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Canadian DMCA Won't Include Consumer Rights 192

Posted by Zonk
from the hard-not-to-respect-a-strong-lobby dept.
An anonymous reader writes "As protests mount over the Canadian DMCA, law professor Michael Geist is now reporting that the government plans to delay addressing fair use and consumer copyright concerns such as the blank media tax for years. While the U.S. copyright lobby gets their DMCA, consumers will get a panel to eventually consider possible changes to the law. Many Canadians are responding today with a mass phone-in to Industry Minister Jim Prentice to protest the policy plans."
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Canadian DMCA Won't Include Consumer Rights

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  • by Overzeetop (214511) on Friday December 07, 2007 @06:43PM (#21619421) Journal
    ...the more content that slips through your fingers.

    (apologies to Lucas, et. al.)
  • by nurb432 (527695) on Friday December 07, 2007 @06:48PM (#21619465) Homepage Journal
    Thats the way to deal with it: 'you don't get any rights, and if you don't like it, you can appeal, if we feel like listening to you'
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by ToriaUru (750485)
      those pesky rights of citizens are what got the bloody government elected in the first place. So they damn well better listen to us. Get this: The Minister, Jim Prentice refuses to answer over 250 questions posed by Canadians. How's that for pissing off your people? Not a good way to treat your future voters methinks. Esp. if you're a minority government. Hell, no I don't want some stupid American-style DMCA law in my country of Canada. We are the true north, strong and free, and we are going to get
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by nurb432 (527695)
        Good luck with that, you see where complaining and trying to 'vote different' got us down here south of your borders.. just more of the same.

        Government is an institution larger then any one person, powered by the wealthy. It's really hard for the common man to make a difference.

        But, you can still try.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Kandenshi (832555)
          On the upside, we don't have a single alternative to the Conservative government. A couple other parties can and do get significant numbers of seats. Imagine if Liberterians down there got around 25-35% of the seats in Congress every election, and had a higher proportion of the popular vote. Makes switching from republicrats to them seem more reasonable doesn't it?
        • by pete6677 (681676)
          The big problem is the common man doesn't care. As long as they can still watch TV all is good. The few who bother to vote just show up and vote for the party their parents voted for, or who their favorite celebrity endorses. If people as a whole start taking democracy seriously, the results will be very different. But until they have reason to (when their lives take a turn for the worse), don't expect much to change.
        • Good luck with that, you see where complaining and trying to 'vote different' got us down here south of your borders.. just more of the same. Government is an institution larger then any one person, powered by the wealthy. It's really hard for the common man to make a difference.

          We had our version of the Republicans here when I was a kid... called them the Progressive Conservatives.

          We killed that party so dead that the name hasn't been used in over a decade, and the Right-Wing political scene split in
  • by palegray.net (1195047) <philip.paradis@p ... t ['ay.' in gap]> on Friday December 07, 2007 @06:48PM (#21619469) Homepage Journal
    Use all means necessary to prevent this sort of behavior from becoming acceptable (i.e. "just the way things are") in Canada. Support independent recording artists and smaller labels who don't engage in draconian contract measures. Don't buy the mass-produced, pop culture oriented crap that's on sale at your local Huge Media Outlet. All you're doing is feeding the legal budget of the lobbying arms of major recording labels.

    Support other creative artists who choose to license their work under Creative Commons [creativecommons.org] style licenses. My personal policy for one site I manage is that all article content must be CC licensed.

    Most importantly, tell people about your views. Ordinary people on the street. People you work with. Anybody, everybody. You enjoy a system of government where you're allowed to speak your mind... that's sort of a "use it or lose it" proposition in my opinion.

    Does this mean you should stop contacting your elected officials. Hell, no. But take your personal, proactive action of your own instead of just waiting around for your elected leadership to make good decisions for you.

    • by MicktheMech (697533) on Friday December 07, 2007 @07:23PM (#21619787) Homepage
      It's supposed to work that way, but it doesn't. If we want to reverse the course on something as far along as this is we need to
      1. Engage the media - get this to be a big topic in editorials, etc... get it in front of the general public's eyes
      2. Get access to the analysts that are proposing this type of policy in the first place. This is hard and requires people with access to the bureaucracy. People like the ones that the **AA have bought.

      I know that the EFF has some kind of presence up here, but we really need a Canadian group that can do the leg work in Ottawa. (As great as the EFF is, anything American based will be ignored.)
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Scruffy Dan (1122291)
        "anything American based will be ignored."

        Surely you jest. The RIAA and MPAA have no problems getting our politicians to listen to them.

        The MPAA lobbied to get the anti-camcording bill pasted in record time, and the government seems to completely ignore [musiccreators.ca] Canadian musicians while listening to CRIA (which represents no Canadian labels).

        Like most politicians, ours listen to money, regardless of where it comes from.
      • You can find a list of the main actors, plus contact information for members of Parliament and news organizations here [blogspot.com] (scroll down).

        The most important person to contact is your MP. I've heard it's better to get him or her to forward your letter to the minister responsible (Jim Prentice) than it is to send it to Prentice directly. Doing both can't hurt. Paper mail and faxes are the best, though phone calls are good too. Don't forget to contact newspapers big and small. In all cases, be polite and to

        • by Geof (153857) on Saturday December 08, 2007 @12:51AM (#21621761) Homepage
          In order to stop ordinary people from violating copyright, companies have encoded content (particularly music and film) so that it requires special software to access. The software embeds rules determining what access is permitted and what access is not. Unlike copyright, which is interpreted by human beings, these rules are enforced by a machine. This law makes it illegal to circumvent the machine's determination.

          But the machine is inflexible. It doesn't know whether it's ok for a student to copy a journal article, for a researcher to look for security or privacy flaws, for a Microsoft customer to play music on an iPod. So the software prevents activities which are otherwise perfectly legitimate and legal. Where copyright grants control over some uses of a work, this technology (DRM) grants control over all uses. And the U.S. version of this law, the DMCA, by banning all circumvention regardless of the purpose, makes that control inviolable.

          That's the first problem.

          The second problem is that to decode the content, this software must be present in every device that plays it back. It's in your cell phone. It's in your DVD player. It's in your computer. In order for the law to be effective, it forbids you to interfere with the operation of the devices you own. It becomes illegal to unlock your cell phone to use it with a different wireless provider. It becomes illegal to play DVDs on operating systems other than those made by Apple and Microsoft. The only one who can determine what your devices can and can't do is someone else. You lose control of your own property.

          But that's not all.

          Access must only be given to the right people (companies that make the technology - DVD players, operating systems, etc.) but not to the wrong people (you and me). Who decides? The answer must be a single company or organization. They make the rules about who can play back content - and who can encode content too. You can't publish protected music for the iPod without Apple's permission. You can't make a device to play it back without Apple's permission either. These companies and organizations have tremendous monopoly power. Control of the content requires control of the technology (and of our property), which becomes control of the market.

          That control does not lie with artists, authors or musicians. In fact, because the technology is primarily American, it doesn't lie with Canadians at all. This law would place Canadian innovation and Canadian culture in a position of dependency relative to the United States.

          That's only the part of the law we know about. There will be more.

          Oh yes, I should mention - the copy prevention mechanisms don't work. They might stop you and me from making legitimate use of material, but they don't stop the serious pirates from profiting off someone else's work - after which ordinary folks can use those pirated copies, which, because they are digital, are perfect. This raises the question: are these technologies and laws really meant to stop piracy - are they really meant to benefit creators - or are they intended to consolidate the power of the monopoly and cartel positions of certain publishers and technology companies?
          • by Tanktalus (794810)

            Well, I could copy & paste that whole thing into an email to my MP, but I'm worried that you'll sue me for copyright infringement. :-) And if you put some javascript in there to prevent copying the text, well, I'd be in *big* trouble for circumventing it!

            (Ok, I realise that /. isn't exactly big on copyright banalities, but it'd be nice if you *explicitly* said it was ok... you kind of implied it in the GP post, but it's not actually explicit.)

          • This raises the question: are these technologies and laws really meant to stop piracy - are they really meant to benefit creators - or are they intended to consolidate the power of the monopoly and cartel positions of certain publishers and technology companies?

            These laws do intend to stop piracy. The fact that they don't (and can't) do so is ignored by politician and citizen alike. The politician needs money to get elected (thus pandering to special, moneyed interests), and the citizen elected the politic

        • by Curtman (556920)
          What's a guy supposed to do when he lives a riding with a jackass [parl.gc.ca] for an MP? I'm afraid to contact him. It may cause him to open his mouth again. No good can come of that.
      • I propose someone start the Canadian chapter of the EFF. It can be called the "EFF in Eh!"
      • Engage the media?

        Yes, you might be able to get it into your local paper (maybe), but by-and-large, "the media" are the folks who benefit from these changes. The media IS the industry that's pushing for it! I guess acting local is the way to start, but I cannot honestly see a strong argument being put forth on national television.
    • by necro2607 (771790)
      Yup, I buy CDs at bands' shows, and hand cash to them (or their merch person) personally. I'm not cool with supporting exploitation of artists especially being one myself. Frankly big record companies can go fuck themselves (which is about all they'll have left to do, as, increasingly, bands have less and less need for them).
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by kwandar (733439)
      I told Minister Prentice that as a former Progressive Conservative party worker, and business executive,I for one would vote with my wallet by donating to other political parties who better represent my views on this issue ... and I WILL!!

      Lets see how badly they want to lose the next election.
      • by mrbcs (737902) *
        I agree. Harper is turning out to be quite a prick. I think he's out of touch and getting a wee bit arrogant. I've been supporting conservative gov'ts for years but Harper and this Stelmach character have to go. In Alberta, we need a new party. Canada, well, we're pretty fucked but I would do the unthinkable and vote lieberal (not a spelling mistake) next time just to show these arrogant bastards that they work for us!

        Not only will they lose, but they will never get back into power again. Remember what we

        • Harper's always been a prick and in the pocket of the Americans. He sold out the softwood lumber trade, arbitrarily and unilateraly tossing a carefully crafted agreement with the US out the window and handing over money to American business interests rightfully belonging to wronged Canadian companies. Just like he's tossing us to the American media cartels. He's so intent on 'righting' relations he may as well be in Bush's pants. Don't even start on his 'alignment' with American defense and security interes
  • by B3ryllium (571199)
    I already did my part - I didn't vote for the Conservatives. They still won in my riding anyway. From what I can tell, our MP is a party-line-towing-kinda-guy - and he's rather high ranking, so if he went against the party line there might be ramifications to his career.

    However, that said, if the Conservatives go ahead and find a way to push this through, there could well be ramifications to their entire party.
    • and he's rather high ranking

      I thought high ranking meant he had power and others should fear him. You make it sound the other way around.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by B3ryllium (571199)
        High-ranking means he kissed a lot of ass to get there, so he'll be damned if he steps on any toes.
        • by sumdumass (711423)
          Well, actually, it is both but more or less in stages. High ranking means he gets to help set the party line. Once it is set, he need to tow it even if he doesn't necessarily agree. Of course if it concerns something the might stop his reelection, then they could allow instances of detraction.

          But if he is high ranking it means that he is in a position to be made an example of. and making examples is pretty much what scares others into behaving.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by MicktheMech (697533)
        In Canada there are only two kinds of elected officials: The Prime Minister and everyone else. Only one of those has any power. It's always been a problem, but it's been ten times worse with this government.
        • by rikkards (98006)
          Amen. Remember it was the Liberals who originally brought the previous aborted version of this bill up. Both parties are just as guilty.
      • by gnuman99 (746007) on Friday December 07, 2007 @07:18PM (#21619747)
        In Canada, we have a semi-hidden theocracy of Steven Harper (the prime minister). Anyone that does not agree with him, is his enemy. Even in his own party.

        When some MP from maritime wanted a better deal for his area than was being offered (and the provincial gov't there wanted it as well), Harper threw him out of the party. Then under pressure, did the exact deal that MP wanted. When asked if the MP that was thrown out would be allowed to rejoin the party, Harper essentially said that he will *never* be part of his party ever again.

        Or, he was saying that gov't would be accountable to its people and all other stuff, BS as it turns out. The day after he got a *minority*, he *appointed* a *non-elected* person to Senate *AND* into his cabinet!!! No one from the Conservative party disagreed even the former Reformers - quite sad.

        Or, he said that global warming is not real. Then when public sentiment changed, so did he and now he proclaims that his party will somehow fit it now and that is a serious problem. Major flip-flopping there too. No one disagreed on that magic 1984-style switch.

        Or, let's help the poor by cutting GST but screwing them with income taxes. Poor older people on fixed income are probably hardest hit here. Instead of drastic cuts in GST, he should have cut income taxes, but I guess it looks better if you pay $0.02 less on cup of coffee than $100 on a paycheck. The only people that disagreed were the conservatives - none were MPs.

        One can go on and on here. While Liberals where in power, he said that Canada betrayed US by not going with the 2003 invasion (something that US didn't even want anyway). Now he said he never supported that. Essentially, Harper to Canada is like Bush to US. You disagree with him, and you are the enemy. He is always right. The only thing saving his butt right now is the giant surpluses that started when Paul Martin was the finance minister (good finance minister, very bad prime minister :(.

        So essentially, high ranking or low ranking in Harper gov't means nothing. You have to follow the Harper dogma or you'll be kicked out. Any criticism is NOT tolerated.

        Will this DMCA pass? Depends. Depends if it gets a vote and that depends only if Harper wants it passed. If he does, it will go to a vote no matter what the Justice minister thinks. The only ones that can stop him are the opposition parties (its minority gov't) - fortunately Liberals are aiming for an election soon so it may be more effective trying to prod their Justice critic over this (or maybe even Dion?) than the Conservatives.

        I would categorize my self as a definite fiscal conservative, but Harper is definitely NOT a conservative. He's as much of a conservative as Bush is, which is kind of sad. :( Where are you Reform???!

        PS. If you are not Canadian, this post probably has some references you do not understand. That is OK :)
        • Serves you right for supporting Reform.. Populist right-wingers always end up being used by neo-cons like Harper who are in the pay of big corporations and a foreign power (you know who).

          What did you expect? You guys are as weird and dumb as the US "libertarians" who end up putting the freedom of capital ahead of the freedom of people.
        • When some MP from maritime wanted a better deal for his area than was being offered (and the provincial gov't there wanted it as well), Harper threw him out of the party. Then under pressure, did the exact deal that MP wanted. When asked if the MP that was thrown out would be allowed to rejoin the party, Harper essentially said that he will *never* be part of his party ever again.

          You could put any prime ministers name in above and it would still be materially correct. While Canada has a senate, it popula

        • I was a member of the conservative
          party when the merger was proposed.

          For some unknown reason I wasn't
          invited to vote on it, although
          people who had just joined were.
          Including people who had breached
          the party constitution by simultaneously
          being a member of the Reform party.

          Draw you own conclusions, folks...

          --dave
        • The way Harper tries to force this law through is eerily similar to what happened in Finland not too long ago, both in the fact that it was industry-backed (in Finland's case, it was downright industry-written) and that politicians ignored LOUD protests from artists and consumers. In Finland, in an unprecedented show of unanimity, all youth sections of the political parties undersigned the same memo opposing the law reform, to no avail: in Soviet Finland, a bureaucrat only has to claim that EU demands a leg
    • by westlake (615356)
      I didn't vote for the Conservatives. They still won in my riding anyway. From what I can tell, our MP is a party-line-towing-kinda-guy

      a note to the reader:

      party discipline as the Canadian or Brit understands it doesn't exist in the United States.

      "free" votes in Parliament are rare. strays are dead meat.

  • Whiners (Score:2, Troll)

    by Quantam (870027)
    Canadian DMCA Won't Include Consumer Rights

    What kind of expectation of special treatment is that? If consumers want rights they can pay for them just like everybody else!
  • Designed to fail? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BlueParrot (965239) on Friday December 07, 2007 @07:02PM (#21619619)
    Maybe I'm wrong here, but isn't it quite common in Canada to deliberately create a law proposal so bad it won't pass as that is some times easier than opposing it? I.e, if politics is such that you can't officially oppose something, then you just create a stooge proposal which is doomed to fail instead. At least that's what a Canadian friend of me claimed, so I figured maybe this is a bit like that? Of course I could be wrong, I don't really know enough about Canada to be sure.
    • by mgiuca (1040724)
      If you were really using that tactic, you'd want to make very sure it failed ...
    • by brunes69 (86786)
      Actually you are right and this is quite common, especially in fragile minority governments like this one.

      Frankly I am surprised there is so much hubub over this because there is no way a divisive bill like this would pass in the current fractured parliament.
  • by digitrev (989335)
    My life is a crotch!

    All joking aside, this is absolute garbage. Trying to stop people from making money through copyright infringement, I.E. attacking actual criminals, including the organized kind is fine. Trying to make a criminal out of me and my friends because we pirate music and movies? No way. If they get this thing through, I'll vote just about anyone in who'll actually get rid of it. Even if that means putting up with the liberals for 11 years.
    • Well, if they do push it through, I suspect the net effect will be much the same as it was here in the U.S. when the DMCA was signed into law: copyright infringement will continue as before on the same massive scale, only now they'll have pissed off all the people that understand the issues and have the knowledge and power to commit infringement on an even greater scale. Watch the networks begin to swell with music and movies upon news that this law has been passed. I swear, every time I hear about somethin
  • by SKorvus (685199) on Friday December 07, 2007 @07:20PM (#21619765) Homepage
    Honourable Ministers and Member Jim Prentice, Josée Verner, and Hedy Fry:

    I am writing as a resident of Vancouver and citizen of Canada.

    I would like to express my strong opposition to the changes to Canadian copyright law being proposed.

    Canadian laws must work for the benefit of all Canadians. Not for specific industries at the expense of everyday citizens, and especially not foreign-owned corporations.

    Artists, musicians, filmmakers and performers have a right to profit from their creations. But digital technology and the Internet have revolutionized the production and distribution of media, rendering obsolete the physical products around which copyrighted works have been based in the past.

    The burden is on publishers and creators to innovate and find ways to profit from their works that are acceptable to consumers and consistent with a world in which sharing media is free of cost and effort. It should not be the Government of Canada's role to prop up antiquated business models or forcibly subsidize industries that are unable to adapt to 21st Century realities. Crippling technology and placing onerous and chilling restrictions on the ability of citizens to communicate does not serve the public interest.

    I am concerned that this new bill to change copyright law will favour industry and lacks any meaningful input from consumer groups or experts on modern copyright law such as Dr. Michael Geist (U of O). Any bill should consider first the rights and interests of the Canadian public and consumers, before US lobby groups or international bodies.

    In the words of Canadian science-fiction author and writer Cory Doctorow, "The US's approach to enforcing copyright in the digital age has resulted in 20,000 lawsuits against music fans, technology companies being sued out of existence for making new multi-purpose tools, and has not put one penny into the pocket of an artist or reduced downloading one bit. The USA stepped into uncharted territory in 1998 with the DMCA and fell off a cliff -- that was reckless, but following them off the cliff is insane."

    Thank-you.
    • by Mr. Flibble (12943) on Friday December 07, 2007 @07:34PM (#21619887) Homepage
      I hope you don't mind if I use the above as a template and send a similar message to my MP's as well.

      Snail mail of course.

      And all Canucks out there, if you mail a letter to an MP - it does not require postage. Just drop it in the mail, and it gets delivered.

      Where possible, choose snail mail over email, snail mail gets more attention.
    • Artists, musicians, filmmakers and performers have a right to profit from their creations.

      Be careful here... that's the kind of thinking that got the US into a mess with copyright laws. Copyright grants a limited monopoly, but that's not a right to a profit.
  • by king-manic (409855) on Friday December 07, 2007 @07:36PM (#21619897)
    I made a call to Mr. Prentice's Ottawa office this morning. I got a reply instantly and left a polite note stating my extreme dissatisfaction with the direction in which they were going and noting I would drop my Conservative membership if this bill is even read. I've also been mobilizing my friends and my office (one of the ladies is the wife of a senator) to kibosh this bill if it's not kosher.
    • by necro2607 (771790)
      Conservative membership? What the hell? I was raised to consider that a person's political affiliation was a somewhat personal thing. Seems like most people I've known are like that... but then there are people all over the place "registering" as having a certain political affiliation? That seems pretty messed up to me. Way to make things just that much easier for your private rights as a citizen to be even more quickly eroded.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by king-manic (409855)

        Conservative membership? What the hell? I was raised to consider that a person's political affiliation was a somewhat personal thing. Seems like most people I've known are like that... but then there are people all over the place "registering" as having a certain political affiliation? That seems pretty messed up to me. Way to make things just that much easier for your private rights as a citizen to be even more quickly eroded.

        Should being active in politics be discouraged? I have a voice with a vote, but I have a louder voice as a party faithful registering dissent. My peer group(perhaps not my generation) is very openly political. I have lively but polite debates with all sorts of people. Speaking to an MP for 10 min likely has as much effect on democracy as 50 years of voting. Like it or not it's a human system. So i vote, I send letters, and i affiliate myself with the parties whose ideas i find most attractive. I affiliated

        • by necro2607 (771790)
          Oh I agree, going and calling up and talking to an actual person will have the most effect. But I am not cool with politicians knowing what party I am "officially registered" as having affiliation with. Frankly it is none of their business.

          Of course, political involvement is great, I think a lot of people don't think about it, or avoid the topic too much. I understand though that it's just not something a lot of peoeple have interest in worrying about. Of course, then they don't really realize that ther
  • by Hamster Lover (558288) * on Friday December 07, 2007 @07:42PM (#21619941) Journal
    I doubt the bill, at least as it currently stands, will ever become law.

    First, I would be surprised if the bill even makes it out of committee because the minority Conservatives have to beg, borrow and steal support from any and all parties for any bill to become law; they are effectively politically neutered. This has created some rather unique partnerships over the last year, with the Conservatives finding support for some bills from such ideological enemies as the left wing NDP and the separationist Bloc Quebecois. The current Parliament has been limping along like this for too long and a political showdown is coming in the form of an election. The problem is the only other party that can challenge the Conservatives, the Liberals, are laboring under an ineffective leader, an essentially non-existent platform and a divided and disorganized membership.

    Second, even without the dagger of a potential election hanging over it, this legislation will almost certainly be amended, picked apart and thoroughly scrutinized by the opposition and other parties looking to embarrass the Conservatives or score political points. This is where public furor will have the most effect. If the public and affected parties can hammer home the reality of what this bill is proposing, it will leave the committee stage with amendments to the most egregious portions of the bill. Regardless, I can't think of a single piece of legislation the Conservatives have introduced since they took power that has not come back from committee without amendments. They simply do not have the votes to overturn such changes.

    I am not trying to be unrealistically optimistic here, but I just don't see a need to panic -- yet. Call, write or email your MP and let them know your opinions.
    • by weinerdog (181465)
      The Liberal Party is in disarray and has an uncharismatic leader with a low profile. The opposition has had ample opportunity to topple the government, but is afraid of fighting an election at this time, especially if they go to the polls with the public perception that they were the ones who made the government fall. It is generally thought that the Conservatives want the government to fall, provided it can be blamed on the uncooperative opposition. If they manage to engineer the fall of their own governme
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by telso (924323)
      You think this bill won't pass, but aha, you missed a short line from the Speech from the Throne [sft-ddt.gc.ca]:

      Our Government will improve the protection of cultural and intellectual property rights in Canada, including copyright reform.

      See, now that Harper put it in the throne speech, he can do whatever he wants, and if the Liberals (and the other parties) oppose it, bang, election time, and the Liberals probably don't want to go to an election over copyright reform. See, the trick about Harper's throne speech gimmic

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mdielmann (514750)
      I'm actually quite happy with our current government. With all the political parties trying desperately to turn opinion against the others, they have less time to screw over the regular citizen. The less power politicians have, and none of them have much right now, the less they can abuse.
  • I don't think this minority government will be passing that legislation, ever.

    If Harper and his cronies want to suggest supporting DMCA -sans any rights for voters - just to keep Hollywood happy is akin to a non-confidence vote, he's welcome to try that argument with voters.

    I'm guessing that won't happen.

    • by gwait (179005)
      Sadly, I agree with the other poster that believes this issue will go mostly unnoticed by the media, and most politicians.
      The other parties are in such a mess that the Conservatives would easily win a majority if an election were called,
      and they know it. They're just waiting for a time to call the election that won't annoy the voters too much.

      Also, it's hard to convince the average person that a DMCA law is a bad thing, cause it's pitched as "protecting starving artists, no one would disagree with that, rig
  • by Anonymous Coward
    When emailing and mailing your concerns to Jim Prentice, don't forget to cc your comments to Scott Brison - Liberal Industry Critic. It's important for the opposition parties to see the groundswell against this legislation so they can hold the Prentice's feet to the fire in the House of Commons
  • Here is the important page:
    LEGIS info -- 39th Parliament - 2nd session (from Oct. 16 on) House of Commons Government Bills [parl.gc.ca]
    This is where you see the bills passed for the parliament review. As of now (Dec 7), there is no mention of any intellectual property/copyright bill.
    This is a page to watch!
  • Seriously, everyone is in a tizzy because movies, music and more are all copyrighted, and so you can't copy them.

    Just don't buy any copyrighted stuff. Period. Just don't buy it. I rarely buy music. I don't pay for shows on TV and I don't go to the movies. It's not worth the aggravation and honestly, the product isn't all that great any more anyway.

    Find something else to do. There's always booze.
    • by gwait (179005)
      That's not even close to the real problem with the US DMCA. The DMCA is being used as a hammer for all sorts of attacks on free speech - if some corporation or group decides they don't like another's opinion, they can issue (and have been) a DMCA takedown notice, making some vague claim about copyrighted information, and the typical result is that the person is muzzled by their ISP, or web service provider without due process.

      Also, doesn't the US DMCA make it illegal to remove the infamous Sony Root Kit tro
      • by tjstork (137384)
        Also, doesn't the US DMCA make it illegal to remove the infamous Sony Root Kit trojan hack that Sony used as an extremely poorly designed DRM scheme?

        I agree that the DMCA is total crap, but its really becuase the guys that are pushing for it are in the same sort of boat as the old steam engine fireman trying to get a job on a diesel engine. You just don't need someone to shovel coal. It's just an artificial thing that isn't there. Copyright is about keeping someone with a printing press from printing the
  • My Letter (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Jester998 (156179) on Saturday December 08, 2007 @01:46AM (#21621955) Homepage
    Below is the text of what I've sent in (via email and CC: via letter mail) to Jim Prentice. Feel free to copy/modify it to suit your needs/views.

    ---

    Hon. Jim Prentice:

    I regret that I am unable to attend your open-house session tomorrow, 08 Dec 2007, in person; however, I would like to take this opportunity to express my concern over a proposed piece of legislation regarding Canadian copyright, namely the so-called "Canadian DMCA".

    I work as an IT professional, however my background is in pure Computer Science. I often spend time performing security research. A Canadian version of the US DMCA legislation greatly concerns me -- one needs to look no further than the 'US v. Elcomsoft & Sklyarov' case to see why.

    References: http://w2.eff.org/IP/DMCA/US_v_Elcomsoft/us_v_sklyarov_faq.html [eff.org]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dmitry_Sklyarov [wikipedia.org]

    In this instance, legitimate security research was suppressed, and the researcher arrested at the will of a large corporation. Rather than acknowledge & fix the weaknesses in their product's security, Adobe chose to use the DMCA as a sledgehammer to suppress disclosure of information they did not like.

    This has obvious chilling effects -- as an analogue, if a researcher were to find a weakness in the encryption used for e.g. online banking, is it reasonable to arrest the researcher rather than fix the weakness? To my mind, it is infinitely preferable to acknowledge, fix, and continuously improve security through legitimate research. Those with criminal intent will search for these weaknesses in any event -- it is much better to discover and fix the issues in a transparent manner. As the saying goes, "When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns."

    Other kinds of DMCA abuse is well-documented and widespread. A few simple Google searches (e.g. "DMCA abuse") very quickly turn up many sources of information. This legislation has been used to suppress reviews or opinions which are negative towards large companies -- technically, these should be handled as a civil lawsuit for slander or libel (if they are, in fact, untrue); however, many large corporations choose to invoke a DMCA takedown notice instead, as it forces the content hoster to take down the material immediately, rather than waiting for a judgement from a court of law. It is important to note that it is *corporations* that send these takedown notices, not the courts. Under this model, 'justice' is a distant wish.

    There was some research done in 2005 by the University of South Carolina which showed that 30% of DMCA takedown notices sent by corporations were improper, and even potentially illegal (unfortunately, the document seems to have been taken offline, or moved, but the previous URL was http://lawweb.usc.edu/news/releases/2005/legalFlaws.html [usc.edu]). This is a stunningly high figure -- laws are traditionally written to ensure that there is an onus of proof before charges are filed, and that due legal process is followed. The rules of jurisprudence are critical to ensure the equitable operation of any society, but overly broad, overly powerful laws like the US DMCA allow companies with deep legal pockets to run rampant, and allows them to run a private campaign of fear and intimidation.

    I wish to point out that I am not pro-piracy, but rather am opposed to legislation (and legislators) funded or supported by corporations. This is the very antithesis of a democracy, and is the current state in the US. Canada is already dangerously close to that abyss, and I do not wish to see us fall in completely.

    *Original* creators of artistic works certainly desire to be paid for their works; it is for this reason that I attend live concerts, purchase T-s
  • by davecb (6526) * <davec-b@rogers.com> on Saturday December 08, 2007 @10:56AM (#21624245) Homepage Journal
    To: Prentice.J@parl.gc.ca

        My book, "Using Samba" is available free on-line, and
    therefor attracts readers.

        Because it's horribly bulky to print oneself, my readers
    happily buy professionally printed copies from my publisher.
    This caused the book to have been O'Reilly's best seller
    for the quarter in which the first edition came out.

        I do not wish the Government of Canada to restrict in any
    way my freedom to distribute on-line copies, or to let
    others, well meaning but without understanding, interfere in
    my electronic distribution of the book. That blatantly
    interferes with my making money from it.

        Sincerely,
                    David Collier-Brown
  • by rbrander (73222) on Saturday December 08, 2007 @01:34PM (#21625557) Homepage
    There hasn't been time to make this an "official" move of the Calgary Unix Users Group, but a number of group members are planning to show up at Prentice's office at 2:30 PM.

    My proposal is to deliver one message and have everybody just walk out without asking questions or getting into debate. We'll leave behind a printed copy with names, addresses, phone numbers on it of people who couldn't be there. It's not a "petition", its just a threat. (Why mess around.) The proposed text I posted at the CUUG mailing list is:

    Mr. Prentice, my companions and I are members or friends of the Calgary Unix Users Group,
    basically an organization of mostly middle-aged computer professionals that operate and
    program the kind of servers that run large corporations and the Internet itself. As
    members of the high-tech industry, we have been monitoring the copyright debate for
    over a decade now and we are all convinced that most industry-backed copyright
    legislation is bad for the industry itself.

    The same kind of people opposed radio 80 years ago because it 'gave away free music' and
    the VCR 25 years ago when Jack Valenti infamously described it as being to Hollywood
    what the Boston Strangler was to women. Your proposed legislation could easily damage
    both hi-tech and artistic content industries alike as much as the proposed laws against
    VCRs and radio would have if legislators of those times had been foolish enough to
    enact them.

    We see it as our duty as citizens, therefore, to let you know that if anything remotely
    resembling this legislation is passed by this government that we will have to cast
    aside all our former political preferences in favour of ending conservative party rule.
    We are not talking about changing our votes. We are talking about donating to your strongest
    opponents, fund-raising for those opponents, working for those opponents. Your own seat
    here in Calgary is no-doubt safe, so we as rational engineers will of course devote our
    efforts to seats where the conservative party is weakest. At our age and income, we can
    simply afford to travel to those ridings at election times and devote a few vacation days to the
    noble cause of firing you, if you do not reconsider this ill-advised legislation.

    Thank you for your attention.
    • Well, it wasn't what I'd imagined, some kind of forum with Prentice up front of an
      audience, taking questions.

      It was an Xmas party, I think mostly with his supporters.

      However, it was clear many others were there to talk copyright, (some "We Demand Fair Use"
      posters left out in the hall.) and people were more or
      less lined up to have a few minutes talk with him, and Prentice was taking them all on
      at arm's length, eyeball-to-eyeball. Everybody was polite.

      So we went with that, too. Four of us showed up. We w

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