Here Comes the DMCA

With U.S. Ambassador to Canada David Wilkins looking on, the Conservative government unveiled its Speech from the Throne tonight.  Wilkins and the copyright lobby undoubtedly liked what they heard.  As expected, the government has prioritized copyright reform, promising to "improve the protection of cultural and intellectual property rights in Canada, including copyright reform." No words of balance, no words of access – simply more protection led by copyright legislation.  This suggests – consistent with most speculation – that a DMCA-style bill could be coming to Canada within a matter of weeks.


  1. so what stance are all the parties likely to take on this, and who will the Conservatives likely turn to for support?

  2. Support
    Everyone except the NDP will support it. And the NDP will probably still vote for it, but debate against it. I think that’s what happened with the cam-cording bill.

  3. @Chris: I don’t know, the NDP tends to be pretty big on protecting Canadian culture etc… if this were framed the right way (which you know it will be), it will come across as “a vote against is a vote to dilute Canada’s cultural sovereignty”. I’m not sure there’s much hope of a political party putting up a fight on this issue…

  4. 7tHNk
    Maybe the Greens? We need a Ron Paul on this to cut through the smoke. I doubt Canadians want copyright infringement awards of $220,000 for sharing under 30 songs.

  5. How Nice…
    …of them. Never trusted the Conservatives to begin with, but this just reassures me that their interests lie South of the border!

  6. Dwight Williams says:

    Oh no.
    I suppose it’s too late to write my MP on this one(again)?

  7. BCDD and music lover says:

    More imported crap
    Lets copy another failed situation from the south just great.
    Like the new old war on drugs
    Just a waste of tax dollars.

    More paper to waste for more letters 🙁 will they ever listen to the will of the people )

    My 2 Watts

  8. use and throw culture
    It doesn’t have any sense to restrict intellectual properties any further when actually copyright restrictions should be loosened in order to be adequate to today’s “use and throw” culture.
    In theory “the people” should be the ultimate garbage bin for any piece of art which has reached the end of its very short life cycle.
    In practice when what is good for the many clashes with what is good for the few is always the few that win (when they are the one in power).

  9. Russell McOrmond says:

    Write your MP!
    If what you heard in the Throne Speech concerns you, then write your MP! Whether we head into an election soon or not, MPs will be debating this and they will remember constituents who alerted them to this issue when they are looking for advise.

    This isn’t an issue about parties, but about people. Find out what *your* MP has to say about these issues, and if we are an election you need to focus on the candidates and not the parties.

  10. Thanks Russell – you have solid advice.

    I think the Conservative MPs are afraid of saying anything contrary to the PM.
    MP Bill Casey got ousted in June for voting against the fedearl budget and Garth Turner for being too communicative and open.

    Letters I have sent to my Conservative MP have been replied to with an air of ‘obedience to Harper’ about them, but I will not stop writing.

  11. Email your MP, tell them that if they pass American style DCMA laws that you will not vote for them. When the election comes, remember to keep your word.

  12. Sigh…
    Here goes another letter to my MP. I hope he actually reads it.

  13. Dady Harper says:
    «well i am sometimes a bad father: i will let my kids download the google logo when i set at the computer to search something with them…»

    this is ridiculous and directed not only by the Canadian industry, but by the MPAA and RIAA. Talk about «cultural independance».

    BTW being from Quebec, i can tell you no one should expect the Bloc to vote against such a bill unless its bundled with something really, REALLY, irritating to the intrests of Quebec.

  14. Good ideas, but my MP is “decided to not to seek re-election” , so effectively I have no representation. He is accountable to no one.

  15. Of Course, we all know the Conservatives’ DMCA like bill will be *totally* different than Bill C-60 tabled by the liberal Minister of Heritage in 2005. Keep that in mind when you all run out to make your ‘protest vote’.

    Also please remember it was that ditz Copps and the noble Mr. Manley that commited to sign the WIPO Copyright and Performance treaties in the late 90s.

    I’m so glad you all seem to think the conservatives are the ones that have it in for Canadians and their digital rights. If the libs hadn’t negotiated and commited to signing those damn treaties, we wouldn’t currently be under pressure to ratify them.

    On the other hand, maybe we should get the libs back in…they managed to do jack squat in the 13 years they were in power…maybe they could rustle up another scandal or two that would put this one on the back burner for another few years.