Update 11/1: I have received a request to remove the link to the ACTRA document on the grounds that it was posted prematurely. I have been advised that there is not yet consensus among all groups listed in the document on the various C-32 issues.
When Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore told an IP conference last June that only two groups of radical extremists were opposed to Bill C-32, most assumed that he had user groups in mind. Yet as various groups begin to publicly make their positions known, few have been as critical as a creator coalition that includes ACTRA, a writers’ coalition, visual arts coalition, and Quebec artists groups. In a backgrounder on the bill, those groups oppose nearly all the major reform elements of Bill C-32, with the notable exception of digital locks (on which they remain silent).
Just how broad is the opposition? The position paper stakes out the following positions:
|Consumer exceptions such as format shifting||Oppose. Want an extension of the private copying levy to cover format shifting and limit “private purposes” to limit consumer uses.|
|User Generated content exception||Oppose. Want it removed from the bill.|
|Fair dealing inclusion of education||Oppose. Want it removed from the bill.|
|Statutory damages reform||Oppose elements of C-32 statutory damages reform.|
|ISP Liability||Oppose notice-and-notice approach in C-32. Support move toward graduated response approach.|
|Artists’ Resale Right||Support amendment of the bill to include new resale right.|
|Broadcast mechanical right reform||Oppose. Want it removed from the bill.|
It should be clear that this does not constitute support for the bill with some minor tweaking or modifications (contrast it with this user’s perspective or independent academics). If these groups get their way, it would represent a near-complete gutting of many of the core elements of Bill C-32 and the removal any pretense of trying to strike a balance among stakeholders. In its wake would be a copyright bill with practically no consumer oriented provisions, the loss of the most important educational balancing provision, a three strikes and you’re out system, and digital lock rules that eviscerate rights in the digital domain.