A little over a month has passed since Bill C-61 was introduced by Industry Minister Jim Prentice in the House of Commons. The bill generated considerable negative media attention and a remarkable outpouring of concern from tens of thousands of Canadians. We are now also seeing those concerns played out at a local level:
- At least two MPs have promised town hall meetings, including Sukh Dhaliwal, MP for Newton – North Delta, who has announced plans for a townhall meeting on July 30th.
- Local groups are meeting with MPs and the Minister. Several have established wikis to share information (Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver).
- Bill Siksay, the NDP MP for Burnaby-Douglas devotes the front page of his monthly household flyer to the bill (hat tip: Digital-Copyright.ca)
- IT World Canada runs an interview with Vancouver Centre NDP candidate Michael Byers, who is highly critical of C-61.
- Tom King, NDP candidate in the Guelph by-election, has already declared that copyright should be an issue.
- Local papers are covering the story and featuring regular letters to the editor such as this one from the Nanaimo News Bulletin that declares C-61 a "blatant sellout."
While it is far too early to predict what this will mean, there should be no doubt that copyright is quickly emerging as a political issue that each political party ignores at its peril.