Be Careful What You Wish For

As I read reports tonight that France has advanced plans to legalize P2P, I was reminded that during the copyright reform process, groups such as CRIA are often heard to say that Canada needs to follow the lead of the rest of the world.  In light of recent events, I suspect that many user groups might be inclined to agree.  We could follow:

  • the Australian lead of moving toward fair use
  • the UK lead in holding hearings on the dangers associated with DRM
  • the French lead of considering legalized P2P with a levy system to cover audio and video downloads
  • the US lead on legislation that allows for increased of Internet materials in the classroom
  • the South Korean lead of not prosecuting downloaders for personal purposes
  • the majority of the world's population which has not ratified the WIPO Internet treaties nor extended the term of copyright beyond life of the author plus 50 years

With a new Conservative cabinet set to be named on Monday, it will be important to remind officials that international standards means much more than just deciding what to do about the WIPO Internet treaties.


  1. (Regina)
    Who speaks for us at such conferences? Is there a way I can indicate that currently and for the past year or so, Dr. Geist has been representing my internet interests more so than any of the people I have voted for municipally, provincially, and federally.

  2. X2
    I agree. I feel that you would do a great job representing the “user’s rights” – Why aren’t you able to get on the heritage committee that reforms copyright laws?

  3. Michael Pemberton says:

    Reading between the aussie lines
    One of the main reasons for the introduction of a “fair use” provision in Australian law is due to the Free Trade Agreement that will soon be in place between Australia and the US. Since there is a fair use provision in US law, there needed to be a similar provision in Australia.

    The downside of the FTA is that the US’ excessive DMCA and patent laws will come into force in Australia.

    So, we will be allowed to rip our CDs, but this will come at a great cost to our existing freedoms.

  4. Situation in France
    Unfortunately, the french government is far from legalizing P2P !

    During a rally before xmas, some MPs brought an amendement pro-P2P (a global licence paid by internauts). But that’s the opposite of the gov wishes.

    All the negociations arount copyright were stopped due to this amendement but the ban of downloads will be back soon. If the bill passes, it will : ban P2P and forbid any technology that allows reading protected content. It means that Open Source software that can read DVD could be forbidden thanks to this law.

    In fact, the situation in France might be worst than in many other countries.

    PS : this law is a transcription of an european rule concerning copyright and information technologies. Many other country passed similar bill to conform to the european rule.