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Canadian Government Has Consulted on Copyright but Won't Consider How Its Law Will Be Enforced

The government imposed time allocation yesterday on Bill C-11, a move that will wrap up second reading debate on the copyright reform bill on Friday and send it to the Bill C-11 committee soon thereafter. While the government's overuse of time allocation is certainly a concern, the debate is not over and several well coordinated tweets of support hardly mask the huge public concern with the bill's digital lock rules and proposed SOPA-style amendments proposed by several copyright lobby groups that has generated tens of thousands of emails to MPs in recent days. As described further below, the opposition stems from rules that will have an impact on the legitimate activities of millions, creating barriers to creators, students, journalists, researchers, and the visually impaired.

During yesterday's debate, several Conservative MPs emphasized that the copyright bill is one of the most consulted pieces of legislation in recent memory.  For example, Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore stated "this is my 12th year as a member of Parliament and I can tell her that except for the Liberal government's Bill C-2, the response to 9/11, this legislation will have had more consideration at a stand-alone legislative committee and parliamentary and public consideration with all of the tens of thousands of submissions we received from Canadians in person and in writing and the consultations we did across the country before we drafted the bill."

The government is right when it says there has been wide consultation (a recap of the 2009 copyright consultation here). The question is whether it has taken the public comments into account and conducted a full analysis of the implications of its current proposal. There is reason to believe that it has not.


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Global News on C-11 and SOPA

I participated in a Global News question and answer feature together with Howard Knopf on Bill C-11 and how it will affect Canadians.
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Bill C-11 has Disgruntled Canadians Taking Action

Yahoo's The Right Click reports on the mounting protests from Canadians against the prospect of adding SOPA-style amendments to Bill C-11.
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