Angus Files Petition, Comments on C-32 & Digital Locks

This week NDP MP Charlie Angus used debate on the anti-spam bill to sound off on copyright reform and Bill C-32:

the present government’s plan with digital locks would actually lock down content unnecessarily and criminalize individuals who have legal rights, for example, librarians or blind people who need to be able to access educational works through digital locks. They will be treated the same as an international counterfeiter under the Conservatives, not surprisingly of course because the Conservatives have a dumb-down approach on pretty much everything. A blind student will be treated the same as an international counterfeiter if he or she has to break a digital lock to access digital works.  The Conservatives do not get it on the issue of copyright.

Earlier in the same session, Angus filed a petition in the House from people concerned with the digital lock provisions, calling on Parliament to restore balance on the issue.


  1. Agreed. I still don’t get it why the Copyright law should criminalize some cases of accessing legally purchased content, in which NO COPIES are made (but just because you bypass some stupid DRM schemes, in order to be able to use your selection of equipment).

    It’s called COPYright and should be about MAKING COPIES. It shouldn’t interfere with anything else.


  2. OK, I am cynical
    but let’s not forget this is the guy that has tried to get the Private Copying Levy expanded to include “Digital Audio Recorders” among other things. While I agree that DRM should be able to be bypassed for personal use, his support of this petition could be viewed as self-serving; expanded “fair dealing” rights would add ammunition to the calls to expand the levy. I suspect that the people that gave him the petition would have been better served by having another MP present it.

  3. Un-Trusted Computing says:

    Charlie Angus has priorities of his own, a lot of which as a former musician is to get more money for musicians. He agrees with most folks here on Net Neutrality and in his opposition to ACTA and C-32 but he has his own constituency and interests to serve as well.

    Do I agree with updated blank media levies? not really, but they existed in the past so I’m sure for him they’re a natural progression of law.

  4. @Un-Trusted Computing: Agreed. However, my point was that having Charlie Angus present the present the petition may in fact not have been the best move for those that gave it to him; he may have better served them by having another present it to Parliament, someone who has a cleaner slate to present it from… Having him present it comes with baggage, rightly or wrongly.

  5. Laurel L. Russwurm says:

    Quite frankly, who are you going to trust? I don’t think it really matters. They all have their partisan agendas, and baggage. And the rest of them sure look internet illiterate to me.

    The private copying levy is nuts, yet many people looked at it as a win because it supposedly gave Canadians a moral right to download music. Because it’s politics, Angus could easily have thought it would be a way to make it legally so. Or it might have been a tactic to get Moore to emphatically oppose it. Somehow, I doubt we’ll be seeing any new levy for a while. It might simply have been a way to get the mainstream press talking about copyright. I don’t think anyone, Angus included, thought it would fly.

    Angus isn’t perfect. He doesn’t know how inexpensive it can be to record a commercial quality indie CD these days.

    Still, Charlie is the only Canadian politician who seems to have any real grasp of Internet issues. This is a key reason why the copyright lobby has such an easy time of it; our lawmakers don’t understand the tech do they’re taking what the dinosaurs tell them on faith.

    Somehow I’d rather rely on Angus’ grasp than another politician operating on lobbyist instructions that they don’t understand.

  6. @Anon-K

    While fair dealing rights may give more ammunition to people who seek to expand the private copying levy, is that levy not itself a preferable alternative than being cornered into a position where you cannot legally privately copy any new works *AT ALL, where you have to simply hope (even if your chances are pretty good) that you never actually get caught.

    As for the levy giving Canadians any sort of moral right to download music, that’s bogus. It gives us a right to privately copy. Period. It just so happens that one such method to privately copy music is by downloading it to your own computer, but that should not be taken to mean that all downloading of music is, by extension, also part of what is meant to be covered by the levy.

  7. Laurel L. Russwurm says:

    private levy ineffective at best

    What makes the private copying levy preferable? No one understands what it means, exactly. Vast sums of money is collected but there is nothing close to a sane distribution method. From what I can see, the only ones making out on it are copyright collectives. The entry level creators, and many independent artists, the ones who ought to benefit from this levy don’t. Worse, THEY have to pay it when they burn CDs to sell online. It’s bad even before getting into the bit where there are many uses for CDs that do not involve burning music to them at all.

    Personal use copying should not be prevented by law. If the law is bad, it needs to be fixed. Circumventing it with a private copying levy simply muddies the water.