Post Tagged with: "committee submissions"

Behind the Scenes of Bill C-32: The Committee Submissions

The new copyright bill is scheduled to be introduced tomorrow with the government planning to restart the copyright legislative committee and pick up where it left off in March when the election call killed Bill C-32 (talking points, clause-by-clause analysis of the bill). Given the plans to restart the committee, it is worth asking what the committee actually heard during months of hearings from November 2010 to March 2011. There are obviously the transcripts of the various hearings, but the detailed recommendations typically come from direct submissions to the committee. Those have not been posted online, but I did obtain copies of all unique submissions (there were hundreds of letters from individuals) to the C-32 committee. Together with Diana Cooper, a second year law student at the University of Ottawa, we reviewed all unique submissions and tried to categorize their recommendations.

Given the number of submissions, it should come as no surprise to find that there is at least one group or person who criticizes every proposed reform and at least one that supports it. In fact, this was part of the plan. According to documents obtained under the Access to Information Act, department officials developed their committee witness list with a requirement that “at least one witness will strongly support every provision in the Bill” and a preference for witnesses “that have expressed an overall positive view”(though it recognized some may have negative views on certain aspects of the bill).

A full chart of the submissions is posted below and available for download here. There is also a second chart that tracks the submissions based the specific provision available here. Digital locks are easily the top issue raised in the submissions with many submissions calling on the government to ensure that digital locks do not trump fair dealing or that the prohibition on circumvention should be linked to infringement. In addition to many individuals, group submissions supporting this position include:

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September 28, 2011 6 comments News