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Canadian DMCA Introduction Delayed

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Monday December 10, 2007

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.  

Comments (38)add comment

Gabriel Grant said:

"The word" from whom? Hopefully someone reliable!
December 10, 2007

Dwight Williams said:

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...
December 10, 2007

Basil said:

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?
December 10, 2007

Geof said:

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.
December 10, 2007

Michael Geist said:

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.
December 10, 2007

Jot said:

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.
December 10, 2007

Reid said:

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.
December 10, 2007

Farrell J. McGovern said:

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!


December 10, 2007

Jason White said:

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...
December 10, 2007

Freshwatermermaid said:

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?
December 10, 2007

Deb Johnson said:

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!
December 10, 2007

Theo Thompson said:

"lie low until January, month of inertia and complacency?"

I would bet they are considering that approach.
December 10, 2007

Dafydd Hughes said:

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...
December 10, 2007

Mr.MikeL said:

*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.
December 10, 2007

rHanson said:

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!
December 10, 2007

Mr. R. August said:

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?
December 10, 2007

Deb Johnson said:

Submitted this story/blog to Slashdot.org and it got accepted. :) First time ever, for me, to get one accepted.
December 10, 2007

Paul Highgate said:

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.
December 10, 2007

Dark Phoenix said:

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.
December 10, 2007

Reid said:

@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.
December 10, 2007

name said:

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.
December 10, 2007

Bober said:

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


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.
December 10, 2007

Out West said:

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.
December 10, 2007

Don said:

American corporations should not be able to dictate canadian law...period! Any member of government who believes they otherwise should resign immediately.
December 10, 2007

Another Westerner said:

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.
December 10, 2007

Esteban said:

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.

December 10, 2007

Reid said:

... 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.
December 11, 2007

Paying Attention said:

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.
December 11, 2007

Frankie goes to Hollywood said:

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"...
December 11, 2007

Benoit said:

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.
December 11, 2007

realyst said:

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.
December 11, 2007

anselm said:

Is there some way to push values into the constitution or law such that these kinds of bills are less possible?
December 11, 2007

onlyforward said:


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.

December 11, 2007

Sab Bolkman said:

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.

December 11, 2007

Dale Bolton said:

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.
December 11, 2007

Mark Grealish said:

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!
December 11, 2007

Saskboy said:

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.
December 11, 2007

Great Comment said:

"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.
December 21, 2007

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