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.


  1. intelligentsia
    Canada intelligentsia is definitely taking a stand against this bill. Let’s hope that all politicians in the opposition are intelligent enough to do the same.

  2. Hargrove
    I wonder how long before Prime Minister Harper does something about these annoying news outlets and their unfavourable editorials? Maybe call up Rupert Murdoch and get him to sweep up all these small newspapers into his empire and straighten out their editorial boards…

  3. CBC Radio One
    I just listened to Jesse Brown’s interview with Industry Minister on Bill C-61. I’ve never seen someone try to wiggle out of simple direct questions like Jim Prentice does.

    First question was about the legality of someone backing up a CD with digital locks onto their PC.
    Minister’s answer: The market doesn’t use digital locks anymore… (obviously avoiding the actual question)

    Second question was about unlocking a cell phone overseas.
    Minister’s answer: That’s not in their jurisdiction. If it were to happen here though… he then regurgitating some “fluff” and once again avoided the question altogether.

    He then apparently had a cabinet meeting and rudely hung up on Jesse.

    No big surprise on the Ministers side. He obviously wants to keep us uninformed about this bill. He obviously doesn’t know much about the Internet and how people can “share” knowledge and information. Don’t worry Mr. Prentice we all know you’re trying to screw us and we’re not falling for your political spin on this “Made in Canada” crap!

  4. Non-commercial Remixing
    As a Independent Non-union Canadian Musician & Consumer I am completely OUTRAGED!!!

    The amendments to the Copyright Act presented on June 12 doesn’t benefit all Canadians in fact it’s an attack on our rights and Heritage.

    Not only should I be able to circumvent digital locks to make backups of CD’s & DVD’s that I purchased. I should also be able to make remixes & mash-ups of them for personal use. I find it asinine that in this day and age our Government would make Non-commercial remixing illegal.

    The irony here is that the Canadian National Anthem “O Canada” by Calixa Lavallée would be considered a remix or cover if it were written today. Being it’s a revised version of “March of the Priests” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. In fact “O Canada” if you what to be Technical is a Mash-up being it contains a poem by Adolphe-Basile Routhier and “March of the Priests” was taken from the opera “The Magic Flute”.

    In My Humble Opinion the amendments to the current Copyright Act has nothing to do with Artists nor does it foster creativity and innovation. I believe it’s a ploy to extend the life of outdated 3rd party business models of large Corporations in order to increase profits until such time that these old 3rd party bussiness models can be implemented in the digital realm. (Sadly this has already started to happen)

  5. Anonymous says:

    ” I believe it’s a ploy to extend the life of outdated 3rd party business models of large Corporations in order to increase profits until such time that these old 3rd party bussiness models can be implemented in the digital realm. (Sadly this has already started to happen)”

    Totally and completely!

    The minster said, “The market doesn’t use digital locks anymore…”.

    Yeah buddy, that’s because it’s so trivial to break the encryption that they figured out they could save money by not putting it on the CDs. When your law is passed, guess what bright-light: THE MARKET WILL USE DIGITAL LOCKS AGAIN! Except then, we’ll all be powerless to stop them – even ye grand o’l government.

    Mr. Prentece, are you stupid, niave, or just plain lying through your teeth? You are certainly one of those three in regards to this legislation you have put forward. That’s not a personal attack, simply the obvious truth.

  6. curious
    Bell throttling of all the wholesale internet providers can be seen as digitl lock, no?

    So all those who by-pass bells throttle with SSH and ML-PPP and such, will they get dinged $20k?