Angus Reid Poll on Copyright Reveals Strong Opposition to C-61

Angus Reid has just released a new poll of Canadian views on the new copyright bill.  The survey finds that 39 percent of Canadians want their MP to vote against the bill, 32 percent in favour, and 29 percent are not sure.  By province the numbers are even more revealing: 45 percent against in BC (25 percent in favour), 39 percent against in Alberta (36 percent in favour), 51 percent against in Saskatchewan and Manitoba (23 percent in favour), and 43 percent against in Ontario (23 in favour).  The only provinces that favour are Quebec (43 – 31 in favour) and Atlantic Canada (50 – 30 in favour).

The demographic data is also interesting.  Men oppose the legislation 49 to 33 percent, while women are split 31 – 29 in favour with the largest number (40 percent) unsure.  58 percent of those aged 18 to 34 are against (only 12 percent in favour), while those with college education (44 – 28 against) and university education (47 – 30 against) showing strong opposition as well.  A few additional data points:

  • 76 percent agree with the statement that the proposed amendments "are being introduced as a result of lobbying by the North American music market"
  • 63 percent agree with the statement that the proposed amendments "will expose millions of Canadians to lawsuits by copyright holders"
  • 66 percent agree with the statement that the are symbolic that "the government will not be able to enforce the new law"

If you are the Conservative party, which looks to younger males as a core constituency, this is not good news.


  1. I think the vast majority of people who answered in favour of the bill do not understand it. People don’t want to look stupid when questioned on these things, and this will often avoid the “not sure” answer.

  2. ooh yeeaaah says:

    Minister said I could copy it

    I agree with you.

    Also it doesn’t help when people write and get a respose from the minister of heritage that says this (copy/pasted from the Email she sent me):
    What does Bill C-61 mean to Canadians?
    Specifically, it includes measures that would:

    * expressly allow you to record TV shows for later viewing; copy legally purchased music onto other devices, such as MP3 players or cell phones; make back-up copies of legally purchased books, newspapers, videocassettes and photographs onto devices you own; and limit the “statutory damages” a court could award for all private use copyright infringements;

    If ever I get sued under this new bill I will bring her written statements with me to court and say the minister said I could.

  3. Forked Tongue
    Definitely deceiving. Although in front of the law ignorance is not admitted perhaps there is a way to use this “deceiving” statements made by our politicians.
    “White Man Speaks With Forked Tongue.”

  4. core constituency
    Young male from Calgary here. A member of a core constituency of the Conservative Party.

    If this bill makes it to a vote I probably won’t vote Liberal in the next election, but I will write in Harvey the Hound.

  5. core constituency
    Congratulations, Conservative Party, you’ve found an issue even most Albertans think you’re wrong on. Dig up, stupid!

  6. No suprises in Quebec. No newspapers with stories about C-61. It’s all about Julie Couillard and Maxime Bernier. I guess sex sells more than individual rights.

  7. who are these supporters says:

    Where are these supporters
    The bigger question is


    P.S. you know you been here long enough when the image space ( in firefox at least) it will drop down in forms
    and you already typed that one LOL.

  8. hrm
    Will the bloc be bloc heads on this one?
    IS htis how we get betrayed to the americans, no worry about liberals , it seems the bloc are bought off.

    Reember that female MP who kept standing up in the house about that one film industry handout bill.

    Think bought and paid for.

  9. Those in favour?
    I’d be curious to see how many in favor actually understand the bill. My uncle, an old male Albertan, was 100% in favor, to “stop all those hackers”, until he realized that he could easily be blocked from recording hockey games (and knowing that it’ll likely happen given how readily the networks will blackout broadcasts).

  10. As for Quebec having a majority favor for the bill, I would start by blaming it on the lack of the bill’s media coverage here. I don’t watch very much French TV but I haven’t seen any coverage of the bill French CBC, TVA or TQS (granted they no longer have news). The newspapers are just as bad Journal de MontrĂ©al, La Presse haven’t done much to inform the public.

    They need to increase their coverage if we expect a more informed decision from Quebecers.

  11. I Wrote the Bloc party
    Although I’m an Albertan, I wrote to the Bloc Heritage and Industry critics about how the Conservatives dropped the ball with this bill.

    I hope at least it perks their ears up a bit that a Westerner actually cares about what the separatists think about this issue.

  12. I totally agree with Patters, they don\’t talk about it enough in Quebec. More importantly, the only few news I saw about the bill are just stating what Prentice says. Ex. Being able to record TV shows, etc. No one yet flagged the true facts that makes almost everyone pirates. Its pretty sad to see the Quebec coverage on the Bill.

  13. Anonymous says:


    Of course you will be blocked from recording the hockey game, or any other tv show, BUT they will be more than happy to sell… no scratch that rent you the ability to watch it later.

  14. To reiterate what others have said already. There hasn’t been any meaningful media coverage of this bill in Quebec. Mostly footnotes in newspapers (certainly no editorials) and nothing during newscasts.

    I must say there is huge apathy in the quebec mainstream media regarding technology issues in general.

  15. Jack Robinson says:

    C-61 Sunami
    Weary but unbowed web warrior and free media Mugwhump that I try to be, the following ‘unfiltered’ text generated from contacting my Liberal MP over my outrage re: Bill C-61 might be a barometer of this fracturously divided, Rope-a-Dope ‘progressive’ party’s actual concern… at least in London North Central:

    Wednesday, June 18, 2008 10:09 AM
    “Pearson, Glen – Assistant 3”
    Add sender to Contacts
    “Jack Robinson”

    Dear Jack,

    Thank you for your letter concerning Bill C-60 regarding amendments to the Federal Copyright Act.
    Under the former Liberal government, Bill C-60 was put forward to form the basis of discussions between all parties about how to update Canada’s Copyright Act. It was for this reason that we sent this proposed legislation to committee before its second reading in the House of Commons. The current government has not effectively consulted Canadians on this issue and the Liberal Opposition

    The last time the Copyright Act underwent significant amendments was in 1997, and those amendments did not address the treaty requirements for which Canada was a signatory at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Today, those treaties have yet to be ratified by Canada.
    The Liberal Opposition believes that the Copyright Act does require updating to address rapid changes in technology. Due to the highly technical aspects of this Bill, we understand the need for careful study before determining exactly how to proceed. It is our aim to ensure that we strike the right balance between consumers and creators so that any new provisions do not take rights away from Canadians.

    We need wide consultation with everyone including consumers, artists and the business community to ensure that we properly understand all potential impacts the bill will have.

    Thank you again for taking the time to write. Should you have further questions please contact my office at any time.


    Glen Pearson
    MP London North Centre

    Uh huh. Thanks for the ad hoc history lesson and K-Y lubejob, Assistant #3. And the sense that my legitimate concerns have been File 13-dissed just in time for your Animal House Summer Recess…

  16. core constituency
    Ron on 2008-06-19 14:45:54 said
    “Congratulations, Conservative Party, you’ve found an issue even most Albertans think you’re wrong on.”

    I can only add “Keep up the good work.”


    (Thanks for the laugh, Ron.)

  17. Who\s their daddy?
    As tired as I am of the sleazy smear advertisements and mailings the Cons use against the Liberals (I wonder where they got that strategy *cough Repugs* – I guess they’d call it “made in Canada”), I think that its about time the Liberals responded with ads telling Canadians who the Cons are really working for.

    A major difference would be that the Liberals would only have to state facts, not twist them.

  18. Quebecers, write to the PRESS
    The point of this poll is:

    No newspapers with stories about C-61. This need to change.

    So, Quebecers, write letters to the French press. It is now even more important than writing MPs: awareness will bring in more people who write their MPs.

    “Track media coverage of copyright. Until recently, media coverage on copyright rarely questioned the sound bites from the copyright lobby. That is changing, but Canada’s media should be challenged when it fails to do so. Letters to the editor or a op-eds are a great place to start.”

  19. Sigh, it’s about time…
    Gotta start going on Jericho campaign-ish on this….

    Perhaps we should pool together funds to purchase and send massive amounts of blank CDs to the Federal Government in protest 🙂

    That was only slightly a joke…

    At the very least, as more scenarios come out, I think a flyer printout with these scenarios, handed out to parked cars will be necessary 🙂

  20. Meech Lake
    This feels like Meech lake all over again…

  21. François Caron says:

    Maybe pointless in Quebec
    It might be pointless contacting the media in Quebec. The biggest media empire in the province is QuĂ©becor which own TVA, VidĂ©otron, and Le Journal de MontrĂ©al. So it’s in their best interest that the bill passes.

  22. @Francois

    Totally agree about Quebecor, but Societe Radio-Canada (CBC in French) who also runs the biggest french news station in Canada (RDI) has no involvement with Quebecor and they have reported nothing on this bill.

  23. Not pointless says:

    NOT pointless in Quebec
    There are media beyond TVA, Videotron and Journal de Montreal. Le Devoir, La Presse, Societe-Radio-Canada (French CBC branch).

    But even contacting TVA, Videotron and Journal de Montreal is not pointless.

  24. In favor?
    I can’t believe there would be so many in favor of this bill!

  25. CopyCat Laws
    \”I must say there is huge apathy in the quebec mainstream media regarding technology issues in general.\”

    The problem with Quebec is that you\’re dealing with a lot of \”old school\” minds. There are a lot of people in their 30\’s and 40\’s who don\’t use the internet for media purposes. They rely on the traditional corporate media, which is shallow and lacks vital substance. Most from Quebec don\’t really give a damn, because they know these laws just pander to corporate interests.

    Unfortuanately, this law just shows how far behind the times this Government really is. When you have to resort to copying failed policy from other nations, you\’re basically admitting you having no innovative solution to a complex problem. This Government, time and again, has failed to listen to and involve Canadians in key issues. Basically, they refuse to understand that for a law to be successful, Canadians must have an active say in it. I guess they\’ll probably end up learning that one the hard way.

  26. Nova Scotia says:

    It’s confirmed, I live in a province full of idiots. Why did I ever move from Alberta anyway? Time to move back.

  27. Form of Protest
    Just a thought. A few days before this goes to pass, we should walk into our local RCMP stations (all 69,000 of us, plus others) with a laptop and download a single song. Petitions and blogging will do little. This is a time for protest and action.

    We need to tell the government that the people of Canada will not stand for this new law, and we will not sell out to big business. This is something that needs public demonstrations! If all of us mobilize, we could make about as much of a fuss as there was over the Vietnam war. I’d love to see them try to pass a law with 50-60% of the country in protest.

  28. No media coverage says:

    Nova Scotia et al – NO COVERAGE
    It is not that these provinces are “full of idiots”, there is just NO MEDIA COVERAGE there. Same for Quebec.

  29. Anonymous says:

    It’s not a matter of being an idiot — it’s a lack of media coverage and a general misunderstanding of just what, exactly, the Bill entails.

    For those of us that embraced the digital revolution of media, we understand that our rights are being threatened in ways that reach far beyond that of downloading and uploading content.

    I’ve noticed through speaking with numerous individuals that the Bill is vastly misconstrued, even in areas that provide suitable media coverage. A good amount of the people who are in favor of the bill see it as an attempt to smash piracy and online copyright infringement. While a lot of us realize that this means that, well damn, I can’t send my graduating class photo to my aunt and uncle, a great many are under the impression that as long as they don’t download illegally pirated music, movies, games, books and etc from the internet, they’re safe. As demonstrated by some of the excellent examples provided by Mr. Geist, we’re painfully aware that this isn’t the case.

    I’ve made it a point to talk to and demonstrate just how devastating the Bill’s effects could be to my parents, my sister, my teachers and my friends, as well as my acquaintances online. My father was aware of the Bill but had no idea of the ludicrous restrictions it entailed. My sister, who is 26, was unaware of the Bill entirely. My friends had previously thought it unimportant, and even my computer design teacher had no idea how severe the Bill was. I live close to Calgary, where there has been some pretty informative media coverage as well as featuring the Bill as a front page story in the Calgary Herald, and still people were unaware of just exactly what it was.

    Unfortunately, there’s only so much that we can rely on the media for. Hopefully we can raise awareness further by keeping not only ourselves but the people around us informed.