As many readers of this blog will know, last Saturday night I started a Facebook group called Fair Copyright in Canada. I sent an invitation to 100 or so "Facebook friends" in the hope that some would join and that we could create a useful resource for discussion on the upcoming Canadian DMCA. One week later (almost to the hour), the Fair Copyright in Canada group passed the 10,000 member mark. The group, which will hit 11,000 members a few hours after I post this, has led to hundreds of letters and phone calls to Minister Prentice, Prime Minister Harper, and MPs from every political party. It has fostered a robust conversation among many Canadians about balanced copyright. It has served as the focal point for yesterday's remarkable meeting at Prentice's open house. It has been a very good week.
Next week will not be as good. On Tuesday, Prentice will rise in the House of Commons and introduce Bill C-36 or C-37 which will quickly become better known as the CDMCA. If the initial comments are any indication, he will invoke a series of discouragingly weak justifications for a law that will cause significant harm to education, consumer interests, personal property rights, and free speech. The House will call it quits for 2007 a day or two later. When MPs return in late January, Prentice will bet that Copyright's 10K will have moved on to other things.
Prentice is wrong. Copyright's 10K will be 20K or 30K or more. It will include Canadians from all walks of life such as business people, teachers, librarians, musicians, writers, technologists, seniors, students, and soccer moms. It will include Canadians from all political parties and all 308 ridings. Something exceptional happened this past week. Fair copyright in Canada found its voice. It will be silent no more.