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    The Conservative Copyright MPs - An Update

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    Sunday February 03, 2008
    My recent Copyright MPs posting generated a considerable amount of attention along with a number of suggestions of how it could be improved.  These included adding ridings with large colleges (who often offer many technology-focused programs), more clearly identifying those ridings where the incumbent does not plan to seek re-election, and focusing more intently on the Conservative MPs, given that they will be the most directly affected by a Canadian DMCA.

    While I will focus on the other parties - particularly if/when a new bill is introduced - for the moment it is the Conservatives that are on the hot seat on copyright given Industry Minister Jim Prentice's plans for a Canadian DMCA.  With that in mind (and with the additional caveat that I think all MPs will hear from their constituents on copyright), the updated list of Conservative Copyright MPs from West to East is posted below.  To qualify as a Copyright MP, the MP needs to have won the riding in the 2006 election by 10 percent or less and have a university or college in the riding.  Only colleges with over 5,000 students are included.


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    Why Copyright?

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    Friday January 25, 2008

    Last Friday, I had the opportunity to deliver a talk to the Canadian University Press National Conference, a gathering of student journalists from across the country.  The talk was a long response to a question that comes up pretty regularly - why has copyright generated so much interest from so many people.  A podcast of the talk is available here.  The slides are posted below. 


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    Privacy Coalition Warns on Copyright Reform

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    Friday January 25, 2008
    Following on Privacy Commissioner of Canada Jennifer Stoddart's public letter warning against weakening privacy through copyright reform, a broad coalition of privacy, education, civil liberties groups, and academics have signed a public letter raising similar concerns (I am a signatory).
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    The CCC on Copyright Reform

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    Monday January 21, 2008
    The Creators' Copyright Coalition is out this morning with its position on copyright reform.  The CCC includes many large creator associations and copyright collectives.  Though there are some notable exceptions - the Canadian Music Creators Coalition, Appropriation Art, and the Documentary Organization of Canada to name three - there are some important voices here.

    While the government's focus on copyright reform has centred on new technologies, the CCC's position paper seems to focus primarily on non-digital issues.  Indeed, the CCC is clearly troubled by the growing concern from users (it talks of "the tendency to privilege users") and of the Supreme Court of Canada's emphasis on balancing copyright (it laments that users are "now officially part of an on-going process of striking a 'necessary balance'").  The position paper sets out to scale back user concerns by dropping the SCC's balance objective to one where the "Copyright Act's main objective is to protect the moral and economic rights of creators."  Moreover, it seeks to limit the fair dealing provision, by specifically excluding any commercial purposes from within its ambit.

    In addition to shifting away from a copyright balance, the CCC looks at copyright reform primarily as the opportunity to introduce new rights and fees.  In particular:

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