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Canadians Battling Proposed Canadian DMCA

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the leave-us-a-commons-eh dept.

The Internet 202

An anonymous reader writes "CTV reports on how Canadians are fighting back against the Canadian DMCA. Led by Michael Geist, the Fair Copyright for Canada Facebook group is nearing 90,000 members. There are local chapters, a YouTube contest, wikis, and people writing letters and organizing rallies against the copyright bill. Geist said, 'When you get tens of thousands of Canadians speaking out like this, there's big political risk for any political party who chooses to ignore it.'"

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202 comments

I guess this is what you'd call an... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24639277)

Eh-valanche.

No Worries (4, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 5 years ago | (#24639285)

Prentice and the Tories don't need to worry about voters. I'm sure they've been paid handsomely by American media giants for their co-operation.

Re:No Worries (3, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#24639409)

But that money only keeps rolling for as long as they have their finger on the button. Ya know, despite everything else, the final say in who gets to take the bribes is with the voters.

Re:No Worries (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24639463)

The people with most money to run their campaign win, not the ones that please the most voters.

Re:No Worries (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24639493)

That may be true in the US, but in Canada the general public seems to put a little more effort into elections than just voting for the person who has the most signs on front lawns.

Re:No Worries (4, Informative)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 5 years ago | (#24639857)

Really? We didn't even break through 70% of eligible voters showing up in the last election. In some parts of the country it was a lot less. Maybe Canadians are slightly less apathetic than their US counterparts, but only slightly.

Re:No Worries (5, Insightful)

mixmatch (957776) | more than 5 years ago | (#24639959)

What makes you think that the 70% that vote is not representative of 100% of the voting populace? Or, for that matter, that the 30% that did not vote really had anything to contribute to the voting pool. Perhaps the message from voting advocates should not be, "You have an obligation to vote, so go vote." I would think a more appropriate message would be, "We would like for everyone to inform themselves and make an educated decision about the candidates, but if you are unable to do so, by all means DON'T VOTE."

Re:No Worries (2, Interesting)

Malekin (1079147) | more than 5 years ago | (#24640085)

Why should the educated and informed be the only ones represented in parliament? The actions of the government affect the bright and the dumb. You (and I) may think there's a section of the population whose votes we'd be better off without, but the solution is not to discourage them from voting but to encourage them to raise their political awareness. The heart of a representative democracy is every person getting a vote.

When you have compulsory voting politicians are forced to address issues that matter to their electorate (rather than just the subset who are voters) and people who otherwise would cynically ignore elections are forced to pay attention to their choices and how they will be affected by them.

Educated and Informed -- about issues. (5, Insightful)

Safiire Arrowny (596720) | more than 5 years ago | (#24640359)

I think he means educated and informed about the issues they're voting for, not IQ or whether they're 'school' educated.

Re:No Worries (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24640993)

My precise thoughts about encouraging everyone to vote, even if they have no clue about what they are voting on! The obligation should be to find out what they are voting on, what the likely actions of the proposals are, and THEN cast an educated vote.

Having people who don't have a clue is part of how we got gw bush.

Re:No Worries (5, Interesting)

innocent_white_lamb (151825) | more than 5 years ago | (#24641013)

We would like for everyone to inform themselves and make an educated decision about the candidates,
 
I like to think that I'm a reasonably well-informed and educated person. I take an interest (greater or lesser in a great many things, including politics and the world around us.
 
I have, in several elections, gone to the polling station, taken my ballot to the little booth and after unfolding it, I re-fold it and return it to the clerk for her to put into the ballot box. I vote, but I make no mark on the ballot at all if, in my opinion, no candidate is worthy of receiving my vote.
 
And I am Canadian.

Re:No Worries (0, Troll)

outZider (165286) | more than 5 years ago | (#24639957)

Really? Because I hear a lot about it, and then when you look at the hard data, you guys are just as short sited as we are.

You also don't do votes for 75% of the positions we do.

Re:No Worries (4, Insightful)

Atlantis-Rising (857278) | more than 5 years ago | (#24640439)

You also don't do votes for 75% of the positions we do.

A fact that I am infinitely grateful for. Electing judges and district attorneys, for example, is pure madness.

Re:No Worries (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24639513)

well its kinda hard to win an election if you don't have any voters, no matter how much money you have. If I were in an election and I said I was going to raise taxes by 50%, I doubt I would win even I had a few billion dollars to spend on a campaign. Sure, you're statement is true to some degree, but its not set in stone

Re:No Worries (4, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#24639567)

Well, they say you can't buy votes but that's not really true and you know it. Who cares if 2000 knowledgable voters get pissed at you if 5000 clueless voters vote for you instead with your new campaigning budget? It doesn't really matter where and why the vote comes from, a vote is as good as any other. People don't want to hear the truth, they want to hear how you'll make their lives so much better so it's tough to call someone on talking bullshit - even when they're not pimping some lobbyist agenda they are telling you sweet, sweet lies.

Re:No Worries (2)

Sepper (524857) | more than 5 years ago | (#24640123)

The English-speaking media had a lot of editorials on the issues (but no 6 O'clock news stories about it)

The French-speaking media has been *very* quiet on the issue: I saw a 2 article written in 3 months. At least in both cases they gave equal time to Micheal Geist and CMPAA / CRIA

Nobody around me seems to care about the issue... Yet it will have a lot of very real consequences on own you can use stuff you own.

The sad thing is: this law is presented has the one that will stop illegal downloading... It might give more power to copyright distributors, but it won't truly stop P2P and such...

yet, to give more power to these corporations (not even copyright holders, we are talking about copyright distributors), they have to take away mine: I won't be able to do whatever I want with the stuff I bough.

Whatever I try to bring up this issue around me, I'm getting labeled as a pirate who just wants everything free, yet, I have nothing to do with this sort of behavior. I just want to be a criminal for trying to copy music for a DRM-covered CD to my unlocked Nokia N95. I paid for the damn CD, and I paid for the damn unlocked phone. It this too much too ask?

Re:No Worries (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#24640299)

The problem is that the usual reaction is "oh, they can't do that!" when you inform people about it. They're just too used to being able to do what they did for decades, they can't even imagine that they suddenly can't do it anymore.

Of course there will be an outcry when you suddenly can't copy your CDs over to your MP3-player or your car stereo anymore and the suggested fix is to buy the song once again. Then people will complain that they ain't dumb to pay twice for what they already bought, but then it's too late.

Re:No Worries (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24639951)

The what on the what? Suppose the intent is the same but I really was thinking a different what on another what.

Re:No Worries (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24640199)

And who else would the Canadian public vote for?

Stephane Dion?

Baaaaaahahahahaha.

Re:No Worries (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 5 years ago | (#24640377)

Prentice and the Tories don't need to worry about voters. I'm sure they've been paid handsomely by American media giants for their co-operation.

Yeah, that is, until they become unelectable and American media giants have no more use for them. Then, they are out of sponsors and out of a job.

Re:No Worries (4, Informative)

mrbcs (737902) | more than 5 years ago | (#24640605)

You are obviously ignorant of Canadian politics. If we are pissed off enough, we do MAJOR damage. Examples:

1. William Davis, Tory premier of Ontario, who after giving full funding to Catholic schools, was tossed out of office after 40 years of consecutive Conservative rule.

2. Brian Mulroney, Ronny Reagans buddy, after introducing the Gouge and Screw Tax, had his MAJORITY government reduced to 2 seats in the next election.

These tories have been warned, enact this legislation and they will be destroyed politically. Harper won't be able to run for village mayor after we're through with him.

Re:No Worries (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24641447)

early 90s, forget the exact year, BC Social Credit party gets tossed out of power and the party itself destroyed.

Then the BC NDP party goes from a Majority goverment to having just a couple of seats after a series of scandals.

Curse you Young People F***ing Movie! (2, Funny)

file_reaper (1290016) | more than 5 years ago | (#24639297)

I knew the title of that movie would just bring trouble!

SEE! See how things are turning out?!

Political Repurcussions (4, Interesting)

mochan_s (536939) | more than 5 years ago | (#24639299)

Does anyone know who in the US elected government caused the US DMCA to happen?

So, if even slashdot users can't remember who caused the original DMCA to happen, what hope is there that any Canadian politicians would be worried?

Re:Political Repurcussions (1)

master5o1 (1068594) | more than 5 years ago | (#24639399)

I'm pretty sure there would be a list somewhere.

Re:Political Repurcussions (1, Interesting)

multisync (218450) | more than 5 years ago | (#24639583)

Does anyone know who in the US elected government caused the US DMCA to happen?

I'm pretty sure there would be a list somewhere.

Actually, I believe the DMCA was voted on with something akin to a show of hands. In other words, no record of who voted for or against it. I don't have a citation right now, but if I find one I'll post it in a reply to this comment. It also seems to me it was brought in as an amendment to another bill, maybe a farm bill or something. I'm less sure about that.

It was very sneaky, if memory serves.

Re:Political Repurcussions (3, Informative)

multisync (218450) | more than 5 years ago | (#24639621)

Actually, the wiki article on the DMCA says "Passed on October 12, 1998 by a unanimous vote in the U.S. Senate and signed into law by President Bill Clinton on October 28, 1998" so I must have been mistaken. I thought I had heard something around the time of the MPAA vs 2600 case, but apparently not.

Re:Political Repurcussions (2, Funny)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 5 years ago | (#24639751)

...signed into law by President Bill Clinton on October 28, 1998...

Well, that does it. I'm definitely not voting for Bill Clinton this November.

Re:Political Repurcussions (2, Insightful)

ehintz (10572) | more than 5 years ago | (#24640347)

Perhaps I can explain why you recall a level of sneaky-ness. At the time it got very little attention, as everyone was breathlessly awaiting more news about BC getting a blow job or diddling Monica with cigars... Certainly the dog and pony show drew attention away from the geeks crying foul.

Re:Political Repurcussions (3, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#24639469)

The problem is that this doesn't seem to have any escape path. Or rather, it doesn't matter what side you vote. The (new) Republicans are for big government and cracking down on whatever perceived crime exists, not to mention that "those intarwebs" and the uncontrolable spread of information, opinion and propaganda is usually not really something the new kind of Rep enjoys.

The Democrats otoh have traditionally good ties with Hollywood and the media.

In other words, you're fucked either way. The DMCA is on both sides' agenda.

Re:Political Repurcussions (4, Insightful)

jacquesm (154384) | more than 5 years ago | (#24639485)

That's because there really is only one side in US politics, the one with the money.

As long as TV advertising is the way to get voters this will not change.

Re:Political Repurcussions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24640563)

Yeah in Canada we don't have the broken system like the Americans. We have a good number of political parties to vote for.. Like the NDP, who you can bet your bottom dollar wouldn't support this bill. They're really anti-American.

Re:Political Repurcussions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24640785)

We don't have just a two party government. Vote for the Green Party, or the White Elephat. Heck vote the Marajanna party if you want. Prove to them that they are not the only choices and that what they stand for matters.

Re:Political Repurcussions (1)

grcumb (781340) | more than 5 years ago | (#24641309)

In other words, you're fucked either way. The DMCA is on both sides' agenda.

I don't entirely disagree with what you're saying, but it does bear mentioning that Lawrence Lessig [wikipedia.org] endorses someone whom he thinks is worth supporting [lessig.org] precisely because of his stance on technology issues:

read carefully what Net Neutrality for Obama is. There's no blanket ban on offering better service; the ban is on contracts that offer different terms to different providers for that better service. And there's no promise to police what's under the technical hood (beyond the commitment already articulated by Chairman Powell): This is a sensible and valuable Net Neutrality policy that shows a team keen to get it right -- which includes making it enforceable in an efficient way, even if not as radical as some possible friends would like.

Second, on the important: As you'll read, Obama has committed himself to a technology policy for government that could radically change how government works. The small part of that is simple efficiency -- the appointment with broad power of a CTO for the government, making the insanely backwards technology systems of government actually work.

But the big part of this is a commitment to making data about the government (as well as government data) publicly available in standard machine readable formats. The promise isn't just the naive promise that government websites will work better and reveal more. It is the really powerful promise to feed the data necessary for the Sunlights and the Maplights of the world to make government work better. Atomize (or RSS-ify) government data (votes, contributions, Members of Congress's calendars) and you enable the rest of us to make clear the economy of influence that is Washington.

I'm not trying to Appeal to Authority [wikipedia.org] here. What I'm saying is that if you perform a bit of analysis, you will find that not all presidential candidates are created equal where technology matters are concerned.

But here's the part where I agree with you: The two major parties are the ones who craft the law, and there's no guarantee that they'll agree with their president on issues such as these.

Canada doesn't rig elections like the US (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24639949)

So, if even slashdot users can't remember who caused the original DMCA to happen, what hope is there that any Canadian politicians would be worried?

Wikipedia is at your fingertips... Introduced by Howard Coble. Of course, that illustrates an even more interesting problem. This is his district. [wikipedia.org] Now have a look at district 12. [wikipedia.org] Howard Coble is only in office because of unconstitutional gerrymandering. [adversity.net] The only way that bastard is leaving office is in a casket. He can shove whatever shit he wants right down your throat and there's not a damn thing you or anyone else can do about it. Of course, that isn't a problem in Canada, so anyone fool enough to push a DMCA up there can expect to lose their job.

Canada is a democracy (4, Informative)

Rix (54095) | more than 5 years ago | (#24640379)

If Canadian politicians don't respond to the wishes of their constituents, they have the option of replacing them. The current ruling party, for example, is only about 20 years old.

It's not comparable to the US system where Democrats have a monopoly on the left and Republicans on the right.

Re:Canada is a democracy (2, Insightful)

LoveGoblin (972821) | more than 5 years ago | (#24640927)

The current ruling party, for example, is only about 20 years old.

I think by "20" you mean "5".

Re:Canada is a democracy (2, Informative)

Five Bucks! (769277) | more than 5 years ago | (#24641007)

The current Governing party, the Conservative Party of Canada, is only fiver years old.

The Progressive Conservative party and the Canadian Alliance merged in October of 2003.

Facebook group counts ... (5, Interesting)

Blade (1720) | more than 5 years ago | (#24639309)

Have we really entered an age where the number of people who join facebook groups are used as some kind of measure?

Half the people I know on facebook join whatever the hell their friends join, or click anything they can to get the alerts to go away.

Seriously - really?

Re:Facebook group counts ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24639731)

Yes really.

Facebook is also being used as a measure in political context.

Fucking sad isn't it. Our country is being run by faceless corporations polling emo children to decide which political figures to pay off.

Yeah. We're pretty much doomed as a species. Come on 2012!

Re:Facebook group counts ... (1)

philspear (1142299) | more than 5 years ago | (#24639865)

Our country is being run by faceless corporations polling emo children to decide which political figures to pay off.

Take out the "emo children" and replace it with "ignorant, gullible voters" and you could be talking about american history since 1950.

Re:Facebook group counts ... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#24639891)

Your description is largely equivalent to the algorithm by which many people assign votes, so I suspect that we are, indeed, in such an age.

Re:Facebook group counts ... (1)

Five Bucks! (769277) | more than 5 years ago | (#24640639)

I know it's very silly and clearly does not represent any useful statistical figure. Joining a Facebook group requires little time and effort and you do not need to understand the position of the group to join.

However, the very fact that 90 000 individuals in a country of 34 000 000 are members of a single group speaks volumes.

It's not a stretch to draw an analogy to the time honoured petition. They also take very little to sign and you don't need to know the stance of the group either. But if you have a petition with 90 000 signatures, it's a loud document.

Plus, the story made the front page of /. and you plus several hundred thousand more people know of the group.

Re:Facebook group counts ... (3, Interesting)

ozphx (1061292) | more than 5 years ago | (#24640689)

90000 is a far cry from such popular groups as:

"If one million people join I will name my son Batman"

"If ninety thousand people join I will shave the slashdot logo into my pubes"

"Forty million people for anti furry discrimination"

In this modern age, having less than a hundred thousand indicates that nobody really cares.

Re:Facebook group counts ... (1)

Five Bucks! (769277) | more than 5 years ago | (#24640939)

How many times have those groups been on the front page of /. or CBC.ca?

The fact that we're discussing the group means that their job is already done.

its for their own good (3, Informative)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#24639379)

The government will just ignore them and do what they want, as the people are too stupid to know what is right.

( yes thats sarcasm, but its also what the 'man' will do if given a chance )

Re:its for their own good (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#24639557)

And that's exactly what this is about. Not giving "tha man" a chance to do what he/they please. Saying "oh heck, they do whatever they wan't" won't change a thing, get off your ass and take your country back!

It's not like you even have to leave your house to do that anymore, for crying out loud.

Re:its for their own good (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#24639973)

If you are talking about 'electing someone for the people', they are all the same once they get in power. The system is larger than any one person and consumes those that might actually intend to do good and turns them into "yet another politician" that serves to perpetrate the system.

No, the only real way to make a difference at this point in the game does require you to leave your house.

It won't happen, as usual. (1)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 5 years ago | (#24639403)

The government will be swept in an election before the bill can be made law, as it was for the last 6 years...

No conspiracy theory here (4, Insightful)

DesScorp (410532) | more than 5 years ago | (#24639449)

Despite the conspiracy theories you're likely to hear about this, the reason why the DMCA sailed through Congress is the same reason it'll sail through Canada's legislative process... media companies are responsible for a nice chunk of GNP (and whatever they call it in Canada), and neither side, liberal or conservative, is willing give up that wealth. And both sides believe that things like high technology for consumers and piracy is a danger to their broadcasters and publishers.

The reason opponents are going to lose on this is that all major parties will be on board with the copyright holders. And average voters don't give a rat's ass about copyright reform crusades.

Re:No conspiracy theory here (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24639525)

The legislation has already been delayed once due to public pressure [michaelgeist.ca]. Any more broad but inaccurate sour grapes from the American peanut gallery?

Re:No conspiracy theory here (1)

DesScorp (410532) | more than 5 years ago | (#24639587)

The legislation has already been delayed once due to public pressure [michaelgeist.ca]. Any more broad but inaccurate sour grapes from the American peanut gallery?

Tell you what... if this doesn't pass (looks like January at the earliest), I'll happily eat my words in public. But my money still says it passes.

Re:No conspiracy theory here (2, Informative)

Random Guru 42 (687672) | more than 5 years ago | (#24640589)

With the way that the Tories and Libs are both gearing up for fall elections, we might just end up being lucky and seeing a far more reasonable bill show up in the 40th legislature.

Re:No conspiracy theory here (4, Informative)

GodKingAmit (1192629) | more than 5 years ago | (#24639531)

Actually in Canada the official opposition (Liberals) and our left-wing party (NDP) have come out in opposition to this bill. The inability for corporations to donate to federal political parties helps eliminate some of the more obvious forms of bribery. (All parties past a certain threshold are funded using tax dollars - there are also very low limits on individual contributions and no contributions at all from corporations/unions/etc)

Re:No conspiracy theory here (4, Informative)

fyoder (857358) | more than 5 years ago | (#24639771)

Actually in Canada the official opposition (Liberals) and our left-wing party (NDP) have come out in opposition to this bill.

That doesn't mean that the Liberals will vote against it. They may sit on their hands or run away as they have for past votes. Perhaps a historian of Canadian politics could say whether there was ever a wimpier opposition. I doubt it.

Re:No conspiracy theory here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24639977)

That doesn't mean that the Liberals will vote against it. They may sit on their hands or run away as they have for past votes. Perhaps a historian of Canadian politics could say whether there was ever a wimpier opposition. I doubt it.

If the Libs voted against everything that they didn't completely like we'd be having elections every three months. And given the polls, we'd have minority governments that probably flip between Libs and Cons.

What's the point in bringing down the government if the end result is to end up where you started?

As it stands the Libs have to pinch their nose and let some things slide and try to patch legislation in committee so that it's not so odious. The politicians are in Ottawa to try to keep things running smoothly; you can't do that if you're dissolving Parliament every other week.

Welcome to minority governments.

Re:No conspiracy theory here (4, Insightful)

Cecil (37810) | more than 5 years ago | (#24640683)

What's the point in bringing down the government if the end result is to end up where you started?

Well, some would say principles but we all know there's no room for that in politics.

Re:No conspiracy theory here (2, Informative)

Sepper (524857) | more than 5 years ago | (#24640007)

My own MP (Liberal) told me that they will vote *for* it... but won't allow to go on without major changes... They are not opposed to the bill itself , but how it's written.

Re:No conspiracy theory here (1)

SleepyHappyDoc (813919) | more than 5 years ago | (#24641333)

Oooh, who was it? This way, you can tell him the next time you see him that you informed the world of his choice so he can face the consequences at the polls.

Re:No conspiracy theory here (2, Insightful)

doktor-hladnjak (650513) | more than 5 years ago | (#24639931)

The situation isn't really all that different in the States and it still got passed here. In Canada, basically you can't give more than $1000 per year to a candidate. In the US, the amount is $2300 per election (primary and general are separate). In both countries, contributions by corporations and unions are not allowed. In the US they can form PACs from their employees/members, but I'm not sure if something similar exists in Canada.

In the end though, I think it has little to do with direct bribing and more to do with ignorance. Media companies lobby both governments about how these laws need to be passed to reign in copyright infringement so that their revenues (and the gov't tax revenues) can stay high.

Re:No conspiracy theory here (1)

earthforce_1 (454968) | more than 5 years ago | (#24639953)

Unfortunately, the liberals introduced C-60 which was almost as bad, and died on the order table. More information ( and chance to leave comments)
on the CBC web page

http://www.cbc.ca/arts/media/story/2008/08/17/copyright-battle.html [www.cbc.ca]

(The NDP and Greens have come out solidly against changes to our copyright law)

The one weapon we have is the knowledge that MPs want to keep their jobs and a small number of swing votes can make a difference in a minority government. Call your MPs office and book a meeting regardless what party they are to discuss your opposition to C-61. Show up at any public meetings or town halls they may hold. Let them know that this decides your vote, and you will not be swayed. C-61 must die. If more than a few people do it they will clue in that this is a major issue they could lose their seats over. Eventually even the tories will be beaten with a cluestick thick enough to realize that in pleasing their american masters they have poisoned their chances of re-election. This is not an obscure issue for the under 30 crowd, they are well aware of what they stand to lose.

Re:No conspiracy theory here (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24639569)

That's because members of US Congress and Canada's legislature aren't about to let a rabble of file-sharing, all-night-long game playing college kids dictate industrial policy in a way that would forfeit some of the main sustainable competitive advantages that these two countries have: software, media, and publishing.

We've already seen the center of electronics manufacturing shift to the Far East, taking with it most of the jobs in hardware design and management. Now the Slashdotters seem to be indifferent if the same exact thing happens to software and media. Maybe so they can have even more to bitch about when tons more jobs are lost overseas (duhhh... that couldn't anything to do with the loss of copyright, could it?)

Re:No conspiracy theory here (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#24639929)

You seem to be laboring under the dubious assumption that giving the RIAA/MPAA veto power over everything even peripherally related to copyrighted media will somehow make other countries respect(read: pay for) American copyrighted works. WTF? Your position is exactly backward.

Slashdotters(at least this one), are of the position that giving our biggest, meanest, least innovative incumbents a right to sue their competitors into oblivion would be the worst possible thing for American competitiveness in the world market. If American cultural output collapses into the morass of IP litigation that has already claimed parts of engineering, we are much, much, less likely to succeed in the future.

I don't think you should have been modded flamebait, I do think we need a "-1 Not Even Wrong." tag.

Re:No conspiracy theory here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24640065)

giving the RIAA/MPAA veto power over everything even peripherally related to copyrighted media

Huh? The act proposes to outlaw cracking DRM applied to copyrighted material. How does this give the RIAA/MPAA "veto power over everything"?

It is up to the copyright holder to decide whether they even want to use DRM. Open source providers don't. And as we've seen, even non-open source commercial providers sometimes choose not to use it. Fine, if that works, then that can be a win all around.

Re:No conspiracy theory here (3, Informative)

BPPG (1181851) | more than 5 years ago | (#24639659)

sail through Canada's legislative process...

I think you're overestimating the Canadian legislative process, since the Bill itself will be set onto the back burner for maybe the next year or so before actually passing, assuming the government doesn't dissolve into another election and will have to be backburner'd indefinitely. There was almost a couple of times just this summer a Vote of no confidence was brought up.

Liberal and Conservative are indeed the two dominant parties, but they must try their best to cater to voters from other parties (like a Bloc Quebecois supporter who votes for PC while waiting for Bloc to get more power). This is really counter-intuitive, but it's literally impossible to pigeonhole Canadians into two groups, and the both the liberals and conservatives need support of non-party supporters, otherwise they won't get a majority government. (By contrast, PC currently has a minority government, meaning that they've won less than half of the seats available during the last election). Please correct me if I messed up one of these details above, but that's basically federal party politics in summary.

The whole technology and corporations thing isn't as cut and dried as that either. For example, Sony is somewhat opposed to this, since details of the Bill-C61 will means less sales of their DivX television player. But at the same time, Sony represents many label whose interests may be protected by the Bill. So Sony's been mostly passive. Microsoft, on the other hand, is basically threatening to lay off a bunch of workers in Canada, since it's not in their interest to operate as heavily here.

I'm opposed to the bill myself, but I'm optimistic that it will be shut down, maybe occasionally to be rewritten and rear its ugly head again.

Re:No conspiracy theory here (1)

TorontoImporter (917204) | more than 5 years ago | (#24639815)

Canada is currently in a minority government position with popular vote also being split very evenly across the country.

Since the current government in Canada is a Conservative 'minority government', and the usual byproduct of a minority government is special interest groups having larger spheres of power. It would be somewhat safe to assume that 90,000 people in a Facebook group would have some sort of say and influence regarding a special interest bill (such as C-61).

Copyright issues even for big media is not enough for a politician in Canada to torpedo his chance of looking 'current' with technological issues and possibly losing votes in the 18-40 demographic.

Re:No conspiracy theory here (5, Interesting)

Solandri (704621) | more than 5 years ago | (#24639941)

Despite the conspiracy theories you're likely to hear about this, the reason why the DMCA sailed through Congress is the same reason it'll sail through Canada's legislative process... media companies are responsible for a nice chunk of GNP (and whatever they call it in Canada)

That's not really true.

The value of RIAA members' shipments (not sales) in 2007 [76.74.24.142] was $10.37 billion.
The value of MPAA members' U.S. domestic box office and home video sales in 2007 [mpaa.org] was $37.44 billion ($40.92 per person box office + $118.39 per person home video times 235 million adults).

U.S. GDP in 2007 was $13.6 trillion, so together the RIAA and MPAA comprise 0.35% of the U.S. economy. For comparison, the MP3 player market in the U.S. for 2007 [metrics2.com] was an estimated $5.4 billion. That's just MP3 players, never mind accessories, home audio systems, headphones, car stereos, etc.

If they were a Fortune 500 companies [cnn.com], the MPAA's movie-related sales would come in at #62, and the RIAA's members would come in at #256. They wield so much power because they make a disproportionately high amount of campaign donations [opensecrets.org].

Re:No conspiracy theory here (1)

yuna49 (905461) | more than 5 years ago | (#24640899)

My understanding is that the content industries have often stressed the export value of their products more than their contribution to domestic revenues. I've tried once again in vain to find the statistical backing for these claims, but I cannot find any tables at either the Census Bureau or the trade-related agencies that break out data for things like overseas music and movie royalties. The only data I can find is for licensing fees for all types of intellectual property, which includes many other things like patent licenses.

Nevertheless as US merchandise exports, particularly manufacturing exports, fell over the past couple of decades, the contribution to exports from intellectual property grew substantially. I believe the content industries often stress this fact in lobbying more than the contribution of their member companies to total GDP.

It needs to be said... (5, Insightful)

Dzimas (547818) | more than 5 years ago | (#24639555)

Michael Geist is a shining example of why academics are critically important in society - and why governments detest them. His running analysis of bill C-61 has been eloquent, straightforward and polite. He has earned a loyal following be clearly explaining what the flaws of the legislation are and how they will impact Canadians in everyday use (for example, how the Government is touting the clauses that grant timeshifting and device shifting rights while glossing over the fact that other parts of the legislation effectively neuter consumer rights where DRM is involved).

Dr. Geist's blog posts and editorials in several major Canadian newspapers encouraged me to write to several members of parliament after a lifetime of political apathy. More importantly, I've done my best to explain the legislation's flaws to others, too, in the hope that they will take action. Several have, also for the first time.

My MP is ignoring it... (3, Informative)

mykepredko (40154) | more than 5 years ago | (#24639597)

I've written a couple of emails and talked to his office manager about the issue and asked why the Liberal party is not making this a confidence motion. It's bad legislation and bad for the country.

For anybody else in Etobicoke-Lakeshore (Toronto South-West), please drop a line to Michael Ignatieff [michaelignatieff.ca] and let him know what you think.

Thanx,

myke

Re:My MP is ignoring it... (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24639721)

You don't want this to be a confidence motion. When you do that, there's suddenly a whole lot more riding on the passage of the bill than the actual legislation. MPs and parties will think twice before voting against it if it means triggering an election, and it greatly increases the degree to which the parties will get their MPs to toe the party line.
With a non-confidence vote, MPs are far more likely to vote on the actual merits of the bill, and what their constituents have expressed to them.

Re:My MP is ignoring it... (1)

mykepredko (40154) | more than 5 years ago | (#24639773)

Except that Harper's itching for an election - if he could trigger one on somebody looking at him funny he would do it.

myke

Re:My MP is ignoring it... (1)

Jerry Rivers (881171) | more than 5 years ago | (#24640633)

Then maybe this whole thing is a ruse to trigger an election and they have no intention of ever passing the bill. It makes them look good to CRIA lobby, yet doesn't actually mean they have to do anything. If elected they will move the entire issue to the bottom of the legislative pile. Much like the Liberals always do with pot laws.

Re:My MP is ignoring it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24639945)

I've written to him about this issue (and even wrote a nicely typewritten letter and sent it by mail), but I haven't heard anything back.

This was a few months ago.

Re:My MP is ignoring it... (1)

SleepyHappyDoc (813919) | more than 5 years ago | (#24640135)

Don't feel bad. I wrote my MP about this, too, and she added me to several spam email lists, soliciting donations for the NDP.

Re:My MP is ignoring it... (2, Insightful)

TheBig1 (966884) | more than 5 years ago | (#24640327)

I wrote a real letter to my MP (who happens to be Stephen Harper himself) expressing my disagreement with this bill. He replied with the standard form letter listing all the 'benefits' of the bill, and how my life will be so much better when it passes. I am seriously thinking of writing back saying that I was not asking for his opinion, I was telling him mine, and that if the bill passes, I will never vote Conservative again. (No need to mention that I have not voted conservative yet...).

This guy and his corrupt party just make me mad...

Re:My MP is ignoring it... (2, Informative)

Random Guru 42 (687672) | more than 5 years ago | (#24640619)

You should. And don't just write, but phone and email and while the House is out, visit the constituency office even without an appointment. Get on Harper's ass about it.

It might not do much, but you'll feel better, and he might actually have second thoughts if he's planning to make it a confidence issue or otherwise gun it through Commons.

Re:My MP is ignoring it... (2, Informative)

schon (31600) | more than 5 years ago | (#24640843)

Three critical steps:

1. Reply, pointing out that their standard form letter is full of lies and half-truths (maybe point out a few of them.)

2. Send copies of the letter to the NDP and Liberal candidates in your riding (or the head of their parties if you don't know who they are.)

3. BE VERY BLUNT AND LET HARPER KNOW YOU'RE CC'ING THE OTHERS.

The third part is the most important - it makes it much harder for him to ignore you if other people who want his job are aware they have something to attack him with.

Re:My MP is ignoring it... (3, Informative)

TheBig1 (966884) | more than 5 years ago | (#24641485)

Thank you (and the others who replied) for your encouragement. Here is my reply letter:

The Right Honourable Stephen Harper
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A6

Re: Bill C-61

Hello Mr. Harper,

I had written you last month to voice my concerns about bill C-61, and inform you that I was not in agreement with it as currently constituted. I have just received a standard form-letter reply to my initial letter, listing all of the 'benefits' which are to be included with this new proposed law, and how it is "made-in-Canada" with all sorts of benefits to Canadians.

You have obviously either missed my point, or chose to ignore it. I was not requesting propaganda on this bill - I was writing to inform you (as my representative) of my opinion. To re-state the major point in my previous letter, the most important of my concerns is included here.

The major loophole which you have managed to include in the bill, but which you continually ignore in all your official propaganda, is the DRM exception: if any copyright holder includes any digital rights management on the content, all your rights as a consumer, which this bill would give you, are void. To quote Michael Geist: "The Canadian DMCA allows every single exception to copyright to be eliminated by adding DRM: whatever the law allows you to do, a corporation can take away, just by using DRM to prevent you from doing it. Breaking DRM is illegal, unless you fit into a tiny, narrow, useless exception for security research."

Let me reiterate on this point: I am opposed to bill C-61, and I refuse to vote for any politician who supports it. If you and your party continue to bring forward and support bills of this nature, you will lose yet another voter from the "Conservative West".

I am copying this letter to my local, non-Conservative MPs, as well as the heads of the opposition parties, in the hope that they will encourage their parties fulfill their responsibilities, and oppose such blatant disregard of the wishes of their constituents.

Respectfully Yours,

<signed>

Re:My MP is ignoring it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24641453)

Its not a confidence motion because its not that simple.

If they opposition in not in a position to take advantage of an election, they don't want to see a new one any more than the sitting government does.

As primary opposition party to a minority government they are actually in a better position to get what they want done than if they were in the hot seat.

People tend to blame the government in power for what ever went wrong, even if it wasen't there fault, meanwhile the opposition DOES get credit for stopping bad legislation. And lets face it theres a hell of a lot more bad legislation in the world than good.

This means its easier for an opposition party to gain good publicity than the sitting government.

Add in the fact that Canada has a history of electing minority governments (theres been a dozen) any opposition party knows that forcing a confidence issue could actually worsen their position.

Canadians have a pretty solid track record of giving the people we don't like the boot in short order (and frequently spectacular ways, after pissing us off the conservatives went from 151 to 2 seats in one election. Its hard to misinterpret THAT message) combine that with a minority government and its usually better to be the opposition party than the actual government.

Unlike America (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 5 years ago | (#24639673)

Where they dont care what a few thousand people have to say and they listen to the lobbiest more for more campaign cash.

Michael Liberal Geist (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24639757)

yawn

Re:Michael Liberal Geist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24640579)

That's it? That's the best you can do? You have nothing but a partisan turd to drop on the debate? Are you some kind of running dog lacky?

Re:Michael Liberal Geist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24641353)

Yawn is right. This is Slashdot, couldn't you have called him a gay platypus with syphillis or something?

Property rights will trump the democratic process (1, Redundant)

hwstar (35834) | more than 5 years ago | (#24639935)

The US was founded as a republic and not a democracy for this very reason. I do know that Canada is a representative democracy like the US,
so therefore the same reasoning may apply there as well.

The individuals in the capatilist class (the top 2% of the population) own the means of production.
The rest of the classes, are at the mercy of how well this 2% shares or grants access to the means of production.

Why do you think the government pointed machine guns at the union protesters back in the early 20th century? Because if the status quo were changed it would go against what the founding fathers envisioned! A representative democracy is set up to protect property rights first so that the capitalist class can maintain control, then human rights and the democratic process come second.

So, yes, the Canadian DMCA will pass if Canada is much like the USA in this regard.

Re:Property rights will trump the democratic proce (2)

ZippyKitty (902321) | more than 5 years ago | (#24640499)

I do know that Canada is a representative democracy like the US,

Actually we are technically a constitutional monarchy... not that the difference is relevant for this discussion.

Why do you think the government pointed machine guns at the union protesters back in the early 20th century? Because if the status quo were changed it would go against what the founding fathers envisioned! A representative democracy is set up to protect property rights first so that the capitalist class can maintain control, then human rights and the democratic process come second.

So, yes, the Canadian DMCA will pass if Canada is much like the USA in this regard.


I think that Canada isn't like US as much in this regard. Traditionally we have been more socialist, with more emphasis on the rights of the worker. So while corporations have an obscene amount of control... I think the individual voters have a little more say than in the US.

I agree with the analysis that this will probably die on the order paper. Harper is so spoiling for an election it isn't funny.

ZK

Canada. On Strike! (0, Offtopic)

chrispatch (578882) | more than 5 years ago | (#24640257)

Canada. On Strike!

Re:Canada. On Strike! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24640731)

that really is all you americans know about canada isn't it! Just what you saw on one episode of south park. why must this line come up any time canada protests something?!

Will this bill get passed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24640475)

Will this copyright bill even come to a vote?

Listening to the bravado coming from Harper and Dion lately, it seems Canada will likely have an election this fall; in which case this bill will die before even coming to a vote.

My guess is that the Tories will wait until they get a majority, and then they'll reintroduce this bill and ram it through Parliament.

It's funny what you get used to. (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#24640893)

It just struck me, reading this thread, how really fucked up the implied procedure at work here is.

We have a bill, moving forward, over which the citizenry seems to be divided between those opposed and those apathetic. And, nevertheless, the bill has a credible shot at passing, and this is treated as a fairly unremarkable occurrence. The fact that legislation can happen, in absence of popular support, unless some(large) quantity of displeasure materializes, is a seriously broken imitation of representative government.

It shouldn't take mass protest to kill legislation that has near zero popular support, it should simply die as a matter of course. How did we come to accept a situation where that isn't the case?

Vote in the Ficus! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24641221)

I think us Canadians should try voting in the Ficus plant. Maybe it will work better for us. :)

News From The Home Front (1)

Easy2RememberNick (179395) | more than 5 years ago | (#24641259)

I've got a foxhole dug in my living room.

  I'm running out of Red Bull and Cheetos.

  My Xbox subscription runs out in a month.

  Can't...go on much longer...

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