrat (profile), 6 May 2010 @ 6:23am

    actra + bill c-61 -2010 versions

    "if you want to get anything done in this country you have to scream till you're blue in the face"

    monty pythlon, parrot scit.

    Dear Ministers Moore and Clement

    in summary.i do NOT agree with the erosion of property rights in your legislative efforts.

    we are NOT a nation of renters, however profitable that be.

    The changes in property, privacy, freedom of speech and freedom of information put the ham-handed elgislation to shame.

    Shame, gentlemen, SHAME!

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 May 2010 @ 6:42am

    I wonder how many dinners Mr. Moore and Mr. Clement shared with the entertainment industry's lobbyists.

    I wonder what these two men were promised if the bill went through.

    I wonder if it is put through if their next jobs will cushy ones provided by the entertainment industry.

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

  • identicon
    AJ, 6 May 2010 @ 6:43am

    They will never learn....

    "The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers."

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

  • identicon
    Pixelation, 6 May 2010 @ 6:50am


    Maybe what we need to do is become supporters of this type of thing. We go and make signs and chant slogans like, "Copyright infringement is killing our children and must be stopped" or "Copyright is more important than free speech" or "No-one is more important than Copyright". The more outrageous the better. Let's make it embarrassing for any politician to be associated with.

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

  • icon
    MBraedley (profile), 6 May 2010 @ 7:05am

    Back to the drawing board

    Since this will inevitably be shot down (NDP will never support this, Liberals want back in power, so need to appease constituencies, and the Bloc will look out for the interests of Quebecers), it looks like we'll be going back to the drawing board. Hopefully that can happen before ACTA is signed. As Michael Geist suggests, I'll be writing a letter to various PMs this weekend.

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

    • identicon
      Comboman, 6 May 2010 @ 7:54am

      Re: Back to the drawing board

      Since this will inevitably be shot down (NDP will never support this, Liberals want back in power, so need to appease constituencies, and the Bloc will look out for the interests of Quebecers), it looks like we'll be going back to the drawing board.

      Don't count on it being shot down. The NDP don't have enough seats to matter. The Bloc are actually in favour of stronger copyright laws to protect their precious home-grown francophone music/movie industry in Quebec. The Liberals actually put forward a similar bill in Paul Martin's term in office that only failed to pass due to an election being called while it was still on the docket. If enough people are angry about it, the Liberal might choose to oppose it, but the majority of Canadian voters have no clue that this bill even exists or how it might affect them (sadly, the Canadians active in the blogosphere are not representative of the population as a whole).

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 6 May 2010 @ 8:16am

        Re: Re: Back to the drawing board

        Ah, but this is a Conversative Bill. The Liberals will oppose it purely on principle. You don't think politically parties actually care about what's in the documents, right?

        No matter how messed up the system can be at times, at least you can count on the opposition to be consistently opposed to anything and everything.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 6 May 2010 @ 8:49am

          Re: Re: Re: Back to the drawing board

          Liberals are not opposed to copyright. It was Clinton that passed the DMCA takedown and it's Obama pushing forward with this ACTA scandal.

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

        • icon
          Hulser (profile), 6 May 2010 @ 9:31am

          Re: Re: Re: Back to the drawing board

          The Liberals will oppose it purely on principle.

          I know what you're saying, but if the Canadian politicians are anything like the US ones, principle has little to do with it. In fact, it's the exact opposite of voting on something based on principle. It's voting based on a knee jerk response. If Proposal.Author.Party != Me.Party then Vote = No.

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

          • icon
            crade (profile), 6 May 2010 @ 9:47am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Back to the drawing board

            Truth be told, *usually* our politicians are not really like that because we have more than 2 parties, and some of them agree on various issues and form temporary alliances etc. However, at the moment all the other parties hate the conservative party, so if they smell a chance to take them down on an issue, they probably would. It doesn't seem like they think this is their chance though. It is too easy to make you look like the bad guy to the casual observer for opposing laws that will "combat child porn and piracy".

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

  • icon
    WammerJammer (profile), 6 May 2010 @ 7:28am

    So What?

    We already know from past experience that all governments will back the corporations rather than the people. They all repress and control their citizens and especially through the media. Anyone watching CNN or BBC News can see that immediately because of the repeat over and over of a few news items. We get very little actual news and then it is managed for our poor uneducated selves. It's a real joke.
    Bottom Line: We can expect no freedom from any of our governments because they are controlled by corporations. Revolution is not the answer. The new masters would be worse than the old ones. Only sanctions against the corporations you hate will eventually have any meaning. Stop buying their products and services and they will eventually go away. If the corporation you dislike has a monopoly in your area then complain to your representatives and demand a breakup. There's nothing worse to a corporation than a forced breakup. Email all representatives about any monopoly you find.

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

    • icon
      crade (profile), 6 May 2010 @ 8:21am

      Re: So What?

      People generally believe what they are told. In this case they aren't being told what is going on, they are just told the bill will help fight piracy.
      Of course, actually piracy is already illegal here and all the bill does is make the activities of legitimate paying users and those who should be protected by fair dealing illegal as well, It doesn't do much to the laws regarding what everyone considers "piracy" at all, but you have to actually do your own research to find that out.. Who does that?

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

  • identicon
    Irving, 6 May 2010 @ 7:29am

    Writing Letters?

    We all wrote letters as part of the "consultation". That clearly does not do the job.

    It's time to organize another general strike; these racketeers in Ottawa only recognize threats to their wallets.

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

  • identicon
    Simon, 6 May 2010 @ 7:58am

    ...and right on cue...

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

    • icon
      Marcel de Jong (profile), 6 May 2010 @ 8:25am

      Re: ...and right on cue...

      So predictable. Even though this legislation doesn't do ANYTHING against child porn (as it still gets made and distributed). These sick fucks that call themselves politicians don't deserve our respect and should be tried on grounds of facilitating child pornography.

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

  • icon
    Marcel de Jong (profile), 6 May 2010 @ 8:24am

    zombie law

    Okay, I'm convinced, these laws are ZOMBIE-laws, how many times we fight it down, it still gets up for some more asswhoopage... I propose that we shoot this legislation through the head next time.
    Or otherwise I'd like to see a three strikes law for legislation.

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

    • icon
      crade (profile), 6 May 2010 @ 9:34am

      Re: zombie law

      The Head of the snake is the U.S. Our government(s) all push for this stuff because they can't (or won't) stand up to U.S. pressure. They all know it isn't in our best interest copyright-wise but they are willing to make that sacrifice (or at least keep trying to make it) to appease the beast to the south.

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

  • icon
    kyle clements (profile), 6 May 2010 @ 9:43am

    Writing letters to our MPs seems kind of useless at this point, considering that last year they had a big copyright consultation, and thousands of Canadians clearly stated what they wanted: expanded fair dealing, a promise to not expand copyright duration, getting rid of crown copyright, and allowing DRM circumvention for any use that falls under fair dealing.

    The Conservative government knows what the people want already, and they are choosing to ignore us.

    If they pass this law, I want my money from the blank media levy back.

    When the Conservatives are finished ruining Canada, which country should I move to? Any suggestions?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 May 2010 @ 4:20pm


      The conservatives have long stated that they intend to discontinue the blank media levy. Ending all notion of fair dealings and legitimate copies for private use, however, was their agenda behind that promise.

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

  • icon
    william (profile), 6 May 2010 @ 9:48am

    As a Canadian

    who had send my local MP a long email expressing my concern and was so happy to see C61 shelved...

    I only have one word to say...


    This time, I am sending a registered "paper" mail and going to CC it to everyone. Oh yeah, and Mr. Moore, you just lost one more vote.

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

  • icon
    senshikaze (profile), 6 May 2010 @ 10:34am

    "in many ways, Canada's copyright law is already much more draconian than US law (for example: no real fair use provisions)"

    what sucks is that almost all sue happy jerks ignore that when they start the dogs of war.

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

  • icon
    Devonavar (profile), 6 May 2010 @ 11:14am

    Two points

    1. So far this is a rumour, albeit one from a source who has been fairly reliable in the past. Moore and Clement have yet to make much public statement about this, and I'm willing to give them some benefit of the doubt until I *know* it's bad.

    2. C-61 failed because an election was called, not because of public protest. I wish I could say that was the case, but it wasn't.

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

    • icon
      crade (profile), 6 May 2010 @ 11:29am

      Re: Two points

      1. It is confirmed a bill will be released. The contents being similar to C-61 are rumour.

      2. Thats fine, I would be happy if we could get rid of this one by forcing an election.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 May 2010 @ 1:25pm

    Any way you guys can figure out a synonym for 'draconian'? I mean, seriously, it's used like every 2nd sentence. Do you have to call the laws Draconian? Can't you just say 'harsh' or 'severe'?

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

  • identicon
    jo-jack, 6 May 2010 @ 1:30pm

    This is troubling news, I really hope that the government sees past the lobbyist and realizes that people can make money without ever actually selling the music

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

  • identicon
    NAMELESS.ONE, 6 May 2010 @ 2:56pm


    "Revolution is not the answer."
    Says you
    I thinks i'd make a great emperor of canada
    That aside the reason people are now talking revolution
    isn't cause they want violence its cause they are beginning to see it will not get better it will and DOES keep getting worse.

    WHEN actors and musicians start getting attacked more YOU WILL KNOW its coming.

    ALL the so called new "masters" have to do mister conspiracy, is make it illegal to accept any lobbying money
    PERIOD. ENDS all the need or want of a corporation to buy off the bribe the or whatever the politicians now dont it.

    ALL also needs done with all this tech is to truly begin to look at proportional representation. WHY?
    BANG both liberals and conservatives both would be half the size they are now. YOU'D have greens in office as well as whatever that 3.3 represents.

    IT truly makes coalitions the norm and that also increases govt transparency especially when a multi party coalition forms the cabinet and govt.

    ITS ironic that everywhere i go as united hackers association leader people like my ideas and say i should run for office. What keeps me form doing it. Lack a money for one, but that aside i just don't think i can hang out long without totally losing it with these types a people. Seriously would you like these politicians as friends or have to work with them every day.
    OH and the campaign to stop Harper has a new phrase thanks to that blundering moron mp who told women to basically shut the fuck up.



    BTW liberals now have a plan for everyone in canada to have free 1.5 megabit internet...good start. NOW jump on board the anti harper anti-copyright movement and push them out of office. GREEN party has a better platform then the pirate party about copyright.

    I have 1000 member hackers in canada , and over 2000 waiting to get in and thousands more associates. NOW think about all the other countries and say 300-500 per country with the smallest countries i may have as little as a dozen and even a member group in tunisia of all places. AND hte greek story is important as its all about how th money that they owe was because of mismanagement by the govt NOT by non paying taxes. THATS THE REAL STORY, ya know thatyour rupert murdoch won't tell

    1) ask and post this statment
    "what does 50 year copyright do for you citizen"
    THis one really they hate cause then people go in there heads so why should we allow 80 years as proposed?

    2) Does filtering and 3 strikes rules stop child pron?
    OR does it just shove it under arug in the if i can't see it therefore dont exist. Criminals will find ways around it and it just makes inconveniences of us all.
    THE RUMOR that geist is now trying to deny is that this removes fair use, WELL It removes the fair use most of us enjoy..downloading and placing on levied media. and if you look at ACTA for a howto of what it has to do....well any more then 2 of a type of a thing and your at risk ..END A STORY.

    3) ACTA and BILL c61 ( previous attempt) both make the commercial fines now for non commercial as well, this means 2.7 years prison time per item when i cannot afford ot pay it. I have enough for a life sentence and with recent laws i wont get parole ever. so 40 years times avg 100,000 $ per inmate = 4 million YOU TAX PAYERS will pay for a guy who had no money ot buy it in first place and is disabled and already suffers. Let us say they get 100 people a year only.
    THATS A neat 400 million a year cost that goes like this
    2 billion
    HAd enough mister taxpayer?
    2.4 billion ( 600 inmates in jail for 40 music tunes )
    HOW ABOUT A campaign of:

    NOW think on grand scale if everyone after this law was made LAW like 20000 of us went down to ottawa and turned ourselves in they'd ahve to arrest us and thats a whoping
    tax payer whack of 2 billion
    AT a time when we just are about to drop 48 billion in the whole........
    this is also tantamount to:
    Section 12 Charter Violation
    12. Everyone has the right not to be subjected to any cruel and unusual treatment or punishment.
    If longer than necessary, to a degree that can be considered "grossly disproportionate," certain prison sentences can be considered cruel and unusual and therefore unconstitutional under section 12.

    LOOK at the example of a cocaine dealer( ya know like Jaffer is )

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

  • identicon
    NAMELESS.ONE, 6 May 2010 @ 3:19pm


    YA know the conservatives dont like that part or havent ever read it also with the afgan torture allegations that are ongoing, you now have womens abortions rights and now copyright issues.

    NOW all one party has to really do is

    A) side with w omens rights
    B) be against this copyright bill ( ANGUS blew it with his hanging out with musicians for a month after he formed the acta group then suddenly came out with this levy for lazy musicians )

    THIS is why the poll shows a huge drop a NDP voters as the undecided became a larger number .....
    C) get us out of afgnaistant totally. WE cant afford it....sorry but thats true. WE need to get this debt under serious control.
    D) scrp the HST for food and internet and kids cloths and kids items.
    E) give natives a half of the tax off on there cigarettes USE that cash directly to hospitals that are in dire need.
    F) turn internet use into a right so NO 3 strikes law can ever affect you, and make mandatory 1.5 megabit free.
    Creating a national broadband initiative is healthy it creates infrastructure jobs that actually mean something.
    ( i see little value in repairing a sidewalk that didn't need it as an example i saw near me )

    G) in creating IT jobs for this new net you also mandate tech support will be for Canadian citizens thus again creating new wealth and jobs.

    H)ISPS will be enshrined from liability on there networks and the govts as well. the CRIA will be disbanded and booted out of canada ( 6 billion dollar lawsuit they have no intention ever of paying- guess whose collecting levy money )

    I) make it a treasonable offense for any politician or govt official to take any money or gifts form anyone or entity with ties to a foreign land. YOU realize what treason gets you in canada?

    J) take back the 75 million that the Quebec provincial leader gave to Warner brothers and tell him that until he punishes his son like he has people in the USA , they can't do business here.( SON CAUGHT USING BIT TORRENT GETS SLAP ON WRIST)

    K) if your an artist and whine even once we'll deport you to a country where you should feel at home.
    THE United States Of America. ( remember that cause our nations laws and rules are less strict we actually have a very vibrant film and tv industry. They actors and musicians don't realize it but hollywood comes to country gets things rollng gets its laws then move son to another target.
    Seen any good tv from Australia after farscape?

    L) require all Americans that get internet in canada have a broadcast dpi flag present on there internet so as to identify them as NON citizens when they post or communicate inside canada. YOU might say wtf , but think of 750,000 Americans posting on your boards and screwing results across the land. THIS we would put a foot down on.

    M) all other needs of DPI are by warrant ONLY.

    think of it people and instead a writing a gay letter get out of your damn house with a tshirt on that says


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

  • identicon
    aicra, 8 May 2010 @ 12:37pm

    Yes, the world sits in anticipation of Canada’s decision regarding copyright law. Canada, at the very least has taken some time in the ratification of the WIPO treaty.

    Of course, some have argued that ratification is a choice and not a requirement. According to the WIPO:

    The effect of signature is not, of course, to bind the signatory State but simply represents an acknowledgment of its intention to enact a law based on the Convention and, in due course, to ratify the Convention. It is only the ratification of the Convention by an existing member State which has signed the Convention, or accession to the Convention by a new member State, which creates an international legal obligation.

    That being said, I appeal to all Canadians to take a look at your neighbor’s mistakes. Learn from the mistakes of others before entering a pool of sharks.

    Do you really want to see similar situations?

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

  • identicon
    k1ng, 31 May 2010 @ 2:17pm


    More people need to keep up with this...A small marketing budget appealing to young adults would be a good idea. Advertising on places like facebook, myspace, youtube and using google adwords, would be extremely beneficial. I don't see nearly enough replies on here considering this law will see allot of people persecuted. A law that supports the capitalist powers rather then the people. It seems the government has forgotten it's place as a rep of the people and nothing more, it has forgotten to fear the people. Likewise corporations seems to have forgotten that they are nothing without customers. They insist on penalizing the small folk, their biggest customer base, and I honestly hope it bankrupts them. Remind the government who they represent and refuse to purchase services or products from corporations involved in the acta and the dmca like procedures. It's ironic how Canada and the USA touted to be the free world as we know it, are the first to see corporate dictatorship under the guise of freedom, liberty and equality. The two very countries called "democracy" have been at the forefront of passing legislation that destroys healthcare, encourages poverty/homelessness, persecutes individuals for minor crimes, produces toxic food, hides technological breakthroughs on fuel, hides and even makes illegal cures for diseases that can't be patent, and all of this is killing us. If there isn't money to be made the corporate powers will see to it that it never enters our hands. Would it surprise you to know there are cures for a variety of diseases not available in Canada or the US but available elsewhere? This is no longer about copy write, it has passed that line and that issue is infinitesimal compared to the big picture. The issue at hand is now where our privacy lies, what our rights are, and what we own. You've seen how corporations handle these issues, they want access to everything we say or do in any way they can obtain it. Corporations want us to have no rights so they can take as they please and run us like a legion of slaves. And if you have seen TOS (terms of service) agreements now adays...they would like if nothing we have or use is ours but rather everything is theirs and they can do with it as they please. This entire process is happening behind closed doors, in secret meetings, in discreet phone calls, and encrypted faxes, so slowly and using complicated legal jargon, to keep us out of the loop. For years I've watched, tv, movies, and played games. All of these devices really do is dub you down, and allot of people have decided they don't want to read. Since the time of the romans devices have been used to keep people illiterate, because if we can't read then we can be controlled. I'm no conspiracy theorist, I see the facts and I accept them. I am just a young adult concerned with the lack of concern many Canadians have for this law. This law is a gateway into a dark future and if we don't do everything in our power to stop it then we will be slowly and discreetly enlisted into a dictatorship under the illusion of democracy. People think we have rights like freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of the press but remember this... We can speak but not against our government, or certain people. We can assemble but not at the g8 or at other such politically significant events. We can publish what we want, but all the media is owned by umbrella corporations with vested interests, ever notice how all the news is depressing, it's there to keep you mediocre! And remember that many government officials are riddled with greed and corruption. With a little footwork I'm confident you would find many of these government officials with financial ties to the corporations in question, therefore it is also in their best interest to enforce these laws. It's ironic but most of these people have children, and they are creating a world that is unsafe and unfair. And when the new generation fights our silly war, they will not care to look back at our legacy. But rather they will turn away in disgust at the unethical immorality of the world we have created. Where corporate domination feeds on a illiterate society of pacifistic people. We plug ourselves into movies, games, and tv to mask a reality we don't like. But how long before that reality comes knocking at your door and takes your kid away, or puts you in a prison? FIGHT for your rights, or you WILL LOSE them!!!

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

  • icon
    btrussell (profile), 3 Jun 2010 @ 4:59am

    I hope even more Canadians speak out about this this time.

    Also, fellow Canadians, I suggest you take a look at Bill C-428. Google it if you have to.

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

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: Techdirt Logo Gear
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.