Friday February 10, 2012
The second reading debate on Bill C-11 will conclude today with the
bill headed to committee for further hearings and possible amendment.
Yesterday, the Globe published an opinion
by Peter Nowak that juxtaposes the widespread consultation on copyright
reform in Canada with digital lock provisions that "wilfully ignores"
public opinion. Nowak notes how the U.S. ultimately responded to public
concern in stopping SOPA, while the same appears to be happening in
Europe as protests over the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement continue to grow
(there are continent-wide protests
planned for February 11th).
One of my posts this week focused on
that Industry Minister Christian Paradis has said he cannot speculate
on how Bill C-11's digital lock rules will be enforced. The post
identifies numerous examples of how the rules could harm creators,
students, researchers, consumers, and even the visually impaired
(further background information on Bill C-11 here and here).
Yet these concerns are not new and have been raised for several years.
Indeed, it is instructive to see how the public concern over the
digital lock rules and now possible inclusion of SOPA-style amendments
has mushroomed over the years.
TagsShareFriday February 10, 2012
Thursday February 09, 2012
The government imposed
yesterday on Bill C-11, a move that will wrap up second reading debate
on the copyright reform bill on Friday and send it to the Bill C-11
committee soon thereafter. While the government's overuse of time
allocation is certainly a concern, the debate is not over and several well
of support hardly mask the huge
with the bill's digital lock rules and proposed SOPA-style amendments
proposed by several copyright lobby groups that has generated tens of
thousands of emails to MPs in recent days. As described further below,
the opposition stems from rules that will have an impact on the
legitimate activities of millions, creating barriers to creators,
students, journalists, researchers, and the visually impaired.
several Conservative MPs emphasized that the copyright bill is one of
the most consulted pieces of legislation in recent memory. For
example, Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore stated "this is my 12th
year as a member of Parliament and I can tell her that except for the
Liberal government's Bill C-2, the response to 9/11, this legislation
will have had more consideration at a stand-alone legislative committee
and parliamentary and public consideration with all of the tens of
thousands of submissions we received from Canadians in person and in
writing and the consultations we did across the country before we
drafted the bill."
The government is right when it says there has been wide consultation
(a recap of the 2009 copyright consultation here).
The question is whether it has taken the public comments into account
and conducted a full analysis of the implications of its current
proposal. There is reason to believe that it has not.
TagsShareThursday February 09, 2012
Thursday October 20, 2011
Copyright dominated debate at the House of Commons on
as Bill C-11 was the primary subject of debate. Digital locks was one
of the most discussed issues (new levies were the other), with the main
opposition parties lining up to oppose the bill due to the digital lock
provisions. For example, the NDP's Charlie Angus stated:
Unless the digital lock provisions
change, the New Democratic Party will not support the bill because it
is not balanced.
Liberal Industry critic Geoff Regan stated:
the Liberal Party will not support Bill C-11. The digital lock
provisions in this bill are far too strict and they override virtually
every other right that is in the legislation.
TagsShareThursday October 20, 2011
Tuesday October 04, 2011
Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore recently granted TVO's Search
Engine an interview
on Bill C-11 and Canadian copyright reform. The interview demonstrates
yet again that Moore is one of the government's most skilled ministers
- he knows the copyright file and is able to actively debate its
merits. Yet the interview raised several points worth challenging.
At 4:30, host Jesse Brown raises the issue of the "book burning"
requires students and teachers to destroy lessons that rely on the
exception within 30 days of the conclusion of the course. Moore moves
quickly to the departmental
that I obtained under Access to Information, which claim that this is
simply part of the balance. Yet few teachers will rely on a provision
that mandates the destruction of their materials at the conclusion of a
course and few students will want to have their materials destroyed.
The provision is an illusion - it looks at first glance like it will
assist education, yet practically it will be ignored. At 6:00, Moore
continues by arguing that it is common for students to encounter "time
limited" materials. But this provision does more than just create time
limitations for students since it creates matching time limits for
teachers, which effectively ensures it will rarely be used.
At 12:00, Brown and Moore engage in a discussion on digital locks, with
Moore turning to the claim that the government isn't imposing digital
locks, that the free market should work, government should get out of
the way, and creators should be able to protect themselves against
people who want to hack into their product and steal from them. Brown
notes that a better balance is available by linking circumvention to
infringment, to which Moore goes right back to the department
talking points that simply state the government has the right
Moore's response demands a few comments.
TagsShareTuesday October 04, 2011
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