With the Industry Committee now scheduled to contact its final clause-by-clause review of Bill C-27 on Wednesday, sources in the Liberal Party advise that its MPs plan to withdraw several controversial copyright lobby-inspired amendments to the computer program and spyware provisions. Since first reported on Friday, thousands of emails and letters protesting the proposals have been sent to Industry committee MPs from all parties. Sources indicate that the Liberals will withdraw three motions actively promoted by the copyright lobby:
- a new definition of computer program that would have excluded surreptitiously installed DRM from the ambit of the bill
- an exception to a ban on the "collection of personal information through any means of telecommunication, if the collection is made by accessing a computer system or causing a computer system to be accessed without authorization" in cases related to investigations of breach of agreements or laws
- an exception for telecom providers to the requirement to obtain express consent before users install programs on their computers
While anything can be happen over the next 24 hours, the decision to withdraw the motions – in combination with the Conservatives reversal on several exceptions that watered down the bill – should mean that the Electronic Commerce Protection Act is preserved as a consumer protection bill as it gets through committee. However, the lobbying to water down the bill will no doubt continue as the bill moves to the floor of the House of Commons and then on to the Senate.