Copyright Consultation Submission Summary: Over 4,000 Posted Through August 31st

There are now over 4,000 posted submissions with the overwhelming majority of them speaking out against Bill C-61, anti-circumvention rules, and for stronger fair dealing (earlier charts here, here, here, and here).  While critics of fair copyright insist on characterizing many as anti-levy or anti-copyright, there have been only five submissions calling for the elimination of copyright and eight submissions that oppose any media levies.  By comparison, over 3,000 submissions focus on anti-circumvention, notice-and-notice, and stronger personal use rights.

Regardless of your views, there are just nine days left to join the thousands of Canadians who have spoken out.  What are you waiting for – speak out on copyright today!

Position Number of Supporters
Submissions against another Bill C-61 3277
Submissions in favour of shorter copyright term 104
Submissions against anti-circumvention or in favour of limiting DRM/Digital locks 3413
Submissions in favour of stronger personal use/copying and backup protections 3351
Submissions in favour of an “open copyright” system 9
Submissions advocating an end to the Crown Copyright 29
Submissions opposed to adopting an American-styled DMCA 94
Submissions in favour of stronger fair use/fair dealing protections 2834
Submissions opposed to implementing WIPO 6
Submissions in favour of eliminating all copyright 5
Submissions against a three-strikes rule 44
Submissions that favour a “notice and notice” approach 3237
Submissions in favour of instituting a levy for file-sharing/monetizing P2P 31
Submissions in favour of greater exemptions for education/research 26
Submissions in favour of establish a good-faith defence that the user believed their use of a work was fair and non-infringing 3229
Submissions in favour of laws that are technologically neutral 2738
Submissions that argue individuals should be protected from liability as long as their use was private and non-commercial 3260
Submissions in favour of a parody exemption 10
Submissions in favour of ISP neutrality 15
Submissions satisfied with current laws 19
Submissions calling for a stronger/updated public domain 36
Submissions against any media levies 8
Submissions in favour of stronger penalties for copyright infringement 3
Submissions in favour of turning copyright into a crime 2
Submissions arguing for protection for photographs 7
Submissions against works being available in digital or other forms for free and that argue creators need to be fairly compensated 121
Submissions arguing for more protection for writers and other artists 20
Submissions opposed to creating new exceptions 4
Submissions opposed to an expansion of fair dealing 2
Submissions in favour of notice and takedown 2
Submissions in favour of implementing WIPO 18
Submissions promoting a collective licensing scheme 8
Submissions promoting longer copyright terms/opposed to shortening copyright terms 3
Submissions in favour of fining those who violate copyright laws 1
Submissions in favour of halting illegal file sharing 9
Submissions endorsing Bill C-61 1
Submissions proposing the expansion of the private copying levy 14
Submissions in favour of increasing school fees and tariffs for books and photocopies 1
Submissions proposing a re-sale right 15
Total Submissions 4038


  1. Copyright Term
    I’m really surprised at the lack of people discussing shortening the copyright term. Just how often are century old
    works really valuable anyway? How many works are lost simply because the only copies are century old books or microfilms rotting away in some library basement? How does paying the children and grandchildren of a musician encourage creativity? Copyright keeps getting extended and no one ever makes a clear argument why that is a good thing for Canadians.

    I guess people just aren’t that interested in their grandfather’s music anyway…

    (Just noticed the recapcha at the bottom here, by using that anti-spam tool, Mr. Geist is supporting the scanning of rare, public domain books for worldwide, free, dissemination. Too bad the vast majority of rare, out of print, orphaned books are still copyrighted.)

  2. Headline: Opposition Mounts Against P2P Disconnection Plan [in UK] CNET Digital News Sept 5/09 1:32pm PDT
    Headline: Opposition Mounts Against P2P Disconnection Plan Sept 5/09
    CNET Digital News:

    The heads of the UK’s largest ISPs have co-signed a letter of protest against the proposal to disconnect suspected illegal file-sharers from their broadband service.

    The open letter was sent to The Times on Thursday by the chiefs of TalkTalk, BT, and Orange, as well as representatives of the Open Rights Group and the consumer choice organizations Which and Consumer Focus.

    It coincided with a detailed argument against the government’s proposals, issued as a statement by the Featured Artists Coalition (FAC), the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (Basca) and the Music Producers Guild (MPG).

    The signatories of the letter to The Times acknowledged the creative industry’s concerns about illegal sharing of copyrighted material. Nevertheless, they said the government’s latest proposals on how to reduce this are “misconceived, and threaten broadband consumers’ rights and the development of new, attractive services.”

    “Consumers must be presumed to be innocent unless proven guilty,” the letter read. “We must avoid an extrajudicial ‘kangaroo court’ process where evidence is not tested properly and accused broadband users are denied the right to defend themselves against false accusations.

    “Without these protections, innocent customers will suffer. Any penalty must be proportionate. Disconnecting users from the internet would place serious limits on their freedom of expression.”

    The letter’s signatories–TalkTalk’s Charles Dunstone, BT’s Ian Livingston, Orange’s Tom Alexander, the Open Rights Group’s Jim Killock, Consumer Focus’ Ed Mayo, and Which’s Deborah Prince–were responding to proposals made by the Department for Business, Innovation, and Skills (BIS) in late August.

    In those proposals, Lord Mandelson’s department called for disconnection to be an option in the case of persistent illegal file-sharers.

    The proposal came before the deadline on a consultation–launched in June by BIS–into the issue of copyrighted material being shared online. That consultation was kicked off by Lord Carter’s Digital Britain report, which discounted the option of disconnection as being unnecessarily harsh.

    BIS’s proposal suggested ISPs should pay a large portion of the cost of the monitoring and legal mechanisms needed to establish which file-sharers should be disconnected.

    The signatories of the letter to The Times pointed out that these costs would filter down to broadband customers. They described the plan as “grossly unfair, since the vast majority of consumers do not file-share illegally.”

    Also on Thursday, the FAC, Basca, and MPG issued a joint statement arguing that a system where suspected illegal file-sharers are monitored, sent warning letters, and punished would not lead to a “vibrant, functional, fair, and competitive” market for music.

    “As a result, we believe that the specific questions asked by the consultation are not only unanswerable, but indicate a mindset so far removed from that of the general public and music consumer that it seems an extraordinarily negative document,” the organizations wrote.

    The organizations argued that the consultation’s estimate for the damage done to the content industries by file-sharing–about $328 million per year–was based upon the premise that a P2P-downloaded track equals a lost sale. Therefore, the estimate is no more than “‘lobbyists’ speak’ (as) it has little support from logic, and no economist would seek to weave such a number into a metric aimed at quantifying a ‘value gap’ for the industries challenged by P2P,” they said.

    The organizations also noted the costs of monitoring for illegal file-sharing, and said the consultation’s estimate of $92 million to $139 million was likely to be a gross underestimate due to the complicated nature of the proposed system.

    “Looking backward for insight into how we adapt mass-production product models to the digital age of access and services has been a major obstacle to progress over the past decade,” they wrote. “We must begin to look forward to business models that we cannot even imagine yet.

    “As creators’ representatives, we are willing to be partners with government in exploring and navigating the opportunities and challenges brought by digital technologies. What we will not be a party to is any system that alienates our members’ existing audience and potential new audiences.”

    David Meyer of ZDNet UK reported from London.

  3. The issue is not whether P2P sharing results in a lost sale, but the value to the downloader. And if someone is doing something illegal persistently, they deserve a tough consequence.

  4. @Bob Morris
    Interesting point. So if the issues isn’t a lost sale, but instead the “value to the downloader”, where are the studies that define this “value”? Exactly how much “value” does the downloader feel it is worth? Do different music tracks would have different value? How do you put a number on this? I must admit, this is an interesting way to look at the problems of copyright and downloading in a digital age.
    I admit it’s been years since I visited a music store and listened to dozens of albums to decide which one or two I liked enough to purchase. I simply don’t have the spare time anymore. If you extrapolate that to the digital age and downloading, how do *you* decide which ones I “valued”, and which ones I didn’t?

    And as far as illegality goes, as far as I know it isn’t “illegal” to refuse to pay your telephone bill, even though it does have consequences. But those consequences certainly don’t include shutting off power to your house. Lets keep our eye on the correct ball, ok?

  5. Old Guy: But the consequences of not paying your phone bill do include getting the phone disconnected. Likewise, in fact, having yuor internet access denied if you can’t afford it, so to talk of internet access as a human right is nonsense. It’s a privilege available to those who can afford a computer. About a third of people in this country can’t.

  6. And, 4038 submissions do not make a revolution. Sure you can insist that each form letter should count as a single response, but then the maybe 40 or 50 submissions from big trade groups should be counted as representing all of their members. This is not in the end going to come down to numbers.

  7. Thomas Malenfant says:

    Your Right
    @Bob Morris

    Your right, in the end this won’t come down to numbers. This will come down to the conservatives being against the average Canadian and small business. In a slow approaching Orwellian society, as evident by the recent censorship of copyright submissions online, we are not heading down a road where the upstart’s interest is being seen to. We are heading down a road where power is seen to. Accuse me of being cliche if it makes you feel better, but censorship is the beginning of fascism.

  8. A cellphone is a computer.

  9. @Bob Morris
    So, if the phone company sends you a bill which includes a whopping long distance bill and you refuse to pay it because you didn’t make the calls, they are allowed to kill the power to your home?
    Listen Bob, internet access is much *much* bigger than just downloading a few songs. It is a totally inappropriate response to cut off internet access for such.
    So just because you refuse to pay a phone bill (why is irrelevant), should the post office refuse to deliver your mail (if that’s the way you received the bill)? Or should the power company cut off your power (because you use a phone that needs a power adapter)?

    Or lets put it another way, should the internet access to *your* home get cut off just because someone out of the blue complains about “your” “activity”? Or perhaps you might feel the bar should be just a little higher than a “complaint” from some anonymous organization? I don’t think you want to open that Pandora’s box.

    BTW – I notice you haven’t come up with a “value to the downloader”. This is a very interesting perspective that I would like to see expanded upon. It has a real audience/customer satisfaction attitude, rather than the simple “off with their heads” approach I have come to expect from strong proponents of a C-61 type bill.

  10. “Value”
    @Bob Morris

    In the last year I have spent $1300 at an import store (plus $100 online every month for the last 6 months) on music from a Japanese pop group called Hello! Project. I have to pay crazy Japanese prices ($15 for a SINGLE!) and when buying online I also have to pay shipping (and sometimes duty) for this music. Once I do all that, I have to wait a while (often several weeks) before it crosses the Pacific Ocean and gets into the import store/my mail box.

    I usually download the music long before buying it and will even download radio/PV rips well before its release date. How much “value” do you think this music has lost to me because I can and download it for free? If you ask me, it’s gained “value” because I know what’s worth going through all the trouble and costs of buying and I don’t lose my patience waiting an extra month after it’s released to actually get it.

  11. @Bob Morris
    Do you have a reference for the “third of people in this country can’t” afford a computer? You are now talking about my area of expertise, I often supply free computers to disadvantaged homes, and I am curious where you obtained those numbers. It seems a lot higher than my experience would indicate.

  12. Also surprised.
    I’m sort of shocked myself at the lack of people interested in making copyright lengths sane. In the past century science has progressed at an unprecedented pace becuase of collaboration and building upon other’s works. It won’t be until the next century that anyone can use this century’s works for anything useful. Why isn’t this a top copyright issue? They get more and more monopoly with fewer and fewer responsibilities to match.

    Everyone loses under the current regime: Content creators have to work harder to create less, publishers have less to sell, and consumers get fewer high quality works becuase of the massive resources required to clear the rights for everything they use.

  13. nice post
    This is nice post but you may include some more ideas in the same theme. I’m still waiting for some interesting thoughts from your side in your next post.

  14. Supra shoes
    only five submissions calling for the elimination of copyright and eight submissions that oppose any media levies. By comparison, over 3,000 submissions focus on anti-circumvention, notice-and-notice, and stronger personal use rights.

  15. Michalle Olders says:

    You are now talking about my area of expertise, I often supply free computers to disadvantaged homes, and I am curious where you obtained those numbers. It seems a lot higher than my experience would indicate.

  16. Copyright
    With Internet expanding an becoming more and more complicated, it’s become quite complicated to preserve the copyright. How would you stop anyone from copying your content…perhaps write in flesh? Sigh…


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    I know what’s worth going through all the trouble and costs of buying and I don’t lose my patience waiting an extra month after it’s released to actually get it. it and will even download radio/PV rips well before its release date. How much “value” do you think this music has lost to me because I can and download it for free? medical billing

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