The Canadian Federation of Students, which represents more than 500,000 university and college students across Canada, has released a public letter to Ministers Oda and Bernier on copyright reform. The CFS identifies five issues of concern. Anti-circumvention legislation – the CFS recognizes the dangers associated with DRM and argues that […]
Post Tagged with: "c-60"
On the heels of the recent emergence of the CMCC, Canada's privacy community is today speaking out on its concerns with the prospect of copyright reform that provides legal protections for digital rights management but fails to account for the impact on personal privacy. Dozens of groups and individuals, including civil liberties organizations, library and education associations, and prominent privacy leaders such as former Privacy Commissioner Bruce Phillips (I have also lent my name to the letter) have sent a public letter to Ministers Bernier and Oda calling on the government to ensure that privacy factors in the copyright reform process.
- any proposed copyright reforms will prioritize privacy protection by including a full privacy consultation and a full privacy impact assessment with the introduction of any copyright reform bill;
- any proposed anti-circumvention provisions will create no negative privacy impact; and
- any proposed copyright reforms will include pro-active privacy protections that, for example, enshrine the rights of Canadians to access and enjoy copyright works anonymously and in private.
Notably, several of Canada's privacy commissioners have lent their support to the open letter.
Charlie Angus, the NDP's Canadian Heritage critic, has published a terrific piece on copyright reform and its broader consequences. Must reading for politicians from all political parties seeking to better understand the context behind the copyright reform debate.
While the timing of a new Canadian copyright reform bill remains a mystery, there is little doubt that lawyers will play an important role whenever the successor to Bill C-60 is unveiled. Whether as advocates, lobbyists, counsel, or independent experts, copyright reform invariably unleashes a torrent of conferences, workshops, papers, blog postings, and opinion pieces prominently featuring members of the legal profession.
Often missing from the process, however, is discussion about the impact of copyright law on the law. The bar's lack of participation in assessing copyright law's impact on the legal profession is unfortunate, since the legal perspective would add an important dimension to the debate. Indeed, it is no coincidence that arguably the most important Supreme Court of Canada copyright law in recent memory – CCH Canadian v. Law Society of Upper Canada – struck directly at the intersection between copyright and the law.
If the legal profession were to become engaged in the copyright reform process with itself as the client, what issues might it address? I'd like to cite four as a starting point and encourage Slawyers to add to the list. My four include:
With the House of Commons back in session this week, I have an op-ed in this week's Hill Times that focuses on how a Conservative government intent on adopting a market-oriented policy approach might treat copyright reform. The column notes that there is the potential that history may repeat itself […]