Canwest on Canadian Copyright Reform Plans

Canwest has a feature on the government's plans for copyright reform.  The piece confirms that a bill is coming this spring.  It also quotes an industry source as saying that plans to adopt a more liberal system have been dropped after lobbying from music, movie, and copyright collectives.


  1. It’s going to be an extremely tough sell to the Canadian public, if the new copyright bill doesn’t reflect that of what came out of the public consultation. It will cost the Conservatives politically. We’ll probably be in another election before 3rd reading anyway from the looks of it. I think people are starting to ask the question of corruption in this current government. Putting forth legislation that doesn’t reflect the public’s voice on it, will be seen as corrupt by the public. There will be a lot more eyes on what the Conservatives do here, because of the past 5 months.

  2. Plus it won’t surprise me anyway, during the consultation Clement didn’t seem very interested in what the public had to say.

  3. Vincent Clement says:

    Yes, who cares what Canadian consumers want, so long as the archaic collectives get what they want – even if it kills their business model.

  4. Clement Kills Canada says:

    Frat boys in power? University Conservatives rise to overthrow democracy.
    Grrr the “left” has a majority and doesn’t have to allow this to happen. If the liberal et al. let this happen then they are just as spineless as the frat boy Clement who just wants to appease his frat buddies he went to UoT with.

  5. “And while the bill proposed to make expressly legal the “time shifting” of television programs through widely used personal video recorders, there would be a catch.

    The shows could not be kept indefinitely to build a library of recordings, and if broadcasters block the ability to digitally record certain shows through broadcast flags, consumers would not be allowed to get around that lock legally.”

    While this is speculation, such measures are self defeating.

    Honoring the broadcast flag is effectively DRM for broadcast, defeating legally allowed timeshifting. A contradiction in the intent of the law. More confusion for the public.

    Not being able to build a library of shifted/recorded shows is also confusing for the public. If they are allowed to record it, they may wish to watch it (or rewatch it) the following summer or even later. If the shows are burned to a dvd, do they throw it away?

    I thought part of the objectives was to build laws that are understandable and would be recognized by the Canadian public as being fair to everyone?

    I predict such measures, if enacted, will simply lead to even more disregard for copyright law in the general public. If it isn’t fair and understandable, it is simply an exercise in wasted government time and money. I thought we wanted copyright laws that reflect modern realities?

    I am very curious to see what actually gets tabled in the House of Commons.

  6. technogeek says:

    To be honest, I hope we do end up with stronger copyright protections and user restrictions. Maybe than we can judge the impact that a minimalist solution will have on our digital economy. The internet will become less “fun” and people will just start to log off, costing a huge amount of jobs. Or people will just find another way to pirate works without being able to be tracked, which is of concern to a lot of industries not just media, and defeats the purpose of law, which should be of grave concern to law makers in a society where law needs to be respected.

    Either way I think the Government backed itself into a corner with the copyright consultation. It’s extremely clear what Canadians expect and want from the government on this file. I think anything less than what has come out of the copyright consultation will spell a political nightmare for the government. But if we have to go through it, then we should. You can only learn from failure, and I think it’s about time for Clement to be kicked out of Cabinet anyway.

    The Canadian people have spoken, let’s see if we were listened to and judge our votes on a party with a platform that is representing of the copyright consultation. So common Clement, do your worst.

  7. technogeek says:

    “Maybe than we can judge the impact that a minimalist solution will have on our digital economy”

    Meant to say “maximalist solution”! Also I strongly believe that if we chose a maximalist solution towards the market, we should also be looking at cutting funding to our cultural sector to help pay off our debt.

  8. “the Government backed itself into a corner with the copyright consultation”

    Agreed. Given the timing of the ACTA negotiations and the leaks that show the “Canadian perspective” in such, I think our Government is totally out of touch with the electorate on this issue. They do seem to stay in tune with the lobby groups though. That alone tells me they place way too much faith in the lobby groups, and have lost sight of the fact that lobby groups have an agenda that sees the electorate wishes as irrelevant.

    It should be fairly simple for a politician, listen to a lobbyist then pull apart each of their requests/demands or numbers and compare them with reality. Never take anything they say on blind faith, but start with the assumption that the opposite is more to be likely to in the public interest.

  9. technogeek says:

    Re: oldguy
    “It should be fairly simple for a politician, listen to a lobbyist then pull apart each of their requests/demands or numbers and compare them with reality.”

    If they haven’t done that, then the digital economy itself is at risk. In order for it to be properly defended with reality it needs to be put at risk, that way the successful players who have innovated in this economy will be front and center. They will have to be. Those that haven’t will be slapped to the back of the bus, which will include Clement. I’ve always wanted to see him in a McDonald’s uniform anyway cleaning toilets. There’s something sexy about

  10. Anonymous commenter says:

    Call me a pessimist but…
    “It’s going to be an extremely tough sell to the Canadian public, if the new copyright bill doesn’t reflect that of what came out of the public consultation.”

    If I recall correctly the UK had held a similar consultation. That didn’t stop the democratic abortion, called the “digital economy bill” from being passed. It seems the big content lobby is the only international force more unstoppable than the US military.

  11. Re: Anonymous commenter
    “That didn’t stop the democratic abortion, called the “digital economy bill” from being passed.”

    That story has yet to conclude. The UK is in election mode with the Lib-Dem (underdogs) now tied almost with the conservatives as of today. The Lib-Dem are looking to repeal the digital economy act. Gordon Brown and his Labor Party who were seen as the main architects of this bill are behind in the polls leading a distant 3rd. We’ll see what the political make up is after May 6th, and what the parties are going to do with this bill. One thing is for sure, record sales in the UK and US are down quite a bit, and they have way more tougher laws in place right now than we do.

    Plus that’s not going to stop file sharing anyway. Look what happened when they took napster down. Bittorrent was born. What happens when you threaten to strip file sharers of internet access, someone will find a way to share anonymously and that’s difficult to track. There are several other more untrackable ways of file sharing available now. We just need to wait to see which one will become the more popular out of the bunch. It’ll morph.

    We need to make money off of it. At the end of the day the danger is with people basically getting fed up with crap and log off the marketplace because things are getting extremely stupid now.

  12. Re: Anonymous commenter continued…
    In Canada there are a huge amount of educated people following this debate. It’s grabbed the attention already of the public within even a mere threat of being sued for $500 per download. Tens of thousands of people joined the national fair copyright for Canada groups. Artists, businesses and unions have joined Geists fight for fair copyright. Thousands participated in the public consultation on this issue.

    Realistically, if Clement so much as breathes the wrong way to the public on this issue, he might as well be flipping burgers at Dairy Queen. It won’t get very far, and probably will cost him his job come election time.

  13. UK Lib-Dems now leading
    Clement might want to take note. The Lib-Dems who want to repeal the UK Digital Economy Bill’s 3 strikes policy is now leading in the polls:

    @twitVoteUK is also reporting Lib-Dems are leading in 111 of 155 districts, and in 1 district(WORCESTER) the UK’s Pirate Party is leading. Payback is a bitch! Break out that dairy queen uniform Clement. You’re going to need it!

  14. I suspect there will be unhappy people when this bill gets introduced, no matter what it’s content. The question is if it lives up to the stated objective of fair and understandable – to all. Tall order.

  15. UK Lib-Dems now leading
    Interesting.. Makes one wonder if we might see the same thing here? After all, we have a minority government and it would be relatively easy to force an election. This could be the spark that fans that flame.

    What I do know, is that this particular issue is becoming a “bellweather” for many of the younger (under 40) electorate. They look to see how a party stands on this issue to decide if the party would properly represent *them* rather than kowtowing to lobby groups.

  16. >”They do seem to stay in tune with the lobby groups though.”

    Some one has to pay for those attack adds. I am afraid that the Canadian public has finally given up. No matter what happens the polls only move incrementally. ACTA will get passed. Very few will change their vote based on it. Even if they did the other parties wouldn’t change coures. Corporate control over citizens will increase and Canadians will keep on sleep walking. Every year Canada reminds me more and more of the cold war period in the Soviet Union where the people were broken by their government.

  17. This will not end with a new copyright bill, the same way it didn’t end with anti camcording legislation. The people who lobby for these laws are never satisfied. Just take a look at the USA.

  18. Is there a way to track how much lobbying and by whom on the copyright file ?