News

The Copyright Protest Surge

In the roughly 36 hours since the Canadian DMCA was introduced, the outrage from thousands of Canadians has been nothing short of remarkable.  The CBC has picked up on the story, reporting on the surge in online protests that include approximately 10,000 new members of the Fair Copyright for Canada Facebook group (nearly 50,000 members as of this writing), over 4,000 letters and emails sent through Copyright for Canadians, hundreds of comments on articles in the mainstream press (and this blog), and a huge number of individual blog posts. 

My sense is that the government still doesn't quite get it.  The usual suspects generated the expected supportive press releases, yet simmering online are thousands of Canadians who are angry and who vote.  There remains much work to be done – there will be opportunities for people in Calgary to meet Industry Minister Jim Prentice at his Calgary Stampede breakfast on July 5th, for residents of Guelph to make their voice heard in the fall by-election, and for Canadians across the country to participate in offline protests this fall.  In the meantime (once again):

  1. Write to your MP, the Industry Minister, the Canadian Heritage Minister, and the Prime MinisterIf you send an email, be sure to print it out and drop a copy in the mail (no stamp is needed – c/o House of Commons, Ottawa, ON, K1A0A6).  If you are looking for a sample letter, visit Copyright for Canadians.
  2. Take 30 minutes from your summer, to meet directly with your MP.  From late June through much of the summer, your MP will be back in your local community attending local events and making themselves available to meet with constituents.  Give them a call and ask for a meeting.  Every MP in the country should return to Ottawa in the fall having heard from their constituents on this issue.
  3. If you are not a member of the Fair Copyright for Canada Facebook group, join.  If you are, consider joining or starting a local chapter and be sure to educate your friends and colleagues about the issue and starting working through the list of 30 things you can do.

70 Comments

  1. R. Bassett Jr. says:

    I will join….
    I hate Facebook and other types of privacy-killing sites, but I love my counrty enough to join it when I get home.

    Facebook, you’ve won…

    More names, more solid proof that Canadians are not sheep.

  2. Moral Imagination
    I have a question for anyone who might know some MPs. Do they understand that there are principled reasons for objecting to this bill, or do they believe their own spin – that this is basically a bunch of teenagers who want free music with a handful of head-in-the-clouds academics and radicals?

    I ask because I wonder whether there’s any education to be done here. Their ultimate stance will be decided by political expediency in most cases. But Dr Geist is basically suggesting they lack the imagination to appreciate that this is genuine, legitimate political protest. If they understand the reasons for our opposition, they will be better able to take it seriously and believe it’s real.

  3. Pink Giraffes
    Let me illustrate. Say we protested not for balanced copyright, but for pink giraffes. Tens of thousands of Canadians, most of them young people, barraged their representatives and the media with demands for pink giraffes. This went on for months. The Internet was awash with people insisting they need pink giraffes.

    Could MPs bring themselves to deliver? Even if all the evidence was that the government would fall? Or would they be unable to take the demand for pink giraffes seriously – on the one hand not really believing we were serious, on the other standing firm that they would rather be voted out of office than submit to pink giraffes.

    My question, then, is how many politicians think we’re asking for pink giraffes?

  4. Let’s hope it’s enough
    It worked once, let’s hope someone on The Hill is listening… be assured we’ll definitely be attempting to have a word with Mr. Prentice here in Calgary, we had high hopes for these guys, it would be a shame for the west if we had to vote Green next time but if they keep this up…

  5. Was this the plan?
    Could this be the issue that the current Government thinks will trigger the election they are so longing (desperate) for?
    If so, bring it on!

    Now is the time.

  6. A hornet’s nest
    I think that the cons have really kicked a big hornet’s nest his time. They have just pushed some major buttons of a constituency that they should have just left alone. They are radicalizing 10′s of thousands of students and young people who had perhaps not been so interested in politics before this.

    Well done Steve. You’re so busy trying to kiss US a** that you’ve decided that Canadians just don’t matter and your cabinet mirrors your disdain.

  7. The last thing politicians want …
    The the last politicians want is to drive the disillusioned youth to the polling booths. This might be just the issue to do it.

  8. confusion
    the problem with our government is that of confusion brought down by conservatives; the liberal scandal was a FARCE, the RCMP resigned over this!( those issues are always at the bottom of the news , how convenient). since begining i desliked harper, just look at his arrogant speach and his body language that has written all over it “bad person stay away!”

    they do not intend to retain power! the only reason they are in the office is becouse they MUST do the american agenda in GENERAL, and then move down to florida on the money received from the american lobby! there only purpose is to set this country on a course that washington wants. i mean the international comunity ALREADY treats canada with high suspecion and that should worry ALL OF US. the americans might be the neighbours but the whole economy depends on the world’s WILL to buy the canadian product!( or american or european). so my biggest issues with this government is that we do not have any longer the much loved imagine and GOOD WILL from foreign governments as a WHOLE. mr chretiene had his shortcomings but he KNEW bettter how to run a country in LONG RuN. paul martin made the conservatives victory a reality! sometimes i wonder if he actually played their game by his own will or out of pure stupidity!( imagine stephen telling him “u can be PM for 2 years to satisfy your long life carrer goal but then canada is MINE”

    ok maybe i am “loosing” you but i KNOW that present government was FORCED upon our throats by efficent MANIPULTION. i can SADLLY say i saw all this coming! frankly i always been a conservative but not a FAKE one. stephen is a clear religious fanatic just like his big brother down south; look carefully in his biogrphy!

    well, as some mentioned here, i think i have to move back to canada! with this law canada is going in the american direction, that of a police state with its citizens always kept in state of fear for VARIOUS REASONS. you are educated to feel “special” only so can be brought easier to your knees by means of always living in a state of fear as of how much you can “loose”, while you are the one that keeps this politicians( in effect coorporate lawyers) in office!

    i run from a communist run country, only to find myself into one that is run by MULTIPLE comunist cartels where freedom is only an illusion!( always a big coorporations that “regulates” what i should or should not do, in every aspect of your life!) at least until now we had the internet as the only mean of FREE expression and RESEARCH worldwide. looks like those “rights” are taken from us simplly becouse some shareholders need to increase their profit margins and willing to spend millions on “lobbyst”.

    the whole bill takes away YOUR RIGHT TO OWN WHATEVER YOU HAVE BOUGHT! IT IS CRAZY, I SIMPLY REFUSE TO BELIEVE THAT THIS IS REALITY. yetm the last thing i fear is them coming after me with CRIMINAL LAW! THAT WOULD BE A DIRECT INFRIGMENT UPON THE CANADIAN CHARTER.
    i mean “small court claims” might be the solution BUT TO MAKE THIS A CRIMINAL LAW IS JUST AGAINST THE HUMAN RIGHTS ITSELF CANADA ALWAYS SAYS SHE UPHOLDS!

    we should be going back in time then as a whole. i want to see those “artists” and movie makers back in THAT time where their only income came from whatever they produced LIVE in concerts, etc. at least then they had TO WORK AND CREATE for a living! and not just sit in some studios getting “dividents” from a song ctually made by sound technicians!

    ARTIST BY DEFINITION IS SOMEONE THAT CREATES AT HIS OWN RISK! none of the FAMOUS painters for example where RICH! none!! NOT IN THEIR LIFETIME! yet we appreciate and love them and their work are PRICELESS becouse it was not made for commercial purpose but for an ETERNAL one! so if any “artist” reads this, please consider yourself warned of consumer’s wrath in case you actualy support this bill.but then again, the issue lies with the BIG coorporations that owns the artist album BEFORE it was even produced! NOW THAT IS JUST UNBELIVABLE!

    ok had enoug about this! will fight this to the “end” (of it, the bill) or i am MOVING AWAY, at least europeans have “sensibilities” towards a HEALTHY SOCIETY that have “came and gone” in north america!

  9. Pro-user zealot, writing letter to my MP
    I am one of the pro-user zealots (remember Sam Bulte?) and am writing a letter to my MP.

  10. Prentice is not staying elected
    After this copyright mess, Prentice won’t get re-elected, I am pretty sure.

    What Sam Bulte was doing was not as known nationwide, but this new copyright bill is now a nationwide story.

  11. Best way to monitor new copyright laws
    My friend says Canadians should monitor the priminister in the first time after the law passes.
    Just go to his house to check see if he or his kids has any illegal DVD, VCD, and CD copies.
    And if in case he has the CBC news report video not released at the same time in the TV.
    He should be charged $500 because he has broken the law already.

  12. Terence Corcoran defending Bill C-61!
    [ link ]

    Remember Terence Corcoran? FP Editor.

    He is at it again, defending Bill C-61!

    [ link ]

  13. Michel From Terrebonne says:

    more “français” would help
    copyrights for canadians… would help if you could get it in french. I just sent the letter to my mp, but since we have a lot of mps from the bloc québecois, I think the message could be clearer for them if it would be in french. I’ll do my best to help the cause.

  14. Fight the studios, not the politicians
    I’m sick of fighting the politicians over this. They clearly don’t care and they’re not in charge anyway. We need to band together as consumers and stop putting money in the hands of these greedy corporations. If we can control the entertainment industry, we have a better hope of controlling the government.

  15. Anonymous says:

    I think the government does “get it” and they decided, rightly, that this isn’t just about a show of hands, and that in any event they aren’t risking many votes. It’s clear from this blog that very few people really understand the issues and that there is a kind of hysteria about nothing. $500 for illegal downloads – why the outrage? Fact is, a properly designed campaign, using strong arguments, a willingness to explore middle ground, forging a coalition with other groups in education, etc., and without personal and political attacks, might have produced results. As it is, all you did was show up the bankruptcy and irrelevance of this constituency. If you want the slightest chance of getting amendments – and there are some things that do need fixing – this is not the way to go about it.

  16. protogenes says:

    Fight back
    I think the timing of this is also a factor. Canadians are still reeling from the CBC/Hockey Them fiasco, and are in no mood for another government agency telling them what they can or can’t do with their culture.

  17. Dwight Williams says:

    Hockey Theme Shock Syndrome?
    You may have a point on that aspect of things – many of us see the theme as belonging in spirit to the nation as a whole, rather than to its composer or any specific network, whatever contracts or laws are in force – and it may have played an amplifying role.

    I’d be interested to see what may yet be done to remedy the Hockey Night theme situation, although the relative urgency of the two issues is certainly debatable.

  18. This is a Foreign Policy Issue
    Hi Michael,
    Thanks for all you do! I think this should be raised with foreign affairs critics, among other key figures: it’s a point that could (should) become a major campaign issue. This kind of legislation doesn’t only prevent people from downloading prepackaged entertainment content, but will stop many Canadians from participating in, and yes, profiting from, the knowledge economy. From what I understand, Bob Rae, the liberal FA critic, is already on facebook…

  19. “not the way to go about?!
    “Written by on 2008-06-14 09:28:17I think the government does “get it” and they decided, rightly, that this isn’t just about a show of hands, and that in any event they aren’t risking many votes. It’s clear from this blog that very few people really understand the issues and that there is a kind of hysteria about nothing. $500 for illegal downloads – why the outrage? Fact is, a properly designed campaign, using strong arguments, a willingness to explore middle ground, forging a coalition with other groups in education, etc., and without personal and political attacks, might have produced results. As it is, all you did was show up the bankruptcy and irrelevance of this constituency. If you want the slightest chance of getting amendments – and there are some things that do need fixing – this is not the way to go about it.”

    again another NO NAME trolls; is funny reading all the comments and generaly this guys never having the name up. are they afraid of something!?or just plain arrogant and/or ignorant of everyones concerns!?
    so while this NEW LAWS( LOOK ALL AROUND , NOT JUST THE INTERNET “PIRACY” CRAP) ARE ERRODING MORE AND MORE OF OUR FREEDOMS, WE ARE SUPPOSE TO JUST BE “POLITE” AND “SIT BACK”!??!?! and please do not bring the “civilized” aspect again; a coorporate lawyer posting here for example or in court,will always be more “educated” in how to show universal “truth” as actualy beeing “wrong. issues are BLACK AND WHITE all the times, we are just beeing told otherwise, there should be no confusion anymore with this federal government, they are there. and not just to “represent” you as bush represents americans( NONE OF TORONTO’S 20 SEATS HAVE GONE TO THEM—NONE, and they did equally bad in all major cities= most of the ACTUAL population). they are in the office with the purpose of taking advantage over real educated citizens, of various backrounds that have always respected and understood opositions of any kind. this is NOT conservatism…this are some religious fanatics with personal beliefs of superiority as a class! i miss chretien times where the politics were still OPEN to anyone with good intentions and human enough not to fall FOR SOME “SPECIAL INTERESTS” AGENDAS.

  20. the village idiot
    Anonymous coward you are so idiot you do not get it. It is $500 dollar for any copyright owner. A single song has 3 copyright owners. If you have downloaded 1,000 songs do the math. Beside that I do not care about pirates, I care about my right as a consumer. It is now formally illegal make any backup copy on any DVD as well any kind of format shifting. Since all DVDs are digitally locked you face a 20,000 dollar fine or prison. Then there is also the question of DVDs region lock which you cannot circumvent anymore and in a multicultural country like Canada that is absurd.

  21. @blank
    Do you really think that if we didn’t yelled at and offended the current government they would have take us into consideratio?. How juvenile is that… And what about all the other stake holders that oppose this copyright law. Are they too all bad boys?

  22. NO! Fight the politicians
    “Fight the studios, not the politicians”

    NO! Fight the politicians who should not be governing us in the first place!

  23. NO! Fight the politicians
    \”Fight the studios, not the politicians\”

    NO! Fight the politicians who should not be governing us in the first place!

  24. A Pink Giraffe
    Asked about bill’s 40,000 opponents on Facebook, this was the response of senator Marjory LeBreton:

    Honourable senators, I have been asked about Facebook before. I never look at Facebook because I do not understand the technology. I think the concept is dangerous.

    There’s your pink giraffe.

  25. Fehr
    So I just finished copying my collection of 500 dvds to my computer. Now I am facing a $10 Million dollar fine when this bill passes. Sounds reasonable, right? It seems like they are punishing the people who purchase copyrighted material more then those who download it for free. Guess I will be spending more time outside in the coming years.

  26. Will be spending more time outside
    Will be spending more time outside of Canada, definitely.

  27. Bill is a Complete Sellout!
    I have written my (CPC) MP and Prentice/PM on this many times. After Prentice sent out his fluffy e-mail at the same time as bill introduction in the House, I again wrote to them with specific examples of the sell-out.

    This draft legislation totally ignores user rights (let alone “forgets” to define them) and is, in my mind, the final straw for me wrt supporting the CPC anymore. NDP, Liberals, I’ll vote for you if you take down the CPC on this bill!

    (signed) a senior scr*wed by the CPC:
    - by breaking faith on Income Trusts,
    - by a CPC (Stock Day) disavowing any responsibility (or interest) in addressing the incredibly lie-ridden Vancouver Airport Taser Murder incident,
    - by the CPC “doing an ostrich” rather than protecting Canadians from Traffic Shaping (a.k.a. assault on net neutrality),
    - by the CPC doing another ostrich by ignoring the assault on free speech of all Canadians by the kangaroos at the “Human Rights Tribunals”,
    - by the CPC being embarassed/forced by the NDP to consider a Travellers Bill of Rights.

    And so on. Folks, this (the CPC) isn’t a party or government that gives a damn about ordinary Canadians. To the contrary, it seems to go out of its way to sell us out, or completely ignore our needs!

    Get on to your MP by phone, e-mail or in person, and tell them just how you think, and what you want them to do about them. Maybe then the CPC will smarten up! I not, bring on the next election real quick!

  28. Each of us standing up isn’t enough. Al
    Not happy with the new proposed copyright laws?
    Written a letter, but been brushed off?
    Not willing to write a letter, for fear of being brushed off?
    Turn their dismissal into our strength;

    you and i both know that writing anyone a letter, results in being brushed off with a ‘canned’ response. even thousands of letters simply result in thousands of brush-offs, and with people shrugging assuming that they’ve done their part. i want to use our individual weakness and turn it into a collective strength.

    a friend of mine is in the process of building a satirical website where he and friends ‘arrest’ people for having ipods with infringing material on them.. he has agreed to use the site to collect and display all the letters and canned responses, genuine responses etc.. with the intent that when all these concerned people have a means of showing how their views and concerns arent taken seriously, and how little care the goverment has for the policy of ‘transparency’ that they trumpet as so integral to their reign; then the powers of the opposition will have something to use, some proof of the fact that government doesn’t really have the best interest of common citizens at heart, and that the Conservatives claim one thing, while acting in another way.. To quote Lucky Number Slevin (because i’m sure it wont be long before i can’t do that either), it’s a Kansas City Shuffle. And I for one wont stand for it.

    I’m proposing a challenge. email the party offices, via their websites:
    [ link ] – select contact, or email info@liberal.ca
    [ link ]
    [ link ]
    [ link ]
    [ link ]

    keep them polite, keep them professional. then post your original letters to this board, and add in the responses you get when they reply.

    Pt. 2; Similar and yet oh so important. Now email the heads of the parties directly.

    Stephen Harper
    Harper.S@parl.gc.ca

    Jack Layton
    Layton.J@parl.gc.ca

    Stephane Dion
    DionS@parl.gc.ca

    Gilles Duceppe
    Duceppe.G@parl.gc.ca

    Elizabeth May
    Leader@greenparty.ca

    Again, keep them polite. Keep them professional. Make clear in a non threatening way that you intend to post your letters and their responses to every available public forum covering the topic.

    Let’s see how many responses are ‘canned’ versus genuine.

    Let’s see how long it takes until they realise they cannot placate a determined public with empty words lacking conviction.

    Make them accountable for their answers not to each of us, but to ALL of us.

    And Lastly; spread the word that this course of action must be taken. it’s how to truly unify ourselves. Invite all that you can to this FaceBook group (It’s Frightening; the things that go on in the world, these days).
    Copy and paste this challenge and the accompanying email directory to any and every appropriate public space on the web. Print out fliers and disperse them around your town, city or community if you like. The goal is to spread this challenge and reach all those who share our concerns for rights as citizens of a free and soveign nation as far and as quickly as possible, whether or not they live in the same places, traverse the same circles of friends, frequent the same social networks and forums, discussion boards, or information hubs on the web. We all have the same rights, and as such, we all have the same responsibility to fight to preserve them, for us, and the people next to us. Have your voice heard, lest it be forgotten or ignored.

  29. bstewart23 says:

    Interesting Catch-22
    The new law, if passed, will pose an interesting problem for media conglomerates like Alliance/The Movie Network. Alliance makes copy-protected content and will therefore like to see prosecutions. The Movie Network circumvents copy protection in order to rip their fully-licensed movies to their servers (and will be breaking the law to do so).

    Ooops.

  30. Mad As Hell says:

    The Day the Music Died
    “The Day the Music Died”. July 4th, 2008.

    Granting consumers a right that can be revoked by the industry using digital locks is no right at all. But when our government grants the industry such revocation privileges, not only with impunity, but also with the weight of their full legislative support through hefty fines IN THE SAME BILL, it goes beyond the question of right, and becomes a blatant insult to consumers everywhere.

    Conscientious objectors to the DMCA should declare a boycott campaign against the recording industry. Voice your dissent with your wallet. Call it your “monetary lock”.

    “The Day the Music Died”. July 4th, 2008.

    Stop buying anything associated with the recording industry, from files, CDs, and DVDs, to MP3 players, stereos, DVD machines, computers, etc…. until the government passes legislation that makes it illegal for the recording industry to revoke consumer rights to copy, transfer, and re-format for personal and educational use, through the use of “locking devices” on their products, be it software or hardware.

    There is absolutely nothing the recording industry has to offer that we can’t do without!! Nothing!

    “The Day the Music Died”. July 4th, 2008.

    Write it on cards, and drop them off at music stores and electronics stores, in lieu of purchases. Send a postcard to your MP, and include the item you refuse to buy until they offer a copyright policy that’s fair to consumers, one item per card. Postage is free. Write it on a t-shirt and wear it on the day. Send postcards to the RIAA, signed “courtesy of anti-DMCA Canadian consumers”, postmarked July 4th, etc., etc., etc…

    And all those CDs and DVDs you’ve wanted to get rid of, now is the time. Drop them at your MP’s door, July 4th with a big note saying, “Happy DMCA! I don’t own these. Apparently, the copyright holder does.” But before you do, scratch them – the poor man’s “digital lock”. You don’t want to be accused of illegal distribution.

    If the MP accuses you of illegal dumping, tell them it’s not garbage because the intellectual property therein remains intact. They just can’t access it. But it’s not garbage. You’re just leaving it with them to make it easier for the gov’t to protect the copyright holders’ IP.

    “The Day the Music Died”. July 4th, 2008.

    Pass it on.

  31. CanadianAlien says:

    Thanks for work and action plan
    Thanks Mr. Geist for your work on this issue!

    Increasingly I have been transforming all of my information, ideas, memories, experiences into digital equivalents in the format of scanned documents, photos, videos and audio.

    I do this for many reasons. The first is to reduce paper to digital content:

    - I receive a birthday card which I scan and save. I throw the original away.

    - I scan all documents and throw originals away (with exceptions where required).

    I also want to ‘extend’ my memory by enhancing it with photos, video or audio:

    - When I go to museum or art gallery, etc I often take photographs so I can recall them better later, or show to someone.

    - I often photograph book covers or passages in magazines or books to be able to recall them later.

    - Of course, as a tourist I take photographs.

    In the future, with miniaturization and increasing capabilities, technology will allow us to do these things surreptitiously and continuously. The concept of a ‘life log’ where you in essence record all daily experiences in digital format is not new, and will be an optional reality in near future.

    Transferring the things we see, hear and experience to digital format is simply an extension of our natural memories.

    It is not just the right to use your own material that we are dealing with here. It is the right to use your daily experiences! That is what makes this issue so very important.

  32. CanadianAlien says:

    Legislation is predicated on business mo
    What also makes this legislation and its predecessors so frustrating are that they are predicated on status quo business models, and they prescribe technology dependent solutions.

    Kevin Kelly in his ‘The Technium’ blog describes how the creator can decrease dependence on payment for use of copyrighted material by creating ‘generative value’. This requires the business model to change so that payment is generated through that additional ‘ generative value’ (Interpretation, Authenticity, Accessibility, Embodiment, Patronage, Findability).

    [ link ]

    Prescribing that legislation rely on specific technology is also incredibly limiting, and ultimately will prove to be self-defeating. As a concept, Digital Rights Management (DRM) may have future meaning, but the way it is defined in the legislation does not. The DRM that is proposed depends on current technological processes which is extremely likely to be superseded. Further, the legislation, because it so dependent on current technology and is therefore so specific, has a huge number of potential issues which many comments above raise in terms of its applications.

    If the business entities and their proxies could stop protecting the status quo and dependence on current technology, the path forward would be much easier, fruitful, and more profitable.

  33. THE END OF CONSERVATISM IN CAN says:

    NO MORE TORIES IN CANADA
    I willl say it again

    There going to get it
    There going to get it

    And they know it

  34. Kris MacMillan says:

    Canadian DMCA
    I’m still working on the letter that I am planning to send to my MP (and I encourage you to all do the same) but this is the one that I plan to send to the Conservatives (Jim Prentice, the Prime Minister, and the Conservative Party):

    Dear Sir,

    I resent your government’s pandering to American and lobbyist interests over those of your own citizens. I am shocked and appalled at the intrusion and breach of consumer privacy and freedom that bill C-61 promises. It is a betrayal of the freedoms that Canadians have come to enjoy by their very own government. As Scott Brison recently noted it has the potential to make Canada into a cyber police state.

    What happened to your promise of fair, transparent and accountable government? This bill does certainly not reflect that. There has been none of the promised consumer consultation on this issue that I can see. Sneaking around making closed-door deals as in the case of the upcoming Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) certainly does not help either.

    Digital Rights Management (DRM) is not a fair solution and serves to unreasonably restrict what consumers can do with their media. Forcing consumers to abide with laws that enforce these unfair DRM restrictions is also unreasonable. In many cases the DRM not only does not serve to actually prevent copyright infringement but instead it frustrates customers who have legally purchased the media and burdens them with finding ways in which they can properly enjoy their content. Because of this it has proven to be extremely unpopular with consumers. In some instances it also can damage equipment and render it unworkable or corrupt the software of a computer where the content was played. In recognition of these DRM faults many industry-leading organizations and retailers involved in digital distribution such as Apple Inc, Amazon.com, Napster.com, the CBC, Aeroplan, Warner Music, EMI Music group, Sony BMG, Universal, Microsoft have introduced DRM-free products. They have acknowledged consumer demand in a way that this bill does not.

    Internet use and use of digital media is dramatically rising especially among younger people (as a recent article in the Toronto Star attests: [ link ]). Legal digital distribution of non-copyrighted works is being more and more popular. This bill has the potential to drastically limit the freedom of what Canadians can do with the media that they have purchased.

    Common and everyday activities that would be made illegal by this bill (or potentially affected) include:

    - unlocking a cell phone so that a subscriber is not subject to what cell service providers’ think they should do with their phone (which usually includes restricting them to their networks for everything and charging them highway-robbery rates to do so).
    - taking legally purchased music CDs or video DVDs and converting them to a different format so that they can be played on a digital device such as an iPod. (for instance most music CDs although perhaps not having DRM do have a “copyright” bit set on them. Overriding this could be seen as a breach of the new proposed laws). The existing exceptions of bill C-61 are not enough.
    - playing a non-region-1 video DVD in a region unlocked DVD player
    - Playing a video DVD or a music CD or converting it to a format that can be played or on a computer with an operating system that may not support playback of proprietary DRM (AKA the so-called “digital locks”) such as Linux or Mac OSX. (A case of “Fair Dealing”). In any case it should not be the consumer’s job to have to break this DRM because it does not work on their operating system platform of choice
    - Copying a music or video disc for the purpose of having a backup copy (another case of “Fair Dealing”). This is especially needed for optical media because it is so easily scratched and damaged. Expecting consumers to pay over again for a new copy is outrageous and unrealistic.
    - Uploading a legal parody of a copyrighted work on video sharing website such as Youtube

    Are you seeking to criminalize every teenager in the country?

    While traditionally not very politically active or present at the polls I can imagine this issue polarizing young people and spurring them to action. Do you really want them mobilized against you in a coming general election? This bill will alienate an entire legion of voters and many of your supporters.

    John Godfrey, the MP for my riding of Don Vallery West, is retiring from politics as of July 2008. This means that a by-election will likely be announced within the next six months. If this bill passes not only will I not vote Conservative in any future election but I will encourage everyone I can to also not vote Conservative and will actively campaign and promote other candidates running against any Conservative candidate. I will also do everything that I can do encourage the opposition parties to vote against matters of confidence and bring down your minority government.

    The market and Canadian consumers should dictate how the media content industry progresses, not failing content producers stubbornly holding on to old and archaic business models in the face of unprecedented demand for digital media and electronic distribution. The genie cannot be put back into the bottle. This is 2008 not 1993 and times have changed. Trying to impose and enforce the status quo of 15 years ago is not realistic and will not work. This is an issue of consumer freedom and ought to be about that above and beyond any other concern. I quote from the recent blog of prominent legal expert and consumer activist Michael Geist:

    “I note that in 2004, the Supreme Court of Canada issued a landmark copyright decision in a battle between the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Ontario legal bar association, and CCH Canadian, a leading legal publisher. The court was faced with a dispute over an old technology – photocopying in a law library – and in a unanimous decision it ruled that the underlying purpose of copyright law is to serve the public interest. That interest, reasoned Chief Justice Beverly McLachlin, is best served by balancing both user rights and creator rights.” (the full transcript of Michael’s comments are available at [ link ])

    Instead of embracing change and acting according to market forces content industry lobbyists (and US government representatives) are attempting to pressure your government with a legislative wish list that you seem all too eager to accommodate at the expense of consumers. This is not realistic or enforceable in a world where the use of digital media and telecommunication is so prevalent. Allowing media companies to spy on consumers in violation of every search, privacy and wiretapping law is reprehensible as is forcing internet service providers to manage the burden of monitoring and reporting their own customers. As the case of the American DCMA has proven, content producers suing their customers would be an unsustainable and damaging abuse of an already strained legal system. As well as criminalizing many who cannot interpret all of the legal nuances of a broad and confusing law you would be imposing an unreasonable legal burden on those ill-equipped to defend themselves. Are you willing to bankrupt Canadian consumers with undue fines and expensive legal trials in the name of so-called justice?

    Contrary to Minister Jim Prentice’s assertion, this is not a “Made in Canada” solution… as I see it this is an adoption of the American DCMA with harsher penalties, broader scope, and vague, short-sighted and invalid exceptions. These new rules will stifle competition in the media industry and act to suppress the innovation the development of new technology. This in turn will make us less competitive with other countries who are embracing the new markets created by digital distribution instead of acting to suppress them.

    As someone who takes pride in learning and working with cutting edge technology I consider myself to be well informed of technology and of the issues surrounding its use. I happen to work in IT for a company that does retail media distribution. In fact they are one of the largest retail media distribution companies in Canada. Unlike some others they are aggressively pursuing new media and digital forms of media distribution as well as traditional distribution.

    There may be a need for new copyright laws but bill C-61 is certainly not the answer. It almost completely ignores the rights of consumers while handing the content producers and lobbyists a veritable wish-list of unfair rules. We need a real “made in Canada” copyright solution that works for everyone and is fair to all sides. We need real leadership and proper fair copyright legislation not a copy of a faulty draconian American law. We need a law that respects the rights of content producers but one that give Canadian consumers the right to freely to convert their legally purchased media into different formats and make backup copies as long as it for their own personal use only. I encourage and implore you to make this happen.

    A proud eighth generation Canadian,

    Kris MacMillan

  35. A list of things
    The list of ‘what’s wrong’ is far reaching. Take the PC. Apple took the idea of the GUI from Xerox, Microsoft from Apple, Linux from both (?). You could break down every aspect of the PC and find copyright infringements and that’s not including the OS. In fact, as to any list, it would probably as infinite as the universe itself.

    Let’s take a wedding ceremony; a couple of ‘violations’ here. The music, be it live or via D.J., for each and every song played, there must be a performance license (excluding original material)–30, 40, 50 songs you can add to the bill. Pictures of uncle SixPack, dancing, but wait, there’s a Coke a Cola sign in the picture; oops, can’t share that one. You can see where this is going. Extreme, perhaps, but still very plausible if this legislation does become in to law.

  36. Beyond The Hysteria
    Beyond the hysteria, we have to stand back and look at the plausibility of all this.

    I believe that what they are doing is simply a testing of the waters, to see how much outrage would arise. They want to know if they can get away with it; that’s all. The truth is that, in potential, they run the riks of destroying millions of individual consumers, aswell as hundreds of companies. What do you think the massive corporations would have to say about this? What do you think artists would say when their music stopped reaching the same broad audience? And beyond that, record companies would suffer so greatly that it would not be a viable solution. The legislation, if passed in its fatally flawed form, would be nullified, changed, or altered to suit the NEEDS of the free market. The consumer dictates the market, NOT the corporations. Historically, and there are thousands of examples of this, you’ll have company cheap out on some aspect of a product, or try to cut corners at consumer expense thru any number of avenues. The result of this is quite often that consumer backlash weighs against the company’s profit.

    Watch, this will create more fierce competition between copyright holder/corporation/company because some will see (and have already seen; ie Sony with the rootkit fiasco) that they cannot fight it, and will therefore go along with the current consumer culture and provide fair options; therefore, NO digital locks. This way, they will more effectively compete against rival labels/distributors.

    Can you imagine the artist protest? Even the mainstream would be utterly horrified that their users cannot put their content onto their iPods.

    This will not be a problem for Canadians, I don’t believe. What will happen is that the legislation will see further review, and all fatal flaws will be amended in order to protect consumers aswell as corporations.

    Also note that no one can pay these ridiculous fines, not even $1,500 in many cases. The notion is proposterous that anyone could afford hundreds of thousands of dollars. What would happen is quite simple; as in most any court case to do with piracy, the offending “consumer” pays something like $2,000 as a settlement: these things are nothing more than numbers, in my opinion.

    The core question is; what will the market bear? The market will adjust this problem fast, if it ever becomes a real problem in the first place. No one, I repeat, NO ONE will pay for 3 copies of something. And NO ONE will insert a CD into their computer when they want to listen to it, because we’re used to shuffling and that total convenience – it will never change.

    In this market, you either adapt, or you fade away. If the Government doesn’t realize this, the corporations who offer these products will. They already have; since albums have clearly FAILED commercially, in part, because of the issue. The law will change and then what you’ll have is a situation where all rudimentary lock software will be weeded out for us by distributors.

    One thing I do wonder about is, if this does come into law, can they charge and convict you without the legal capacity to actually physically search your computer/player/external device? If not, then its entirely irrelevent because they are giving police no ability to enforce the law. Further, the police themselves simply do not have the time to enforce something like this. They are always saying how they are understaffed, weighed down with paperwork, etc etc. Do you think they have time for this? Absolutely not.

    If it is effective somehow, and they do have a high rate of conviction and or charges, you will see some pretty clogged court rooms. Our legal system, as already pointed out by another person in this comments section – is already bogged down as it is.

    It gives me a headache to think about this. Not only am I outraged at the notion, not only am I insulted and feeling threatened, but, I am feeling utterly BETRAYED by the lost art of common sense!

    The bill is flawed, I look forward to seeing it altered. This happens all the time, folks.

    Now, let’s just hope we can all sleep at night knowing that I’m correct.

  37. altered bill is NOT the solutions
    dear Bugbear

    i am quiet sure that the bill is NOT intended to pass in its current form; they simplly want to scare US badlly so we accept a \”compromise\” wich in fact is exactlly what they fully wanted in the first place!

    as long as someone does not re-distribute any \”intellectual property\” that os not his there is NO NEED FOR ANY OF THIS NON-SENSE. and the 1776 fbi copyright already deals with that properlly! PRIVATE USE can not , and will not be restricted, IN ANY FORM, no matter what \”form\” you trying to sell me!

    people please do not forget the main issues here, do not fall in their manipulations please. stay focused.

  38. Any MP that even considers this bill should look at the kind of corporate bulling this opens people up to.

    recordingindustryvspeople.blogspot.com/

  39. MPs home?
    When exactly will the MPs be coming home?

  40. Jeff Cliff says:

    facebook *gag*
    R. Bassett Jr: that makes at least two of us. I feel so dirty.

  41. Peter St. Amour says:

    Is Web Pager proxy alteration a violatio
    This may seem to be a trivial item with respect to all of the heated discussion going on but I thought it would be worth mentioning.

    Internet access, and I refer here to the web access for my example, is unlike any human mass media interface ever devised in history so far. Unlike say it’s predecssor television, it now allows us far more user control than we have ever had at any time in mass human discourse.

    So on to my example and the implications.

    On my computer for web access I use a local web proxy server. I do this because I do not want to be plagued by countless pop ups, bizarre animations, and most of all the ads. With the proxy operating, I can roam around most web sites with out ever seeing a eye annoying flashing banner, weird side panels with brilliant colours, and all sort of other wasted space features that mostly use up your time if you just happen to start reading them.

    What I am concerned about with the use of my web proxy, and yes this may seem far fetched but given the nature of the proposed act I have to ask this, is that when I am potentially unlocking someone’s copyrighted web page to alter and do with it as I see fit, am I violating what every section, clause, so and so of this proposed act?
    Certain unmentioned Cable ISP companies are doing this now.

    If it is so, that by altering a web page in anyway on its way to the point of delivery consitutes a violation of whatever section of copyright changes proposed in this new act, then we as Canadians, are headed down a long dark road where we will loose all our freedoms with respect to this new form of mass human communication.

  42. This post is Copyright © 2008 fedge, under exclusive license to Michael Geist. By reading this post, you agree to abide by all copyright laws associated with it. You may not copy this post in any way at all. If you do, please forward the $500 penalty to me directly for each infringement. Thank you.

    PS: bstewart23: When someone like TMN or any broadcaster licenses a program, they receive a high quality dub or sub-master. There is no DRM on that.

  43. I know this has been asked before but does C-61 effectively kill the blank media levy? I mean – they want C-61 **AND** the blank media levy?!?

  44. Compromise
    I don’t want to compromise either, but I cannot handle the notion that I will no longer be able to use an MP3 player for my music, unless the distributor says otherwise.

    By the way,

    When a CD case says “unauthorized copying is prohibited by law”, who are they kidding? It’s obviously not because the law as it stands does not say that. In fact it sounds like it’s sort of been one of those things that isn’t legal or illegal, right? And now they want to officially legalize it, but then let distributors hold the power.

    But once again I must pose this question: how, if it is illegal to come into your home and search your MP3 player, are they going to know that you have imported it? How is this not creating a headache for police departments who are already taxed?

  45. Bill C51
    @ Bugbear

    “if it is illegal to come into your home and search your MP3 player”

    - Enter private property without a warrant
    Section 23 (4)
    - Confiscate your property at their discretion, at your cost
    Section 23.3 a
    - Dispose of your property at their discretion, at your cost
    Section 23.3 c
    - Seize your bank accounts without a warrant
    Section 23 (2) (d)
    - Charge you for shipping and storage of your property
    Section 23.3a-b
    - Store your property Indefinitely without paying you for damages
    Section 23 (2) (d)
    - Levy fines of up to $5,000,000.00 / 2 years in jail per offence.
    Section 31.1

    [ link ]

    I suggest anyone concerned about this also look at bill C51. Copyright isn’t the only thing the cons are trying to slip under our noses.

  46. GUILTY
    also i ferget the bill but it was a recent conservative one that also increased the time you get for not paying a fine

    excess copyright website shows a pledge from the conservatives.
    they lied
    private non commerical use is all but gone here.
    guess what hollywood , i aint buying it

    also public domain movies that may have ONLY dvd rips left are now subject to 20000 fine in canada
    1930 marx brothers dvdrip is now a federal offense ( fine )
    20000 for having it in a anti circumvented form
    20000 for ripping it back to dvdr
    500$ for downloading it because it circumvents TPM
    total 40,500
    time in jail maximum 4050 days.
    practically 12 years

    heres a question
    where do conservatives blog
    where do conservatives hang out
    where do conservatives chat

    go there tell them there
    they do not come here except if they know they can lie cheat and FUD you

    i will turn myself in when this becomes law and file for a section 12 charter violation
    CRUEL AND UNUSUAL PUNISHMENT

  47. Harper .. this one is wrong
    Mr. Harper and his Government obviously feels compelled to introduce new legislation. There are sufficient arguments that suggest that some improvements could be made to protect copyright owners from blatant copying and mass distribution – pirating.
    However, DRM needs to be eliminated – it does not have ANY positive value, because the lawyers for the media companies will find a way to use DRM to violate any fair use. The legislation should be based on the principles of fair use only and the acid test should be that fair use benefits the needs of the general public. Music, film and similar industry lobbyists should be heard, but their views should be balanced with the views of ALL Canadians. A hint could be – where are the protest sites demanding DRM. In most political issues, one can find a balance of views between the two sides amongst all Canadians. In this issue, there is an infinitesimally small band of industry executives and the media companies (Financial Post etc) who support the legislation versus tens of millions of Canadians.

    Terrence Corcoran, Financial Post, and other media companies. When you publish your articles supporting American DRM law, and slamming the critics, disclose to the Canadian readers that you are content owners and that your views are heavily biassed towards your corporate interests. You are not acting as journalists on this topic and your failure to disclose those facts prove that your professional integrity is corrupt. What does this say about your reporting on other subjects.

    Finally, to the leaders of the other political parties – be very careful about what you say about this topic. The liberals lost Bulte’s riding over their support of C60, based on American DRM legislation. Their followup legislation that wasn’t much better than this died when the Liberals lost the election.

    Government Bureaucrats pen the legislation on behalf of the ruling party and the Ministers. We see that Corporations in the music industry will go as far as assigning executives to seduce senior government bureaucrats (per questionable behaviour of Mr. Frith – President of Canadian Motion Picture Association and the previous Director General of Copyright Policy Branch at Canadian Heritage) in order to influence the writing of legislation.

    The point is that while Canadians individually elect government, Corporations, with their political influence through political fundraising and lobby efforts control the government. The Canadians who are responding in anger over this deeply flawed legislation need to maintain their resolve because it will be an uphill battle.

  48. Balance?
    When you have to pay 20,000 dollars or going to prison for innocent activities such as bypassing the region lock of legally purchased DVDs in order to enjoy your native country culture or copying your 4 years daughter’s favorite cartoon so that the original won’t be destroyed in a fact of days something is very wrong. In a civil country shouldn’t it be any punishment proportionate with the offence? Who in their right mind would call this “balance”?

  49. section 12 says:

    section 12
    that could be a charter violation bud
    section 12 of the charter states that

    NO ONE has to be party to cruel and unusual punishment

  50. DUMP IT ON THE HILL says:

    non violent action
    oh and 16000 new members after 2 days
    they dont seem to listen

    who would donate to pay a fine for littering?
    we could dump a hlaf million vhs tapes and cdrs
    on parliament hill

  51. ewwww
    and whats that awful taste last two days in peterborough water
    EWWWWWWWWW
    tastes like a conservative party gathering

  52. re: ewww
    The idiots here (such as above) that are turning it into some kind of partisan bulls**t stance need to check their backwards concepts of politics at the door. This is NOT about Tories v. Liberals, this is about Canadian citizens v. Big Media, and the way the government is set-up right now puts the Tories in the corner of BM, and the Liberals et. al in the corner w/ Canadian citizens. I’m not going to pretend for a minute that the Libs wouldn’t have come up with a similarly insane bill if they were in power right now rather than the Tories. They might not have been as effective in controlling the government line and distilling a clear doublespeak message but the intent of a bill they’d put forward on this would have been likely about the same.
    No matter what your political leanings are, you’ve got to choke down any animosity you have towards the current (weak) opposition and make sure they stand up for the nation in the face of this horrendous bill. I did, and surely even the other stalwarts from out West can choke down years of ingrained Liberal hatred and let them know that they will have gained some new level of respect from the citizenry for defending us from this bill. Write them and tell them that they are the only thing standing between our current rights and the desires of Big Media corporations to strip them away. Then, if you want to go back to the old ways of hating this party or that because of their name then that’s fine, but this isn’t the time for partisan hackery.

    Canada commits to sign International Copyright Treaty – 1997 (jump started by Copps and Manley…Liberals)
    [ link ]

  53. Jimmy is right
    I totally agree with Jimmy. Politics is a dirty job. The actual goverment are in bed right now with Big Media. In order to fight for our rights lets go and get dirty and sleep with libearls, new democrats, greeens or whoever is going to save us from such an anti consumers law. Choose the lesser of two evils. Right now we know who the evils are.

  54. bstewart23 says:

    DRM and The Movie Network
    @ fedge: “When someone like TMN or any broadcaster licenses a program, they receive a high quality dub or sub-master. There is no DRM on that.”

    Yes, you are correct, for major studios and a big network like TMN. Smaller networks and smaller movies properly license the content but nonetheless encode to their servers using locked, commercial DVDs. I know. I work for one of them. And, under this bill, I will be a criminal.

  55. NEO CONS SUCK says:

    PROGRESSIVE COMMUNISTY PARTY OF CANADA
    to the noob who thinks i care about politicians
    you can just get bent
    hence why i suggested someone donating some cash and we’ll rent a truck get some vhs tapes and cdrs and dump them on parliament hill and then they can look at that every day untl the week it takes to clean it up.

    THEY MADE THE MESS LET EM GET DIRTY AND CLEAN IT UP.
    AND why not bash the ignorant party whom brought this bill out
    sounds like a few CON-servatives have arrived
    took you yo-yo’s long enough
    now what ya gonna do say oh this bill is great
    public domain movies i aint going to life in prison for not paying fines
    am i too get my welfare check garnished 26 $ for the rest of my life
    am i too be discriminated against
    punished cruelly and unusally harsh
    AM I IS IT MY FAULT or the PC PARTY

  56. guess the noob above doesnt ge says:

    EWWWWW i hate hollywooders
    ALSO lets be sure that is why we cant trust them any more and i say that if this is the state of the union we need ot get rid of the lot and get a little mroe active then whining about it.

    next up your health care
    lets get totally rid a disability pensions and welfare let the f’s starve , while we pretend to look good sending aid to other countries.

    YES also lets just let the USA buy alberta and the east coast
    shove quebec out into the sea and be done with it.

    My canada has no americans running it.
    It diversifies into a much larger more profitable chinese market and russian market
    HECK even europe will be a better diversification then the USA.
    WHEN WE STOP RELYING ON THEM THEN WE CAN BE FREE.

    the 1st shots now in the canadian copyright civil war are fired. ARE YOU A TRIATOR?

  57. Maniacs
    For anyone who can’t quite fathom the level of maniacal sociopaths we’re dealing with, here’s an example on the consumerist:
    [ link ]

    Do we want this coming to Canada?

  58. Gross misconduct – fire the government?
    South of the border, they are trying to impeach Bush now. Are there any mechanisms that allow Canadians to initiate a procedure to get rid of the government for such gross misconduct? Because treason is clearly here.

  59. Gross misconduct – fire the government?
    South of the border, they are trying to impeach Bush now. Are there any mechanisms that allow Canadians to initiate a procedure to get rid of the government for such gross misconduct? Because treason is clearly here.

  60. Hitler had ideas. Were they f says:

    IP crime is not victimless
    Just like physical property, Intellectual Property costs real money to build. Creators, companies and investors spend real money building the software, games, movies and information that we all enjoy. If you steal electronically, that is no different than stealing in the physical world. Don’t think the investment in IP is real or worthwhile? Ask the founders of Google to release their secret search algorithms for free so that we all can start competing search engines.

    Copyright is worth over $400 billion annually to North America. That is over a third of the entire Canadian economy. So yes, IP should and will be upheld by our governments. Get used to copyright laws Canada. Your economy and society depends on it.

  61. You’re missing the point
    Hitler had ideas: You’re missing the point. The proposed legislation is so severe that it turns a consumer into a criminal merely for bypassing the region coding on a DVD player to play a commercial DVD from Europe here in Canada. It would also turn consumers into criminals if they use a PVR to record a TV show broadcast on a digital channel which has the copy protection flag enabled. And it will become illegal to copy a DVD to an iPod, since that would require circumventing digital encryption.

    In short: The law will restrict our ability to use legally acquired digital media. To use an imperfect analogy, it’s a bit like purchasing a hardcover version of a book and being told that it’s licensed for use only in the living room, and that you’ll have to buy a second softcover copy if you wish to read it in bed.

    The law should be amended to allow circumvention of digital restrictions when it does not result in copyright infringement and is for the sole purpose of exercising a consumer’s fair dealing rights.

  62. Anonymous says:

    Seems that Associated Press is getting fickle about who is “clipping” and using their content. [ link ]

  63. TO Written by Hitler had ideas.

    at least you gave yourself an appropriate name for a right wing conservative that believes what he/she MIGHT have created should keeping you and your familly getting more and more richer becouse there could be enough idiots out there to buy in your rubish argument.

    there is no such thing as “intelectuall property” unless you know secrets that you want to keep in order to have the world at your feet as microsoft is trying to do.

    if you create something intelectual by definition you do it for GOOD and for better; while you should get modest financial retributions and especially “respect” there is no way any of your invention will give you any RIGHT upon me DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY. you can TRY, it is your right, but that in exchange gives me the right to put you down as well…

  64. the little consumer
    400 billion injection into the economy from copyright medias. wow i never knew they were worth so much (rolls eyes. jks), and i never knew that my canadian government was so dependent on these medias to make or break the economy or influx cash into the system…i\’m being sarcastic by the way. i understand how important creating/copyright is being an artist and also how much my city government depends on hollywood types to come to toronto/ontario/bc/alberts/quebec etc… to shoot their medias here. i\’m not going to argue for artists in this topic because i am a consumer foremost (i buy food and water so i can live…and in the meanwhile i\’m a part of a cycle)and as a consumer i just feel that this proposal needs to be relooked at, rewritten, needs to consulte with the canadian public etc…i never knew that i had such little rights as a consumer, considering that if it\’s money/recognisition of ownership/use these creative types/the big companies want…well as a non downloader i don\’t do many of the things that i used to prior to the millenia that would give my support to those people. i don\’t appreciate buying a dvd that doesn\’t work on my computer/vcr dvd player because of certain locks, and i don\’t appreciate bills like this that look to restrict my rights as a consumer.

    i can\’t wait to see the rcmp bust into someone\’s house with no search warrant. let\’s go idiot cpc. and like the other people said. this isn\’t a liberal cpc who\’s better jocking. i think the liberals would also be capable of bringing up a dumb bill like this and the same opposition there is currently would also apply. i don\’t think that they should assume that the consumer public will not recognise when we\’re being given the slip.

  65. bstewart23, no self respecting broadcaster sources DVDs for their programming. If you’ve licensed a movie, then you should get a sub-master or dub in the format your station uses. There’s no need to use a DVD other than cheapness.

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