A blog reader writes with the response they received from NDP Leader Jack Layton on Bill C-61:
Thank you for sharing your concern over Bill C-61, An Act to amend the Copyright Act.
The NDP is strongly opposed to this bill and we are calling on MPs from other parties to listen to their constituents and join us in the growing chorus against it. Rather, we are pushing for legislation that will ensure that artists and creators are compensated for their work but that also ensures consumers are able to enjoy reasonable rights of access.
Over the past two years we have urged the government to consult with stakeholders and develop legislation that would protect artists, innovators and consumers in the 21st century. Unfortunately, the government has completely ignored calls to bring forward reasonable copyright legislation. In fact, this bill is worse than originally feared. There is no evidence of an attempt to strike any reasonable balance that would protect either artists or consumers. Instead, we are faced with a full capitulation to the U.S. corporate lobby that will pave the way for the criminalization of perfectly reasonable behaviour (like format shifting of most legally purchased content).
What can you do? If you haven't already, contact the Ministers of Industry and Heritage, the Prime Minister, the leaders of the other opposition parties, and your local MP to tell them that you oppose this piece of legislation. Encourage your friends and families to do the same. For contact information, please visit: http://www.parl.gc.ca/common/index.asp?Language=E. Your participation will be important to making the opposition to this bill impossible to ignore.
Again, I appreciate the time you have taken to register your views and concerns about this important issue. Feel free to pass along my email to anyone who may be interested. All the best.
Jack Layton, MP (Toronto-Danforth)
Leader, Canada’s New Democrats