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    Ten Key Questions and Answers About Bill C-11, SOPA, ACTA, and the TPP

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    Tuesday January 31, 2012
    In recent days there has been massive new interest in Canadian copyright reform as thousands of people write to their MPs to express concern about the prospect of adding SOPA-style rules to Bill C-11 (there are even plans for public protests beginning to emerge). The interest has resulted in some completely unacceptable threats and confusion - some claiming that the Canadian bill will be passed within 14 days (not true) and others stating that proposed SOPA-style changes are nothing more than technical changes to the bill (also not true).  Even the mainstream media is getting into the mix, with the Financial Post's Terrance Corcoran offering his "expert" legal opinion that CRIA's lawyers are likely to lose their lawsuit against isoHunt. 

    Given the importance of Canadians speaking out accurately on Bill C-11, ACTA, and the TPP, I've posted ten key questions and answers to sort through the claims. The first eight questions address the links between Bill C-11 and SOPA as well as proposed changes to the current copyright law. The final two question focus on ACTA and the TPP.

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    The Daily Digital Lock Dissenter: The Series To Date

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    Monday January 30, 2012
    Throughout the fall, I ran a daily digital lock dissenter series, pointing to a wide range of organizations representing creators, consumers, businesses, educators, historians, archivists, and librarians who have issued policy statements that are at odds with the government's approach to digital locks in Bill C-11. While the series took a break over the Parliamentary holiday, it resumes this week with more groups and individuals that have spoken out against restrictive digital lock legislation that fails to strike a fair balance.

    New posts will begin tomorrow, but it may be helpful to recount the series to date, which illustrates that no amount of spin can disguise the obvious opposition from groups representing millions of Canadians to the Bill C-11 digital lock provisions:

    Type of Group
    Digital Lock Dissenters
    Retail Council of Canada
    Business Coalition for Balanced Copyright
    Canadian Bookseller Association
    The Canadian Association for Open Source
    Literary Press Group of Canada
    Association of Book Publishers of British Columbia
    Association of Canadian Publishers
    Campus Stores Canada
    Digital Security Coalition
    Battlegoat Studios
    Documentary Organization of Canada
    Appropriation Art
    Writers Guild of Canada
    Canadian Music Creators Coalition
    Canadian Consumer Initiative
    Public Interest Advocacy Centre
    Union des consommateurs
    Canadian Teachers' Federation
    Council of Ministers of Education Canada
    Canadian Home and School Federation
    Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
    Canadian Association of Media Education Associations
    Film Studies Association of Canada
    Association of Canadian Community Colleges
    Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada
    Canadian Association of University Teachers
    Canadian Political Science Association
    British Columbia Teachers' Federation
    Queen's University
    Canadian Federation of Students
    Federation Etudiante Universitaire du Quebec
    Canadian Alliance of Student Associations
    Canadian Council of Archives
    Canadian Historical Association
    Association of Newfoundland and Labrador Archives
    City of Vancouver Archives
    Canadian Library Association
    Canadian Association of Research Libraries
    Canadian Association of Law Libraries
    Canadian Association of Music Libraries, Archives and Documentation Centres
    Association pour l’avancement des sciences et des techniques de la documentation (ASTED
    New Brunswick Public Library Service
    Canadian Urban Library Council
    Ontario Council of University Libraries
    Visually Impaired Provincial Resource Centre for the Visually Impaired (PRCVI) BC
    Canadian National Institute for the Blind
    Canadian Association of Educational Resource Centres for Alternate Format Materials
    Canadian Civil Liberties Association
    Canadian Bar Association
    Privacy Commissioner of Canada

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    Bill C-11: Copyright, The Movie

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    Thursday January 26, 2012
    Jesse Brown blogs on the push to introduce SOPA style rules into Canadian copyright reform.
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    Would a SOPA Version of the Canadian Copyright Bill Target Youtube?

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    Wednesday January 25, 2012
    My post 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 Post, La Presse) and online media (Mashable, Wire Report) 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 possible" that 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. 

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