this week on the behind-the-scenes demands to make Bill C-11, the
current copyright bill, more like SOPA has attracted considerable
attention with mainstream (National
Presse) and online media (Mashable, Wire
covering the story. The music industry alone is seeking over a dozen
changes to the bill, including website blocking, Internet termination
for alleged repeat infringers, and an expansion of the "enabler"
provision that is supposedly designed to target pirate sites.
Meanwhile, the Entertainment Software Association of Canada also wants
an expansion of the enabler provision along with further tightening of
the already-restrictive digital lock rules.
The concern with expanding the enabler provision is that overly broad
language could create increased legal risk for legitimate websites. As
a result, new online businesses may avoid investing in Canada for fear
of potential liability or costly lawsuits. My post
cited concerns about SOPA being used to target sites like Youtube and
the danger that that could spill over into Canada. Industry lawyer
Barry Sookman responds in the National Post
article, arguing that it is "inconceivable" and "not remotely
the law could be used to shut down a mainstream site like Youtube.
Millions of Internet users certainly hope Sookman is right, yet recent experience
suggests that the content industry is open to using these kinds of
provisions in massive lawsuits against sites like Youtube. For example,
consider the ongoing Viacom lawsuit against Youtube/Google.
TagsShareWednesday January 25, 2012