Who Speaks for the Liberals on Copyright?

In an otherwise one-sided account of the Public Policy Forum copyright symposium, Embassy includes some noteworthy remarks from Liberal Industry critic Scott Brison on copyright reform.  The article quotes Brison:

"'Our position is we would work to find the right balance between creators and users,' Mr. Brison said. He said the Act to Amend the Copyright Act, or Bill C-60, which was introduced by the Liberal government in 2005 in response to the digital revolution, was a step in the right direction because it was developed through a process of 'transparent public engagement. The Conservative approach has been anything but transparent,' he said. 'They're developing a position behind closed doors, and Bill C-60 died on the order paper.'

One week after Dan McTeague offered up comments seemingly derived directly from the copyright lobby speaking points, Brison – who as Industry critic presumably will play a key role in developing and articulating the Liberal position – points to two key areas of difference between the Liberals and Conservatives on copyright. 

First, the Liberals may rightly argue that the Conservatives have developed their copyright bill without adequate consultation.  Second, the party can use Bill C-60 as the basis for its policy position.  While C-60 had its shortcomings, it did strike a balance between users and creators by establishing anti-circumvention legislation that preserved fair dealing rights.  If Industry Minister Jim Prentice continues to embrace a U.S. DMCA-style approach, there may be a deep divide in the House of Commons with both the NDP and Liberals seizing the opportunity by pointing to their more equitable alternatives that better address the concerns of education, the business community, and Canadian consumers.


  1. anti-circumvention = DRM
    “anti-circumvention legislation that preserved fair dealing rights.”

    what is that? You mean me doing stuff with what i buy?
    cracking a dvdr so i can watch it on linux?
    What exactly, or is it an attmempt again at shoving DRM up our ….

  2. Chris Brand says:

    Re: anti-circumvention
    C-60 would have made it illegal to circumvent DRM *for the purposes of infringing copyright*. That last part makes it much better than the DMCA approach.

  3. Two examples says:

    Two examples why anti circumvention is W
    much better you mean a penalty still applies, sorry no thanks, seems to work as is leave this all alone.

    freedom and down with CON-servatives
    when i start seeing poor people in canada at conferances and such ill be more trusting.

    Embracing technology works, censoring it does not.
    also the DMCA and any anti-circumvention addition would prevent me form buying 2 router/modems and combinging them into a MLPPP dual bonded line for double speeded internet. This would allow me to bundle a package for reselling teksavvy internet to home users with a install cd that gives canadians either a 10 megabit account or a 15 megabit account. Not bad for a guy looking at disability otherwise that you tax payers will just pay me to die slowly.

    Also think about the canuck that got sued for modifying his garage door opener in the USA thus making it more secure.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Don’t be so naive, Chris. Last time I checked, infringing copyright is already illegal. If bill C-60 is passed, the only thing it does in reality is to open up hobbyist project to abusive lawsuits.