The Fair Copyright for Canada Facebook group has attracted considerable media attention in recent weeks as its continued growth (over 37,000 members) and impact on the policy debate is a noteworthy part of the Canadian copyright reform story. While the public concern over a Canadian DMCA likely contributed to the decision to delay in the bill last December, indications over the past few days are that the legislation may be back on track. The bill is coming sooner rather than later and though it may feature some changes, Industry Minister Jim Prentice is pushing forward with a Canadian DMCA.
If true, Canadians must continue to press their elected officials to listen to the concerns of Canadians on digital copyright. To that end, I am delighted to announce that the Fair Copyright for Canada group is expanding with local chapters and website outside Facebook. The local chapters will organize local events, facilitate meetings with area Members of Parliament, and educate their communities about fair copyright. The initial chapters include Calgary, Edmonton, Halifax, London, Montreal, Ontario East, Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver, Victoria, Windsor/Essex County, and Winnipeg/Manitoba. Many of these groups launched quietly over the holidays with great success – the Montreal chapter alone already has over 200 members.
My hope is that people will join both the national group, which will continue to be the home to a robust conversation on copyright, as well as their local chapter. If your community or school is not represented and you would be interested in getting involved, let me know.
Update: IT World Canada covers the launch of local chapters with interviews with several local leaders.