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    Tweeting Against the Canadian DMCA

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    Tuesday May 11, 2010
    The Academicalism Blog has posted "tweet-sized" letters in response to the prospect of a Canadian DMCA and ACTA. A slight variation on the Canadian DMCA would be:

    @mpjamesmoore: I oppose any IP bill that includes strong digital lock provisions, excludes flexible fair dealing, & ignores public consult.
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    Moore Getting Testy With Canadian DMCA Critics

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    Monday May 10, 2010
    Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore has been responding directly to many Twitter critics about their concerns with the likely direction of Canadian copyright law.  Moore appears to be getting increasingly testy, as evidenced by one exchange over the weekend in which he told one person "you have no idea" and that "we'd live in a better world" if people waited to read the bill before commenting.

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    Moore's Response: Stop Talking and Wait For My DMCA

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    Friday May 07, 2010
    As thousands of Canadians speak out on the prospect of another Canadian DMCA, the official and unofficial response from Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore is to stop criticizing and wait for the bill.  His spokesperson told the CBC that "people ought not to judge the legislation that they have not read." Moore himself is using roughly the same line in direct messages to some Twitter commenters, saying they should wait to read the bill before passing judgement. 

    While unsurprising, the response is straight out of the Jim Prentice playbook, who similarly urged people to wait for what became Bill C-61 before commenting.  Yet the effect of remaining silent is to give Moore a free ride as the bill is drafted over the coming weeks.  The reality is that there is nothing to stop Moore or the government from either confirming or denying the general direction of the bill on issues such as anti-circumvention rules or flexible fair dealing.  In fact, months before Bill C-60 was introduced, the then-Liberal government provided a full roadmap of its legislative intentions so that the bill itself was not a surprise.

    Over the past 48 hours, additional sources have come forward to privately confirm the information found in my original post: that Moore has been pushing hard for C-61 as a starting point (particularly with respect to the digital lock provisions) and has flatly rejected a flexible fair dealing approach.  Taking Moore's advice - which amounts to STFU until you see the bill - may buy him some quiet as he tinkers at the edges of time shifting, format shifting, or distance learning provisions to try to sell his bill as pro-consumer, but the foundation of Moore's Canadian DMCA will remain unchanged.  Now is not the time to remain silent.  Send a paper letter (c/o House of Commons, Ottawa, ON, K1A 0A6) to your MP, Moore, Clement, and the party leaders today (then join the Facebook group and Facebook page).

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    Covering the Return of the Canadian DMCA

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    Thursday May 06, 2010
    Yesterday's post on the government's plans for the copyright bill generated widespread coverage both online and in the mainstream media.  There were many notable blog posts from creators (here, here) and other sites (here, here, here, here, here, here). The media picked up on the story:

    The articles themselves are home to hundreds of comments, with the CBC article alone featuring more than 700 comments in less than 24 hours.  The Wire Report includes a comment from Barry Sookman, CRIA's lawyer, arguing that leaking information was inappropriate and that the post is trying to "put pressure on the government to change a decision that is already made."

    While Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore and the Prime Minister's Office were unsurprisingly mum on the contents of the bill, Liberal MP Justin Trudeau didn't mince words in this tweet: "Forget the hockey spat; DMCA is where @mpjamesmoore and I REALLY disagree."

    Update: It was brought to my attention that the CBC report says I that said that the bill will end fair dealing. I said no such thing. I did not speak to CBC before the publication of that article and the post on which it is based clearly refers to flexible fair dealing reform, not the elimination of fair dealing.

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