The list of opponents to Industry Minister Jim Prentice's Canadian DMCA continues to grow. I've already noted that the bill is likely to be opposed by thousands of Canadians, librarians, teachers, universities, musicians, artists, film makers, consumers, digital security companies, major retailers, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, and the Canadian privacy community. Now add two more groups. First, the Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians has written an urgent letter to Prentice noting that:
"For years, Canadians who are blind, deaf-blind and partially sighted have been seeking greater and not reduced access to print information, whether it be on websites or in print documents. We do, therefore, view with grave concern any move that might further restrict opportunities for providing copies of works in the individual's preferred format."
The AEBC is obviously – and rightly – concerned about the impact of a Canadian DMCA on access to their community.
Second, the Council of Ministers of Education (CMEC), which represents provincial Ministers of Education, has issued a bulletin reiterating its calls for an Internet exception for education. While Howard Knopf thinks that this signals inclusion of the amendment in the forthcoming bill, I'm not convinced. I don't think the bill, if introduced despite the treaty policy, will contain the ill-advised and unnecessary provision. It is very unfortunate that the CMEC has chosen to focus on this exception which may do more harm than good rather than on the real needs of education – more robust fair dealing and limiting the damage from anti-circumvention legislation (Sam Trosow offers good analysis on this). That said, I think this bulletin signals that the CMEC will be an active voice on copyright reform and suggests that the Conservatives may find themselves opposed by provincial education ministers from coast to coast.