When Industry Minister Jim Prentice tries to justify a Canadian DMCA, he frequently claims that the business community is demanding these reforms. Sources report that this afternoon, a powerhouse group of companies and business associations in Canada spoke up for fair and balanced copyright. The Business Coalition for Balanced Copyright […]
Industry Minister Jim Prentice paid a visit to the University of Calgary on Friday to give a lecture at the law school on policy making. In the question and answer period that followed, the majority of questions focused on copyright (Part One, Part Two) [update: The Distant Librarian has posted a video of the full talk and Q&A period]. Prentice's responses provide five important insights:
First, despite the enormous opposition to a Canadian DMCA, Prentice continues to rely on a communication strategy based on tired claims about the WIPO Internet treaties and how copyright is a "framework" law in Canada. A Canadian DMCA will face opposition from consumer groups, education groups, creator groups, and business groups. Prentice is going to have come up with a much better communication strategy to justify a one-sided copyright law.
Second, Prentice will respond to concerns about the lack of consultation by claiming that there has been extensive consultation, pointing to the 2001 public consultation and several Parliamentary committee reports. This claim does not withstand even mild scrutiny.
NDP MP Charlie Angus has issued a "three-step approach" for effective copyright legislation. Angus rightly emphasizes the need for further consultation: 1. Live up to the government's commitment to bring the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) treaty to the House of Commons for a vote before introducing new legislation; 2. […]
The Hill Times this week includes an astonishingly misleading and factually incorrect article on Canadian copyright written by Microsoft. The most egregious error comes in the following paragraph which attempts to demonstrate why Microsoft thinks reform is needed:
Imagine you're an aspiring author who decides to self-publish on the internet in hopes of supporting yourself and catching the eye of a publishing house. Now imagine someone hacks into your website and accesses your work and begins using the ideas expressed in your work for their own commercial benefit. You should be protected, right? In Canada, you are not.
Actually, you are protected.
My recent Copyright MPs posting generated a considerable amount of attention along with a number of suggestions of how it could be improved. These included adding ridings with large colleges (who often offer many technology-focused programs), more clearly identifying those ridings where the incumbent does not plan to seek re-election, and focusing more intently on the Conservative MPs, given that they will be the most directly affected by a Canadian DMCA.
While I will focus on the other parties – particularly if/when a new bill is introduced – for the moment it is the Conservatives that are on the hot seat on copyright given Industry Minister Jim Prentice's plans for a Canadian DMCA. With that in mind (and with the additional caveat that I think all MPs will hear from their constituents on copyright), the updated list of Conservative Copyright MPs from West to East is posted below. To qualify as a Copyright MP, the MP needs to have won the riding in the 2006 election by 10 percent or less and have a university or college in the riding. Only colleges with over 5,000 students are included.