Conservatives Promise to Re-Introduce Canadian DMCA

The Conservative Party has released its platform and it devotes a half-page to copyright that leaves little doubt that it plans to bring back Bill C-61 and continue to support ACTA.  According to the platform:

A re-elected Conservative Government led by Stephen Harper will reintroduce federal copyright legislation that strikes the appropriate balance among the rights of musicians, artists, programmers and other creators and brings Canada's intellectual property protection in line with that of other industrialized countries, but also protects consumers who want to access copyright works for their personal use.  We will also introduce tougher laws on counterfeiting and piracy and give our customs and law enforcement services the resources to enforce them.  This will protect consumers from phoney and sometimes dangerous products that are passed off as reliable brand-name goods.

Of course, Bill C-61 did not strike the appropriate balance and tens of thousands of Canadians told Harper just that over the summer.  Unlike the Liberals, NDP, and Greens, no Conservative has supported the copyright pledge, which now makes sense given this platform commitment.

Update: CBC covers the Conservative platform inclusion of reintroducing C-61. 


  1. Darryl Moore says:

    Well isn’t it is a good thing (for them) that they only borrowed “True North Strong and Free” from our anthem and not “With Glowing Hearts” or they just might have found themselves on the short end of an IP lawsuit with the VANOC.

    Now tell me again, why is taking an “anybody but Harper” stand in this election not totally appropriate?

  2. Anybody but Harper
    I live in Harpers riding and this support for Bill C-61 has convinced me to change my historical conservative vote to NDP as they seemed to be the only party with reasonable copyright positions.

  3. So, we have C-61 and ACTA re-introduced under a Conservative government. I pray that they do not get a majority.

  4. Dwight Williams says:

    As Expected
    As a creator and user of copyrighted material, this is NOT something I want in the next edition of the Revised Statutes of Canada.

    No thank you, Mr. Harper.

  5. Not again
    I was ready to vote Conservative again, but thankfully they have posted their platform. Now I have to find another party that better represents my interests. Thanks for posting this information to your blog.

  6. panchovera says:

    “but also protects consumers who want to access copyright works for their personal use”

    Some people doesn’t understand what a balanced and tech-friendly IP law is. We are not consumers but persons, buying is not what gives us the right to access to culture and knowledge, is being a human being.
    Some of us in Chile are fighting against the same interests that you are.
    [ link ] is our site, wich means “fair treatment for all”.

    Greetings, Francisco Vera

  7. Fair Copyright Facebook Group
    I hope Michael sends out an email to all members of the Fair Copyright for Canada facebook group about this news. There are over 92,000 members that should be aware of the Conservative governament’s position before election day.

  8. Voting NDP
    I worked on the Hill for a Conservative MP many years ago and have only ever voting Conservative. For the the first time I’m voting for (and donating to) the NDP.

    This issue is the reason why.

  9. Russell McOrmond says:

    Flip from last election?
    I seem to remember last election the Liberals promising to reintroduce their copyright legislation, and the Conservatives being pretty silent. This year the Conservatives are saying they will reintroduce their legislation, and the Liberals are relatively silent.


  10. another mike from calgary says:

    Short of throwing my vote away, I’ll probably vote NDP to hopefully force another minority. I’ve always voted Conservative, but they’re missing the point on a number of important issues…


  11. no majority for harper says:

    Hows he going to fill his jails?

    he’ll oust the pot/p2p cultures and claim them to be criminals! Put 14 year olds away with criminals feed the crime rate and outsource everything to private US companies.

    a vote for the cons is a vote for a US led harper police state.

  12. I guess we all know what we have to do

  13. Hard Core Biker says:

    Hello Harper
    Let’s put this into perspective Harper. During your term you have downgraded lifestyles of many by letting Foreign Corporations abuse Canadians and putting them into the poor house.

    You have refused to provide Canadians with 1,000’s of new doctors, abused the resources of Canada, failed to clean up toxic sites and corporations, failed to restrain foreign takeovers, participated in vicious WTO and SPP deals, sucked up to President Bush and his idiotic practices, put our troops in harms way, your Minister Prentice made back room deals, [you, him and your conservatives failed to provide requested information as is your obligation], failed to protect Canadian Sovereignty and worst of all sucked up to bankers and corporations. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

    And you want what? … us to vote for you? HA!

    Many more are now getting only $385 or less per month because of your practices and policies. If they are getting that at all. Hence they need to choose between food or rent, or even begging for food and sleeping in ditches.

    Since you have done such a great job of eliminating poverty, we will promote reconditioning used computers and all kinds of hardware, installing all kinds of software, upping the security way beyond your spying practices, sharing every piece on info we can, copying everything we can for the people who can’t afford it and counteracting your every idiotic move.

    So screw your banks, corporations, CRIA, RIAA, MPAA and rest you’re in bed with. Your baby face doesn’t fool us.

    Shame on you. YOU’RE FIRED!

    Your kids will know of your legacy.

  14. Anything But C.. er, Anything
    Regarding the calls to vote Anything But Conservative, note that, as Russell indicates above, there is every reason to believe that the Liberals would implement copyright and para-copyright legislation with the same essential character if they were elected. They introduced a bill with the same deal-breaker problems when they were last in power.

    That is, both main parties would implement seriously harmful para-copyright legislation. The likely reason for this is that neither party (nor most Canadians) actually consider this area to be the least bit important, and the motivation is actually all coming from the ministries, which are in the midst of extreme regulatory capture on this issue. (See Neri/Frith for the definition of your bureaucrats being in bed with the lobbyists, and consider fully what it means for something this salacious not to have become an “official” scandal.) We need a party that will be willing to smack down the bureaucracy over this sharp, dangerous shift towards statism.

    It would be nice if there were a right wing party in Canada that would take a stand against this statist interference, since, as you can see in samples above, there are many Canadians who are having a very hard time deciding who to vote for because of the absence of such a party. However, this isn’t going to happen until average Canadians come to understand how crazily interventionist the proposed policies actually are, and begin to realize that they will increasingly mean that it will be illegal to maintain and repair one’s own computerized property (cars, TVs, cellphones, refrigerators, life-sustaining medical equipment) without getting permission from a designee of the state.

    Actual informed right-wingers are now having a terrible time with this election. It used to be that we could at least conceive of voting Green, but with their recent shift to the left even that option is now unsatisfying. It may be that the best strategy is to vote in whatever way will deny every party a majority and wish for another early election, hopefully after a few more Canadians begin to understand what is at stake in para-copyright, and as sensible approaches in places such as Israel continue to provide a notable basis for success rather than ruin.

  15. Get the word out
    As many have already stated, it is hard for a life long conservative to know what to do. I’m not under 30 but I am technologically literate and understand the vast negative effects this legislation will have on our country. I wonder how many conservative politicians actually have a grasp on today’s technology and issues, are they really that out of touch? I mean our American ‘conservative’ friend John McCain doesn’t even know how to use email for crying out loud and he might become president, now that’s really scary…kids! Sad part is Harper and Prentice don’t seem that far behind. I know our world economy is in for a big ride and this may not be the most important topic of the day in people’s minds, but it has convinced me to not vote conservative again. It just stinks too much. Thanks Mr. Harper for releasing your platform and reminding me why you are not fit to govern our economy in the 21st century. Time to give someone who at least know how to program a VCR the chance 😉

  16. Jean-Francois Messier says:

    I won’t vote conservative
    I never voter conservative, and they just gave me one more reason to keep it that way. Although I agree that artists and content producers need to protect their work, the current C-61 bill is just too hard on legitimate consumers like all of us.

  17. Stephane D. says:

    Organize your votes?
    Granted, the following site is environmentally-focused but it gives you a good idea on some strategic voting practices: [ link ] (plop in your postal code and get poll results for your riding.)

    It would be interesting to see sites like the above in the future about various other issues (copyright being one of them.)

  18. “give our customs and law enforcement services the resources to enforce them”

    Is this a reference to ACTA? I know blogs have mentioned that those behind ACTA want it to become law by the end of the year. I think the Conservatives have most likely given their OK for this.

  19. not again!!
    if harper lets this go through, i can’t imagine the domino effect that’ll happen!

  20. Issue coverage
    We need to get the word out again on this and encourage more young voters. Just shows how out of touch the Harper government is.

  21. Tom
    Is there a website which will allow one to find the contact information of a MP?

  22. MP Contact info

    go to the find your MP from postal code

  23. Contact Information for MPS
    [ link ]

  24. Ideological
    The Conservative view of copyright relates entirely to commerce and not at all to culture. They believe culture is some ratified irrelevancy that “artists” (another notion they have strange ideas about) dabble in. They do not realize that they themselves contribute to our shared culture every day. They seem to be interpreting our protests as though we were speaking as consumers of a commodity, and they do not really understand that we are not merely consumers but that we are all of us equal parties in a dialog. Commerce is the fuel that cranks the engine, but culture is the point of this whole endeavor. Why won’t they see that?

  25. How many parties actually follow through with their platforms? With the economy going down the sewer, copyright will be the least of everyone’s concern (I hope) no matter who ends up in power.

  26. Universities
    I graduated over 10 years ago so I am not aware, but are people discussing this on campus? They should be using this to mobilize the youth vote to stop the corporate police state. It is the young that will be most afflicted by this bill. They really have a reason to get out and vote. Youth of the nation, this is a critical juncture in your use of information from this point forward.

  27. Don’t vote NDP
    If you had planned on voting Conservative, but have changed your mind because of their position on copyright, consider voting Green. They aren’t the environmental crackpots that many believe, and their platform is a lot closer to the Conservative platform than the NDP platform when it comes to the economy, taxes and the deficit.

  28. Not Voting Conservative
    I always thought I’d vote Conservative because I have right wing views…I can’t stand the left side…however, this election, I will be voting for someone else because of this bill…probably Liberal because they have the highest chance of defeating the Conservatives in my area.

  29. Uugh.
    Honestly? That’s just sick. That’s almost as sick as the whole Net Neutrality fiasco. I think it’s high time we get some younger politicians on the Federal Stage. You know, ones who are in touch with the world outside of The Hill?

  30. It is because of C-61 that I’ll vote for a party other than the Conservatives.

  31. Spread the word
    I believe that many people who have heard of the copyright bill but haven’t read any of the details want to support it in order to punish the illegal downloaders. They have no clue how much this bill might impact them as well in so many ways. I have been trying to educate my family members, friends, and co-workers and I encourage everyone to do the same. Spread the word – turn the tide – there is still time.

  32. Really…
    WOW… I have to wonder about a populace that deems copyright law to be a deciding factor in where their vote lies! It truly saddens me to see so many of you willing to turn a blind eye to the ills that riddle the morality, fiscal policies, foreign policy and subsequent fallout so evident in alternative leadership… and all in favour of what? “ohh no, I can’t download my free music anymore!!!” or maybe “only 45% of the websites will be pornography now!!”

    When does the rest of Canada stop and take notice that the ONLY, I do NOT mean by any small degree either, Province within our great Country that has any measure of stability and success is Alberta?!?!?!?! Guess what gov’t we have had running this wonderful Province for the single longest run of any political party in Canada?

    now what is truly “sick”?

    AWAKEN someday soon PLEASE!!

  33. No Harper
    Just because of this Harper I’m not voting Conservative. Stop wrecking your own platform.


  34. Make thar ANYTHING BUT CONSERVATIVE, LIBERAL, OR GREEN. Gee, who’s left?!?

  35. A former Immigrant says:

    Conservatism as a Whole
    Harper I feel is the biggest threat to Canada, well the Canada that greeted me and my family in the late 90’s, It had a stable social safety net, a growing economy and politicians, though adversaries, sought to defend the sovereignty of the Canadian confederacy.

    But in the case of Harper, he forieted the soft-wood lumber despute between the U.S. and Canada, and gave the U.S. a generous amount of recompence even though it was seen by the WTO that what the U.S. did was illegal.

    Secondly Harper reneged on his promise that he would not tax the income trusts. And as of this week, He changed his tune about the economy, on thursday he said that the canadian economy was sound, stable, and will not suffer.

    However his finance minister, Flaherty, issued a $25 billion injection into the economy in hopes of preventing a US style market crash and to increase liquidity in the markets, on the same day the TSX fell more than 400 points! If that doesn’t make him look like a liar than I don’t know what does.

    Furthermore; Harper is a criminal, we weren’t suppose to have this election this year, and yet we are because he broke his own law.

    Let us analyse Harper’s promise of clarity within government, but judge Gomery stated that “Harper is a threat to Canadian democracy” -you can google it to confirm- because he is amassing too much power on the executive level.

    People like JaXoN principled and I respect that but what will Canada have to lose in order for those principles to become reality? Liberty, democracy, culture, or all? Frankly I would rather have 99.9% of all websites to be pornographic than lose the fundamental democratic rights.

    Though many conservatives are turning away because Harper fails to see people as people and culture belongs to everyone, people forget Harper’s greatest character flaw is his inabilty to keep his word.

    Hopefully this illuminates certain things for people and my view of Harper’s Canada.

  36. Funny… Really!
    > WOW… I have to wonder about a populace that deems copyright law to be a deciding factor in where their vote lies! It truly saddens me to see so many of you willing to turn a blind eye to the ills that riddle the morality, fiscal policies, foreign policy and subsequent fallout so evident in alternative leadership…

    I am not sad, I am laughing.

    Man, this is just hilarious and it’s money best spent on “culture”. JaXoN, you need to look at the waste dumps near and at the tarsands; and while you’re at it, look at the amount of fresh water being dumped down oil wells which we will never see again.

    Let’s examine closer at the Neo Conservatives Of Canada (NCC). The Iraq Invasion of 2003 was and is immoral, if not illegal, and Canada would be in that tarsand right now. Or, maybe your moral is about killing as many Muslims as you can get away with… I don’t know.

    When it comes to fiscal policies, the NCC gave you coupons for tax discounts disguised as tax cuts at the expense of people who can’t afford taxes nor spending (lowest income earners.) With the NCC, you have to Spend To Save. That’s not a tax cut, but a coupon behind the mirror of smoke. I guess your morals is about taxing the lowest income earners also… again, I don’t know.

    > and all in favour of what? “ohh no, I can’t download my free music anymore!!!” or maybe “only 45% of the websites will be pornography now!!”

    Where are your morals, when Harper Stole (speak) lines from the Australian Prime Minister and Stole policies from the Neo Cons in the south? If the internet contains 100% porn, let it be so. We are free by nature, and speech is also free. You are free to and should censor yourself should you dislike something, but must not while having no right to censor for other people.

    By the way, you spelled “favour” wrong, it’s “favor”. If you’re going to embrace your new overlord, at least learn to spell the way he does. Moreover, the current president Bush called Canadians “a bunch of assholes” at a baseball game and they cheered because the microphone was on. If you want to know more, look it up yourself – but I highly doubt you will, since it’s your overlord and all…

    As per copyright, if you actually know what you’re talking about, it’s not about illegally downloading music because Canadians already paid a blank media taxing levy. The courts have not ruled downloading music as illegal. Uploading copyright material was and will always be illegal. There is a major difference between uploading and downloading, but you just let the news media conglomerates dictate the terms to you.

    > When does the rest of Canada stop and take notice that the ONLY, I do NOT mean by any small degree either, Province within our great Country that has any measure of stability and success is Alberta?!?!?!?! Guess what gov’t we have had running this wonderful Province for the single longest run of any political party in Canada?

    Again, if you had a clue, you’d look to Premier Danny Williams for negotiation skills on his province’s oil and gas royalties.

    You actually think, like every other “Albertan”, that Alberta is a wonderful place. Until the oil and gas revenues run dry, then you will know how wonderful it is because nobody else will want to be here in a big tarsand dump.

    Your term “great Country”, I presume, means large land area with tons of oil and gas, not as “terrific” for multiculturalism, and increased free speech and democracy. Canadians want to know their government’s actions, but Harper doesn’t want the Canadian public to know anything about his government; thereby, he only talks to reporters, when he benefits from it… Tell me if democracy is about censoring government actions from the Canadian public, not to mention a “one-man government…”

    > now what is truly “sick”?

    Indeed, check your temperature. You might suffer from dillusions of grandeur.

    > AWAKEN someday soon PLEASE!!

    Indeed, you do just that please and soon!!

    This is why I laugh. I laugh because in this “great democracy” of ours, there are still people who will vote for this hypocracy and hypocrisy disguised as democracy.

  37. Ah well, if we must. Liberalisim is a type of mental disease. If you vote Liberal, please see your psychatrist. Enjoy!!

  38. C-61
    People opposed to this copyright law just want a free lunch. Instead of going to stores to buy food why not hang around food banks, after all you’re people and you have a ‘right’ to food.

  39. I sense Fascism in this so-called Democracy. Instead of paying attention to economics, poverty, and a peaceful community, Harper’s government wishes to get in bed with the nasty American MPAA and RIAA, and deliver a police state country, and put young people in prison. Is this what you call Democracy? Is this what people want?

    What do they achieve with putting young people to prison? They will make people suffer, and the fat greedy corporations get richer. This is what Harper wants people. See the reality.

  40. Nikolai Saika ("indienick") says:

    In response to the anonymous comment (located three posts above this one), I voted Liberal due to elements in their platform that eluded to supporting local industries. Being a skilled tradesman (currently general machinist, practicing to be a tool and die maker) the fact that, in my city (London) it is quite hard to find a decent paying job in such a profession; machine shops and other, large manufacturing outlets, city-wide, are closing their doors.

    Regardless of anyones’ vote, as long as it was not Conservative (or NDP) it was a vote well spent. The Conservatives, officially, have a tiny minority government, thus any legislations they could have instated in a majority government status are now pipe dreams.

    Bill C-61 is a joke; should it ever become a reality, it will be a short-lived one.

  41. Timing?
    Anyone have a guess on when the bill might be re-introduced?

  42. Jill Price says:

    uhhh? vote for harper? naw!
    Harper Sucks. lets leave it at that. horrible prime minister completely. lets not forget he broke his promise of banning gay marriages which he failed to do. u gay fuck