Government to Reintroduce Bill C-32 “In Exactly the Same Form”

Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore has told the Canadian Press that the government plans to reintroduce Bill C-32 in “exactly the same form” as the legislation that died on the order paper with the election call earlier this year.  Moore suggested that the government plans to pick up where it left off with the same bill and a legislative committee that will not call groups that appeared during the last round of hearings. That suggests the bill will be on the fast track as the committee heard from dozens of groups on Bill C-32 over several months in late 2010 and early 2011.

Moore was also asked about the Wikileaks cables and the revelations of Canada caving to U.S. pressure on digital lock rules.  He argued that elements of the bill run contrary to what the U.S. prefers. While that is true with respect to ISP liability, that issue is seen as secondary by the U.S., which is far more focused on digital locks.  On digital locks, Bill C-32 was precisely what the U.S. was looking for and contrary to what the government heard during its national copyright consultation.

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  1. No Mr. Moore, we know exactly how much of that bill was influenced by the US. Just because they didn’t get everything they wanted, that doesn’t make this a “made in Canada” bill like you keep on trying to tell us it is.

  2. Addendum: Of course rather than try to make a bill that might fit Canada and actually follow the consultation they did (especially with regards to the digital locks) they’re going to end up introducing a law that most people are not going to be interested in following, further degrading people’s opinion on copyright law.

  3. I guess it’s time to go to Ottawa and tell these idiots what their job is…
    And that is, to REPRESENT THE PEOPLE of this country.

    Time for the NDP to challenge the right of this arrogant minister to steamroll this criminal bill and expose who the real puppetmaster is, The MAFIAA.

  4. I’ve written no less than 4 letters to our government about this matter, and received a response to exactly one (which was clearly a form letter response highlighting the so-called benefits of C-32 and did not address even a single one of the concerns I raised in my letter). My key concerns are outlined below (not that I expect it will make any difference, but I really need to vent).

    They just don’t seem to get this whole notion that the public *WILL NOT* adhere to a law that does not allow them to copy stuff, for their own personal use, I might add, that they have legally purchased without consent of the copyright holder. C32 is positively guaranteed to create an entire nation of criminals practically the very instant that the law is approved. It’s all very well and good to note that most publishers will probably make allowances for certain limited scope copying that may seem reasonable, and would be in accordance with the law, the problem with this is that those allowances are going to be intrinsically very technologically dependent, and when (not if, but WHEN) circumstances that were not foreseen by the publishers arise, the content can revert to being all but unusable within the framework of the law, and is why it is a 100% certainty that such people will find whatever means they can to privately copy their works for their own use, breaking the law if necessary, and regardless of the consequences (since historically speaking, the general public does not continue to follow laws that they, as a society, believe are unreasonable).

    Between that, and the two-faced issue of C-32, which purports to give fair dealing privileges to people, while simultaneously revoking them whenever digital locks are present (which itself is an implicit admission that copyright alone cannot be relied upon to protect the integrity of a content creator’s copyright, and thus creates an underlying incentive for existing publishers to adopt such protections even where they had not previously), creates a situation where the law may appear to give the consumer some benefit, when it simply ends up thoroughly revoking that same benefit almost completely, C-32 *MUST* be revised… this is not an option, it is an imperative, or else there isn’t the slightest chance that copyright will ever be taken seriously in Canada again.

  5. Conflicts with Rights
    I cannot see how the digital locks portion of this bill will withstand a challenge in terms of the “Canadian Bill of Rights, 1960”, which allows for “The right to enjoyment of property”.

    Digital locks are created for the sole purpose of denying the owner from the full enjoyment of their property.

  6. Agreement with Mark’s comment.
    I’ve also written a letter to my MP who is also a CON whom I didn’t vote for and I probably got the exact same form letter that Mark got. The CONs have said on various occasions that now they have a majority they will do whatever they feel like, not what the people say they should do. That’s why it is called “Harper’s Government” instead of its legal title “Government of Canada.” It’s time we replace the CONs with a real government that represents Canada instead of Corporate America, RIAA and MAFIAA.

  7. Clear your throat and grab your megaphone.
    There is work to do.

    This will deform the next generation. It will lobotomize anyone who respects the law enough to comply with it (at a time we should be fostering science and engineering in order to continue to advance our society), and, more likely, it will alienate almost everyone under 30 (and plenty of people older than that). The Internet is old news guys. Copying is here. It is a solved problem. Are we so afraid of our own success?

    This is one of those mornings that feels like it’s the dark ages, despite all the twinkling lights in the server room that mean someone, somewhere, says “hello”.

    Perhaps Mr. Geist or Openmedia would be kind enough to coordinate a petition we can begin to organize around (in addition to writing your relevant and local officials).

  8. Our culture will be forgotten
    Over the decades our culture will be forgotten, locked up and inaccessible to everyone. If we can’t reuse and recycle our cultural icons and ideas we will lose them completely. A hundred years from now no one will know who we were.

  9. @Anonymous: I don’t praise digital locks for one second, but their actual intended purpose is to simply make it more inconvenient for people who intend to illegally copy a copyrighted work. Ideally, the inconvenience factor is sufficient to deter the activity to some measurable degree. That this also considerably impacts fair dealing is an easily foreseen, albeit not actually intended, side effect. The loss of fair dealing, I suppose, is seen by them as an unfortunate albeit tolerable loss.

    And of course, it won’t deter illegal copying anyways, because illegal copying was *ALREADY* illegal, and so the barriers to copying that digital locks create will only significantly impact otherwise honest consumers. At best, it might stand to deter a limited amount of “casual piracy”, but this will be dwarfed by the number of people who will, despite the fact that they could be fully in accordance with fair dealing, be breaking the law when they copy digitally protected works they have legally acquired for their own personal and private use (to watch a movie on a computer, for example, or transferring a song to their portable music player) except where those specific circumstances are explicitly permitted by the copyright holder.

  10. Harper’s contributions…
    With this bill coming I had the thought to check out any web page that actually lists what Harper and his government has done during their stay in power.

    I honestly would like to see if my annoyance towards the man is justified or not and for that I need a clear, unbiased summary of everything the current government has been responsible for in creating and defeating. Some backstory to get a better idea would also be nice along with Harper’s previous stances before he got the PM spot thanks to the Conservitives.

    Is there such an easy to read, fact full site?

  11. Nice, but I think it lacks the ‘everything’ and ‘unbiased’ and it’s a little brief. Headliners, sure, but the guy’s been in power for 5 years (and I noticed it missed the fact that he called for an election when he said he would not). Somehow I think the government has done more than a dozen or so things. (Didn’t know about replacing all the previous PMs with his own image, though.)

  12. Trained to Pirate says:

    The feelings of one consumer
    I always chuckle when I read about copyright issues. Ten years ago the music and movie industry had the budding opportunities to provide ‘the consumer’ with affordable, digitally accessible, convenient digital goods. They ought right refused and in doing so they trained the consumer to pirate goods they couldn’t otherwise legitimately access in the manner in which they found to be reasonable and convenient. By doing so the music and movie industries left billions of dollars of potential revenue to the wind, essentially paying to train the consumer to pirate.

    Now the music and movie industries are trying to oppress the consumer with archaic and ineffective legislation, digital locks, legal action, guilt tripping and fear mongering. It was their fear and mismanagement that drove these issues, and their inability to acknowledge their misdealings to the consumer that continue to drive pirating.

    When I pirate I feel little remorse for these industries. They had their opportunity to do business with me when I was holding my hand out ten years ago asking for these goods digitally. The offensives they have instead served me and continue to serve me do not reconcile my feelings on the matter.

    Digital locks only encourage me to pirate. Why should I pay to be inconvenienced when I can pirate, something I have become good at, something that is convenient. To me it was never about something-for-nothing, it was only about my needs as a consumer. My line-of-thinking has only been encourage over the years.

    There is nothing more that I love to do then to buy content, at a reasonable price, and in a timely, hassle-free manor, where I have the option to sample it first. Each one of these points any business would go to great lengths to satisfy in a ‘real world’ transaction. Why can’t I have these same rights as a digital consumer?

    When I do find a digital product I can consumer that has met these basic consumer needs, I feel great. It gives me great pleasure to know that I have paid the people who worked so hard to produce that product. But why is his such a rare occurrence? Why am I, the consumer, continuing to carry the burden of the sale in the digital marketplace and why am I ostracized when I don’t?

  13. They still, sadly and unbelievably, don’t get it.
    I read the above post with a great deal of sympathy. I personally try to make all my media acquisitions legal so I can have some degree of neutrality and moral authority in this debate.

    Having said that, it is demoralizing that the same mindset at the top of the media industry heap continues to drive same old ineffective punishment over provision.

    As mentioned above, a decade of mismanagement by people too concerned with their own empires, let the media industry burn down around them.

    Now from those ashes we have a populace that has been suckled on the ‘free is better’ mindset. Not that getting something for free instead of paying is better, but that the free stuff is functionally BETTER than what you can buy.

    Now, a decade later, innovation is finally showing it’s head above the imbecile antics of the incumbent industries. But just as it starts to work [eg. netflix] they decide the old ways were better and start throwing the tomatoes & wrenches.

    Here’s a heads up … the world is not static and those who refuse to move with it will fail. The continued efforts to apply restrictive and disproportionate controls will only further erode respect for yourself, your wares and copyright itself.

    Research, listen and understand that which the market desires, then do it. I think you will be presently surprised at the results. Continue to treat your customers with contempt and failure is the only outcome. I hope someone with vision and intelligence can displace the old guard for the good of all.

  14. Online Plagiarism/Copyright Law
    Mr. Geist,

    How will Bill C-32 protect the content of online bloggers and writers from plagiarism/copyright? For example, will it be legal for me to place my blog articles on behind a payment wall and require readers to pay before reading them?

    Thank you,
    Tom Wolfer
    Tumbleweed Marketing Analytics

  15. Petition to remove Bernier and Clement from Cabinet
    As a side note, I’ve started a petition to get Bernier and Clement out of the Cabinet due to their actions revealed in the Wikileaks cables.

  16. Truth Happens
    From the NY Times today.

    “Many tax policy analysts say the breaks for the video game industry — whose domestic sales of $15 billion a year now exceed those of the music business…”

    If I have said it once I have said it a 1,000 times this is one of the reasons why the recording industry is not selling music like they use to. There is only so much money in any household to spend on entertainment.

    So what is the real reason for DRM? Because it is not going to sell one extra copy of any song.

    John Kerr
    Guelph, Ontario

  17. An inconvenient truth …
    @Truth Happens “…the reasons why the recording industry is not selling music like they use to. There is only so much money in any household to spend on entertainment”

    I’m not sure you will be able to convince the media industry of that truth, they seem to think the populace is a money tree that can never be picked bare. The whole concept of a download/share = a lost sale is a mantra that drive their thinking.

    What I do think causes more lost sales is the the heavy handed punitive approach to enforcement (fines, trolling, lobbying), coupled with restrictive DRM. They give little incentive for people to buy their products when free has superior functionality and availability.

    A lighter hand in enforcement would generate goodwill and the proper price/feature/availability coupled with reasonable user privileges would seal the deal. trying to squeeze out every last cent from your customer will just continue to drive them away.

    Hopefully, more progressive minds will displace the old guard and will bring the media industry into the 21st century. The last decade has certainly shown the need for that.

  18. dudefromthenorth says:

    Okay, so what do …
    Okay, so what do we do this time?

  19. It’s quite clear to me now that it doesn’t matter what people do. Our government is unwilling to listen… they accuse any dissension as a voice of a sympathizer to piracy, if not an actual participant, and treat any attempt at a sane compromise to bill C32 as nothing less than an attempt to utterly emasculate it. With a majority government, the conservatives are going to push this thing through on their terms even if there is unanimous disapproval from all of the other parties.

  20. @Mark “With a majority government, the conservatives are going to push this thing through on their terms even if there is unanimous disapproval from all of the other parties.”

    If such is the case, and this bill passes unaltered, the sad thing is most people will ignore it. As such, copyright will be further eroded as enforcement of mass ‘civil’ disobedience will be impossible.

    All the while the **AA will be crying victory as the boat goes down.

    Huge opportunities missed again … Way to go folks.

  21. (nod). And as copyright gets eroded, publishers will face increasing obligation to actually utilize digital locks on their works as a means of protecting their interests, which completely negates the so-called explicit fair dealing permissions that C-32 actually *does* have. People who will know about the new restrictions will conclude for themselves that the bill is unfair, and will summarily proceed to ignore it – privately or otherwise, and regardless of the consequences, as history is resplendent with situations where the general public does not continue to indefinitely obey a law that is perceived to be unfair.

    C32 is positively guaranteed to make criminals out of millions of people who do not even actually infringe on any copyright.

    If, and ONLY if, C32’s digital lock circumvention restriction was isolated to cases where copyright is otherwise actually infringed upon, then it would start resembling something a whole saner. This, in conjunction with not outlawing tools merely on the basis that they might happen to be used to infringe on copyright, when the same sort of tools would be required to simply engage in any fair dealing privileges, is all that would be necessary to make C32 quite reasonable.

  22. And in the mean time, legitimate users get to deal with crap like “region coding” pushed upon them.

    C32 “modernizes” copyright law in the same way sharia law modernizes women’s rights.

    Of course, it will definitely open up the canadian market for “innovative new products” created by robbing the canadian consumers of all their rights, and selling them back, one by one, but only if it is deemed “profitable”.

  23. Is there anything that could keep
    This from passing now that the government is A majority. Is the digital lock portion
    Of the bill going to make it illegal to sell blank DVDs. There would still be legal uses for blank DVDs.

  24. @Mike: since our government has a majority, I do not think there is anything that anyone can do or realistically hope for that can stop this bill from passing, unless the bill happens to require a particular majority vote to pass that the conservatives alone cannot meet (which happens sometimes with referendums, but I don’t think that would be the case for this bill to pass). Other than that… acts of god, maybe?

  25. thanks mark. Maybe the 5 copyright cases that have yet to be ruled on will force them to delay a little. I hope they still allow the sale of blank dvds and external hard drives as I like to backup pictures I take

  26. [sarcasm on]

    Michael, why don’t you see the good part of it. They can proceed to voting without spending time with you in front of a committee.

    [sarcasm off]


  27. @Mike: Yes, blank DVDs will continue to sell, as there is substantial non-infringing use in the realm of data backups.

    I maintain that it is unethical as all hell to be passing this bill, IMO… it purports to grant fair dealing privileges, while at the same time it utterly revokes them under conditions that the consumer has absolutely no control over (the accessibility of alternative or unprotected works). People will simply ignore the restrictions of this bill, privately or otherwise (and regardless of the consequences, since people do not indefinitely obey laws that they consider to be unfair), leading only to further devaluation of the premise of copyright in general, and increasing costs to content makers who will end up facing a growing obligation to digitally protect their own content as the only viable means of securing their interests.

    I rigidly maintain that under absolutely no circumstances whatsoever should what a person does with a copyrighted work that does *NOT* impact the copyright holder’s interests in any conceivable way ever be outlawed (and there is no arguable way that a privately made copy from a legitimate copy of a work affects the copyright holder’s interests, since the person already had a legitimate copy of the work anyways from which they made their own copy, and if it is truly done for that person’s own private use, there is no conceivable way that anyone else, let alone the copyright holder, could have ever been aware that the copy had been made in the first place). And I am equally insistent that there should be no laws passed, ever, which make it a crime to perform any legal act simply because any possible tools one might happen to use to achieve it happen to be outlawed.

    It’s one thing to outlaw violence, for example, but the provisions of this bill are tantamount to outlawing shaking your fist in anger at something you see on TV in the privacy of your own home. It’s so absurdly unenforceable that there is no justifiable reason that it should *EVER* be considered to be a law.