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Canada Considering A Three Strikes And You're Off The Internet Policy? 470

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the can't-stop-the-signal dept.
Techdirt is reporting that Canada may be considering a "three strikes" policy which could see users internet access privileges revoked for file sharing violations. "Given how secretive the industry and the government have been about new copyright laws, perhaps this isn't too surprising. We do know that the industry was pushing for greater ISP liability as part of copyright law changes a few months back, so it wouldn't be surprising if ISPs were negotiating a "three strikes" type rule to avoid the liability issues. Of course, they probably want to keep it secret, as publicity (and resulting anger) about these types of laws in Europe has at least some politicians moving away from them. However, as the entertainment industry does keep succeeding in getting these types of laws to move forward, how long will it be before similar laws are proposed in the US, with "everyone else is doing it" as part of the reasoning?"
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Canada Considering A Three Strikes And You're Off The Internet Policy?

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  • by Aranykai (1053846) <slgonser@gmail.COMMAcom minus punct> on Monday May 12, 2008 @02:47PM (#23381798)
    My plan to escape American ISP's and DMCA madness by going to Canada has been foiled!
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 12, 2008 @03:07PM (#23382140)
      ...and the wealthy get really upset whenever something valuable is also abundant. The creation of artificial supply limitations, as a means of maintaining wealth and power, is one of the oldest tricks in the book.

      You cannot escape this by relocating. Stand and fight. Hold your ground. It is the only way to get what you want.
    • by Scrameustache (459504) on Monday May 12, 2008 @03:29PM (#23382520) Homepage Journal

      My plan to escape American ISP's and DMCA madness by going to Canada has been foiled!
      What the USA has, the right wingers of Canada desire.
      And since the Conservative party is in power in Canada, what the USA does, Canada does a year later.
      • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Monday May 12, 2008 @04:24PM (#23383294) Homepage Journal
        As an American who has liked to think of Canada as a somewhat enlightened cousin to the North, the news that their government can be every bit as clueless and corrupt as our own is a little bit disconcerting.

        Like Aranykai above, the potential for fleeing over the border if things got much worse down here (say if another GOP administration was elected) seems to have been just another dream that is dying a sad (if clarifying) death.
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by bigstrat2003 (1058574) *

          ...the news that their government can be every bit as clueless and corrupt as our own is a little bit disconcerting.

          It's "news" that all governments are clueless and corrupt at times? Come on, you can't be that clueless.

          ...if things got much worse down here (say if another GOP administration was elected)...

          ...wait, I take that back. Anyone stupid enough to believe that party defines a candidate's worth is stupid enough to believe anything.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by LKM (227954)
            If you think both parties are still alike, you haven't learned anything during the past eight years.
        • As an American who has liked to think of Canada as a somewhat enlightened cousin to the North, the news that their government can be every bit as clueless and corrupt as our own is a little bit disconcerting.
          Fortunately, Canadians aren't as bad as their cousins to the south. Harper has a minority government, not the 3-house majority that the US far-right had for years, so he can only do limited damage.
        • by ceoyoyo (59147) on Tuesday May 13, 2008 @02:14AM (#23388238)
          On the other hand they keep trying their best to introduce new copyright bills and they keep withdrawing them in the face of public protest.

          If the Conservatives actually passed this kind of bill and all the people downloading music got kicked off the net, sued, charged, whatever, the next government would not be a Conservative one.

          Around here if you screw up you get voted out.
      • by Serapth (643581) on Monday May 12, 2008 @06:01PM (#23384618)
        Two key differences...

        1 - they are a minority goverment
        2- in a legal system with a non confidence vote.

        In other words, no matter what the Conservatives want to push down our throats, if atleast one of the other parties doesnt support it, it isnt going to happen. Not only that, but it could get the party bounced from power.

        Imagine how much different the states would be right now if Bush had to work under similar rules? Then again, in Canada the Prime Minister really isnt near as powerful as the Presidents position (has become ).
        • by chdig (1050302) on Monday May 12, 2008 @07:28PM (#23385606)
          While what you wrote is true, it's also misleading and missing in context.
          1 - Though there is a minority government, it's common practice for the parties to barter votes between issues. ie, if the opposition wants bill xx passed, they might agree to the government's copyright bill. True, though, it is more difficult to pass normal votes without a majority.
          2 - non-confidence votes are primarily for financial issues (like the annual budget) or highly sensitive issues (like Canada's role in Afghanistan), and a copyright law would be very unlikely to fall under this category.

          The irony, however, is that the best way the government can pass something is to make or attach it to a non-confidence vote. The opposition is so scared of an election that they'll pass things they don't agree with, just to avoid an election.
  • Sounds good (Score:5, Interesting)

    by decipher_saint (72686) on Monday May 12, 2008 @02:47PM (#23381804) Homepage
    I'll just switch to filing my taxes electronically...
    • Re:Sounds good (Score:5, Insightful)

      by scipiodog (1265802) on Monday May 12, 2008 @02:56PM (#23381966)

      This is actually a very good point, in my opinion.

      Seriously, with the importance of the Internet in everyday life, is there a case that this actually infringes on a person's civil rights, or at least on their basic rights?

      Yes, I know Internet usage is not a civil right per se. However, in the USA and Canada, it's becoming extremely difficult to carry out certain basic functions off line. When is the last time you looked up something in a "phone book" made of paper?

      Banning someone from internet access for something so trivial would severely restrict their life, IMHO.

      • Re:Sounds good (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 12, 2008 @03:22PM (#23382406)

        When is the last time you looked up something in a "phone book" made of paper?
        When was the last time you searched for a specific product located in your neighborhood online and got results like 'Buy here!' Where here is a town 3 states away.
      • by StreetStealth (980200) on Monday May 12, 2008 @03:33PM (#23382592) Journal
        Proposed legislation like this is based on an out-of-date mindset that internet access is some sort of above-and-beyond privilege to be closely regulated.

        To people who have worked in the paper-laden chambers of legislative bodies for many years and have their assistants print out their e-mails for them to read, perhaps it still looks this way to them. But it is not.

        Enough daily tasks, both personal and public, now require access to the internet such that I think it's time for internet access to be considered a civil right, to be suspended only for those genuinely too dangerous to remain at large.

        Denying internet access isn't like a sentence of probation anymore; it's more akin to house arrest and should only be applied when the punishment fits the crime.
        • by Beardo the Bearded (321478) on Monday May 12, 2008 @03:56PM (#23382916)

          it's time for internet access to be considered a civil right, to be suspended only for those genuinely too dangerous to remain at large.

          Denying internet access isn't like a sentence of probation anymore; it's more akin to house arrest and should only be applied when the punishment fits the crime.
          Indeed.

          Now, who gets to say what is "too dangerous" to be allowed Internet access?

          Let's say I download (and legally, I might add) several gigs of mp3s. Apparently, this is causing millions of dollars in damages. Therefore, if I continue to have internet access, I am personally costing various industries millions of dollars a day!

          I'm a dangerous person. I'm exactly like a professional shoplifter. Except, weirdly enough, those guys still get to buy groceries FROM STORES.

          As always, contact your local MP.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by PopeRatzo (965947) *

        Banning someone from internet access for something so trivial would severely restrict their life, IMHO
        I wonder if there have been any cases of people forbidden from using the mail who have been convicted of mail fraud.
  • by Archangel Michael (180766) on Monday May 12, 2008 @02:49PM (#23381844) Journal
    I'd suggest that this law not be so one sided.

    How about a three strikes provision against the *IAA (or equivalent) as well. This way, if they accuse falsely three times, they get tossed. Seems only fair to me. :-D
    • by Sique (173459) on Monday May 12, 2008 @03:33PM (#23382594) Homepage
      Why not simply have the same rules for companies? Every company that has been found guilty in court of copyright, trademark or patent infringment at least three times is banned from the Internet.

      Good bye, Sony BMG! Good bye, Microsoft! Good bye about nearly every larger editor or company!

      The internet will be again as we knew it in the pre-1990ies.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 12, 2008 @02:49PM (#23381846)
    Can the government really strip you of your right to speak for breaking a civil statute? Or is copyright infringement without profit motive a criminal offense in Canada as well as the US?
  • sigh.... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Jaysyn (203771) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (todhsals+nysyaj)> on Monday May 12, 2008 @02:49PM (#23381850) Homepage Journal
    Dear Everyone,

    Please stop voting shills, shysters & despots into power.

    Thanks
  • how long will it be before similar laws are proposed in the US, with "everyone else is doing it" as part of the reasoning?"

    Maybe we can get one of those Canadian politicians to jump off a bridge?

  • by PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) on Monday May 12, 2008 @02:51PM (#23381886) Journal
    I'm canadian, and every time something controversial is proposed, the american media jumps all over it and says 'Canada is going to [insert crazy idea here]'.

    The way laws are passed here makes it very difficult for something controversial to pass, unless it is a human rights case. AND, even in the event that the federal government does pass a law, each province can ignore it by using the 'not-withstanding clause'.

    It sure is a horrible idea, but it would go against so many of our other laws that it would be struck down as soon as it was challenged even if it did get through the 3 readings and the senate and house of commons.

    I'd have to say that this sort of law would be much more likely in a place like the USA, where the government has already revoked so many of the rights of the citizens in the name of national security. I wonder how much pressure it would take to claim that piracy is a matter of national economic security...
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 12, 2008 @03:02PM (#23382060)
      That's not what the notwithstanding clause [wikipedia.org] means. It means that the government can ignore (i.e. pass a law that runs counter to) certain parts of the Canadian Charter. It doesn't allow provinces to ignore federal acts of parliament.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by greenbird (859670) *

      I'm canadian, and every time something controversial is proposed, the american media jumps all over it and says 'Canada is going to [insert crazy idea here]'.

      The way laws are passed here makes it very difficult for something controversial to pass, unless it is a human rights case. AND, even in the event that the federal government does pass a law, each province can ignore it by using the 'not-withstanding clause'.

      Yeah, because we all know the Canadians would never pass a stupid law [wired.com] at the behest of certain industry lobby groups or one that eliminated your ability to criticize [slashdot.org] certain groups because they might be offended by your criticism. And even if such stupid laws were passed they would be ignored by the provinces.

    • if i understand my history correct, the the 'not-withstanding clause' you refer to was ripped off from the concept of American Federalism

      as for:

      "I'd have to say that this sort of law would be much more likely in a place like the USA, where the government has already revoked so many of the rights of the citizens in the name of national security."

      please refer to:

      "I'm [american], and every time something controversial is proposed, the [canadian] media jumps all over it and says '[America] is going to [insert c
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 12, 2008 @02:54PM (#23381920)
    File sharing? FILE SHARING? You gotta be joking! Oh, no, let's ignore.. oh I don't know... sexual predators... or, identity theft... and jump straight to the fsck'n FILE SHARING!

    That's it! I declare that the world has gone insane. Driven by corporate greed and stupidity!
    • by morgan_greywolf (835522) * on Monday May 12, 2008 @02:59PM (#23382012) Homepage Journal

      File sharing? FILE SHARING? You gotta be joking! Oh, no, let's ignore.. oh I don't know... sexual predators... or, identity theft... and jump straight to the fsck'n FILE SHARING!


      Well, pardner, 'round these here parts file sharin' is a hangin' offense.

      Thanks,
      The MAFIAA
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by QCompson (675963)

      File sharing? FILE SHARING? You gotta be joking! Oh, no, let's ignore.. oh I don't know... sexual predators... or, identity theft... and jump straight to the fsck'n FILE SHARING!

      "Sexual predators" are hardly being ignored. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of law enforcement agents sitting around in chat rooms right now pretending to be 14 year old girls in the hope that some idiot will talk with them and try to arrange a meeting. And, at least in the US, being caught as an internet sexual predator is not a three-strikes offense. It is a one-strike offense, with the end result likely being a long prison term and lifetime sex offender registration (along with heavy computer

    • Sexual predators (Score:3, Informative)

      by phorm (591458)
      Actually, I believe that in there have already been cases where people in sexual predator or identity-theft cases have been banned from using the 'net.

      This is after a real trial which ascertains guilt though, as opposed to the whim of an ISP/label.
  • No go (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ^_^x (178540) on Monday May 12, 2008 @02:54PM (#23381926)
    Well, first off that would be illegal considering we already pay a levy to compensate for THEORETICAL copyright violations whenever we buy blank media. It is against the law to tax people for nothing at all (you at least have to have a "reason" even if it is not followed through on) so for this to happen they would have to repeal it. I don't see that as likely since not a cent AFAIK has gone to actually compensate artists - it's going straight into the government's pockets like a sin tax, and they're far too greedy to give up such easy money for doing nothing.
    • by CastrTroy (595695)
      That levy only covers CDs that are actually copied. Not music transfered over P2P. You can borrow a CD from the library or a friend, and make a copy for yourself. You cannot make a copy for your friend. Your friend has to make the copy himself. The levy doesn't cover every possible copyright violation you could possibly make.
      • The data tariff covers hard drives too, which I'm assuming is where you're downloading your p2p network fodder to.
  • Good but... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LWATCDR (28044) on Monday May 12, 2008 @02:55PM (#23381946) Homepage Journal
    Will they then repeal the media tax?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      I like the media tax. It isn't much at all, really... and it makes file sharing legal, since I'm already paying for it.
  • Zombies? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by linuxpyro (680927)
    Just a thought, but what about doing this for zombie machines? I think an idea like that has been brought up here on Slashdot before, like if your machine is not up to date patch-wise you get booted or restricted to say Windows Updates. But what about actively going after people who fail to maintain their computer to the point that it harms others?

    Well, truthfully I guess it wouldn't be right in either case. It could still be abused. But given the choice I would rather have a rule that would hopefully c
    • by Danse (1026)

      Just a thought, but what about doing this for zombie machines? I think an idea like that has been brought up here on Slashdot before, like if your machine is not up to date patch-wise you get booted or restricted to say Windows Updates. But what about actively going after people who fail to maintain their computer to the point that it harms others?

      Just create a botnet that shares files and emails a record of it to the RIAA or the local equivalent. Problem solved :)

  • Illegal? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    internet access privileges revoked for file sharing violations
    Well since the levy makes all file sharing legal, i guess this three strikes thing can be implemented without anyone ever getting struck.
  • Will there be DUE process or will anyone be able to make came and get you kicked off?
  • by wattrlz (1162603) on Monday May 12, 2008 @03:07PM (#23382148)

    On a small scale they could assign an officer to follow you around and make sure you don't borrow someone's cell phone or use a public kiosk to check your mail, but keeping track of everyone who's downloaded more than three mp3s or unlicensed videos would require some sort of national ID system... perhaps they could put all of Canada on a proxy server?

  • by ducman (107063) <slashdotNO@SPAMreality-based.com> on Monday May 12, 2008 @03:10PM (#23382194)
    I think the most worrying thing about this is not the law itself. It's the fact that someone will quickly realize that in order to implement the law it will be necessary for anyone accessing the Internet to be reliably identified. We really could be only a few years away from needing a "RealID" card to log on to a public wireless terminal in a coffee shop.
  • by RexDevious (321791) on Monday May 12, 2008 @03:11PM (#23382204) Homepage Journal
    It started in schools, and quickly moved to the US Justice system. "Three Strikes And You're Out!". It sounds both reasonable, and incredibly American at the same time. If you've been in jail 2 times already and then steal a loaf of bread... "You're Out". By which they mean out of society for good. It's worked out so well, why not try it with the Internet?

    Here's the problem. In baseball, if you get three strikes - you're out for that particular try at batting. You're not out for the inning, you're not out for the game, and you're certainly not banned from ever playing baseball again for life.

    So, if we're going to base public policy on sports rules, could we at least restrict that to sports rules we actually understand? Seriously, that'd be a great start. Later we work on basing them on common sense or something.
    • If you've been in jail 2 times already and then steal a loaf of bread... "You're Out". By which they mean out of society for good.

      Actually it means you're so stupid that after two trips to jail already you still can't learn how to be an acceptable member of society. Removing you for a long time after that is much to society's benefit.

  • by Doug52392 (1094585) on Monday May 12, 2008 @03:11PM (#23382206)
    This is not possible. From a legal standpoint, if the government goes through the right loopholes to get these laws passed, it's possible, but the consequences it would create would cause nothing but trouble. Almost 50% of the Internet users in Canada would most likely get their first "strike" in just one week because they probably consider anyone using file-sharing "pirates", regardless of the legality of what their downloading. From there, I would predict that about 20% would abide by the warning and stop file-sharing, but 30% would continue regardless of the system until they're eventually taken offline, which would have substantial effects on the economy and e-commerce (not as many people buying things online, for instance).
  • by alvinrod (889928) on Monday May 12, 2008 @03:13PM (#23382250)
    Unfortunately, this still wouldn't do much if anything to prevent movie or song piracy. Have they forgotten that pirating music is as easy as purchasing a CD or DRM-free song and simply burning a CD and giving it to a friend? At best this just stops a few poeple from having an Internet connection, but when they could easilly haul a 500 GB external HD over to a friends house and load up all on manner of content, there's no way that it will curb the overall level of piracy to any extent. Hell, even if you were cut off, internet is only an unsecure access point or location with free internet away.

    There are always going to be a certain subset of people who feel that prices are too high and will seek alternative methods of acquiring songs, movies, or any other similar form of media. They could probably reduce the price to reduce the amount of people who resort to such methods, but the current price might be the one that maximizes revenue for all I know.

    Personally, I think the ideal solution is for the bands, songwriters, et al. to ditch the **AA (or equivalent in their countries) and use a model similar to what Radiohead or Trent Reznor used. Even when they offered their music for free, some people still donated money. Hell, if they were independent and sold tracks through Amazon, iTunes, or some other music store they'd get to keep everything that Amazon, Apple, etc. doesn't keep to cover distribution costs. That'd be somewhere in the neighborhood of $.75 or more per song sold. How much more likely would the poeple who either don't buy music now or refuse to pay the currents rates be to donate money to a band for purchasing their album if they knew that most of it wasn't going to a middleman that has a history of acting hostile towards its customers or that they would only need to offer up a few dollars, if anything?
  • I don't think this is even close to a sure thing (along with much of the potential legislation) because the playing field is far too confusing right now to try and pass anything so restrictive. There are a lot of trial balloons being floated right now, and I think the government is watching to see which ones catch the most flak. That said, it's probably best to make noise about this all the same, just in case.

    Relatedly: I'm hosting a discussion about Canadian copyright (specifically in relation to WIPO) i
  • by Shagg (99693) on Monday May 12, 2008 @03:15PM (#23382276)
    Three strikes of actually being found guilty in a court of law, or three strikes of wild accusations thrown around by anybody with content to protect (and very little, if any, proof)?
  • "Three strikes and you're out!" makes a lovely catchphrase but is ridiculous is actual use.

    How about 2, 5 or 10 minutes in the penatly box? :P
  • Given the theme [slashdot.org] on slashdot [slashdot.org]today [slashdot.org], I would say we are living through episode 5 right now.
  • by sootman (158191) on Monday May 12, 2008 @03:29PM (#23382532) Homepage Journal

    Yes, but does it run... [STRIKE1]
    Imagine a beowulf cl... [STRIKE2]
    I, for one, welcome ... [STRIKE3]
      --- NO CARRIER ---
  • Solution is simple (Score:3, Insightful)

    by unity100 (970058) on Monday May 12, 2008 @03:44PM (#23382750) Homepage Journal
    make a fuss about such stuff BEFORE they are even conceived. blow your representative's ears off with calls before they even hear of such a proposal or see it on their desk. do it now.
  • by jollyreaper (513215) on Monday May 12, 2008 @03:48PM (#23382800)
    ...only the internet will have outlaws. Or is that outlaws have internets? If they ban marriage, only outlaws will have in-laws. No, wait. Forget it.
  • by Eco-Mono (978899) on Monday May 12, 2008 @03:49PM (#23382816) Homepage

    Let me just take this opportunity to say that I am sick and tired of articles about some law that might be getting proposed for initial review in some obscure corner of a legislature somewhere. It reminds me of that one time everyone jumped down the Pope's throat for something that an editorialist speculated he'd be commenting on in his next encyclical. It's idle speculation. It's not even vaporware; we haven't heard anyone in the government say two bits about it, either for or against!

    C'mon, editors. I'm told you used to be more selective than to post this kind of nonsense. :/

  • ...if the same sorts of things applied to the music industry. If they were banned from the Internet for illegally distributing files, violating copyright (say, the GPL) or distributing malware, then it would seem equitable for others to suffer likewise. Strange how no such provision exists. It's ok for person/group A to violate person/group B's copyright, but not for B to violate A's. Two wrongs never make a right, but if something actually is a wrong, in and of itself, then what possible contribution is offered by allowing the more serious offender off?

    Yes, I said the more serious offender. The purpose of copyright is to ensure that originators are protected against the abuses of others. Music labels are forever being sued for contract violations, although only artists who are rich enough can afford to do so. The number of poor artists who cannot sue is unknown. Given that price increases in the stores have generally not translated into royalty increases for artists, it can be assumed that the number of poor artists being stiffed by the music industry is substantial. (Most sane artists start their own label as soon as they can afford to, because running such monsterous overheads is still more profitable than continued servitude to the major operators. That should say something, given the promotional muscle of a giant and the benefits of scale efficiency.) Copyright violations, say of "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" or the Bannana Boat Song, hit the headlines, but didn't hit any studio's wallet or lead to Internet access being withdrawn. Why not? Artists in Africa probably ARE starving. If artists are who matters, then why the Scrooge impersonations?

    Major music and film corporations are reputed to have links with organized crime, are quoted by foreign artists and foreign directors (in the case of the movie industry) of supplying drugs and prostitutes to people considered key, and other sordid stuff. It's one thing to have liberal leanings (which I don't believe Hollywood has), it's another to be considered by outsiders as racketeers who'd supply a kid with cocaine if it meant they could earn more money.

    Those accusations may be true, they might not be, but I don't expect to be seeing the FBI plough much in the way of resources there.

  • privilege? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by nguy (1207026) on Monday May 12, 2008 @05:48PM (#23384482)
    The ability to contract for Internet access is not a "privilege", it's a right.
  • by slashname3 (739398) on Monday May 12, 2008 @06:31PM (#23385010)
    This is an excellent idea! But this needs to be expanded to solve the problem of spam. Send out the typical spam messages. But when some id10t responds to the spam message they are tracked down and their Internet access is suspended.

    If this is done then spam will go away. Right now there must be enough id10ts out there that actually respond and buy stuff that it makes sending out spam worth the effort. If you take away enough of the idiots out there that spend money based on spam then the monetary reason for sending spam will go away and the problem will finally be solved.
  • Damn! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bill_kress (99356) on Monday May 12, 2008 @08:31PM (#23386168)
    I saw that heading and thought the only logical possibility is that someone finally decided to block bots by taking them offline until their machines can be cleaned.

    I never imagined they were actually proposing something THAT stupid.

    I just don't have the imagination I used to.

    Look, this is a democracy (at least in theory) right? In the constitution we GIVE them copyright to their creation for a LIMITED time, ONLY so that it spurs innovation and gets more "IP" into the public domain for us all, right?

    Well, I'm done with this shit. I say we vote to eliminate copyright protection all-together, across the board. Let them deal with that. If they want to stop making music because of it, I'll live. I'd prefer to have my music made by people who would make it regardless of if they got paid or not.

    If every single lab suddenly decides they can't make medicine any more because it's too expensive, others will pop up with better, less expensive techniques. Foundations will still do a lot of the research anyway (how much do we donate to cancer research each year? When they come up with something--who will reap the benefits of the medicine developed?)

    Let's get rid of it! Maybe we can experiment with that for couple decades and see how it goes--if it fails, I'm totally up for trying something else.

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