Jim Prentice’s Letters to the Editor

After months of saying little and refusing to meet with many user, education, and consumer groups, Industry Minister Jim Prentice is apparently planning to counter as many negative articles and editorials as he can find.  After yesterday's Toronto Star letter (which generated the predictable critical response from Star readers), Prentice writes to counter the Sudbury Star's negative editorial.  Of course, it is worth noting that Prentice has missed a few:

At that's just the editorials.  There are many other articles and groups that have voiced their criticism of the bill as well.  Given that he can expect many more negative pieces, perhaps he'll just begin using the same form letter that he has sent to thousands of Canadians assuring them that this really, really is a made in Canada copyright reform.


  1. more news
    Richmond News is just a local free paper but very popular here. We found it every week at the step of our door. This week there is and article on front page about “Canadian consumers beeing essentially subordinated to the whims of Hollywood.”

    [ link ]

  2. Just plain stupid
    Jim Prentice should for one moment think of what happens when someone gets a new iPod or a new computer. Copies are made from one to another breaking the law for $500 x the number of files.

    Does he really think nobody will ever upgrade? The provisions in this law are so short sighted that every Canadian with any kind of digital media will quickly become a pirate. To that I just have to say: What ARRRRR we going to do when all citizens are crooks and politicians are not?

  3. entropia
    This law is so full of today’s technicalities that in a couple of years will be obsolete. I guess plain and simple common sense guidance was too difficult to put together.

  4. Only one possitive editorial reply to th
    I just noticed the one positive response to the editorial for the Toronto Star was by a Steven Stohn?

    This wouldn’t happen to be the same Steven Stohn that is an entertainment lawyer (check out Wikipedia for info) would it? If it is then his positive response doesn’t surprise me. C-61 would just make it easier for litigation

  5. hypocrisy
    “Canadian Creator and Music Industry Groups Applaud Introduction of Copyright Bill”.

    What a surprise from the culprit pushers of this law.

    What a bunch of hypocritical anal retentive individuals. They do not have even the decency to stay quite watching respectfully Canadians consumers losing their rights.

    [ link ]

  6. Retroactivity
    One thing that i have not seen mentioned anywhere is whether, if and when this legislation is passed, the copyright holders will be able to use ISP records from a time previous to the passage of the legislation. Is this legislation retroactive in that sense? Or will downloading mp3s whatever be perilous only after the possible passage of the legislation?

  7. It will be so nice to hear songs from those “artists” about freedom, equality, sharing…

    Or, maybe it will be songs talking about big cars, big houses, putting little kids in front of juges or even having songs about how great they feel about politicians and how responsible they are…

  8. Todd Sieling says:

    Well, if there are any points to be given, at least something can be said for trying to have something of a conversation with the public about the issues. It’s just too bad that the minister wasn’t so interactive while writing the bill.

  9. R. Bassett Jr. says:

    I have asked several times on this blog and have not gotten an answer to this question.

    This issue alone could cost the court system, jail system, and millions of average Canadians their livelyhoods.

    Please do not expect the media industry to not use this oversight to their advantage. Also, please expect that the media industry will pull all media from that is DRM free from the shelves once this legislation is place.

    We absolutely NEED a provision in this bill that states explicitly, “Prior to January 1st, 2009 all acts of copyright infringement by noncommercial entities, such as an individual or family” or some thing of the like.

  10. R. Bassett Jr. says:

    I did not have time to proof read the above post, as I was in the middle of something else….

    We absolutely NEED a provision in this bill that states explicitly, “Prior to January 1st, 2009 all acts of copyright infringement by noncommercial entities, such as (but not exclusively) an individual person or a family, are (without any possible exception for any reason) completely and totally exempt from any and all laws passed durring the time peroid between the begining of human civilization to the end of universe itself”.

  11. REALLY? REALLY?????
    Is it just me or are we living in bizzaro world where democracy only does the opposite of what it is supposed to.
    Why is this guy a minister of industry when he has no clue what he should be doing?!?!?

    If i was minister of industry i would do that which is good for us Canadians not what corporate shills want. Say for one allow ZENN CARS TO BE SOLD here we could guess what help keep our word to reduce our waste of a highly limited resource. But guess what they are illegal and we are pretty much giving away what could have been one of the major automotive market booms of which would massively benefit us. (FYI Who Killed The Electric Car is a must see) Hell more energy goes into making a hybrid then an electric car not to mention the hybrid car takes more energy to make then it will ever conserve. Sadly just like the hydrogen fuel cell it is a pointless way to keep big oil in control well making the people dumb enough invest into a pointless technology that is highly wasteful and serves no purpose but to let the dino industry\\\’s ways never progress much like the groups that lobby to control and lock up our choices in this case. Lastly i would not pretend to use bio diesel as a gas replacement for cars but instead use it to supplement the electrical grid to help replace coal/oil/NGas and power power electric cars. To bad prentice can only thing 3 steps back instead of 10 steps forward…

    The fact that he can invest so much time and effort into this pointless DEPROGRESSIVE BILL show how truly corrupted the conservatives are. There only purpose is to milk the tit of big money and then throw our money back at them. Tho based on harper/his party\\\’s need to follow Bush/corrupted path for leading a nation into quagmires i am not surprised. Seems the drink from the well of DEE DEE DE, sigh……

  12. “It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.”
    And jim prentice spoke the words…..“War is Peace; Freedom is Slavery; Ignorance is Strength.”
    And for those who won’t follow, re-education in Room 101.

  13. Colin McInnes says:

    Vernier avoids talking about TPMs
    Minister of Canadian Heritage Vernier replied to my email, but sent out a 100% canned response. \”Thanks for your comments, here\’s our press release\”.

    And while touting what it would \”allow\”, it completely sidestepped the issue of TPMs, and how they would make all private & personal copying illegal, no matter how many things they allow.

    He even blathered about \”we won\’t be searching laptops & ipod at the border\”. Which tells me that someone who isn\’t familiar at all with C-61 wrote the response, because searching laptops is under the ACTA negotiations, not C-61…

  14. French media
    I’m amazed that I still haven’t read any editorials or heard any comments about Bill C-61 here in Quebec. The french media doesn’t seem to care at all ! I only saw a short video by the Canadian Press on Cyberpresse mentioning this…

    Quebecers should really start writing letters to the editor and denounce this bill.

    The Conservatives must realize that they’re going to need a few votes in Quebec if they ever want a majority government.

  15. Appeal to Mr. Prentice and colleagues!
    All politics aside, you are my age and I want to draw your attention to some facts that I\’m sure you have experienced, just like me. You have kids, maybe between 15 and 25, me too. I bought every damn Disney VHS tape available while they were growing up (dozens of others, but lets just talk about those – I\’m sure you did too!). I had a whole library of \’em, but the damn world went to CDs and to be honest I didn\’t have the time, energy or wherewithal to convert the tapes to digital files on the computer or to CDs. So … I bought all the damn things again on CDs when Disney made them available (Which they only do occasionally, not all titles are available at any given time, even some of the classics). Great stuff when nieces and nephews visit during holidays … keeps them busy while dinner is prepared and the adults catch up on stuff …. sound familiar?
    I\’m sure its the same in your house. But the kids are older now, and most of the cash you slide them is going to music or video CDs, maybe a bit for their phones, you and I want them in touch, safe, you know …. They have messaging, music, facebook, stuff I don\’t get but is way cool for them. I\’m sure its the same in the Prentice house.

    So: Me, you and our kids are going to be criminals soon, based on what I know about your proposed bill. I\’ll be damned if I have to buy another Disney feature for the 3rd time – so I\’ve made backup digital copies (archived my library, if you will) in a format which will let me view the damn things on the new plasma TV with its newfangled inputs. If that changes, then I\’ll re-format the files to make them viewable in future. Now, I\’ve paid many times for the right to see these movies, so have you, so don\’t criminalize us by outlawing the tools that give me fair use of the crap I bought.

    Ahhh, and the kids … yours like music like mine? I was a Beatles, Stones, KISS fan, as a kid (60\’s & 70\’s, like you). Paid for and cherished a couple hundred albums … on vinyl, then on 8-Track (had to have for cruising in the car), then on cassette (because the portable \”ghetto blaster/tape player\” was sweet at the beach, then I bought most of them again on CDs, for the convenience and the quality (nice to have good tunes piped to the pool deck for parties, getting older, eh) …. are you still with me Jim??? I\’m sure you\’ve covered the same ground! Now I have scads of tunes in files, mostly paid for 3-4 times, but some from here, there and wherever … like most of us, eh? But, the kids! Christ, they rack up some bills downloading tunes and movies! So be it. I spent a tonne, they are entitled, I guess. I try to make sure they pay what\’s fair. Now its their copy of a tune or movie, why shouldn\’t they watch or listen to it when and how they want? Its digital, copyable, transferable … not to or for others, but for their own use … progress from the old days of you and me, Jim. Do you want yours and mine to be criminals for that, too?

    Mr. Prentice, have a daughter? Two words … wedding photos …. get a contract, because your proposed legislation gives the photographer the rights to HIS pictures of YOUR family on the day of the big event! Not only the ones your sweet little miss wants in her album, but any and all the shots the rat bastard took on the day! And he can sell them online!! With fabulous copyright protections that will surely limit their widespread distribution of you and yours in potentially embarrassing, candid and private moments!

    Take a step back, talk to your kids and some non-industry folks, get a handle on what is fair … that is all, just fair. Nail the pirates and PROFITEERS! But me, you and our kids … lets not make us criminals for no good reason.

    Even-handed is good … Under-handed is bad. You don\’t want Canadians complaining to your ISP that maybe you and/or yours used your Blackberry for alleged nefarious purposes, do you? It might come to that if you keep biting the hands that feed you. Isn\’t technology wonderful? It seems that people know where you (cyber)-live.

    Here is another thought for you to consider … \”copy/paste\”, ubiquitous on computers and most digital devices. Unfortunately, I think an argument can be made that this long-standing function can be considered as a \”circumvention tool\” based on your proposed legislation … and what a can of worms that would be, eh? Millions of machines and individuals use copy/paste! The whole world, actually! Do you want to go against the flow of that standard use to appease the US corporate interests? Imagine a copy/paste function that inherently skirts DRM functionality, I mean really, who wants to copy anything other than the content of the artist, movie or music or literature or whatever …. why copy that bit of content NOT produced by the artist? I can advise you that a number of people are working just such a scheme related to copy/paste functionality – I think it will be here before your Bill comes up for debate, actually!

    Change the Bill … I\’m sure people will respect you for it rather than diss you for making changes. I don\’t want your kids or mine to be criminals.

    Kindest Regards,
    Gary B.

  16. Canadian Music Creators Coalition
    In response to Michel’s comment, it is important to point out that a growing number of Canadian artists are against DRM, against big-label representation, against lawsuits against their fans, among other things.

    [ link ]

    There’s quite a few “big” artists (in a Canadian sense) of all genres that have a added their voices to this. Nettwerk Records has long been an opponent of the outdated, big-label mentality and has even provided financial assistance to a fan in the US who was getting sued by the major labels.

    The sad irony is, if the consumer is getting screwed and the artists are getting screwed, who exactly benefits? Oh yeah – the archaic major labels and studios who have failed to adapt to technology and are still (how many years later?) unable to find innovative ways to benefit from it.

    Perhaps not surprisingly, many small and medium-sized labels (and the artists they represent) are thriving, thanks in large part to their acceptance of technology and using of it for promoting and distributing their creations.

  17. 1 step forward 10 steps back
    If this cheap clone bill of the DMCA is really made in canada its time to start outsourcing Prentices job… If he likes american laws so much he should just move to the USA, then we would not have to worry about him stabbing us in the back again in the future. I can’t wait tell he starts getting egged like Ballmer, it will go nice with all the egg on his face for trying to get this bill approved.

    PS can our next Indusrty minister not be a tory that is in american intrests pockets please… Or at least make Prentice were a dunce hat from now on.

  18. Ex Post Facto
    As I understand it (IANAL), regarding retroactivity, it is illegal to implement enforcement of a newly proclaimed law ex post facto, that is to apply a law to a past action that was not illegal at the time it was committed. It can only be applied to actions that occur after its passage, not a priori.

  19. More Generic Responses
    I would say Prentice’s generic responses to the concerns of Canadians is degrading, but I’ll have to give him a pass here, since he just appears to be playing the role of messenger. Not good for a Government which has had a difficult time building any sort of credibility with its electorate. Looks like somebody didn’t do their homework…don’t worry…we won’t tell…