Mainstream Media Picks Up Where It Left Off on Copyright

Those that thought that interest in the copyright reform issue would disappear after the holidays have been in for quite a surprise.  The year ended with television coverage on the Hour and front page coverage of copyright in the Globe and Mail ("Ottawa Accused of Caving in to Hollywood on Copyright") and 2008 has seen more of the same.  Over the weekend, the Canwest papers covered the year-end Canadian digital music sales, noting that the growth is faster in Canada than in the United States.  Today, Canwest is back with an article that appears across the country on how a Canadian DMCA could make "everyday habits" illegal.  While some may quibble with some of the issues raised in the article (it is already unlawful to time shift in Canada and student restrictions apply in the digital realm), the article highlights how the consumer concerns associated with copyright reform have taken hold over the past six weeks.  Moreover, the article extends the issue to the Canadian business community, with comments from Telus on the need for more flexible fair dealing to allow new business models to emerge.

The Hill Times also sports prominent copyright coverage, with a front page article on the political implications of copyright reform.  I'm quoted several times in the piece, with the discussion on how copyright could emerge as an election issue if the Conservatives fail to address the need for balance.  I argue that this is particularly true in urban areas as well as those ridings with large universities and colleges.

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