Canadian DMCA To Be Introduced Tomorrow Morning?

There are rumours in Ottawa this evening that Industry Minister Jim Prentice has decided to forge ahead with the Canadian DMCA with the bill to be introduced tomorrow morning.  There has obviously been a huge amount of coverage of this issue over the past 48 hours (Montreal Gazette, IT World, Heise Online (German), Billboard, Hollywood Reporter, Ottawa Citizen) along with the massive growth of the Fair Copyright for Canada Facebook group (almost 19,000 members with another Canadian joining every 30 seconds). 

Given the short delay, it is unlikely that the bill has been altered in any fundamental way.  Despite claims that Prentice was working to balance consumer interests, it would appear that he has decided that no further consultation with Canadians is needed.  He has instead bowed to pressure from the U.S. and copyright lobby groups. As I argued yesterday, this is a missed opportunity.  Rather than showing leadership by working for a Canadian-made solution, Prentice chosen a path that is likely to divide and lead to much protest from the tens of thousands of people who have made their views known over the past ten days.

Update: Further confirmation from multiple sources. Pressure from Washington and concern over the news coverage of the past two days, widely viewed as embarrassing to the Prentice, are viewed the primary reasons for the change of heart. 


  1. The Thompson says:

    Despite wanting to avoid sounding partisan….I think the Conservatives are going to employ divisive politics here like we’ve seen going on south of the border lo these last few years…they’re exhibiting this type of behaviour with their environmental policies as well, not to mention trying their hardest to control the message and muzzle the media.

  2. Perhaps Prentice has realizes that the longer he waits the stronger we become.

    Could he force this through all three (?) readings in two days? Would the opposition let him?

  3. Interesting. Yet another CBC article pops up, this time it\’s the ACTRA:

    [ link ]’ target=’_blank’>link ]

    Quote from the article:
    \”ACTRA said it is now apparent that no bill will be introduced before the House of Commons goes into recess for the holidays at the end of this week.\”

    Do they know something we don\’t? Anyway, what\’s interesting is the bottom of the article:
    \”A large number of Canadian musicians, however, do not support ACTRA\’s position and are concerned that industry bodies are not speaking in their interests.\”

    Anyway, I encourage readers to follow the link and read it.

    [ link ]’ target=’_blank’>link ]

  4. Odd the way link is formatted. Here it is again:

    [ link ]

  5. I say we all do protests infront of the buildings of ACTRA, CRIA..

  6. Partisan Divisiveness?
    @The Thompson
    What exactly makes you think they’ll employ “divisive politics” here? I voted Conservative in the last election and I just mailed my letters to my MP and Mr. Prentice saying that the law as it’s been described so far is a bad idea.

    And I actually don’t think that the Conservatives attitude towards the media is much of a problem for this issue. Stephen Harper’s thing about the media has been to bypass the National Press Gallery. They’re not all that relevant to us as we’re getting the word out and organizing over the net, blogs, facebook etc.

    Have you written to your MP and Jim Prentice yet?

  7. Bill Chalmers says:

    I emailed both Mr Prentice and my local MP on the weekend; I have been a Conservative voter my entire life and this single issue directly affects me more than any other bill tabled in recent memory. Im not sure if Mr Prentice is aware how important an issue our electronic freedoms are to Canadian voters. If this bill goes through I will never vote for a conservative government in any form ever again.

  8. Seems like ACTRA are getting in on the act with more guff and lies: [ link ]

    Let’s show them we’re not a minority…… ACTRA are obviously shills for their US cousins.


  9. e-mail vs. regular mail
    @ Bill Chalmers
    Don’t just e-mail them. Print the e-mail out, sign it and drop it in a mailbox. Politicians just don’t take e-mail as seriously. I wish they did, but they don’t. (I asked them to reply to me by e-mail though).

  10. Copyright Coal
    How about suggesting that with this bill people will receive a lump of copyright restrictions in their stockings this Christmas? Maybe they could relate to that better!

  11. Theo Thompson says:

    Written by Issachar on 2007-12-12 19:37:11

    Yah, I voted Conservative as well in the last fed election, and was a card carrying member a while back, seconded the nomination of an MPP with a speech etc…I just see some parallels between the Rove like tactics down south and Harpers methods up here….time will tell I suppose, but it’s better not to start a partisan argument anyway 😉

  12. Theo Thompson says:

    Written by Issachar on 2007-12-12 19:37:11
    Have you written to your MP and Jim Prentice yet?

    Yup, emailed, called his office during his open house last Saturday, called and talked to my MP’s legislative assistant in her Ottawa office, and then talked to my MP when she called me back from her Toronto office….I’ve posted my email on several prominent Canadian blogs (Canadian Cynic, Galloping Beaver) and Facebook for others to use – with footnotes 😉

    Oh, and its a good idea to also email the opposition leaders, I emailed Dion and urged him to follow through on his talk regarding setting a left vs right, US vs Cdn ideological battle in the new year incorporating this topic since it plays right in to that idea.

    I’ll be doing another round of contacting etc when this thing gets tabled as well.

  13. \”Pressure from Washington\” what if we dont?? Washington going to start a war here? like they are doing all over the world??..

    BUSH get your haed out of the first ladys big dark bush and get sum coffee as your talkin shit to Canadians.

  14. R. Bassett Jr. says:

    Whoah, Whoah, Whoah!
    Looks like we’re about to buy those BOMARC missles and cancel the Arrow after all, eh?

    From Slashdot:
    “While the RIAA continues to sue people for p2p file sharing, the record labels have made an about-face and given their blessing to users sharing MP3s via the social networking site In May this year the site was being sued by Warner for allowing users to upload photos, videos, and music to share. However to everyone’s amazement, instead of being flattened, managed to convince the label that this free promotion was a good thing. In July signed a deal with the label. Since then the site has added Sony, BMG, EMI, and now the biggest fish of them all, Universal. Imeem now has the royal flush of record labels supporting its media-sharing service, each getting a cut of the advertising revenues generated by their catalog. Finally someone has figured out a way to do ‘YouTube for MP3s’ without getting sued out of existence.”


    Again, the world/rules change just in time for the Conservative Party of Canada to kick Canadians in the balls and leave them behind the times. History does repeat itself, I see.


    For those that don’t quite understand what I am refering to here,

    In 1959 the Conservative minority government cancelled the Avro Arrow project, which was paid for with Canadian Tax payer’s money through it’s entire development. The project was nearly finished and employed some 30,000 Canadians though its associated industries. After the cancellation, they had all research, planes, tools, etc. destroyed and Canadians essentuially paid millions of dollars for jack squat, rather than waiting out end of the project where we would have at least 7 of the most advanced aircraft on Earth. At the time, the Cons were under pressure from the US to cancell the Arrow and buy some cruise missles, called BOMARCs. We did, the missles never worked properly and were instantly out dated, we then spent a hell of alot of money on sub-standard aircraft to fill the gap the cancelled Arrows were to fill. So, in the end Canadians were left with a ruined industry, substandard air defence, many millions of dollars of wasted money, and a Conservative government that still refuses to admit they made a mistake.

    This new copyright law is the same old mistake – bowing to pressure from the USA only to find out shortly afterwards that there was no need; The market for music and video will work itself out over time, as we can see in the above quote, and when it does the loudest of the lobbiest will go away and the rest of the people worried about copyright infringment will use the excellent laws Canada already has in place!

    This sort of thing will continue to happen until we elect an NDP government: they are the only ones who haven’t let Canada down. Yet.

  15. “Pressure from Washington and concern over the news coverage of the past two days, (…)”

    Isn’t this the same party that promised to “Stand up for Canada” during the last federal election?

    Isn’t this the same government that passed the Federal Accountability Act to limit the influence of lobbyists on Parliament Hill? Why now are foreign lobbyists more important to this government than the opposition expressed by regular taxpaying citizens?

  16. Theo Thompson says:

    In reference to the Billboard article linked in the post…

    Ahhhh good’ole Henderson, mouthpiece for Foreign MNCs

    Graham Henderson, the president of the Canadian Recording Industry Association, said he was surprised by the amount of rhetoric surrounding a law that had not even been made publicly available.

    “I find it incomprehensible that people can get worked up over a bill that they have never even seen,” he said, adding debate typically comes after legislation is introduced. “I’m amazed at the ability of those opposed to this to divine the contents of a bill that was supposed to be kept within cabinet.”

    Well there Graham, this ‘rhetoric’ as you call it, is mainly based on the impression that a failed American law was going to be adopted up here, not at the behest of Canadians but of foreign corporations, which you represent. The ‘rhetoric’ as you call it is actually a participatory democracy in action. I find it incredibly insulting that you would denigrate Canada and Canadians by referring to it as anything else.

    “There has already been substantial consultation on past proposed revisions to the Copyright Act, Henderson points out, including Bill C-60, which died when an election was called for January 2006.”

    Hmmm, this consultation you speak of, would it be the one from 6 years ago with a different set of circumstances, a different government and a different reality? In a democracy Graham, it’s not a bad thing to consult with your electorate on far-reaching and invasive legislation…but by the way you sound, it seems that it would be too much trouble to actually do this. So we should just let it pass no questions asked, move along nothing to see here?

    Is this how you feel? That it would be to onerous to consult with all the individuals and groups this legislation would affect…you know us, the citizens in this democratic nation?

  17. Woah… let’s tone down the rhetoric..
    Like Theo Thompson said, it’s better not to turn this into a partisan argument. And as Graeme pointed out ACTRA’s against us, so it’s not just “foreign lobbyists”. (ACTRA calls us a “vocal minority”).

    Our best chance of getting a good copyright law is to ditch the partisan politics and inflammatory rehtoric. We need to show Jim Prentice that our views on copyright reform are widespread and cross party lines. This isn’t about getting one party elected or defeated. This is about getting a good copyright law that protects our rights and not some Canadian DMCA.

  18. WTF if you say the above then do it harper..
    Stephen Harper releases plan rooted in Canadian values Integrity, family, respect for work, achievement – Canada strong and free.


    the above quote can be found here – [ link ]

    Canadian values is not to be a baby when the USA demands somthing

    Remember harper you did say “Canada strong and free”

    yeah we are Canada strong and free but you harper is a lil pussy who will not stand up to G.W.Bush.

  19. The Primary Objective of Copyright
    \”The primary objective of copyright is not to reward the labor of authors, but [t]o promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts.\” \”To this end, copyright assures authors the right to their original expression, but encourages others to build freely upon the ideas and information conveyed by a work. This result is neither unfair nor unfortunate. It is the means by which copyright advances the progress of science and art.\”

    — US Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O\’Connor

  20. stop the rhetoric
    You are right let’s stop the rhetoric and start to call things with their real name. When a public Canadian officer take orders from Washington instead of listening to the people who elected him I would easily call him a pathetic traitor no matter what is his political party.

  21. Protest
    Just thought I would inform everyone of the Queen’s Park Protest. Tuesday, December 18th, between 1-2pm. More details are available at the event page on Facebook. You can also contact me via email at:

    Link is as follows: [ link ]

  22. I agree that it doesn’t look good on Harper, Prentice, or any Conservative right now. On the other hand though, it is important to both build allies, and neutralize support, in all four parties. They all deserve props when they deserve them, and shots across the bow when they deserve them too.

    The main thing is still to twist the arm and bend the ear of the Member from the riding that you live in and vote in. Keep it up.

  23. Neutralize support for the copyright expansionist agenda, that should be.

  24. Video footage of Jim Prentice in Calgary

    [ link ]

  25. Amazing didn’t danny williams say you can’t trust stephen harper and his bunch ( ABC – anything but conservatives )

    Prentice wanted people to cheer go away and then he could try this, with baird ruining our image on climate change, and his potetial scandel involving bribery with that ottawa mayor, harper gov’t is coming to an end.
    You’re hearing stronger words from liberals and its about time they had balls.
    My guess is if they dont take em down soon they never will.
    Wait times are up
    we get a DMCA law
    we get no real action on climate change
    we get corupt govt ( baird affair and mulroney stuff and assocates still in harper govt )
    -regarding that notice how the conservatives only put YOUNG people in front a camera’s. Ya don’t want any older peep who was around now do ya.
    Accountability my arse.
    more like my pad our accounts.
    bunch a crooks

  26. Lindsay Stewart says:

    Response to ACTRA
    Just left this in the CBC message board on the ACTRA article:

    “As a member of ACTRA, I am disappointed and dismayed with the guild’s stance. The misplaced fears that seem to lie behind the willingness to abandon fair use provisions of copyright law smack of kowtowing to the corporate media cartels. ACTRA went on strike only a year ago to protect the rights of performers, in particular as regards online distribution, now they are ready to cut everyone else loose. That is a sad and selfish move on ACTRA’s part and I will be writing to state my complaints to the membership and office.

    I hope my fellow actors and performers will see through the heavily funded smoke and mirrors. You don’t fix a broken window by burning down the house. Many of my peers are content creators as well as performers. I ask them to write to ACTRA as well. The haughty outrage coming from the guild has more to do with fear and greed than it has to do with rights and freedoms. I’m not famous or powerful but I hope the CBC will continue to give voice to the legitimate public concerns over this issue and not just listen to the payed flacks of the industry.”

  27. Andrew Butash says:

    “Pressure from Washington”?! Prentice, you spineless little worm! Nice to know our government is so concerned with standing up to US pressure to follow them off the cliff. God, this makes me so angry I can’t even find the words. Time for some phone calls…

  28. Strategy
    This could be a strategic move on Prentice’s part. Whether or not he was surprised or not over the backlash, matters only a little.

    He knows that it probably will get canned, he might even be counting on that. It is such a strong piece of work,
    If it doesn’t pass. He can say that he was doing his job to the PM, and to everyone else that has an interest in this.

    We get to go on with what we are doing, and get left alone by those stupid americans.

  29. I have simple solution for the treasonous bunch.
    If you like US laws so much. Why don’t you move down there?

    See I told it was simple. We like our freedoms and no we don’t need you telling us we’re all thieves. If this law goes through I will stop going to the cinemas, I am already only going there once a year anyways but now it will be complete stop and I will encourage others to stop going too. I already buy music directly from artists when I can because I know they are getting jack shit if I buy the CD. Just ask Trent Reznor.

    Now what concerns me the most is what CDMCA will say on open source software, as I am making a final push to leave windows and all kinds of other locked down software behind. DRM locked down software is an abysmal failure. Here is a simple example of it in the PC gaming world (OK more then one): Sony Rootkit, BioShock, Overlord, . . . If you stole bioshock you had less of a hassle then if you bought it.

    I suspected as much from this government as soon as I’ve heard that Harper didn’t like talking to media and all the meetings were behind closed doors. That is bush style of governing and no I will not be the sheep like those south of the border that gave their freedoms away. Once liberty is given away freely it cannot be taken back.

  30. Jim Robinson says:

    Count me as another (soon-to-be former?) supporter. I’ve consistently voted Reform and CA and the only reason I didn’t vote Conservative in the last election was because a) I was extremely intent on not seeing the Liberals re-elected, combined with b) the Conservatives ran a sacrificial candidate in my usually left-leaning riding.

    However, if the Conservatives bring in anti-consumer, anti-private property, US DMCA-based legislation, I would really have a difficult time giving them the time of day, much less my support as a voter.

    As someone before said, our view crosses party lines. We need to make sure the Conservatives know that.