Growing Calls for a Copyright Commission

In recent days, there have been mounting calls for the creation of copyright inquiry or Royal Commission to sort out the copyright file.  Christopher Moore, John Degen, Howard Knopf, Julianna Yau, and Russell McOrmond have all joined the call (to varying degrees), while Yau has established a Facebook group to promote a copyright public inquiry.  I believe these calls are entirely consistent with my suggestion that Industry Minister Jim Prentice use the current copyright delay to consult more broadly.  One of the consistent themes from the hundreds of comments posted over the past few weeks is the sense that Canadians feel that they have not had their say on copyright.  Whether it is called a Royal Commission, a public inquiry, an expert advisory panel, or a public consultation there is a need to engage in a national consultation about copyright in Canada before introducing any further copyright legislation.


  1. Josée Plamondon says:

    Consultant, Web strategy
    The story around the right to use pictures in the Buble video by Richter Scales (see, 12-20-2007) is a very good example of the fair use vs. free speech issue.

    As a francophone, I am disappointed by the fact that almost nothing has been said in the Québec media about the debate around the new copyright law. May be the copyright delay will give us time to catch up.

    Thanks for keeping us informed

  2. Michael \”Kiss My Ass\” Geistt
    And let me guess who you see as the Grand Inquisitor of your little Copyright Star Chamber, eh, prof? Do you gaze at your reflection in the monitor and see “Man of the Year” in floating headlines? Enjoy the view, Prof. It’s fun to be famous, eh? All things must pass.

  3. To Josee about the lack of French covera
    I think the lack of coverage is due to lack of noise in the general populous. I know there is a call out for anyone who can speak or translate into French to help out by getting a French Facebook group going that will spell out the issue en francais to point to. Then start with the letter writing to the editors of all the papers, and emails to the French media. That’s the way to do it. Use Facebook to spread the word en francais. The more people, the more coverage.

    No, to Observer. You\’re wrong. He’s only the Messenger. It’s we, the people of Canada, that are leading this push to want to consult us. It’s our government, that makes laws for US, not for American and multinational corporations benefit!

  4. R. Bassett Jr. says:

    “… there is a need to engage in a national consultation about copyright in Canada before introducing any further copyright legislation.”

    Truly, that makes complete sense. The world will not come to a grinding halt if Canada takes a few months to properly consider the issue of copyright, so we may as well have a comprehensive look at the current state of affairs and go from there. The business of media consumption has changed considerably, with the shift away from rotational media to solid state media, but the heart of other copyrighted material, such as books, reports, studies, etc. has remained the same. As such, it seems to me that perhaps all we may need in the end are a few minor ammendments to our already strong (and fair) copyright laws. Who cares if we signed a treaty (WIPO) in 1997? Certainly, those who signed that treaty were not fortune tellers, so if the details of that treaty no longer reflect the reality of what is in the best interest of Canada, then I see no need to adhere to the treaty. Sorry, “them’s the brakes”, as my father would say.

  5. Definite Need For Rational Analysis
    First: To Observer: Nonsensical trolling does not add anything of merit to the discussion and childish personal attacks only serve to illustrate the lack of intellect on the part of the attacker.

    There is a definite need for consultation and fact-finding before enacting copyright reform and who better to analyse and explain such a complex issue than a law professor and recognized expert on the internet and copyright.
    The various industry lobby groups have expended a great deal of time and effort in pushing for legislation which will favour their cause (and pocketbook). We, Canadian citizens, need all the help we can get in understanding the laws and to protect our rights. Whether there is a Royal Commission or a general copyright public inquiry, the contributions of Moore, Degan, Knopf, Yau (and Prof, Geist) would go a long way towards offsetting the self-serving propaganda of the so-called “BiG Media”

    We must not relax now, we have to push for a full public consultation/inquiry/commission and ensure that the views of all stakeholders are properly represented in a “Made in Canada” bill.