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The Behind-the-Scenes Campaign To Bring SOPA To Canada

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Monday January 23, 2012
The Internet battle against SOPA and PIPA generated huge interest in Canada with many Canadians turning their sites dark (including Blogging Tories, Project Gutenberg Canada, and CIPPIC) in support of the protest. In writing about the link between SOPA and Canada, I noted that the proposed legislation featured an aggressive jurisdictional approach that could target Canadian websites. Moreover, I argued that the same lobby groups promoting SOPA in the U.S. are behind the digital lock rules in Bill C-11.

While SOPA may be dead (for now) in the U.S., lobby groups are likely to intensify their efforts to export SOPA-like rules to other countries. With Bill C-11 back on the legislative agenda at the end of the month, Canada will be a prime target for SOPA style rules. In fact, a close review of the unpublished submissions to the Bill C-32 legislative committee reveals that several groups have laid the groundwork to add SOPA-like rules into Bill C-11, including blocking websites and expanding the "enabler provision"to target a wider range of websites. Given the reaction to SOPA in the U.S., where millions contacted their elected representatives to object to rules that threatened their Internet and digital rights, the political risks inherent in embracing SOPA-like rules are significant. [UPDATE: I have a second post that examines how the proposed changes could be used to target Youtube]

The music industry is unsurprisingly leading the way, demanding a series of changes that would make Bill C-11 look much more like SOPA.


For example, the industry wants language to similar to that found in SOPA on blocking access to websites, demanding new provisions that would "permit a court to make an order blocking a pirate site such as The Pirate Bay to protect the Canadian marketplace from foreign pirate sites." Section 102 of SOPA also envisioned blocking of websites:

A service provider shall take technically feasible and reasonable measures designed to prevent access by its subscribers located within the United States to the foreign infringing site (or portion thereof) that is subject to the order, including measures designed to prevent the domain name of the foreign infringing site (or portion thereof) from resolving to that domain name’s Internet  Protocol address. Such actions shall be taken as expeditiously as possible, but in any case within 5 days after being served with a copy of the order, or within such time as the court may order.

The music industry also wants Internet providers to be required to adopt a termination policy for subscribers that are alleged to be repeat infringers. According to the industry document:

To incent service providers to cooperate in stemming piracy by requiring them to adopt and reasonably implement a policy to prevent the use of their services by repeat infringers and by conditioning the availability of service provider exceptions on this being done.

This demand would move Canada toward the graduated response policy that could result in loss of Internet service for Internet users. There is no indication in the music industry document of due process or even proof of infringement.

Several lobby groups also want language similar to that found in the infamous Section 103 of SOPA. That provision, which spoke of sites "primarily designed or operated for the purpose of...offering goods or services in a manner that engages in, enables, or facilitates" infringement, raised fears that it could be used to shut down mainstream sites such as YouTube.

According to the music industry document, Bill C-11's "enabler provision" should be expanded to include "services that are primarily operated to enable infringement or which induce infringement." Those demands are echoed by the Entertainment Software Association of Canada, which called on the government to "amend the enabling provision to ensure that it applies to services that are "designed or operated" primarily to enable acts of infringement." Both groups also want statutory damages added to the enabler provision so that liability can run into the millions of dollars for a target website.

Just as there are questions whether SOPA is even needed in the U.S. (the takedown of Megaupload suggests that current laws are effective), the same is true with the enabler provision in Bill C-11, given that the music industry is already suing IsoHunt, the Canadian-based torrent search site, using current law. The expansion of the enabler provision to include sites that operate to enable or induce infringement could extend far beyond so-called "pirate sites", since many user generated content sites (such as YouTube) and cloud-based service sites can be said to enable or induce infringement, particularly in a country like Canada that does not have a fair use provision.

As for the government's plans, C-11 committee member Dean Del Mastro specifically referenced changes to the enabler provision in a recent interview about potential changes and there are rumours that the U.S. government is pushing the Canadian government to toughen the enabler provision (while keeping the digital lock rules unchanged). That suggests that just as the U.S. is moving away from SOPA in its own laws due to the political uprising against it, the Canadian government may be headed toward a similar quagmire as the U.S.-backed lobby groups lead it down a politically risky path.
Comments (77)add comment

Brennan said:

...
I can't believe that this issue is coming to Canada, especially considering a fair number of Canadians were aware of SOPA and PIPA (Thanks to Wikipedia). I'm fine if Megaupload and their friends go down, but what about net neutrality? Why should the entertainment industry get to rule the internet?
January 23, 2012

Anonyme said:

Not surprising.
Specially when you can recall that RIAA pawn(or was it CRIA?) calling for "mandatory license for posting content on the internet".
January 23, 2012

Devil's Advocate said:

Testing the waters?...
Given the backlash to SOPA and PIPA came from more than "just Americans", one would think that proposing any similar legislation here in Canada would be ruled out at its first discussion. Logically, such a move would make absolutely no sense, particularly from the "consumer" side.

But yet, here we are watching it approach.

I have to wonder if they're "feeling us out" on this side of the border, to see if Canadians really are more complacent in these matters, as some would say we are.

Whatever the actual reason, we should just add this to all the other actions that have proven, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the General Public is seen as having no place in our Government's agenda.
January 23, 2012

Jeff Power said:

We need a very strong Boycott of the entertainment industry
Time we took it to the source of the problem, we need to have blackout days for theaters and protests. Something like no movie weekend, where everyone is encouraged not to go to the movies for a specific weekend. We need to take our democracy back, our politicians have been paid for.
January 23, 2012

Justine D said:

New Measures...
I think what we really should do is to come up with our own style of protests and petitions against this potential bill. Since the protests in the US last Wednesday worked, then I think we all should consider doing something similar, to let the Canadian government know that us canadians are strongly opposed to a SOPA/PIPA-style bill from being passed.

Another suggestion I have is for Canadians to observe "Black March". For those who don't know what Black March is; from Thursday march 1st, to Saturday march 31, don't see any movies in the theaters, and don't buy, rent,or download any DVDs, video games, music or books.

I strongly believe that we should still allow our voices to be heard! Even though SOPA and PIPA may be dead for right now, I still think that this is far from over. The ability to say and do what we want on the internet is still at stake. However, we have the power to stop all of this. All the negative attention given to the SOPA, PIPA and even Bill C-61 back in 2008 made the governments rethink their strategies, and because of the that the same thing should be done with this new
potential law.

And also, I think we also should be aware of ACTA, and the potential threats that could be on the internet and our own freedoms.
January 23, 2012

Justine D said:

New Measures
I think what we really should do is to come up with our own style of protests and petitions against this potential bill. Since the protests in the US last Wednesday worked, then I think we all should consider doing something similar, to let the Canadian government know that us canadians are strongly opposed to a SOPA/PIPA-style bill from being passed.

Another suggestion I have is for Canadians to observe "Black March". For those who don't know what Black March is; from Thursday march 1st, to Saturday march 31, don't see any movies in the theaters, and don't buy, rent,or download any DVDs, video games, music or books.

I strongly believe that we should still allow our voices to be heard! Even though SOPA and PIPA may be dead for right now, I still think that this is far from over. The ability to say and do what we want on the internet is still at stake. However, we have the power to stop all of this. All the negative attention given to the SOPA, PIPA and even Bill C-61 back in 2008 made the governments rethink their strategies, and because of the that the same thing should be done with this new
potential law.

And also, I think we also should be aware of ACTA, and the potential threats that could be on the internet and our own freedoms.
January 23, 2012

IamME said:

...
As DA says, Canadians are generally far too complacent about such things. Unlike the blackout in the US, I think it would be less effective here unless we could get it applied on a wider scale and hit specific, large groups who actually care about this stuff enough to actually speak out. University students come to mind. Let's be honest, the "news" is a dying medium when, with the Internet, people can simply look up issues they care about and ignore everything else...and few people care about or even realize copyright is a concern these days.

We're not going to have support of Internet giants as in the US. All in all, I think we generally screwed in Canada.
January 23, 2012

Justine D said:

In response with IamME
I totally agree with you, an internet blackout in Canada would be nowhere as effective as the one in the US. We have to find other ways to speak out on the potential new law.

I think canadians should more aware the freedoms that could be taken away if no action is done.
January 23, 2012

Ki said:

...
While it's nice to fight piracy, I tend to think that most of the efforts (Digital lock rules, SOPA/PIPA style rules, removal of ISP services) is kind of ignoring the real problem, which means all these solutions miss the target. It's like trying to treat pneumonia by treating it like it's a cold.
January 23, 2012

IamME said:

@Ki
Piracy isn't the problem. Piracy is as a result of a larger issue. Digital lock rules, SOPA/PIPA style rules, removal of ISP services, etc are nothing more than placebos that won't address that issue...they will not change consumer expectations. In the mind of the content industry evolving consumer expectations is the problem. Consumers want affordable, portable media and the content industry is not prepared for that.

The genie is out of the bottle, Pandora's Box has been opened. Use whatever silly metaphor you can think of, the end result will always be that the consumer is always right. The faster the content industry adapts to this new reality, the faster real resolutions can be made.

Why has the piracy rate in the US been plummeting and not in Canada? Two words..."legal alternatives". The US has a whole host of cheap legal alternatives. Make it cheap and easy to use and people will flock to it, resulting in less piracy. In Canada we have very few legal alternatives and even less that one might consider cheap. Before you argue for Netflix, yes, while we have it here, and it is cheap, it's a completely gutted version with only a fraction of the content that is available to the US. Almost everyone I know who has subscribed to Netflix has cancelled their subscription for that very reason.
January 23, 2012

Brian said:

...
We need Google.ca etc to do a blackout and tell people to go to the openmedia petition page
January 23, 2012

Mark said:

...
The effort to stop SOPA has been international in scope.... I wonder how many other countries will even care if something like it happens here?
January 23, 2012

Napalm said:

...
I believe they should go for more than SOPA. Instead of having a blacklist lets have a whitelist. No one should be able to publish anything on internet without approval. Shut down all Canadian sites effective immediately, then bring them back, one by one, after careful review by MPAA/RIAA/CRIA. Of course, with due compensation paid for the review process. Even better, make a review process mandatory every 6 months.

What could be better? It would "create jobs" and "revenue streams"!!! wouldn't it?
January 23, 2012

Devil's Advocate said:

@Napalm:
EEK!
Don't give them any more frikkin' ideas!
:(
January 23, 2012

bob z bub said:

Perhaps ISPs could redirect the MPAA and RIAA pages to an informative site?
They control the DNS servers.
Let the content moguls have a taste of their own medicine.
January 23, 2012

Marie said:

...
Brennan asked "Why should the entertainment industry get to rule the internet?"

Excellent question!
January 23, 2012

Kirk said:

Time To Rise up
I think it is time we rise up again towards the government like we all did a few years ago when they tried to introduce bill C-61. Maybe they will get the hint again to stop messing with our rights and freedoms, the damn conservatives have done more damage to our rights than the Liberals ever did for Pete's Sakes, and I am flipping tired of it. They enact this Law, and I am getting rid of my ISP Provider and using a Hacked modem so I can do what I want still online, if I want to download a song, or a movie I will. So lets rise up so I dont need to do that and many others dont either !!!!
January 23, 2012

kruhft said:

The Pirate Bay Is Not Just For Illegal Content
I am a Canadian musician and I use The Pirate Bay to distribute all of my work under a license that allows for non-commercial redistribution. Torrents allow individual artists to handle the network load of distribution should they gain popularity without a need for the big players in the media industry. The Pirate Bay is not just about illegal content; it is a venue for all artists to distribute their work to a larger audience, if they so choose to.
January 23, 2012

Ki said:

@IamME
Oh I know. It's just that they seem to be more content to try and deal with piracy (cold) rather than try to get to the root of the problem (pneumonia) and fix that. If they keep on doing that, they are not going to actually solve the problem no matter how much money they throw at it.

The creative content industry is in for a massive shake up, and they need to adapt. This will inevitably lead to some current ones failing but that's the nature of the market. If you can't adapt to change, then you're doomed to fail because of it.
January 23, 2012

IamME said:

Change
"If you can't adapt to change, then you're doomed to fail because of it."

Can anyone say, "Kodak"?
January 23, 2012

end user said:

...
You know in the time it took them to meet the politicians, fly them to their holidays, pay their way around x 100 politicians the media companies could have set up distribution sites and sell track for $.50 and movies for $4 and watch the $$$$$$ fly in while reducing piracy.

How hard can it be for a studio to set up a site and list all of their music/movies that they have copyrights? Its not... but they don't want to and for some fucking reason they have no desire to update their business plan to fit with the times.

Long live second hand entertainment....
January 23, 2012

Ray Saintonge said:

...
The other difference from the US is the parliamentary system which minimizes the accountability of MPs. A majority government here can do whatever it damn well pleases, even with the support of only 40% of the population. US representatives on a two-year election cycle are much more responsive to a mass protest at the local level. If you complain to your local MP here the party bosses are more influential. Any protests in Canada have to be consistent with the realities of the system if they are ever to succeed. There is reasonable acceptance of all but one of C-11s provisions. Abandoning or modifying that one provision could bring them tremendous good will, yet they stubbornly hold on to it without addressing the objections.
January 23, 2012

IamME said:

@End User
"Long live second hand entertainment...."

Here, here!!! Just before Xmas, I bought something like 80 DVDs at a local store for a whopping $1 each. Lots of obscure horror and even some hard to find foreign stuff and anime. Pretty much all bundled second-hand stuff being sold off from various, now defunct, rental stores such as Blockbuster and Movie Gallery (Which shut down most of their Canadian operations). But at a buck each, I say yippee for me!!
January 23, 2012

Matthew Graybosch said:

Tell American media cartels to bugger off.
As an American who opposed SOPA and PIPA, allow me to invite the people of Canada to tell my country's media cartels to bugger off.
January 23, 2012

Concerned Citizen said:

...
Jeff Power,

Yes! Take back democracy. Don't go see any more movies until Hollywood agrees to let us keep stealing their content!

January 23, 2012

Urban Nightmare said:

Democracy
It's not about stealing their content. It's about their ability to just shut down a web site because they don't like it. If some one parodies their content, then shut it down. If you write a bad review, shut the site down. Hey that site is competing with us and we aren't winning, shut it down.

I guarantee that at some point they will try and shut down Google and YouTube and Facebook. They are posting record profits and complain that piracy is taking all of their money. How does that make any sense? Yes movie ticket sales are down. But they don't look at the simple fact that most movies suck. People don't want to see them. Or if they do they wait for it to come out on DVD/Blu-Ray or Video on demand. Same problem with music and video games. Actually you don't hear much from the video game designers. Why? Because most people who pirate a video game if they like the first bit of it go and buy it.

The Canada problem with piracy really does come down to availability. If it is available then it's way over priced. Content providers like Shaw, Telus, Rogers charge an exorbitant amount for their content.

BTW I have dropped my cable provider and get everything OTA in HD. If it's not on there I have my computer hooked up to my TV and just stream from the providers web site (CTV, HGTV, etc). No reason to pirate. That is unless they consider that piracy. I'm sure they do.
January 23, 2012

IamME said:

Movie ticket Sales
"Yes movie ticket sales are down. But they don't look at the simple fact that most movies suck. People don't want to see them. Or if they do they wait for it to come out on DVD/Blu-Ray or Video on demand."

It's not solely piracy hitting the box-office sales. The other thing they fail to recognize is the quickly growing "home theater" market. BIG HD TVs and even decent HD projectors (If you have the room) are cheap as dirt these days. Then for not a great deal of money one can invest in a decent sound system and have a great movie experience at home (Often better sound than a theater). This without driving to a theater or being crowded by people you don't know. If one buys drinks and snacks, a family of 4 will typically spend well over $75 to go and see a movie. At one movie a month, in a year, that's $900 + tax. It doesn't take a lot skipped movies to save up enough money. We typically wait for stuff to be released on BD/DVD and then wait 6 months for it go come down to a decent price. We might go and see a movie in a theater maybe once a year as a treat for the kids.
January 23, 2012

Eh Canada said:

Not a Proud Canadian anymore
STOP LETTING USA BULLY US! MAN I'm SOO MAD RIGHT NOW All THIS MAKE BELIEVE USA IS FEEDING US ABOUT PIRACY
January 23, 2012

Byte said:

TPP
I hope nobody is forgetting what's already in store for us with the upcoming Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement talks: a possible copyright term *extension*?! Then there's the CETA, ACTA...
January 23, 2012

And said:

Agreed with Jeff Power - Organize Boycotts of TV and Movies
@Jeff Power, I was thinking the exact same thing. An ongoing boycott of the entertainment industry is needed, much like the net going dark. Pick strategic days where no one watches tv, and weekends where no one goes to the movies, etc.
January 23, 2012

anonomous said:

unknown
It was the entertainment industry that provided the software to facilitae the file sharing to begin with. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJIuYgIvKsc
January 23, 2012

Jes said:

Spain and Australia
MPAA already did it to Spain and to Australia. MPAA are bullies that pick on countries and companies they think are weak targets, i.e. easily bribed or threatened. Clearly their goal is to bully enough countries into submission to reach critical mass where they can push SOPA through the more resistant targets - similar to "peer pressure."
January 23, 2012

jupiter said:

The common point between SOPA PIPA Hadopi C11
The following article is interesting in completion of yours for a good understanding of the actual situation: http://www.openskill.lu/en/int...-acta-c11/
January 23, 2012

Crockett said:

Dear {ahem} ... 'Concerned Citizen'
"An ode to our favourite troll"

A troll is one who purports
To make some sense of sorts
But has nothing to say
And stays anyway
With arguments they cannot support

Hypocrisy can be such a shame
It sullies what was once a good name
Coupled with denial
We all crack a smile
When all they produce is a flame

Of course there is always a way
To find something to say
Watch your p’s and your q’s
For apparently its news
When grammar on blogs doth stray

Which is sadder? Tis’ a hard proclamation
To bar some from their site in frustration
Then to do here the same
Under assumed name
Is it denial or self actualization?
January 23, 2012

Crockett said:

Artistry used to be about perception.
Concerned Citizen "Yes! Take back democracy. Don't go see any more movies until Hollywood agrees to let us keep stealing their content!"

Democracy is a system that [theoretically] represents the people. That's all people, not just the rich, poor, influential or inconsequential. It should not be beholden to any one of the above but all. Unfortunately, we often find that not to be the case.

Now it is undeniable that Hollywood, Big content ... whatever you want to call it, has for years spent a considerable amounts of money influencing governments. Now, if money neither bought power or influence, then I would offer admiration for their altruism in supporting the wheels of government and society. Shall we discuss if this is so, or move on?

Last week we witnessed another type of influence ... awareness. Shall we call this a counter balance to the former? Awareness is something the internet is actually very good at for it is as unfiltered a medium as has ever existed, though we are speaking of degrees. Still, it is this vehicle that is in opposition to the former system and thus at odds.

The **AA's have for some time excelled at the former and been abysmal at operating in the latter. The recent triad of the MPAA CEO openly telling Washington politicians to expect an empty stocking this Christmas just shows the buffoons they are.

Finally, I do not agree with stealing anything, be it cars, DVDs or bits. There are bad people in the world who will always steal, others who would never consider it, and the rest who base their choices on the victim. Would you keep the lost purse of drug dealer over a grandmother?

Unfortunately, the **AA's are viewed by many as not much better than a protection racket. The meaner they get and the harder they push the larger the group that finds them so.

People like artists, they spend time money and effort to see them perform, buy their wares, put posters of them on their walls. They are owning something valuable, a piece of the artists themselves. No one wants to own an RIAA ashtray.

January 23, 2012

oldguy said:

@Concerned Citizen
..."Don't go see any more movies until Hollywood agrees to let us keep stealing their content!"

You do realise the various SOPA/PIPA/ACTA/TPP/etc proposals will not impact digital copyright infringement one little bit, don't you? The problems facing industries and people dependent on copyright will remain the same as they are today.
Every technical and legal measure already tried by governments and industries have a proven track record of being ineffectual in curbing digital copyright infringement.
If these measures have such a history of ineffectiveness, then why do we have lobbyists urging governments to do more and more of the same, and worse?

On the other hand, the "side effects" of these measures are getting worse and worse. All of them are open to abuses. SOPA and PIPA are particularly egregious, and explicitly threaten the security of the internet. Is it any surprise that you have an "uprising" against such measures? What makes you so positive that everyone opposed to such measures is intent on "stealing content"? Do you really think the hardcore "pirates" care about the side effects?

The internet has been, and continues to be, a disrupting influence on many classic industries, jobs, and people. The benefits far outweigh the cost of these disruptions. Industries and people that depend on copyright for their livelyhood are no different than all the ones that came before them. The biggest difference is that these industries had a strong lobbyist contingent *before* the effects of the internet hit them. When will these industries (and governments) realise that "more of the same" doesn't work? When will it be time for these industries to try a really new approach? Stop doing what is obviously not working, and experiment with brand new approaches?
It is pretty obvious that most of the industry lobbyists and policy makers don't really have an inderstanding of the technology, the breadth, and the social impact of the internet. Apple does (iTunes), Google does, Amazon does, and many, many other examples. Even the commercial "pirates" understand. When will the MPAA, the RIAA, and all it's offshoots, recognise that they simply are not executively equipped to enter the digital age? When will they aggressively pursue people that do understand, and put them into positions where they can do some real good?
But no, what they get are political retreads. The K street shuffle.

Let me go back to your comment, "stealing their content". When it comes to copyright and the digital age, this comment appears steeped in the theory of scarcity economics. Lots of people studied it, grew up with it. I did. Few realise that the internet creates something new, the economics of abundance. The younger generation instinctively realise this, which is why you will never succeed in convincing them that "copying something", is somehow "stealing". They will pay for digital works and support artists and authors, in invested time or money or both, but calling their casual copying "stealing" just brands you as an archaic looney. Trying to force such outmoded views on them just makes them angry.
So step back and study the "economics of abundance". It is an inherent characteristic in the growing volume of CC and GPL licensed works. I am not saying that you have to release works under these licenses, I am saying you have to understand one small part of it, the "economics". From there you can find ways to operate successfully in the digital world. Many others have already done it.

January 24, 2012

f. gerard said:

greedy profiteers
the recording industry doesn't get it...

WE WANT TO SHARE with each other, THAT is the POINT!
SHARING is exactly what the INTERNET is intended for.

war is peace
freedom is slavery
sharing is piracy
greed is good...

corporations are 'people'

well to hell with all that inhumane nonsense.

if the greedy corporate ba$tard$ can't figure out an economic model that SUPPORTS SHARING - instead of criminalizing NORMAL human behaviour - then tough shit for the parasitic profiteers.

as one Digg commenter put it:

"it sucks being a candlestick maker in a electric light world...

UNLESS you can get control of the government to pass laws to 'protect candle sticks' and attack electric lights.

that's what the recording industry is doing, paying congress to protect their candle making while attacking the electric light makers and users of the world.
January 24, 2012

Arif Jinha said:

Chief Creator - JBC Wakefield
This is the critical fight of the century, if information, culture and connections are dammed up, how do we get to liberation, collective survival, peace in the Middle East, peace in Canada for that matter in the War Against the Poor? I'm starting a publishing firm that is Open Creative Commercial, all our digital files will be legal and free to use in the upcoming 'House of Commons' digital library. We just bought a recording studio and 2 apartments, and come in with a massive network of grassroots artists. We will be the organic fair trade new recording industry, book industry, and real-time production value industry. And we will fight SOPA and all the regressive laws back with culture, music and information until we have liberation, collective survival and world peace. JBC to the Front of the Battle! Stay tuned - http://jinhabrothers.com
We are 'The Wakefield Movement'.
Ajay Parker (Aka Arif Jinha).

January 24, 2012

Cameron B. said:

...
Sad state of affairs when an American company can just slip cash into the pockets of foreign governments to get their way.

Don't get me wrong. I'm fine with capitalism, and would definitely not like a Communist style government, but still, something's gotta change. Big companies have waaaaay too much power.

Also, how many years until we become the United States of North America?
January 24, 2012

LMF said:

...
You forget we have a ruling majority government (who I question due to the covered up yet documented voter fraud http://rabble.ca/babble/canadi...ed-ontario)who like the Axis of old who believed Might is Right, our present Governments believe that Corporate Might is Right. Funny how one little word can make it all better and democratic like. The puppet masters are still going to try to pull their strings.
January 24, 2012

LMF said:

...
And just one thing to remember. Justification sounds reasonable when the words aren't written by the liars that read them. Politicians are just puppets.
January 24, 2012

stevebrown said:

...
"Finally, I do not agree with stealing anything, be it cars, DVDs or bits. There are bad people in the world who will always steal, others who would never consider it, and the rest who base their choices on the victim. Would you keep the lost purse of drug dealer over a grandmother?"

I don't agree. Unless one is to believe 95% of young people growing up with the internet are "bad". The virtual world has somewhat different "Laws of the Universe", so to speak. The main one being something called the "law of copy/paste". No such analogue exists in the real world so one cannot apply real world ethics and morality to the virtual one.

In the quote above, what if you could copy grandma's purse and simply take a copy? Grandma has her pension money, she gets here purse back and is in no way harmed, as a matter of fact she may even give you a reward for returning it. BUT, you copied it before returning it and now you posess Grandma's pension money as well. Did you harm Grandma?

What if you could go to a car dealership and simply copy/paste any car you wanted? The dealership isn't out any stock, although one could make the argument the dealership is out a SALE, IF the person WOULD HAVE bought a car anyway, but not anything material.

But it doesn't make sense to talk of these things because there's no such thing as copy/paste in the real world. But it's as real as the nose on our faces in the Virtual world.
January 24, 2012

IamME said:

Grandma's Purse
"In the quote above, what if you could copy grandma's purse and simply take a copy? Grandma has her pension money, she gets here purse back and is in no way harmed, as a matter of fact she may even give you a reward for returning it. BUT, you copied it before returning it and now you posess Grandma's pension money as well. Did you harm Grandma?"

Of course not, but consider this... If you can make, literally, an infinite number of perfect copies at a cost approaching zero, how much is grandma's purse really worth? Not a great deal of money. The same can be said of distributing music and movies over the Internet. In an historical environment, a majority of the cost is in the production and distribution of physical copies.

In the new digital age one can produce a single copy and distribute an infinite number perfect copies as easy as "cut and paste". No cost of producing physical copies, no cost of distributing those copies to retail outlets, no need of middlemen. That being said...what is the actual value an album or a movie in this new reality?
January 24, 2012

Dyne1319 said:

I really hope this doesn't pass
Honestly, if something like this does come to pass it will spell the end for Canadian run internet. I would expect to see an underground network pop up shortly after to combat the changes. And would fully support that, since the bill denies us our freedoms and would limit free speach. And honestly would cause a huge number of people to lower their net connections since a huge download cap would be useless. And come on the Canadian music people are the ones pushing it. Is crazy no one listens to Canadian music.
January 24, 2012

stevebrown said:

...
I'm afraid I don't have an answer for that. Perhaps the reason the music/film industry is having such a difficult time applying a business model that works in a digital environment is because their product was overvalued in the real world to begin with. Should music, something that touches our souls as human beings, have a monetary barrier to be able to appreciate? Did we ask Hollywood to produce movies with 100 million dollar budgets? Maybe the monetization of art in all its' flavors SHOULD be relegated to an era when its' access could be restricted.

E-Commerce gets on just fine with many things, but when it comes to monetization of ideas, which is the essence of the arts, it fails miserably.
January 24, 2012

IamME said:

"Is crazy no one listens to Canadian music."
Due to the policy direction and general lack of respect and foresight by the RIAA/CRIA, I generally choose to boycott North American music and listen to European music almost exclusively. The Internet easily allows this.
January 24, 2012

Alison said:

...
A good companion piece :
SOPA, PIPA, Good Intentions and the Road to Hell

http://www.stonekettle.com/2012/01/sopa-pipa-good-intentions-and-road-to.html
January 24, 2012

Jim said:

change the game
If we all just start supporting local music, small budget movies, little software, etc we wouldn't have to worry about all the fat cats getting their back up over sharing
January 24, 2012

Alex said:

Support local and independent entertainment
@Jim. Right on. And it's getting easier to give up mainstream entertainment as mainstream movies, tv, music have become mostly awful and forgettable. Stunts like SOPA, PIPA, ACTA just make it even more unpalatable to support and hard to enjoy.
January 24, 2012

oldguy said:

Support local and independent entertainment

There is nothing wrong with supporting local entertainment, I do it myself and highly encourage it.

"Local" is not really the strength of the internet. Societal connections are made across the country, and across the world.

This is where the independent can leverage the internet in ways previously impossible, and they are doing so. But you have to understand it. Not just the technology, but the effect it has on people, relationships, and society.

January 24, 2012

Hindgrinder said:

Downloading cure for cancer..brb
lol.

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/technology-blog/could-cure-cancer-found-team-video-gamers-181043412.html

January 24, 2012

abc said:

...
Forget about websites going down for a day people should protest by not going to the theatres for a week or two or not buying cd's this will really let the industry know that consumers are not going to take this crap lightly and should these laws go through or anything like it we the people will protest even more loudly where it hurts them most.
January 24, 2012

Ron said:

Protest in Poland
Well look what's happening in Poland based on the same bill as SOPA

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/24/acta-protests-poland_n_1229110.html
January 25, 2012

oldguy said:

Protest in Poland

And so it begins......

(clickable) - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...29110.html

January 25, 2012

Jordan Sparks said:

Petitions
One thing I would really like to know is what can we do as Canadians to oppose this. I've looked for petitions but I can't really find any. Unlike the US White House, the government doesn't have a place to make petitions that get answered if it meets a required quota. I was going to make my own petition but I lack the credibility, influence, and the real ability to submit a petition to Parliament.

How can we fight this? It's clear that Blackouts aren't going to work here like it did in the US unless maybe if Google Canada joins in, which I doubt since Google Canada didn't participate in last weeks web strike.

We need to find some way to make noise about this and fast!
January 25, 2012

ZaPHoN said:

Phone Spam Supporting Lobby Groups
It would seem 2000 calls per second to members of congress is very effective. Why not do the same thing to any lobby group that supports this bill!

Remember, to sit and passively complain is your acceptance if you don't get out and actively spread the word amongst everyone you can find.

Organize home meetings and brain storm ideas that can be done.

Tells us all your ideas and what you've done, will do or are willing to do.

CHANGE CANADA BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE!!!

Take Canada back from our US whipping boy A.K.A. Heil Harper
January 26, 2012

ZaPHoN said:

Piracy Stock Exchange
Since these greedy bankers are so creative with taking money from everyone why haven't they thought of a Piracy Exchange where stocks are traded on the top pirated Movies, Games, Software, Books, Misc.

The top pirated (fill in the blank) would be the highest earning stock ;)
January 26, 2012

IamME said:

@ZaPHoN
It would be considered money laundering unless "piracy" was to be made legal.
January 26, 2012

@Petitions said:

See Reddit, Set up Petition, Boycott Movies TV Music
@Petitions, below is a link to a Reddit comment thread with some websites being set up. Perhaps you could offer to organize a petition on a site, if one isn't set up. Also, another valuable thing people can do is stop going to movies, watching tv, buying music - or at least reduce it significantly. Perhaps start a thread at Reddit of a particular movie. Ignore the naysayers, there are trolls planted. It would make an impact. Who can stomach anything from Hollywood after all this anyway.

http://www.reddit.com/r/technology/comments/oz4n1/acta_the_latest_threat_to_internet_freedom/
January 27, 2012

kyllo said:

Ok
It would be nice if you could provide a link to the fulltext of the actual bill. Some people might like to know what you are talking about.

http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Docid=5144516&file=4

kthxbye
January 28, 2012

stonecarver said:

...
Think back to WHERE you saw the download links for limewire ,Kazaa ,bit torrent ect..That would be Cnet or Znet owned by CBS-Viacom with partnerships and of course download links to ALL of the big boys behind SOPA,PIPA,and bill C32 Are now importing the next incarnation of this draconian sudo=legal hodge podge bill C11 . Think !! Who was it that gave step by step instructions on how to use this software using COPY WRITTEN music and movies/tv shows as examples ? Who was it that demonstrated the effectiveness of these very programs in side to side comparisons once again using COPY WRITTEN music and movies/tv shows as examples ? And last but no means least Who was it that hosted reviews & blogs extolling the comparative virtues of all of these EEEvillle file sharing programs ? Why that would be our usual suspects Cnet,CBS-Viacom,Disney,and all of the rest of the delightful cabal. Just a thought but by distributing and providing step by step instructions on effective use of the file sharing software according to the very laws being used to arrest every one from teenagers to Mega-upload wouldn’t that make this delightful cabal just as guilty if not MUCH more so ?

Also wouldn’t providing the tools necessary, step by step instruction, comparisons and ongoing encouragement be legally regarded as IMPLIED CONSENT or at the VERY least entrapment? Just askin. It would seem to me that the first stop of call for artists to receive (deserved ) compensation would be the media companies that worked so hard to create, distribute,and encourage the very filesharing tools they now decry

So to sum up after SOPA ,it’s evil twin PIPA and any politicians or companies supporting them were given a reception much like a porcupine in a hot tub.The very groups that originally provided the tools necessary, step by step instruction, comparisons and ongoing encouragement for citizens to download media from the internet have brought their act north (with of course arm twisting by the VERY government down south that had their asses handed to them for this VERY same thing ) and are now pushing the government of OUR country into handing over defacto control of the net and arranging to incarcerate ANY of OUR citizens for using the VERY tools they worked so very hard to get into use…Am I missing anything ?
January 29, 2012

GrrRaven said:

Grandmas purse
Steve..that's very deep. In a shallow pool. Why do we all think wealth is inherently evil. Because we all know what we've already considered doing to get it. But most have us choose not to beat the sh8t out of Grandma to get it. But somehow it's ok to make a copy of her stuff off the guy that did. What harm is done? Was the harm only wrought on Grandma, or did you just add the thief (who goes to jail), yourself (who now lives with a little bit of shame they keep hiding) and all of society (who now looks at the inevitability of mankind's decease spreading to his fellow man). However I do agree the problem is with profiteering. Specifically monopolies. Which abound in this new world.
January 29, 2012

GrrRaven said:

Monopolies
Whatever happened to the business model that determines the cost of making and creating the item; building in overhead and having a fair markup value. Digital items reduce the costs of overhead, save/spare some valued resources and can cheaply be copied. Why do the costs keep going up. Greed. And fewer people are getting shares of that profit. So maybe we need to enhance the stock markets regulation, not the digital media regulations. I agree, people will pay a reasonable fee for what they want/need. But will rebel against being stolen from.
January 29, 2012

Justine D said:

...
Even though there is no official confirmation about SOPA-like rules coming to Canada (yet), I strongly believe that canadians should be both aware and concerned about this.

I would like find a good way to gain awareness about a Canadian-style SOPA, what possibly can be done to prevent this from happening.


If we need to protest (like the Americans and the Polish) when the time comes, we'll do it!
January 29, 2012

pierre said:

Bill C-11 actions = february 10 in Montreal
Montreal, friday february 10, 2pm -4pm, Norman Bethune Square, Guy st. and De Maisonneuve. Join us in order to protest against the Canadian-style SOPA
vendredi 10 février 2012
14:00 – 16:00 Où? Carré Norman Bethune, Guy et Maisonneuve, Montréal
Le projet de loi C-11 pourrait apporter des lois de censure d’Internet au Canada.
Rejoignez-nous dans une manifestation pour protéger nos libertés civiles!
Texte complet du projet de loi:
http://parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&Mode=1&DocId=5144516

ARTICLES:
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/blogs/right-click/bill-c11-could-bring-sopa-online-piracy-laws-212657243.html
http://www2.macleans.ca/2012/01/25/bill-c-32-copyright-the-movie/
http://www.michaelgeist.ca/content/view/6257/125/
http://www.cla.ca/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Home&CONTENTID=12231&TEMPLATE=/CM/ContentDisplay.cfm

January 30, 2012

Civil Writes said:

Not just about music & Movies...
Most of our politicians who, the minute they're in office, can only hear when multi-nationals, major corporations & the shadowy wealthy who fund their campaigns; they instantly become deaf to the voices of the actual citizens affected by what they do & regard us as powerless.
This is not just about music & movies, Harper & his cohorts have had Bill C11 waiting through the minority years with a far more draconian intent in mind. The Internet has become a powerful instrument of political protest & revealer of secrets, i.e. Wikileaks not to mention this very page of Mr Geist's. Bill C11, if not fought vigorously & stopped, merely begins with limiting our freedoms to mollify the entertainment industry; but the plans are to craftily tweak & add more restrictions to limit our access to & ability to voice our opinions re the manner in which OUR government governs. Many G20 gov's have similar legislation brewing.
You really think the "Arab Spring" hasn't scared the hell out of the establishment that has a stranglehold on so many supposedly 'democratic' countries? And that they're going to fight dirty if need be to keep hold of the power they want to once again use & abuse in secret? C11... just another brick in the wall!
February 02, 2012

AssHat said:

pull up stakes
I am willing to just pull away from my internet connection if this bills goes into effect. Then what will ISP's going to do?
February 03, 2012

Derp said:

Nice going, Canada... I hope you can hear my sarcasm.
I thought this country was supposed to be better than the States.
February 03, 2012

Chris C. said:

Boycott the Entertainment Mafia
Jeff Power said: "We need a very strong Boycott of the entertainment industry
Time we took it to the source of the problem, we need to have blackout days for theaters and protests. Something like no movie weekend, where everyone is encouraged not to go to the movies for a specific weekend. We need to take our democracy back, our politicians have been paid for."

EXACTLY. Enough is enough. The arrogance of those gangsters is boundless. Not content to be able to literally print money (that is what copyright is really all about), become wealthy out of thin air while artists get a tiny fraction of the benefits, they have the gall to try to force the government to act as their own private goons!

I have become so ANGERED by the entertainment industry's criminal attempt at invading my privacy, controlling my actions, threatening other countries governments and trying to impose their rule onto the rest of whole world that I have already totally stopped going to the movies for any new Hollywood production!

Folks, don't encourage these Nazis, STOP GOING TO THE MOVIES, besides Netflix is only $7.95 a month for all you can view :)
February 04, 2012

Chris C. said:

...
IamMe said: ""Is crazy no one listens to Canadian music."
Due to the policy direction and general lack of respect and foresight by the RIAA/CRIA, I generally choose to boycott North American music and listen to European music almost exclusively. THE INTERNET EASILY ALLOWS THIS[my emphasis]."

And this is PRECISELY why the entertainment industry wants to control the internet with these restrictive regulations. The internet liberated ALL people and has rendered something scare, abundant and those who have lived in a position of privilege being able to control scarcity aren't in control anymore at the same time that artists now realize they can produce and publish themselves directly in their homes and don't their Shylock services anymore.

So in order to prevent what the internet was designed to do, to stop this abundance and maintain their privilege, they try all kinds of kludgey measures and regulations that make the problem worse, in a futile attempt to make water flow upwards so to speak.

Just like the Canadian incumbent ISPs wanted last year to force UBB unto users PRECISELY to make it suddenly very expensive to watch Netflix instead of their overpriced TV bundles.

People won't go for it, Canadians won't go for it, the Genie is out of the bottle. The entertainment industry needs to understand that and offer its services at a price that is commensurate with the cost of replicating and distributing it, or face extinction.

And if they attempt to control us... Remember what happened to Gaddafi...
February 04, 2012

Bobby said:

...
I don't know about Canada, but in the U.S. the total amount of money the Fortune 500 companies paid in Lobbying costs was about 0.1% of their total profit. This means: Buying politicians to do your bidding is a LOT CHEAPER than catering to your consumers, changing business models, distribution channels, etc. Also, with an existing network of lobbyists around to do their bidding, and politicians being the characterless sell-outs that they are, buying them off carries a LOT LESS RISK than changing the way you do business, at least in the short run. Sad, but true :(
March 13, 2012

Bobby said:

Politicians are cheap
Sorry, for got to add that those statistics were from 2006. Don't have any updated one unfortunately.
March 13, 2012

Mike said:

...

...
I don't know about Canada, but in the U.S. the total amount of money the Fortune 500 companies paid in Lobbying costs was about 0.1% of their total profit. This means: Buying politicians to do your bidding is a LOT CHEAPER than catering to your consumers, changing business models, distribution channels, etc. Also, with an existing network of lobbyists around to do their bidding, and politicians being the characterless sell-outs that they are, buying them off carries a LOT LESS RISK than changing the way you do business, at least in the short run. Sad, but true :(
+1
Mike (my new site: http://www.domain-names-check.com, enjoy!)
May 07, 2012

Mike said:

May 07, 2012

Jorge Forero said:

Very bad thing could be this
Bringing SOPA to Canada could be a very bad thinking could be frustated, good article and congratulations for your blog
http://www.dweb3d.com
January 28, 2013

Jorge Forero said:

Very bad thing

http://www.dweb3d.com
January 28, 2013

johnporter said:

March 12, 2013

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