John Ibbitson of the Globe and Mail has a column today (
unfortunately behind a paywall) on the copyright issue. The column gets many of the issues right – the complexity of the file, the likelihood of greater U.S. pressure, and the fact that Canada is a net importer of cultural goods. The piece also contains a couple of newsworthy tidbids including word that Industry Minister Bernier and Canadian Heritage Minister Oda met last week to work out a final agreement on a copyright bill but failed to do so. It also confirms that U.S. Ambassador Wilkins recently sent a "stern letter" to Prime Minister Harper on intellectual property enforcement.
That said, it gets several things wrong. First, Ibbitson says the issue boils down to:
Copyright owners, from garage bands to Disney, want strict prohibitions on practices and technologies that allow people to record, copy and download copyrighted works without paying for them. Their champion is the Heritage Minister. The Industry Minister, however, represents the ordinary user, the educator, the entrepreneur, who wants the greatest possible latitude in exploiting the knowledge and information available on discs, the Web and in databases.
Ibbitson gets it half-right.