Copyright Lobby Groups Gear Up For Further Reforms

With the government set to unveil its new cabinet tomorrow, a copyright reform bill will be back on the agenda.  While copyright will presumably take a back seat to more pressing economic concerns, the campaign promise to reintroduce a bill means that the issue will not disappear.  User groups were outspoken about Bill C-61 after its introduction, yet many of the groups lobbying for DMCA-style reforms were largely silent (other than the initial thanks to the government for introducing the bill). A recent Toronto conference included a panel on copyright that provides some indication of the likely response from those groups once a bill is tabled and goes to committee. 

Far from thanking the government for anti-circumvention measures that mirror the U.S. DMCA, it appears likely that the groups will adopt a strategy of "the best defence is a good offence."  Practically, this will mean that they will argue that the successor to C-61 does not go far enough.  Among the issues raised at the conference, the groups will argue:

  • that a making available right should be included.  U.S. courts have recently required evidence of actual distribution for that right to apply, but Canadian groups will argue that this requirement is unnecessary
  • that the new distribution right for tangible media should be expanded to cover intangible copies
  • that the notice-and-notice approach for Internet intermediaries should be replaced with U.S. style notice-and-takedown
  • that the safe harbour provision for ISPs should be more narrowly constructed
  • that the search engine safe harbour provision should be more narrowly constructed
  • that the $500 cap on downloading liability should be scrapped

The message here is clear.  For those people that think the bill will be fixed at committee, note that MPs will face a barrage of claims for changes that skew the copyright balance even further.  Meanwhile, those elected officials who think that they will find strong support for a C-61 approach should think again.


  1. start throwing eggs and pies at musicians and actors
    start throwing eggs and pies at musicians and actors,
    Cause there NOT LISTENING
    and we will take the fight to the street now.
    The hell with all this gay talk.

    and i see your using the mpaa’s latest tool
    was i right in the fact you were always for DRM?

  2. We will have to take this to the streets now, I fear. I’m up for another protest. I don’t think most people get it. Almost 40% of the country couldn’t even be bothered to get up and vote out these goons. I think the sad truth is that most people feel that we as a country are going in entirely the wrong direction in a lot of ways, but have no way to speak up and tell those in charge how we feel. That’s certainly how I feel. It doesn’t matter how many letters or emails I send; I don’t think it’ll make any difference. It certainly doesn’t help that my vote counted for nothing in the end; my vote, like most, didn’t serve to elect anyone. I feel like I have no voice and no control over things that directly affect how I live my life. I wonder if we’d have a greater voice if we started our own lobby group and wore sharp suits everywhere.

    Anyway, reCAPTCHA is a good thing; it was started by Carnegie Mellon University, runs on Linux, and helps digitize books for safe keeping in the Internet Archive. There’s nothing wrong with attempting to keep out robot posters.

  3. anyone know what this conference was that is referenced in the posting? Sounds all very mysterious and smokey-backroomy.

    i saw a article elsewhere were they the evil ones have software that they install that was proven not to work at filtering, anyhow ya agreed about protesting and this time around

    A) i have a printer
    B) across street is a recycler of toner ( he also agrees with us about copyright law [might get deal maybe for some toner for some printings?-bit a free advertisng for him as payback??])
    C)I am healthier for a change, and the bell issues i have had a slowly fading. They know i have em over a barrel legally, and now have the 50$ to start a small claims action they can’t win.
    D) I have made more allies and friends not just here in canada , but around the world.

    If these people want a actual fight they better have numbers , cause i can tell you i have soooo much pre 1958 dvdripped stuff it would blow your mind.

    The anti circumvention section is unconstitutional as I have read the charter under section 12.

    And i am filling a hard drive free leech and everyone knows my sacrifice. Worst that happens is i end up with a few million in fines i cant pay and get three free meals when i decide not to pay and do life in prison.

    YA for stuff that has no copyright.
    And for all you disabled in canada that have no money for entertainment( ya roll us into a theatre at 10$ a shot then make us pay 18$ for pop and popcorn? on fixed income ya right)

    get rid a MS operating systems in Canada that have NSA security spying abilities thus are hackable with linux and use half the money saved to pay a royalty or license for kids and everyone to download without persecution, world wide this would bring in over 30 billion in revenues to all the major industries, and thats only half the money we save.
    The otehr half might keep us out of a deficeit and or allow for actual increased spedning on social programs, tax breaks and a chunk off the debt each year to increase revenues more each year.

    BUT NO WILL ANY OF THESE GREEDY BASTARDS LISTEN TO SOME LIL DISABLED PEEP. no fraking way, im too crazy and wacked, and the idea cant be done.
    God forbid we hire canucks to deploy it and have to go like russia and actually teach linux and there by create even more of a market for free and open software. MY god what would i do with all the savings.


  5. An article on suggests Clement may take the position of industry minister. What could that mean?

  6. Junji Hiroma says:

    dream on Pheonix ,Prentice is STAYING , we ARE going be living in Orwell’s 1984 and Prentice is Big Brother and He’ll be watching YOU!


  7. Seriously, who is going to have the money to implement something like this. The economy is in shambles because of corporate greed. Canadians are losing their jobs, investments, and homes. The consumer and industry are broke. Why would anyone introduce or think about introducing legislation like this at a time when consumer confidence is already shaken deep to the core.

    Who’s going to cover the legal defence costs to all of this. Legal Aid?

    The last thing any industry needs right now is legislation that completely leaves the consumer out of the picture and gives the upper hand to corporate lobbyists. Let’s hope that mistake isn’t repeated in Canada. Those in all sectors better prepare for a pink slip if something like this comes into play.

  8. The days/weeks following the introduction of a new copyright legislation (assuming its similar or worse than C-61), I purpose:

    we (being everyone against draconian laws) should make it a point to inform the other 1/2 of canada who didn’t vote, what the true consequences have been and will be with the implementation of a mirrored or inherently worse US style copyright legislation.
    Youtube videos, blogs, media made good steps in spreading the word but didn’t take it far enough, a wider audience must be reached. We cannot simply rely on prof Geist to write everything for us. I propose large scale public releases utilizing every public medium available.

    some techniques (some used for C-61 some not as much):

    Write your mp – this was great but it needs more attention a goal of twice the amount of people at should be a priority. Any MP who does not oppose any copyright legislation during ‘rough’ economic times and has an email or snail mail flooded by concerned constituents, cannot sit idling by.

    Hand out/post flyers – if you have a printer, if you have a photocopier USE THEM. Their are people who do not use the internet as much as you do. You must reach these people they are some of the ones with the most to lose, as they never even knew it was coming. Spend a short length of time going door to door, don’t knock on doors and interrupt people; roll up a flyer and find a place to put it.

    Drop a Mix CD; This is a great way to reach curious people at busy malls, schools, bu s stations/stops, parks, government buildings. “Fill the Cd with your favourite songs and label it Sharing is Caring, Bill [whatever] doesn’t care” and [URL of your choice]. Strombolopolus ran this on his show on CBC. With more people, more CD’s you could still reach a significant amount of people.

    The power of social networking is significant in getting large numbers of people informed on any given topic. Every flyer, every mixed cd, every blog, every video, they must all link back to more information and some form of communication tool with members of parliament.

    Everyone (including consumers) must have a voice in any future content lockdown…sorry I mean copyright legislation.