For example, the uneditable letter now being used by the Balanced Copyright for Canada site tells MPs and Senators that “unfortunately Bill C-32 falls short of meeting the government’s stated intentions. The core message, ‘thou shalt not steal’ is diluted by such a bewildering array of exceptions that if anything the situation for creators will grow worse.” This represents a significant change from earlier letters that did not include such criticisms. In fact, the initial BCFC consumer letter stated:
I believe the Copyright Act amendments proposed in Bill C-32 do a good job of balancing the right of artists and creators to benefit financially from their work, and the ability of consumers like me to make copies for non-commercial use and personal enjoyment. If Bill C-32 passes, it will give me the peace of mind of knowing that when I take music I’ve purchased and downloaded online, and copy it to my player, it’s legal. There will be no doubt in my mind that the PVR copy of a movie or the episode of my favourite TV show that I’ve made for later viewing doesn’t infringe copyright. And, I will know that my favourite singers, musicians, and film makers have been financially and fairly compensated for their work and creativity.
The new criticisms from the BCFC are just the tip of the iceberg:
|Organization||C-32 Public Comments|
|Canadian Recording Industry Association||Strong support for the introduction of the bill. Criticisms of the statutory damages provisions.|
|Canadian Independent Music Association||Strong support for the introduction of the bill. Criticisms of format shifting provisions. Say the bill “pales in comparison to the British example” [which includes three strikes].|
|IFPI||Welcome introduction of the bill but say changes are needed, arguing “it simply does not go far enough to protect creators and producers in the digital environment.”|
|Canadian Council of Music Industry Association||Strong support for the bill. Chair critical of format shifting and user generated content exceptions.|
|Songwriters Association of Canada||Rejects C-32’s digital lock support as a meaningful way to support musicians and songwriters. Calls for legalized peer-to-peer file sharing together with optional monthly licencing fee.|
|Canadian Music Creators Coalition||Disappointed with C-32. Criticizes DRM restrictions on format and time shifting and failure to identify alternative means of compensation.|
|SOCAN||Support for introduction of the bill. Criticizes format shifting provisions in the bill.|
|ACTRA||Very critical of C-32. Call it a “blow to artists”.|
|Canadian Private Copying Collective||Very critical of C-32. Say the bill “fails Canadian artists.”|
|Canadian Music Publishers Association||Critical of the bill. Say it falls well short of striking a balance and is a direct attack on compensation. Criticizes new exceptions, including for parody and satire.|
|SODRAC||Critical of the bill. Say balance is “completely absent.”|
There are undoubtedly more criticisms coming on issues such as ISP liability. The criticisms are notable since they suggest that the bill is in for a rough ride once it gets to committee and confirm that many within the Canadian music industry are unhappy with the proposed legislation. I would take issue with many of the criticisms given they tend to argue against some reasonable exceptions in C-32, but it is worth noting that while BCFC supporters (and Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore) are often quick to label critics as anti-copyright, many of the those critics are actually more supportive of the bill than those within the music industry.