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U.S. Senators Pressure Canada on Canadian DMCA 466

Posted by Hemos
from the the-creeping-fingers-problem dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The U.S. copyright lobby brought out some heavy artillery last week as it continued to pressure Canada to introduce a Canadian DMCA. U.S. Ambassador to Canada David Wilkins gave a public talk in which he described Canadian copyright law as the weakest in the G7, while Senators Dianne Feinstein and John Cornyn wrote to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to urge him to bring in movie piracy legislation."
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U.S. Senators Pressure Canada on Canadian DMCA

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  • go home... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by udowish (804631) on Tuesday March 06, 2007 @01:23PM (#18251522) Journal
    Sometimes I think the US should just leave the rest of the planet alone. Just because "they" think one thing, doesn't mean it is the case...
    • Re:go home... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Azarael (896715) on Tuesday March 06, 2007 @01:27PM (#18251586) Homepage
      Especially because often, when Canada brings it's own complaints to the US, the reponse is, 'other countries don't dictate our policy' or 'stay out of our business'. Let him waste his breath as far as I'm concerned, until he wants to address a legitimate issue.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ShieldW0lf (601553)
        I wrote a letter to the Canadian Government too.

        I told them I don't want them selling oil or energy or natural gas to war criminals anymore, and that I think we need a trade embargo on the US.
    • Money talks (Score:3, Insightful)

      by NewWorldDan (899800)
      The US is a huge net exporter of copyrighted materials. Of course they're going to put the screws to other countries to tighten up copyright laws. Welcome to the real world.
      • Re:Money talks (Score:5, Insightful)

        by multisync (218450) on Tuesday March 06, 2007 @02:46PM (#18252972) Journal

        The US is a huge net exporter of copyrighted materials.

        They are also a net importer [] of oil from Canada. Maybe it's time to turn off the tap.
      • Re:Money talks (Score:4, Insightful)

        by gkhan1 (886823) <> on Tuesday March 06, 2007 @03:43PM (#18253780)

        You're missing the point big time. Yes, the US is a huge exporter of copyrighted materials, but Canada is a huge importer of copyrighted materials. The US could never afford to lose Canada as a customer, which means that they can't dictate shit about anything.

        Money does indeed talk. This time it's speaking for the cool people.

    • I'm American (Score:5, Interesting)

      by rolfwind (528248) on Tuesday March 06, 2007 @01:55PM (#18252102)
      and I want to apologize for my country's behavior.

      Canada - please urge your politicians to tell our politicians to go f*** themselves.
      • Re:I'm American (Score:5, Informative)

        by OAB_X (818333) on Tuesday March 06, 2007 @02:20PM (#18252524)
        Actually, I already did tell the politicians to do that.

        But in nice language that they would actually read.

        Oh, and the person to contact is David Emerson Contact Page []

        And remember kids, you can mail a letter FREE (no postage required) to the government if you want.
        • by Beardo the Bearded (321478) on Tuesday March 06, 2007 @03:31PM (#18253570)
          Not quite. Really close, but not quite. Dave's the Minister for International Trade. You'll want your local MP or the Heritage Ministry. Your local MP may not care that much about you. I'd write to them, sure, but CC them the letter that you're sending to the Heritage Critics.

          In Canada, we actually have a group whose job it is to criticize the actions of the ruling party. We call them "Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition". It is their job and duty to ensure that the ruling party doesn't get too far out of hand.

          The Heritage Minister (for Copyright stuff, including CCRA fees) is The Honourable Beverley J. Oda. You know how we've got a minority government and a multi-party system? Well, poor ol' Bev has no less than THREE people watching and critiquing her every move.

          Charlie Angus, NDP Heritage Critic
          Ms Christina Keeper, Liberal Heritage Critic
          M. Maka Kotto, Bloc Heritage Critic

          You may want to let those critics know that:
          1. You're concerned about the recent lobbying around Bev,
          2. You feel that the critics should be ever watchful about how American interests are attempting to take over Canada's sovereign rights and heritage.
          3. Having American companies dictate when Canadians can use their equipment or listen to Canadian music is unconscionable.

          M. Kotto will likely set Bev on fire. Just make sure you write in French.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Well, thanks to bill C-24 [], those lobbyists are hopefully just wasting their time.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      some popular American political myths:

      Canada is a haven for terrorists. [FALSE]
      Canadian softwood lumber is unfairly subsidized. [FALSE]
      Iraq has weapons of mass destruction. [FALSE]
      Americans enjoy the greatest freedoms in the world today. [FALSE]

      It seems that few U.S. politicians actually think these days - they'd much rather go for kneejerk reactions. Too often, their mentality is one of paranoia and xenophobia (only _PARTIALLY_ understandable in
  • by Kimos (859729) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [todhsals.somik]> on Tuesday March 06, 2007 @01:24PM (#18251528) Homepage
    I think I can speak for most Canadians when I say:
    Please, leave us alone. We can run our own country just fine without you.
    • by Pojut (1027544) on Tuesday March 06, 2007 @01:28PM (#18251608) Homepage
      I think I speak for many Americans when I say:
      Please help us, we can't run our country!
    • by GeckoX (259575) on Tuesday March 06, 2007 @01:28PM (#18251616)
      You said it much nicer than I would have.

      It should read:

      "Fuck off and run your own god damned country, you fucking hosers, ehh."
      • by Kimos (859729)

        It should read:

        "Fuck off and run your own god damned country, you fucking hosers, ehh."
        Despite the props to "hoser" and "eh", it still wouldn't have been a very Canadian thing to say.
        • by erbmjw (903229)
          Primarily because Canadians are much much to polite :D
          • Canadians swear more than any other two cultures put together.

            "Would you please fuck off already!!"

            That's the Canadian way.
        • by shadowspar (59136) on Tuesday March 06, 2007 @02:01PM (#18252198) Homepage

          No, it should have been said in both official languages: "Fuck off! / Va te faire foutre!"

        • by GeckoX (259575)
          You're right, here's the 'proper' expected response:

          "Well alrighty then, just a sec while I drop my drawers, bend over, and give you nice full access to rape my ass yet again! I'm _so_ looking forward to it! Can't wait to do business with you again! Don't forget a complimentary case of Labatt's blue on the way out!"

    • by chazard (1072442) on Tuesday March 06, 2007 @01:41PM (#18251848)
      The quote from David Wilkins,

      "There's a lot of pirating that goes on, a lot of counterfeiting of movies and songs" and "it really does cost the Canadian economy a huge amount every year, estimated to be from some 10 to 30 billion (dollars) per year,"

      30 million Canadians

      $30 Billion per year

      $1000 per Canadian

      Seems a little excessive!

      Also to claim that it is costing the Canadian economy is actually the opposite of the truth. If Canadians were spending that much and the money was going towards US companies, then the amount of money exported would increase and the value of the Canadian dollar would drop.

      While if the money is spent on Canadian based items, or investments, it actually benefots the Canadian economy more than anything else.

      Scary thing is that Stevie the Cowboy will likely agree to this...

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Von Rex (114907)
        Scary thing is that Stevie the Cowboy will likely agree to this...

        You're right about that. I've yet to hear of any American initiative that Steven Harper didn't immediately support. He even let the USA rip us off of a billion dollars in the softwood lumber dispute, even after repeated decisions of Nafta commissions that the Americans didn't have a leg to stand on. Which makes me wonder why we're even a part of Nafta, since it's clear the same thing is going to happen anytime there's a dispute about anyth
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by ShieldW0lf (601553)
          We're still in NAFTA because Canadians aren't angry enough yet to force the issue. That is the ONLY reason we're in NAFTA.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        American DVDs are distributed by Canadian distributors in Canada who take a cut. They are shipped to Canadian stores (often) by Canadian shipping companies, all who take a cut. American movies are shown in Canadian movie theaters who take a cut, and who employ Canadians who earn wages. The fact of the matter is, there is no Hollywood in Canada, and if America stopped selling movies in Canada tomorrow there would be (like most countries) no national equivalent to take its place and thereby employ all the Can
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by rlp (11898)
        > 30 million Canadians
        > $30 Billion per year
        > $1000 per Canadian
        > Seems a little excessive!

        Hmmm, Canadian cable / DSL bandwidth must be a whole lot better than in the US.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by glock22ownr (734154)
      The problem is that corporations have taken over US legislature. Nothing is done in the best interest of the consumer or the country anymore, or the world, it is done in the best interest of the politicians pocket. I mean presidential Democratic candidates have to raise 110 million just from California, how do you think thats happening? The stink of it is that it's not politicians that terrorits blow up or decapitate or hate, it is the US public. Trust me no one in their right mind would support the DRM tec
    • I think I can speak for most US citizens when I say...

      Don't waste your breath... Congress can't even hear us, and on average, we're quite a bit closer.
    • Yes, you may (Score:3, Insightful)

      by StandardCell (589682)
      I used to live in the US, and when I got my driver's license I got summoned for jury duty. Well, you think these idiots would know that a non-citizen has no business dealing in the judicial or legislative process of another country. It's simply not morally right.

      But, by the same token, I would ask Senator Feinstein to PLEASE FUCK RIGHT OFF. I didn't serve on jury duty in your goddamned state, so don't ask our Prime Minister to do your dirty work for you.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by jbeaupre (752124)
        Since everyone tries to get out of jury duty, they must have just thought "hey, maybe this sucker won't know to run away." I'd be quite happy if we drafted every non-citizen for the task (even if they just happen to be visiting Disneyland). Unfortunately you seem to have moral principals, and maybe an education, which means you would have been kicked off the jury anyway.

        As for dealing with our legislative process, heck we've got a form for that too. ra []
    • Please leave us alone. We can run our own country just fine without you.

      Sure. We can. We're imperfect, but we have raised imperfection to a high art. :-)

      What we need to go with this is a Prime Minister [] who believes it too, and you know how Stephen Harper behaves when the U.S. is in the picture. Maybe he just needs some more positrons []...


    • I'm an American. These Politicians don't speak for me. Please tell your Politicians to ignore mine. I would mention that I voted Republican, but they are no better on this issue.

      In general, all countries should support Copyright law as originally intended (don't publish other peoples work without permission), NOT help media conglemerates enforce their new "we control what you see or hear and when" agenda. DRM is *not* about copyright infringement. There is no need for a pirate (BTW - this term was us

  • Tis nice to see valuable return on money invested in political "leaders"
    • And how. (Score:3, Informative)

      by Kadin2048 (468275)
      Tis nice to see valuable return on money invested in political "leaders"

      It's Dianne Feinstein --- proof that everyone in California is either on drugs or insane. What did you expect?

      Personally I think the problem has mostly to do (aside from general human stupidity-in-groups) with how Congressional committee chairmanships are handed out, based on seniority. That's what lets some of the complete numbskulls, like Feinstein, and her equally-obnoxious colleague on the other side of the aisle, Ted Stephens, rema
  • This is such a blatant statement spoken by a politician on behalf of industry(s). What? They ONLY speak when they are speaking on behalf of some industry?
  • Screw You... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Spyder_Snyper (1050456) on Tuesday March 06, 2007 @01:32PM (#18251690)
    WTF is this??? Once again, the American Senators think they can go about policing the world using blatantly wrong informtion that was provided by people who should not be providing information. I am sickened by the level of stupidity displayed by the US's lawmakers. These people are either voted into office (and we all know how unhackable the Diebold and other eVoting machines are), or are placed there by people who have other agendas. What agendas you ask? The lining of their pockets and subjugation of anyone who doesn't agree with them. I think this happened once before in the course of human history. If I remember correctly, I think this empire was called Rome. Or Roman. (And yes, I AM being exceedingly sarcastic at this time, since 0.001% of the US Senators will know what Rome was...) Thankfully, the Roman Empire collapsed on itself when a bunch of crazy people took control. But it started with just one. And right now, the US has a VERY crazy/insane/retarded President in charge. Perhaps this is the begining of the end...??? I sure hope so.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by metarox (883747)
      Well Diebold is on it's way out as posted by a previous story. Could that solve some of the problems?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Red Flayer (890720)

      These people are either voted into office (and we all know how unhackable the Diebold and other eVoting machines are), or are placed there by people who have other agendas. What agendas you ask? The lining of their pockets and subjugation of anyone who doesn't agree with them. I think this happened once before in the course of human history.

      Just once?

      That's the nature of (most) organized societies. Power to us at the expense of them.

      It's annoying, but it's the nature of power and today's US government is

  • Why don't we remove all our photocopiers from our libraries while we're at it?
  • by mark-t (151149) <[markt] [at] []> on Tuesday March 06, 2007 @01:39PM (#18251804) Journal

    Canada already has somewhat reasonable laws on copyright (there's room for improvement, but there are countries that are far worse). As I remarked on michaelgeist's website on this matter before, all we really need to do is toughen up on our laws regarding recording copyrighted performances at a theatre or other public venue. Canada has an excellent "personal and private use" exemption to copyright infringement that I would hate to see disappear, but people who falsely represent themselves as qualifying for that exemption only to later go and start distributing the work to other people really need to be nailed. Of course, by the time they've left the theatre, it's too late... enforcement becomes impossible unless you stop them from recording it in the first place, and the theatres really need to have the support of the law on the matter.

    Right now all they do when they catch people is delete the recording and then kick the person out. The police won't do anything right now since technically "no law is actually being broken".

    C'mon Canada! Toughen up!

    • by d_jedi (773213)
      The problem is not with the laws we have now (although I'm not happy with the private copying tax, er.. levy), it's a problem of enforcement and penalties for those found breaking the law. Like many other crimes in Canada, offenders get a slap on the wrist..
      • by jedidiah (1196)
        Let the punishment fit the crime.

        I don't want to have to waste my money paying for your incarceration or tolerate any other negative social side-effects of your life being ruined over something as trivial as today's top 40 hits.
    • by revlayle (964221)
      This may be true... still, shouldn't we (i.e. the USofA) still butt out? Your country is aware of the issues, and Canada seems to take care of itself fine (from my viewpoint).
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by erbmjw (903229)
      The maximum fine under the federal Copyright Act is $1-million and five years in jail for camcording a movie for commercial distribution. Prove 'intent for' or 'act of' commercial distribution and the camcording individuals can face 1) a long time in jail and 2) very significant fines.
  • Hmmmmmm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 6-tew (1037428) on Tuesday March 06, 2007 @01:43PM (#18251876)

    As a Canadian and a copywrite holder I say, you do what you like there, and we'll do what we like here. It's your country, have fun! But this is our country and we'll do as we damn well please.

    We have more pressing problems. Social problems, economic and political problems. Copywrite? We've got bigger fish to fry.

  • by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Tuesday March 06, 2007 @01:45PM (#18251930)
    They were apparently criticizing the Canadians for having the strongest civil liberties (in this area) in the G7. I thought the U.S.'s foreign policy was to spread liberty? I'm confused now...
  • by Fox_1 (128616) on Tuesday March 06, 2007 @01:46PM (#18251940)
    Every week he seems to make a few comments bashing Canada, usually at public events, and typically without any real justification. Some of these comments are patently false, or non-applicable to the Canadian reality, many of them are mean spirited and seem to be designed to damage the historically good relations between Canada and the US. The guy is single handedly responsible for 78% of the anti- american sentiment in Canada.
    • While there are cultural differences between cannucks and yanks, most cannucks hate the yank POLITICIANS not the people. There are asshole civilians on both sides of the fence. I've been face to face with drunk assholes in Toronto, Ottawa, and in places like San Diego and Seattle [etc.]

      And yes, most born in Canada cannucks will say "sorry" even if they're the ones getting bumped into. It's just a polite way of saying "sorry we had this mixup." We're not stupid or something, just polite. Except when beh
  • David Wilkins.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by d_jedi (773213) on Tuesday March 06, 2007 @01:46PM (#18251956)
    Isn't this the same guy who said that Canada should butt out on Arar being on the no-fly list, because it is an internal US matter?

    Hmm.. surely he has the same attitude towards internal Canadian matters, right? Otherwise, he'd just be hypocritical. Right? Oh, wait..
    • Re:David Wilkins.. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ceoyoyo (59147) on Tuesday March 06, 2007 @02:12PM (#18252382)
      I don't think we objected to him being on the no fly list anyway. I'M on the no fly list! Or at least my name is.

      What we objected to is the US grabbing an innocent Canadian citizen on a stopover in New York and spiriting him away to Syria where he was imprisoned, kept in solitary confinement and tortured.

      If we'd done that to a US citizen I'd probably be speaking American right now!
  • Dear USA (Score:2, Insightful)

    by commisaro (1007549)
    Dear USA, Please keep your ideas to yourself, and leave my country alone. It's better this way. Just because you're miserable doesn't mean you have to go spoiling things for the rest of us. Sincerely, Canadian
  • by basic0 (182925) <{ac.oohay} {ta} {wolloccmm}> on Tuesday March 06, 2007 @01:57PM (#18252128)
    AMERICA! Fuck yeah! Comin' again to save the motherfuckin day yeah! AMERICA! Fuck yeah!

    I'd post the rest of the lyrics, but they're copyrighted.
  • How much do you think the movie industry had to pay to buy these politicians?...

    Here's how much:

    From the movie Industry:
    2000 Feinstein, Dianne (D-CA) $127,788
    2002 Feinstein, Dianne (D-CA) $9,428
    2004 Feinstein, Dianne (D-CA) $11,000
    2006 Feinstein, Dianne (D-CA) $64,400

    Just under $200 Grand? Maybe the music industry gave her a bit more?

    I have no idea why John Cornyn sold us out. He's always been a schill for the oil industry, and to see him jump on something like this without a cash incentive
  • by DuckWizard (744428) on Tuesday March 06, 2007 @02:06PM (#18252272) Homepage
    ...please tell Senator Feinstein what you think of the DMCA and her support of it. []
  • by BemoanAndMoan (1008829) on Tuesday March 06, 2007 @02:07PM (#18252286)
    Never has it been more true than during this shining era of Bush Administration that the world at large has been inclined to take America's advice to change, to "jackboot themselves into line", as an indication they are doing something right. This will only make us Canadians way more likely to loosen, rather than tighten, legislation.

    The thing about your World Stage move from friend to bully is that nobody will take you seriously any more, not unless you pull out your big stick. For 'friends' this stick has always been your deep pockets, but thanks to your recent choices in leadership has been whittled away.

    Before Bush: $1 US = $1.68 CDN. Today: $1 US = $1.16 CDN (and its been as low as $1.10).

    Not such a big stick that off with your rough foriegn policy and the increasing ease of global commerce, and suddenly we don't really care so much anymore when you get mad at us.

    And, to be clear, dear Americans, this isn't "the politicians" talking, this is America vote for them, you let them run your country, they are your voice as surely and purely as anything you say yourselves. Only citizens of a dictatorship get to cry innocent.

    Sooner or later you guys are going to have to take back what your elected weasels have taken from you. Until then, come on up North, we'll watch some downloaded movies, smoke some fine Cuban cigars, do some online gambling, throw rice at a couple of ladies getting married and freeze our asses off (hey, it's still Canada).
  • by trudyscousin (258684) on Tuesday March 06, 2007 @02:08PM (#18252304)
    From TFA:

    "It's not some effort to protect some high-paid Hollywood star or studio."

    Really? Further along in TFA, it says quite plainly (with emphasis mine):

    "The film and music industry lobby asked Schwab to add Canada to a "priority watch list" of countries that have failed to stem piracy."

    Of course it's to protect "some high-paid Hollywood star or studio."

    To my Canadian friends: Resist, resist, resist. Feinstein's the biggest MPAA/RIAA whore in our Congress. I've written (okay, typed for e-mail; maybe that's the problem) this idiot more times than I can possibly remember to protest her backing of various obnoxious things (broadcast flag, PERFORM Act, etc.) to no avail.
  • We don't have to beef up anything. We pay levy on blank media, and that is it. All personally made copies are covered by said tax. Fix your laws and country before telling others.
  • he'll probably do what the US wants.
  • by rlp (11898) on Tuesday March 06, 2007 @02:26PM (#18252630)
    Why does it seem like the only effect of the '06 election is that the payoffs go into a different set of pockets?
  • by russotto (537200) on Tuesday March 06, 2007 @02:58PM (#18253154) Journal
    Please keep up your heavy-handed and insulting efforts to force Canada to change their laws. Where a gentler, more nuanced approach using the Canadian copyright interests might have succeeded, this sort of bullying is likely to inspire Canada to resist, and poisons the well for future lobbying attempts. May your tyranny always be tempered by incompetence.
  • by Philodoxx (867034) on Tuesday March 06, 2007 @03:20PM (#18253442)
    Really I think what's going on is completely backwards. Canadian MPs and Senators should be lobbying the American congress and senate for looser copyright laws. Encourage the the United States to switch from its current witch hunt lawsuit enforcement system to instituting blank media levies or something similar.
  • by GuyverDH (232921) on Tuesday March 06, 2007 @03:47PM (#18253824)
    It might be interesting if Senate and House legislators were to have all of their bank accounts (foreign and domestic) audited, pre election, post election, during term, after term. Oh, let's not forget the President's, and all of his cabinet member's accounts as well...

    It might, just might, get rid of a lot of the "corporate influence" that seems to run through currently.
  • by hguorbray (967940) on Tuesday March 06, 2007 @04:28PM (#18254332)
    Goose and Gander time:

    Despite WTO and NAFTA decisions supporting Canada (which the US ignored in typically arrogant fashion) It took 10 years to create a new softwoods trade pact to stop excessive tarrifs on Canadian softwood imports to the US: ackground-en.asp [] ..."A NAFTA Extraordinary Challenge Committee (ECC) agreed with Canada and unanimously affirmed the original NAFTA Panel's finding that the U.S. International Trade Commission had no basis on which to find that the U.S. industry was threatened by injury."...

    You can probably thanks Georgia-Pacific and their ilk for that.....

    The US also chose to ignore NAFTA (which they themselves pushed upon Mexico and Canada as benefitting all of NA) is order to keep Mexican cement out of the US (until they didn't have enough local product due to post-Katrina reconstruction) fm [] es/2005/07/25/story7.html []

    Canada has had some interesting ideas regarding copyright and fair use which should not be trampled by the copyright holders who seek to enslave the elements of popular culture. USians make the mistake of seeing Canada as a miniUS, but from what I have seen is that their society has a lot of Liberal European ideas about individual rights which the US would be wise to consider if they were'nt ponied up to the trough of the copyright cartels..

    -I'm just sayin'
  • by puppetman (131489) on Tuesday March 06, 2007 @04:49PM (#18254624) Homepage
    Harper is (ideologically) close to George Bush (but infinitely smarter).

    That said, they'd need do something about the fair-use rights consumers have (you can make a private copy of a music CD that you borrowed) and stop charging the tariff on the blank media we currently pay. That or work it into the system.

    Canada does a lot of things to keep the US happy. Most Canadians aren't against marijuana, and while there are laws in place, being caught we substantial quantities rarely amounts to much more than a slap on the wrist.

    Unfortunately, the only thing more diverse than our respective takes on guns, drugs and fair-use-media is the size of the two economies. Sometimes Canada has to pay lip service to something that we'll never take action on. This is probably going to end up as one of those issues.
  • by Grendel Drago (41496) on Tuesday March 06, 2007 @05:35PM (#18255174) Homepage
    Canada has Public Domain Day [], while America does not. This should, even by itself, be a source of embarrassment for Americans. Every year that goes by wherein our corporate masters clutch their cultural assets ever tighter to their collective chests is another year of shame.

Take care of the luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves. -- Lazarus Long