Vancouver Sun, Ottawa Citizen Slam Canadian DMCA

Two of Canada's leading papers have issued masthead editorials critical of the Canadian DMCA. The Vancouver Sun doesn't pull any punches in its review of Bill C-61:

the amendments are draconian. While Prentice attempted to sell them as a balance between the rights of content creators and consumers, it's clear that consumers – and in many cases, creators – can only lose should the new regime become law.

The editorial concludes:

The fact that the bill relies on the American method is not just a coincidence, either, as it is almost entirely the result of the intense pressure U.S. authorities placed on Ottawa. In contrast, there was precious little public consultation during drafting of the proposed law. Prentice claims that the bill is a "win-win," though it's not entirely clear who will win. What is clear is that if the bill becomes law, all consumers, and many content creators, are destined to lose.

The Ottawa Citizen, meanwhile, laments that "enforcement will be difficult, if not impossible, and it will limit uses of digital material that have nothing to do with piracy."  It concludes that:
the proposed copyright bill could have some unintended consequences. University professors worry the new legislation tips the balance so far in favour of industry interests that it will unnecessarily limit use of digital data for educational purposes. Canadian courts have said that copyright legislation is meant to protect the rights of artists and creators, and that's an important goal. But copyright legislation is not meant to interfere with private study or education, or to obstruct the dissemination of useful information.

It has always been considered acceptable for, say, students or professors to copy and quote a paragraph of a copyrighted book in a footnoted paper. The new legislation appears to make the digital equivalent of such practices risky, meaning that users would not be able to use a clip from an encrypted video. Cutting such a wide swath into use of digital material will do more harm than good.

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