CBC's Search Engine received hundreds of questions for Industry Minister Jim Prentice on the forthcoming copyright bill, yet the Minister advised the program yesterday that he would not take any questions until the bill is introduced. Prentice's unwillingness to respond to Canadians' concerns speaks volumes, but on the assumption that he will eventually defend his Canadian DMCA, I would ask the following ten questions:
1. After you unveiled the government's approach to the release of new spectrum, you indicated that you granted a full hour to each company involved in the issue to state their case. It has also been reported that you have met with U.S. Ambassador David Wilkins on the copyright issue. Would you please advise which other stakeholders you've met with on copyright reform? Have you personally met with consumer groups, privacy commissioners, education groups, researchers, and creator groups such as the Canadian Music Creators Coalition and Appropriation Art, to hear their concerns?
2. The public was last consulted on digital copyright reform more than six years ago in 2001. Given the dramatic change since that time, why has the government not consulted the public on this issue before introducing major copyright reforms? Given the lack of consultation, will the government commit to full committee hearings that grants everyone who wants to appear the right to do so?
3. While the government is clearly committed to implementing the WIPO Internet treaties, those treaties feature considerable flexibility. Leaving aside the debate over whether the treaties are good policy for Canada, there is no debating that Canada need not adopt a maximalist, U.S.-style DMCA in order to be compliant with the treaties. Given that flexibility (which was embraced in the 2005 Bill C-60 bill that died on the order paper), why would you revert unnecessarily to a more restrictive approach?