News

Canadian DMCA Introduction Delayed

The word this afternoon is that Industry Minister Jim Prentice will not introduce the Canadian DMCA tomorrow.  The thousands of letters and phone calls over the past week have urged the government to adopt balanced copyright reforms that meets everyone's needs and does not unduly harm education, consumer rights, privacy, and free speech.  The delay provides an exceptional opportunity for Minister Prentice to consult more broadly and to factor those concerns into the forthcoming bill in the interests of all Canadians.

Update: Media coverage (CBC, CP) covers the delay of the Canadian DMCA.  It remains to be seen whether the delay is for a day or two or for at least six weeks.  Moreover, if the longer delay, it will be important to see how Prentice takes advantage of the time to consult Canadians on copyright reform.  

38 Comments

  1. Gabriel Grant says:

    Source?
    “The word” from whom? Hopefully someone reliable!

  2. Dwight Williams says:

    This Could Be Useful
    If this is handled well, we’ll be able to get that sober second thought in even before we get to the Senate on this subject.

    Awaiting further developments with great interest and a small chunk of hope…

  3. To clarify
    The text of your post is a little vague- do you mean to say that your source told you that they are not going to table the bill because of the letters and plan on consulting Canadians, or just that they’re not going to introduce the bill tomorrow, and that you hope they plan on consulting Canadians?

  4. I have written the Minister to praise him if this is accurate, and to let him know we’ll be watching future developments:

    Dear Mr. Prentice, I am pleasantly surprised to hear that you have changed your mind and decided not to introduce a copyright bill this week. If this is true, I applaud you for listening to the thousands of Canadians who are deeply concerned about a matter that will affect us all. I look forward to meaningful consultation to ensure balanced copyright reform that encompasses the needs of citizens, creators, and consumers.

  5. Michael Geist says:

    Clarification
    I can’t say with certainty why the bill has been delayed, nor whether it will be for a day or two, or for longer. I think that this presents an excellent opportunity for Prentice to engage in broader consultation and hold off introducing the bill until 2008.

  6. Let me be the first to thank Mr. Geist. Though you are likely to modest to say so, its directly because of you (the public or the media) we are all becoming aware of these issues. Its also eye opening to find how directly influenced government is by big business.

  7. Not intro
    Re: Source:

    I just watched the introduction of bills at 3PM and it was *not* introduced. This was foreshadowed by an NDP MP criticising the Minister for withdrawing it 3 hours before it was to be introduced shortly beforehand.

  8. Farrell J. McGovern says:

    Now could this delay be because of a few (10K+) people complaining? Nah…:-)

    Well, I am glad I heard this before the show’s deadline! I write for CKCU-FM’s “Let x equal x”, and cover mostly technology issues for the show. This was going to be my segment’s lead (only?) story. Still worth putting pressure on them, though!

    ttyl

  9. Just curious – is it possible to get a copy of the abandoned bill through an access to information request? It would be very illuminating to finally see what they had been planning all this time…

  10. Freshwatermermaid says:

    but will he?
    certainly there is an opportunity here, but will he use it to consult? or lie low until January, month of inertia and complacency?

  11. Wow, that’s good news, I’d say! Well done to the many who pressured the government. The power of the people, I tell ya. :) We rock! Woo HOO!

  12. Theo Thompson says:

    “lie low until January, month of inertia and complacency?”

    I would bet they are considering that approach.

  13. Dafydd Hughes says:

    That’s great news! Yes, Mr. Geist – you are directly responsible for mobilizing so many of us. Thanks.

    I’d also love to know if we can get our hands on a copy of the withdrawn bill…

  14. *fingers crossed*
    well lets just hope he does hold this off for a while and consults the public.

    The media and the public need to keep on this and the mr prentice, otherwise we’ll just have this rushed through at a later date.

  15. Maybe his dog ate his encrypted disk with the text on it? If he did, does that mean Rover is the first violator of the new copyright act? Certainly as a consumer of encrypted media, he should go to jail. Ignorance of the law is no excuse. :)

    And, Thanks so much for all the information at this site!

  16. Mr. R. August says:

    Keep the Pressure ON!
    Well done, men, but this only means we still have a country to save. He’s more than likely to just pull something in January, though someone needs to remind the Conservatives they’ll never get elected for another 12 years if this thing passes…

    Don’t let your guard down, but…have a Merry Christmas, all. We’ve won a cease-fire, but…ah crap. I can either make an obscure science fiction reference or violate Godwin’s Law. Um…let’s just not let them backstab us, okay?

  17. Submitted this story/blog to Slashdot.org and it got accepted. :) First time ever, for me, to get one accepted.

  18. Paul Highgate says:

    Accepted…
    This is a bit of a tangent, but Slashdot hasn’t been the same since around 1999 when it was bought. I visit less and less, and find myself going there maybe twice a year. Ars Technica provides better coverage and analysis, and the audience seems a lot more mature.

  19. Dark Phoenix says:

    Seriously…
    I think the reason this has been delayed is likely due to a reason I’ve mentioned before (but possibly not here); if the Progressive Conservatives were to pass this legislation now, not only would it likely be reversed down the road, but it’d likely cost them any hope at convincing the Canadian people that they deserve another term in office. Of all the things that tend to bother Canadians, selling out the American big business is near the top. This would be a death sentence for Harper’s political career… and probably not only his.

  20. Progressive?!?!?
    @Dark Phoenix:

    They dropped the Progressive part a while ago. And that’s a good thing. There’s nothing progressive about what they have and are doing.

    But, when did they care about doing things that won’t get them re-elected? There are tonnes of things that they have done that would fall in that category. For example, going on the offensive in Afghanistan WITHOUT a debate in the house.

  21. title
    When the enemy retreats, they have not given you victory. They are reloading their guns.

    This DMCA bill will come back with false hope and false promises to get passed in the

    public eye. DMCA will eventually get passed when the industry pays off someone

    with billions of dollars. The internet will never follow copyright laws in my opinion.

    People copy everything they can. Its part of human nature. You copy other people’s

    behaviour, their moods, their customs, etc. Humans are very good at copying. Even

    if it is dangerous. Hell, some humans even copy money. lol.

  22. trading partner my *ss!
    “The trading partner here is, of course, the United States.”

    O RLY?

    Who said that USA has to be a trading partner of Canada? What makes Canada vulnerable is the dependency on the United States. In fact, measures must be taken so that more than 50% of exports and imports are outside of United States, so that when US economy sinks it does not bring Canadian economy with it. If Canadian firms find more partners outside of US, everyone in Canada benefits.

  23. Good Work
    Thanks for bringing this issue to the public’s attention! The media industry must move forward into the information age and live with the fact that they must deliver what the consumer wants, and its not a DMCA like bill.

  24. R
    American corporations should not be able to dictate canadian law…period! Any member of government who believes they otherwise should resign immediately.

  25. Another Westerner says:

    Reid wrote:
    “This was foreshadowed by an NDP MP criticising the Minister for withdrawing it 3 hours before it was to be introduced shortly beforehand.”

    I’m curious who stood up to defend the bill.

  26. Thanks
    Thank you everybody that helped voicing this issue. Mr. Geist, you have proved that democratic movements may have a future in Canada. Thank you for leading the action.

    I hope the upcoming law is discussed openly and broadly. There is a great opportunity here for Canada to show the rest of the world that we can be fair with content producers and at the same time not take away individuals’ rights.

    NDPs, Conservatives, Liberals, whatever. Please just do a good job.

  27. Sorry…
    … re-reading my post it’s somewhat misleading (it’s what I get for posting while still waking up).

    What I meant to say is that the NDP MP criticised the bill in a negative way (which we all wanted :)). He criticised the bill because no-one was consulted aside from the US and corp. lobbyists, etc.

    He then went onto question why the Minister withdrew the bill (paraphrase):

    Did the Minister discover facebook just this morning!

    I LOL’d on that one. So, there’s at least 1 MP that has been paying attention and was willing to stand up in Question Period to question the integrity of the bill. Hopefully, more will follow. Though we’ll probably have to wait till after the bill is tabled to find out.

  28. Paying Attention says:

    The NDP critic was Charlie Angus, MP for Timmins – James Bay. You can watch and hear his questions here:

    [ link ]

    He’s even joined the Facebook group and posted on the wall inviting people to FB-be-friend him.

  29. Frankie goes to Hollywood says:

    Thanks
    Thanks, especially for the timely info. It is a full-time job keeping on top of Parliament events and Friday’s tip-off was invaluable. “Speed kills”… But, “it’s not over until the fat lady sings”…

  30. THanks
    Dr. Geist, thank you so much for being our lookout when it comes to copyright issues and law. Many of us don’t have an inside look within the machinations of our government, so having a person such as yourself openly provide important information such as this issue is truly appreciated. Many thanks.

  31. Seeing that this morning brought a real smile to my face:)

    Thanks to everyone who made their voices known and, of course, to you Geist for keeping on top of these things to give us all time to rally and/or contribute.

  32. hacker
    Is there some way to push values into the constitution or law such that these kinds of bills are less possible?

  33. P2P
    Regardless if the bill is passed or not, it will not change the fact that Canadians will still pirate.

    The only thing that may change is the culture of P2P. Laws that try to protect IP only damage our culture by creating a climate of fear, just like the states.

    These new laws are as stupid as the laws that tried to protect printed circuit boards back in the 80s. They waste time and money and have no impact.

    The only solution is for content providers is to evolve their services, and deal with the fact that if people like something, they are most likely going to steal it if you making buying it to expensive and complicated. And even then, people will still steal it.

  34. Dr. Geist, I was wondering if we could find out just how these issues end up in Parliament in the first place and why they would give any credibility to outside influence instead of to the constituents who elected them.
    I do not remember any clamoring from the people for a new DMCA bill.

  35. How is it that they are even allowed to come up with a law, sorry, bill that totally screws over the people who put them in power? Can they not even understand that if they make people criminals, that no one will vote for them in the future? Or is this just another way for the government to make sure that they are walking on Bush’s leash? Seriously, we have to get the hell away from the American influence on our laws? How else do you think that anit-camcording bill got passed in 6 weeks? The Americans BOUGHT everyone involved and they got the legislation they paid for.

    The copyright cartels will not stop until we have to pay for every instance of anything that is used. EG, I am at work right now and we are listening to a radio. The RIAA would love to charge us for every instance of us singing along with the songs, and labeling it as an unauthorized performance/duplication.

    In the states, those that have the money make the laws…I thought things were different here in Canada. Apparently the Conservatives are starting to show just how American they are by accepting all these bribes..er lobbying dollars and passing whatever legislation their American Masters tell them to.

    Write your MP, let them know how you feel about this. SPELL IT OUT! Tell them that copy songs to their ipods, converting videos, making copies for your car, using your PVR/VCR to record tv shows, will ALL become illegal with the new legislation they are trying to push on us. The average person breaks copyright law 90+ times a day..think about it.

    Canadian laws for Canadians..no American influence needed.

  36. Mark Grealish says:

    Ding dong, the witch is dead.

    It’s bad enough that those of us in the United States have to suffer it without it’s poison spreading elsewhere.

    I just hope it will stay dead!

  37. -Blogger
    The bill won’t stay dead for long. We still need to educate people about the value of unrestricted digital copies, in the areas of encouraging creativity and learning. Unless a copier is benefiting in a way that they sell the copies, the law should leave them alone. It’s up to the artists to find a way to encourage people to buy, not to lobby the government to make a law that people MUST buy.

  38. Great Comment says:

    “Written by Saskboy on 2007-12-11 17:42:47The bill won’t stay dead for long. We still need to educate people about the value of unrestricted digital copies, in the areas of encouraging creativity and learning. Unless a copier is benefiting in a way that they sell the copies, the law should leave them alone. It’s up to the artists to find a way to encourage people to buy, not to lobby the government to make a law that people MUST buy.”

    Thank you. Someone got it 100% right here. Great comment. It’s as simple as that.