No Canadian DMCA This Year

The roller coaster that is the Canadian DMCA has taken another turn.  Sometime between yesterday afternoon and this morning, the government decided to hold off.  At 10:00 am this morning, the introduction of new government bills came and went without a new copyright bill.  The Industry Minister's press secretary has advised journalists that the bill will not be introduced today or tomorrow.  Since the House of Commons will break at the end of the week, the Canadian DMCA will not be introduced until at least late January. 

Given this change of events, I reiterate my comment from earlier this week – this is Prentice's moment. He has an opportunity to brush aside the momentary embarrassment of the delays and instead work toward a genuine copyright balance by reaching out to all Canadians.  As astonishing number of people have voiced their concern over the past two weeks and the government seems to have listened. Now it must act by openly consulting and engaging with a country that genuinely cares about copyright.


  1. Maybe it was my phone call this morning? I like to wish. Hopefully Prentice will do the right thing and consult with all stakeholders on this issue before tabling the bill again. And it better be an amended one.

  2. CAUTIOSLY optimistic
    I have to remain CAUTIOSLY optimistic until Friday has passed. THEY can still surprise us on Friday.

    In the meantime, it is important that our movement gains even more momentum – we need it.

  3. R. Bassett Jr. says:

    It is not an embaressment to take a step back and reconsider matters in greater detail. Nor is it an embaressment to be uncertain what direction one should take when one is under great pressure. Let us hope that Mr. Prentice understands we’re not poking fun at him, etc. we simply would like stand up of Canadians on this issue.

    Thank you, Mr. Prentice, for holding off on the bill. The ball is in your court and we’re counting on you to include the Canadian interest in an future copyright reform.

  4. Seems Canada has bought itself a little time. With a laywer on your side is it possible to create and purpose your own copyright bill?

    I belive this is the *only* way you will get a fair deal.

  5. Patrick Cardinal says:

    For many people, including myself, and especially for the younger crowd (18-30 demography) it is the first time that they have implicated themselves into the political arena. It affects all of us and I am proud as a Canadian that our politicians seem to be listening to us.

  6. Harold Jarche says:

    Let’s keep the pressure up.

  7. Kenneth Chisholm says:

    I wrote to Mr. Prentice thanking for the delay and insisting that he begin hearings on the matter or at least come on CBC Radio’s internet news show, Search Engine, for an interview.

    It would be great if everyone could do likewise.

  8. Musician
    As a musician, even in my own opinion, I believe Canada would stand to lose more than they could ever DREAM of gaining by adopting yankee propoganda and influence in our laws. REMAIN STRONG Canada, and I’d like to offer my thanks to Mr. Geist as well. I was asked by a fan about what I thought about copywrite reform, and i answered on my page, sry, shameless plug but I dont want to monopolize this board either with my views. Feel free to visit or ignore the link. After all this is Canada, its your choice, still 🙂

  9. Musician *cont* more point. I do find it interesting though that the govt is called ‘weak’ when they follow the will of the people, what does that tell you about our society and how our govt IS in this day/age? Who is REALLY in charge?

  10. another musician
    The new proposed laws are ridiculous. Every citizen I’ve ever known would agree we have the right to copy/manipulate/destroy whatever material we OWN. Shouldn’t the musical content belong to the MUSICIANS anyway, and not the RIAA and labels making money off someone else’s work?

  11. Copyright at the RIAA
    P.D. I’ve bumped into a few who disagree, but only a few.

    As for your other point, copyright does belong to the content creator, but one of those rights is the right to sell that copyright. One of the great things about the internet is that it’s lowering the barriers of entry for content distribution thus giving artists more options in making money off their work.

  12. Other views
    I might not be the most popular guy here but I do believe that DRM protections are needed in our laws to ensure the viability of Canadian artists. I hope those now considering this legislation understand that this view is also held by many individuals and it’s not just large organizations like CRIA and ACTRA who are trying to pass such laws!

    Cheers and keep up the fight!


  13. The Boy Who Cried Wolf
    I gotta say that I think that this is pure tactics on the part of the Conservatives. I mean, what do you want to do to someone who is against you?

    – keep them off balance
    – discredit them

    The first can be achieved if they continually leak bad info. When will it come? I don’t know? Tomorrow? …

    The second occurs every time we go to people and tell them that it’s coming tomorrow and it doesn’t. If this happens enough then people will not care when it does, or worse, they won’t believe us.

    Problems problems problems.

    What I’d recommend is for to people to just say, it’s coming, but, I don’t know when. I’ll let you know when it does. If you want to join in, we’re talking about it on facebook. That way, we’re the only ones on the roller-coaster and the people that are necessary to help support us against this don’t become apathetic.

    That’s my 2 cents anyway.

  14. Solution
    Mr. Geist although we’ve never met. I would hope that perhaps we could gather the legal community and perhaps draft a bill ourselves. Since the government is obviously not going to consult in any proper fashion it would be a good idea to provide our own solution. At least an overview, something along the lines of the pledge work you did before.

    Don’t forget everyone…protest on December 18th, Tuesday, 1-2pm Queen’s Park, Toronto.

  15. If artists want DRM on there work, there’s nothing stopping them, unless, of course, they break people’s computers with a rootkit, and then they’re financially liable for the havok they’ve caused.

    Making laws to stop people breaking DRM are about as much sense as banning lockpicks to stop burglary, banning knives and guns to stop murder, and banning water to stop drowning accidents. Or about as much use as a chocolate teapot.

    What fair copyright is about is not stopping people implementing DRM (the market place will stop that as customers have voted with their $$ that they don’t want it) but to stop the government mandating DRM (which instantly destroys the concept of public domain) or stopping people getting around DRM for legitimate reasons of personal copying, time shifting, media shifting, parody, education or research, none of which remove money from creative’s pockets.

  16. Thank you Professor!
    Thank you very much for your efforts.

    Thank you to all the concerned citizens.

    I still fear this isn’t about money, given we do have the CPCC and several collecting societies, this is PURELY about MPAA/RIAA and US govt. control of ALL the entertainment media.

    This will be a bigger fight than we think I’m afraid 🙁

  17. With respect to the need for DRM to protect the profits of artists, we need a bit more honesty on this issue. The primary function is of DRM is to make it difficult to format shift. This is about corporations seeing an opportunity to re-sell us things that we already own, and continue to sell us products that are increasingly overvalued. When you buy a CD, are you buying the content or the delivery method? I think the answer you would have gotten from the media lawyers in 1987 would probably be quite different from what you’ll hear in 2007. Remember, Sony’s lawyers recently described ripping your own CDs to MP3s as theft — maybe it isn’t if you use a miniDisc (if you can find one) and rip to ATRAC.

    Going back to the artists, many bands have switched to touring more as a source of income. If anything, this will be good for musicians (but not necessarily the “music industry”) because it will bring back live music, and make manufactured commodities such as Britney Spears a thing of the past. (At least we can dream.)

  18. To Richard and Other views,

    Not to be ruining your dreams of DRM protected industry but . . .

    1. DRM treats legitimate customers as thieves.
    2. DRM from Sony aka ROOT KIT wrecked tons of pcs
    3. DRM protected games like Overlord (which I’ve bought and regretted) do not play on your pc if you own DVD-R+RW and who doesn’t? Lets not even talk about Bioshock.
    4. DRM protected software or music bought legit is more hassle then if you stole it.
    5. You wanna know how effective DRM or any protection in the world is? Google nforce That’s how much effectiveness it has.
    6. DRM ruins my right to back up the cd that I know will eventually get ruined because I’ve been playing it in my computer, hell if it lets me play it in my pc. And this is supposed to be compact disk format (CDF) playable anywhere. Sony was facing lawsuits because they labeled RootKit music crap, as music CD and yet it was not playable on a COMPACT DISK, go figure.
    7. DRM stops me from moving my own CD that I’ve bought and am holding in my hands onto another media. Like my ZEN.
    8. DRM only feeds greedy corps more money because they want you to buy same s–t for every format you want to use.
    9. You want to protect Canadian interests? Play 3 Canadian songs for every 1 Foreign song on the radio (socan has something to that effect). That gives more exposure not locking down content.
    10. Look at Trent Reznor when he said in October to steal his music. A lot of musicians may not agree with the way music is now but its a commodity and is traded all the time. I do not engage in p2p personally but a lot of people do and they do want to have access to music. During the trial of that woman that has to pay 222K dollars RIAA president came out and said that music houses make next to no money from tours or merchandising and you can bet your ass they would love to paw at that money too. Music industry overall is corrupt artists regularly lose rights to the songs they’ve written or they will release crap cds just to get out of the contract and in process ruin their career.

    In the end all I want is my right to own the media I just paid for. You should look at the trend of big music houses and how they are back-pedaling from DRM music, and you want to introduce that in Canada. No wonder we are 4 years behind the world in Cell business.

    Please I want you to realize that DRM is backwards thinking and that in 9/10 cases will cause blowback against the content creator and do nothing but damage reputation. There are emerging business models that everyone should take a look at if they want to promote competition. Somehow I don’t see and progress when they lock down our rights.

    I’ve focused on music because that’s the one industry mostly thrown around as wounded puppy when in fact that industry is quite evil. For reasons we all know.


  19. DJ Johnny Golden Disk says:

    While Canadian politicians keep sucking up to big business and american policy, US politicians are already moving to give consumers, innovators, and artists what they are asking for: fair and balanced copyright reform.

    ‘Tis the season for common sense copyright
    [ link ]

    I think its safe to say Prentice hasn’t done his homework, it seems as if someone else(CRIA) did it for him.

  20. Daniel Gussin says:

    While I understand the music and video industries feel that they have no control over file-sharing, they are doing everything they can to remain the big dinosaurs that they are. There has been no real movement towards understanding, appreciation let alone acceptance that technology changes and with those changes these large associations need to grow with the times. It is their huge buying power with the government keeping them alive rather than changing their business model to regain a market share.

    Suggestions? Remember that software restrictions cannot be employed because people will hack and find a way to destroy them.

    In this day and age of the music industry, I would rather see artists receiving as much of the money as possible without having to go through a record label. The record labels say that they provide a top of the line production studio and marketing gurus to push the album for a huge share of the profits. Why couldn’t they change their model? Or, better yet, the artists use the internet and file-sharing to their advantage.

    Isn’t it true anyways that musicians make most of their money from being on tour?

  21. Music as an Art
    \”Isn\’t it true anyways that musicians make most of their money from being on tour?\”

    Not for everyone. There are lots of musicians that perform very little or not at all. Big names that sell by reputations are an example. Another example are musicians that are good in studio manipulating technology but are not good live performers. For someone CDs are best for promoting live performances. For others very few live performances are enough for promoting lots of CDs selling. There are also artist that do not performs at all. Music is an Art and doesn’t matter if you can play or not. The artefact is what really count. Today’s digital age offers a total new spectrum of opportunities. With a computer you can easily edit any sound, manipulate it, create loops, and so on. Unfortunately if the new copyright law will pass those opportunities would be more difficult to achieve here in Canada. Those same opportunities will flourish in other countries which have more open laws or not at all. “Encouraging creativity and innovation” is the WIPO motto. Can you believe it?

  22. What format you’ll choose?
    The paradox is that CRIA is crying about CDs selling fallout. If format shifting will be illegal CDs selling is going to die definitively. Almost any teenager I know has a sort of MP3 player. I’m fifty and I have an MP3 player too. Many of my colleagues have sophisticated iPods which could easily contain all your CD collection. When we will be forced to choose between formats I’m afraid won’t be the CD.

  23. Well its Bah humbug to the RIAA and MPAA
    Any movie and music gifts from these companies over Xmas will returned for them trying to shove laws down our throats. And in the new year a nice little letter (actually probably a bit of a rude letter) to them and the companies with photocopies of the reciepts. Heck one to the US ambassador too.

    Hoping they loose lots and lots of money this holliday season, as it is the only thing the really care about.

  24. We Must Take Our Efforts to The NEXT Lev
    “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

    It seems to me that with the gathering storm of opposition that the next step should be to FORCE the Minister and government to abandon tabling the proposed legislation until they have held Canada-wide and accessible public consultations in order that they may then be able to table a Made-In-Canada bill that speaks for ALL Canadian.

    I find the Minister’s comments about NOT be able to speak about the contents of a the bill until its tabled VERY troubling. Especially given that this government has been caught on several occasions meetings with foreign governments and US corporations specifically about this legislation.

    Is there any legal mechanism that could used to require the government to hold public consultations with the specific intent to revise the bill as requested by ALL stakeholders involved.

    We have a very unique opportunity here to take this action to the next level and start getting this government to respond to the wishes of the Canadian people as MINORITY governments SHOULD. I would hate to waste it.

  25. Dano
    I have never participated in a protest/rally before. Here are my naive questions –

    1) Isn’t Queens Park in Toronto only the provincial level of government? Are we protesting in the right spot?

    2) Do we need a permit or need to register our protest or something?

  26. I’m writing in to say thank you for all your work on this issue thus far. Thanks to information originating from you, I’ve collected as many signatures on two petitions as I could and — when I had a microphone in hand to address a crowd a few nights ago — I snagged the opportunity to mention this issue. People are starting to realize that their voices DO matter!

  27. Pirate
    OK i’ll be honest where all of you aren’t.
    I pirate, i download and get stuff free.
    I also buy things i download
    great example is although i have pdf’s of 90% of palladiumbooks wares, i also have 80% of those as bought in store or via there online store direct ( high dollar at 1.10 i went nuts !!!)
    why collectables are valuable.
    Also the truth is if you don’t have money you aren’t buying anything. Now i realize the artists position and songwriters, and there proposal to add a 5$ levy to internet accounts is acceptable with one exception for fairness, possibly make it 6-7 and leave one type of mom n pop account for surfing webpages.
    then you will see how big the vocal minority is as everyone that doesnt have the 1megabit 30gb capped non levied account will be “those vocal minorites”
    its legal for downloading for personal use, and the RCMP has better things to do like go after pirates that sell it and SO THEY SHOULD.
    A proposal that can work is here and with some tweaking by this minister can not only show strength but get em some votes. Prove me wrong mr prentice cause i know your people read this. It will be very interesting to see people at queens park next week.
    Which one will i be?
    George at the HOUR had a way you all can do your part.
    make a mixed cd of your favorite music and place it on a bus or place where people can sit. with a note. Please listen and leave for next person.
    if 100,000 people do that imagine that.
    You aren’t affecting us pirates in the least with DRM, i laugh everytime i see SONY crap, everytime you penalize your own people and customers.
    the barenaked ladies get it, and are trying to figure ways to get compensated while not sueing people and the songwriters guild has the ONLY way it can work.
    WHOSE however incharge of that fee, and perhaps it ought to be a written law that it can only go up by inflation.
    my nickels worth.

  28. Taking advantage of piracy
    1) Rogers offers different internet plans: lite/express/extreme ($33/$45/$53) The latter one allows you to download up to 100GB per month that’s a lot of digital content.
    2) All MP3 players are able to store a huge amount of digital music which for the majority is downloaded via P2P.
    3) Any new DVD player plays now Divx and Xvid which are compressed video formats common in P2P file sharing. (Some has also a USB port for playing any kind of file from an hard disk or a USB memory stick).

    Any of those examples is taking advantage of “illegal” file sharing and getting a lot of money out of it.

    Perhaps artists are asking money at the wrong people.

  29. What?

    In all honesty, I think you’re either grossly uneducated, or just trolling. I’ll assume the former for now:

    1) 100GB isn’t what it used to be. In fact, I consider it cripplingly low. You’d probably be surprised just how much data is contained in the typical graphics intensive websites you visit. And that’s not considering places like youtube. Also, are you sure that it’s just downloading? Because most plans have up/down combined.

    2) You should do some research before you comment:

    [ link ]

    Though that’s an old study, given that legal music downloads are becoming more popular, I doubt that it’s worse. Btw, I found that using the google in about 30 seconds.

    3) a) I hope that’s hyperbole, because if you actually mean ‘any’ literally, well…

    b) What’s your point? Just because something could be used to play illegal content, does not mean that it is going to be. Ever hear of home movies? Do you have any idea how large the DV format is? DivX and Xvid are one of the many ways in which to get that file size down to a manageable level. Where would ‘To Know a Jedi’ have been without this technology?

    You’re also making the assumption that it’s the artists that are asking for money. It is not.

    But, I’ll also illustrate how asinine your logic is. Using your logic in another context, no-one should be able to buy a gun because it /could/ be used to kill/injure someone or otherwise be used in a crime. How often does that happen again? Basically, your logic is on its head.

  30. “35% of music listeners are using legal download services”. That means for me that 75% are not. Oh well the last stats I read was stating that 80% of music is downloaded illegaly. And by the way the Canadian musicians are asking for a levy of $5 for every internet connection as a compensation for the music that is downloaded illegally.

  31. If you do not buy a gun to injure somebody why do you buy it? To protect yourself from somebody else who bought a gun? In my country nobody is allowed to buy guns and nobody get ever injured by guns.

  32. The comments regarding illegal downloads are misleading. Firstly, it\\\’s not illegal to download many types of files (including Linux) from P2P networks. We pay a levy in Canada and that removes the issue.

    Furthermore, people are permitted to listen to music before they purchase (that is research). This is not recent internet magic, but simply more of the same thing we had since the 60s. People listen to the radio. Some people record off of the radio, and have done so for 40 years. That also is not illegal.

    What is illegal is copying and reselling the work as your own. But the laws should be clear because somebody who downloads a single music file to listen to on their iPod, or copies from their purchased CD to their iPod should not face the same legal penalties that large scale, organized crime does when they copy the CD\\\’s and resell them as originals. Extreme copyrights make those two uses identical as far as punishment goes, which makes no sense since you can safely record music off of digital radio.

    Or, if you record some television show and watch it 2 hours later you should not face the same punishment as somebody who makes $1 million in duplicated art.

    If the copyright laws (and penalties) are excessive, people will simply not buy them. The risk simply isn\\\’t worth it, and that does nobody any good. If you fear lawsuits from the CRIA, then the best solution is not to have any in the house; legal or otherwise. You can\\\’t time shift your television shows, you can format shift your CD\\\’s so can\\\’t have them on iPod, and you can\\\’t prove all of your mp3\\\’s were downloaded at eMusic and never shared with anyone.

    How about fair laws? WHY would anyone fear fair laws?

  33. @pacifist:

    Please note that I don’t own a gun nor do I plan on owning one. But, there are legitimate uses for firearms such as, hunting and sports (e.g. Biathlon).

    nobody get ever injured by guns.

    That I find hard to believe. There is always the criminal element that won’t exactly live according to the law (such being a defining quality of a criminal).

    Again, a few second google. But, it gets the point across.

    [ link ]


    “35% of music listeners are using legal download services”. That means for me that 75% are not.

    You gotta love that math, LOL. 75% + 35% = 110%

    If you can’t get that right…

    Btw, you’re also not considering the rise in popularity of iTunes as well as other online retailers, etc since that article was published.

    Google ‘itunes increase popularity’ to get several articles on how itunes is getting more popular. This also has positive secondary effects:

    [ link ]

    And that’s only one online store.

    Oh well the last stats I read was stating that 80% of music is downloaded illegaly.

    And those stats are where? Where’s the link? Who was it funded by? The US/Canada recording industry or was it an independent study? These are rather important questions.

    And by the way the Canadian musicians are asking for a levy of $5 for every internet connection as a compensation for the music that is downloaded illegally.

    I think that you are confusing record labels with musicians. That is unless something happened without me knowing. That is of course very possible, but I’m not going to believe you without at least a link to an article from a reputable source.

    Please stop blowing smoke (you’ve written nothing but heresay) and start having an /actual/ discussion. Because, if you’re not capable of having an actual discussion, then I’m not going to allow you to troll me anymore.

  34. I call myself NAIVE because I know I do
    Here are the links about the Canadian songwriters association and the Canadian music creator coalition proposing a levy on internet connections.

    [ link ]

    [ link ]

    Statistic is not a perfect science and there are lots of studies that contradict each other (depending also upon who is paying for them).

    For example these is a study made in England in 2007 that states that piracy is increasing:

    “There is a noticeable increase in piracy. After a decline in 2006, unauthorised downloading increased in 2007 to its highest level to date. Survey reveals that piracy likely to increase further still.”

    [ link ]

    Anyway lets drop this here since this is a public domain and is not suitable for a personal diatribe between you and I. (I have anyway a suggestion: using a less aggressive and offensive language will help you to sound more credible and to have a more constructive discussion with your peers).

    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.
    — Bertrand Russell

  35. haha really
    that you say XVID when i could create a file thats better quality and smaller called a x264/h264 using AVC and aac for sound is funny.

    AND the more these morons yah about it the more people see how:
    A) easy this is.
    B) how convienient it is
    C) how cheap it is ( haha freeeee )
    D) how much they really get ripped off by people that drive around in fast cars and live in where is that place oh yah hollywood.

    Rumor has it that the CRIA is sending a lot more money to americans then it is to canucks which is why the CMCC was really formed or at least one reason.

    New reality make it free and tour for music.
    Make it free for movies and games, theatres pay for it, online multiplayer pay for it.
    software goto
    who needs to pay for anything.
    AND XVID is open source, so i could in effect take a 4.7 gb dvdr and place at normal xvid quality 8 movies with space for a nice menu, or double that with mp4 video.
    and dont get me going how many music tunes you can store.
    and go ahead do a google on my nick.
    then try your own.
    see how far i get around.

    as i stated if U have no cash to buy something, you can’t buy it there is no gain economically, so if i have somehting when i am poor as seems i will and shall forever be then i am neither a loss to artist nor a gain.
    it is mean spirit and commies ( small group a people like old russia ) that are called business men and they try and gain more control for these greedy american lawsuits, when they could be doing the opposite and now after all these years whats it shown in the USA that the lawsuits stop piracy OMFG.
    I was at a ebook torrent site. 98% of the traffic was american. in a torrent with 50 people 2 were canadian.
    and yes its private. you nor the artists will know stats, nor know what is or can be gotten there. Thats how we want it, eh?

    P.S. i copy things every time i dl them, i copy them everytime i move them to another dir on my drive(s)
    so ambiguous is the copying end that its moot in my mind.
    cops won’t even bug yah fer uploading but if i were to sell or you were to sell or otherwise make a profit beyond costs and by those id also say if a torrent board owner ( some for a bank account for legal fund and being a head 2 months server fees and perhaps 10% extra for upgrades to server) then you make me sick as you are profiting.
    and the levy has nothing to do with the act of downloading, there isn’t one on iPOD’s anymore, nor are there on hard drives aka external hard drive hookup.

    as to the gun idiot, you need to hunt and you have internet, HRM i have a problem with that. you obviously live in some place near a phone and prolly a store.
    oh and in passing, do we need more laws and lawyers or less of them.
    its the only way.