Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Canada's New DMCA Considered Worst Copyright Law

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the outdoing-the-southern-neighbours dept.

Government 234

loconet writes "The government of Canada is preparing to attempt to bring a new DMCA-modeled copyright law in Canada in order to comply with the WIPO treaties the country signed in 1997. (These treaties were also the base of the American DMCA.) The new Canadian law will be even more restrictive in nature than the American version and worse than the last Canadian copyright proposal, the defeated Bill C-60. Among the many restrictive clauses in this new law, as Michael Geist explains, is the total abolishment of the concept of fair use: 'No parody exception. No time shifting exception. No device shifting exception. No expanded backup provision. Nothing.' Geist provides a list of 30 things that can be done to address the issues."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

poo (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21518393)

fast past

Wait a minute... (5, Funny) (1195047) | more than 6 years ago | (#21518439)

A you saying it's entirely possible that in the very near future Canadians might start envying American digital rights liberties? I think my head is going to explode...

Re:Wait a minute... (1)

jarden_from_cerberus (1195981) | more than 6 years ago | (#21518633)

Sucks for Canada, eh?

Re:Wait a minute... (3, Funny)

TheMadcapZ (868196) | more than 6 years ago | (#21518669)

Yep, them hosers just got hosed!!!

Re:Wait a minute... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21518835)

This is a non-issue. The bill will never pass.

The US complains about Canada's IP laws all the time. So every so often we introduce a new bill so we can point and say "see US, we're trying!". However the bill is purposely written to be so restrictive as to never, ever make it through 3 readings in the House of Commons. A bit wasteful, sure, but for the most part it keeps the americans off our backs.

Re:Wait a minute... (1)

Andrewkov (140579) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519367)

Well at least our cell phone service will be getting cheaper. No fancy ring tones will be allowed, but we'll have cheap phones.

Re:Wait a minute... (4, Insightful)

FredDC (1048502) | more than 6 years ago | (#21518673)

Canadians probably saw the DMCA laws in the US, and thought "Pfff, we can do better than that!".

Note to Canadians: It's NOT a good idea to try to beat the US on everything!

Re:Wait a minute... (3, Interesting) (1195047) | more than 6 years ago | (#21518753)

All humor aside, kinda makes one wonder how long draconian enforcement measures would last in Canada if (a) this sort of garbage became law, and (b) average Canadians started getting hurt by the consequences of something as simple as making a personal backup of something covered under the legislation. My bet is: not nearly as long as we in America have tolerated incidents of similar severity, but I could be very sadly mistaken. For now there's always the optimistic view, right? Time will tell, I suppose.

Re:Wait a minute... (0, Flamebait)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519069)

well I'm gonna say yes because of the last line:

Geist provides a list of 30 things that can be done to address the issues
I don't even need to read it to know #1 is move to the US lol

In Soviet Kanukistan copyright p0wns YOU! (2, Interesting) (1108067) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519177)

Geist provides a list of 30 things that can be done to address the issues
I don't even need to read it to know #1 is move to the US lol

Or just host fair use/parody/etc on servers in the US, outside the jurisdiction of Canadian courts. If it works for the White Aryan Nation whack-a-moles (who moved their servers from Canada to the US to escape Canadian laws about propagating hate literature), it can work for everyone else ...

Re:Wait a minute... (1)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519167)

If I were you I'd be looking forward to the fortune to be made by harnessing the energy generated by all your ancestors spinning in their graves....

Re:Wait a minute... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21519747)

Is that you Scott Adams? ..Or are you just taking credit for his work without giving credit? hmmm... not sure but I think your post would be a violation of the proposed legislation...

Not news (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21518441)

This is hardly surprising. The current Canadian government is more interested in mirroring American political issues than doing the bidding of it's own people.
Most of us here are embarrassed. Sorry, we'll vote better next time.

Re:Not news (5, Funny)

Presto Vivace (882157) | more than 6 years ago | (#21518589)

Most of us here are embarrassed. Sorry, we'll vote better next time. hey, that's our excuse!

Re:Not news (4, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 6 years ago | (#21518713)

Most of us here are embarrassed. Sorry, we'll vote better next time. hey, that's our excuse!

That was our excuse and I'm pretty sure we copyrighted it (or maybe we patented it, I get so confused these days). Give it back.

Besides, it doesn't work very well.

Re:Not news (2, Interesting)

o'reor (581921) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519091)

Zut à la fin ! I was about to pirate^Wmake fair use of that excuse too.

We too have elected a neocon. [] . (although I don't include myself in that "we", having campaigned for years against that guy and his policies.)

Re:Not news (5, Informative)

MrAndrews (456547) | more than 6 years ago | (#21518801)

Actually, it's not so much American politics as it is the will of American corporations... the government apparently got the entire text of the bill from the MPAA [] ...

Re:Not news (4, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519041)

Actually, it's not so much American politics as it is the will of American corporations

American politics is the will of American corporations nowadays. It was US corporations which pressured the US government to strong arm everyone in the WIPO to adopt these rules.

The *AA's managed to influence the laws in many countries by influencing American politicians to serve their own purposes. We all lose.

Now that they have made almost everyone else adopt these laws, they've started to lobby the government to harmonize US laws with everyone else. So, they managed to get everyone else's laws updated so they could then get domestic laws updated.

How messed up is that?


Re:Not news (2, Interesting)

BForrester (946915) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519513)

+1 Funny, not informative.
RTFA that is linked. It's satire.

Re:Not news (1)

CajunArson (465943) | more than 6 years ago | (#21518877)

Maybe you should try RTFA or at least RTFS. This is not about bending to the will of America, it is about complying with international treaties. If the US ignored an international treaty like this you'd be on here jumping up & down about how evil America & Bush are because they ignore "international law" (a pure BS term by the way). At the same time when Canada just complies with an international treaty you don't like... all of the sudden it's "American Imperialism".
    Canada has its own laws, and its own legislature. It can choose to withdraw from the treaties (very unlikely since there a major downsides to leaving WIPO). Or Canadians can choose to have laws that implement the treaties in ways that afford their citizens more freedoms. When the U.S. signed the treaty it didn't abrogate the Constitution, and there is no reason that Canada has to abrogate any fundamental rights....... unless Canada never afforded those rights as fundamental to its citizens in the first place. So maybe instead of making uneducated, snide remarks that you know will get a positive moderation because people here hate Bush, maybe you should think about how Canada's system of government has flaws that need to be fixed.

Re:Not news (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21519075)

No, and you just demonstrated how little you know about the Canadian political scene. Perhaps you should read a bit more.

It's about implementing poor laws like America has done with the DMCA, and _because_ America has done so. Canada's _current_ government feels it is more important to follow suit than to listen to its people.

Canada's IP laws work just fine right now, thanks very much. Changing them would benefit corporations, not citizens.

Re:Not news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21519097)

So blatantly ignoring some signed international treaties is all right (Kyoto), but ignoring others like this one is not?

It's no secret Harper view the relationship with the US as far more important than anything else. He obviously thinks that what the US want is more important than what the Canadian population want. It's not a question of international treaties, like Kyoto showed that excuse is plain bullshit, but simply pleasing the US.

Re:Not news (4, Interesting)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519217)

Maybe you should try RTFA or at least RTFS. This is not about bending to the will of America, it is about complying with international treaties.

Which American politicians pushed on the members of the WIPO after they'd been lobbied by the *AAs.

The bending has already happened, and, yes, America were the original instigators of these measures. They insisted that everyone else adopt these laws, because they wanted to protect the American movie and music industries.

This is not adhering to international treaties that everyone else in the world decided we needed. It was in response to pressure from American interests that it all happened in the first place.

Bush is still an ass, but, I don't know if these measures were pushed on his watch or Clintons. But, don't pretend that American interests weren't being served when these treaties were signed.


Re:Not news (5, Insightful)

kebes (861706) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519383)

Canada has its own laws, and its own legislature. It can choose to withdraw from the treaties (very unlikely since there a major downsides to leaving WIPO).
Yes, this is largely about complying with international treaties which Canada has already agreed to. So, to a large extent, the complaint is that said treaties should never have been signed in the first place. The WIPO provisions for DMCA-like legislation greatly over-reaches. So, even though this treaty has been signed, it should not be followed. Signatories should "do the right thing" and repeal their support for said treaties. (Wishful thinking, I know.) Just because a treaty has been signed does not, of course, make it proper and correct.

This is not about bending to the will of America, it is about complying with international treaties.
Well, actually Michael Geist explains [] the situation as:

The new Canadian legislation will likely mirror the DMCA with strong anti-circumvention legislation - far beyond what is needed to comply with the WIPO Internet treaties - and address none of the issues that concern millions of Canadians. The Conservatives promise to eliminate the private copying levy will likely be abandoned. There will be no flexible fair dealing. No parody exception. No time shifting exception. No device shifting exception. No expanded backup provision. Nothing.
(Emphasis added.)

In fact, there is a concern that while legislation is being proposed to conform to treaties, the opportunity will be seized to extend the laws beyond what is strictly required. In particular, it was found [] that some members of Canadian government are being influenced (financially, etc.) by U.S. lobbies. So, there is a real danger that overly restrictive laws get put in place in order to appease U.S. corporations (or the U.S. government, depending on how you want to look at it).

It's not as simple as saying that Canada must comply with the treaties it has signed. As you say, the law can be implemented in various ways, and we must all do our best to insure that they are implemented in sane, democratic, and freedom-preserving ways. (Which may mean not implementing them at all.)

Re:Not news (1)

Wolvie MkM (661535) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519375)

Really? Are you sure about that? Who the hell else is electable? Dion? I'm a card carrying member of the LPoC and there's no way in sweet hell I want him as PM!!!

Re:Not news (1)

junkgoof (607894) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519585)

Not likely. Harper has done very well at staying on message. He will continue to be very reassuring until he gets a majority and can do whatever he likes.

Just like in the US, the tax and spend liberals pay down the debt, the penny-pinching conservatives buy votes. It works very well politically as long as rich people who buy media outlets get to choose the terms to describe both sides.

Re:Not news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21519735)

more interested in mirroring American political issues

I'd say they're simply interested in making government more powerful and more expensive for their own benefit. By some wild coincidence, it happens that the US government -- the most powerful, most expensive government that has ever existed in the history of organized coercion -- is an exellent model for how to go about this.

Re:Not news (1)

canistel (1103079) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519901)

Speak for yourself... I'm quite happy with most of what the Harper gov't is doing. You can't start trolling just because of one weird law which, intentionally, will never pass.

Here's a suggestion: (4, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 6 years ago | (#21518461)

Kill it with fire.

Re:Here's a suggestion: (2, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 6 years ago | (#21518573)

"Insightful"?! Slashdot moderation terrifies me sometimes.

Kill it with an axe (1)

xjlm (1073928) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519661)

Corporate sponsored legislation is becoming the way of the world, no? Makes you stop worrying about who's behind the politicians and worry about who's behind the corporations. Maybe those guys ranting about the Illuminati and the Bilderbergers were right...

Re:Here's a suggestion: (1) (1108067) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519973)

"Kill it with fire."

"I say nuke it from orbit. It's the only way to be sure."

Next up - Some Newfoundlander will propose "lasers - with frigging sharks on their heads, boy!"

How probable? (1)

stardaemon (834177) | more than 6 years ago | (#21518477)

So, you who live in Canada, how probable do you think it is that this will fly?

Unlikely (4, Interesting)

Seek_1 (639070) | more than 6 years ago | (#21518553)

I'd say extremely unlikely. We've been fairly (and rightly) entitled to fair use, personal copying etc for a while now thanks to the levy. All this will do is create confusion and cloud the issue.

That said, if there is any sort of Canadian Consumers user group that I could contribute to in order to help oppose ridiculous lobby-funded wastes of our government (and people!)'s time like this, I'd be more than willing to contribute...

Re:Unlikely (1)

fullmetal55 (698310) | more than 6 years ago | (#21518751)

I also doubt anything that would cause negative response from the people is not going to be done by the harper minority government. they're already teetering on a re-election or even a vote of non-confidence. they try to pass that, they MIGHT get the bloc, but the liberals and the ndp won't vote for it. and it could easily fail in the commons. and if they force a vote, the conservatives could easily be ousted..

Re:Unlikely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21519043)

I also doubt anything that would cause negative response from the people is not going to be done by the harper minority government.

You really should be more careful in counting your negatives. As written, you say that you expect the harper minority government to do everything that would cause negative response from the people. I strongly doubt that is what you wanted to write.

Re:Unlikely (2, Insightful)

sayfawa (1099071) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519063)

I'm not so optimistic. Recent polls I've seen show the Tories at a near-majority. The NDP and Liberals have already caved on a couple of bills they were mostly against because defeating it could have led to an election. Could happen with this one. If they do defeat a bill that's treated as a no-confidence vote it's likely that the public will blame the Libs for forcing yet another election and the Tories will come out further ahead. All in all, I don't think the Tories are afraid of a vote of no confidence.

Re:Unlikely (4, Informative)

Bullfish (858648) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519213)

Of course the moment that Hans Schrieber connected Harper to Lyin' Brian Mulrooney the party dropped eight points back in the polls to be tied with the liberals again... I sincerely doubt that this legislation will be given high priority

Re:Unlikely (2, Insightful)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519627)

Meh, it's time for an election. It looks like the conservatives are just as dirty as the liberals, but the liberals have had their spanking.

Just tell everybody during the campaign that the conservatives want to make it illegal to put your CDs on your iPod, so go vote.

Not very likely (2, Insightful)

wisenboi (1154441) | more than 6 years ago | (#21518705)

Given the historical trends to avoid such laws up here, it will (hopefully) not get passed and enacted. Why? Several reasons: 1) Local providers for various media and services will not tolerate losing clients (to an extent) in an already limited market in Canada. With about 30-35 million people, there isn't much to keep on top of as it is. 2) The nature of Canadian laws and somewhat common sense. Seeing as this law would appear to leave no greater benefit for Canadian people (unless certain politicians were paid off) especially if several reports or inquiries were/are being made to validate the cries of murder that US-based groups have been making over copyright issues. 3) Obvious attempt to vent on another country than their own. They hate the fact our copyright laws are more "loose", or as I put it, realistic. We may be economically tied to the US, but there's no need to follow political and overbearing social suit in this case. While officially if/when this proposal is shot down, more politically correct rhetoric will be used to indicate their disapproval in getting this flustered over something that isn't as bad as it is made out to be. 4) Lack of financial benefit in precedence. If #2 holds, then data will more than likely be found in that such attempts to sue or garnish apparent "violators" of copyright will yield in next to nothing. Either the charge was bogus or exaggerated, the person won't be able to pay and/or it'll be thrown out of court locally. Precedence has shown this. So, it won't fly here, most likely. It's possible I'll grant that, but it'll likely get quashed.

Re:How probable? (2)

SlipperHat (1185737) | more than 6 years ago | (#21518959)

I'd say it wouldn't fly if it were not for a few things.

- The governing minority Conservative government is borderline popular. Apart from yet another scandal from the past, moves such as reductions in sales tax, recognizing the Quebecois as nation, and the image of being strong against crime and gangs are generally approved upon. There are issues like Canada's involvement in Afghanistan and climate change where the government's stance is questioned by the opposition parties and the public at large, but not too many. A while back, polls found that the Conservatives would win a majority in the election.

- Prime Minister Stephen Harper as stated numerous times that he wants closer ties with the US. However, he is a intelligent politician and knows when and how to please the crowd [citing the government's reversal on the issue of climate change that resulted in the sacking of a cabinet minister].

- The official opposition is in somewhat of a state of disarray. Initially, Stephane Dion, the leader of Liberal Party, was passed off as inept and lacking [difficulty in speaking English and unwillingness to publicly state the party's stance on some key issues]. He backed off in making demands and criticizing the government's upcoming policy in the Throne Speech (similar to a State of the Union address by a US President). Although Dion is improving rather quickly [he's making more decisive statements - the one's that get "ooh's and aah's from the rest of Parliament" ], he has yet to make significant gain in the polls.

- The other parties (New Democratic Party (NDP), and Bloc Quebecois) would probably vote against this bill.

- Canada's politics are by and large partisan. The Conservatives (all of them) would vote in favour (100%). The NDP would vote against (100%). The Bloc would most likely vote against (95%). The Liberals would be deciding the outcome. Right now, I'd say they'd vote against (this issue wouldn't spark an election), but if other issues crop up and there are calls for an election, the Liberals would probably prop up the current government until they get their own party ready for an election.

Re:How probable? (1)

aoeuid (250239) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519421)

The Liberals would be deciding the outcome. Right now, I'd say they'd vote against (this issue wouldn't spark an election), but if other issues crop up and there are calls for an election, the Liberals would probably prop up the current government until they get their own party ready for an election.

In the last bulletin sent out by our local Liberal M.P., there was mention of the Conservative government's "failure to protect Canadian cultural industries by not pursuing copyright reform and for having cut the public diplomacy budget". I don't have the bulletin any longer to quote exactly, but that is more or less what one of the articles said. So I don't have much hope that the Liberals would be vehemently opposed to such legistlation.

Seems like a lot of speculation (1)

WebCowboy (196209) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519725)

I do not think that this copyright initiative will happen in the form suggested, though I think it is a good chance that some level of DMCA-like provisions will come into being in the years to come. Not only is the Hollywood lobby very strong, but the Liberals under PM Cretien signed the WIPO copyright treaty almost enthusiastically a decade ago...and just like with Kyoto Canada has been castigated for not living up to their promises by signing a treaty and not following through with required legislation.

Anyways, the Liberals (currently the main opposition party in the lower house of the minority gov't) have been in support for a more Hollywood-friendly copyright regime (media corporate types like the Asper family, etc are very loyal long-time Liberals). If the Conservatives were to introduce a DMCA-like bill it would most likely receive support from the Liberals and it would easily pass over the objections of the NDP and Bloq parties. That said, and although politics in Canada are much more rigid along party lines than in the US, the current political situation makes it less likely to be a confidence motion and individual MPs may vote against the party line on this issue. Quite frankly (and unlike Kyoto), copyright law is very very low on the political priority list and showing some independence on this issue wouldn't be damaging to an MPs political aspirations.

So although the "blue Tories" (former "Mulroney-style" PCs) may back this bill, there is a chance some "green Tories" (former Reform and Alliance members) may object on both populist and libertarian grounds. The Industry Minister and Heritage Minister would be the ones steering this bill, with the former having a higher profile in cabinet than the latter. Until recently, Maxime Bernier was Industry minister and is known to be a "green Tory" (backer of the former Alliance party and fairly libertarian-oriented) and Heritage minister Bev Oda was a fairly weak influence. As a result copyright reform was stalled as the governent not only gave it a low priority, they also resisted the more draconian requirements of the WIPO agreement. Now a "blue Tory" (Jim Prentice) is industry minister and could be more receptive to a Canadian DMCA. OTOH, the new Heritage minister is Josee Vernier, and she is more visible than Bev Oda was. Josee is also a "green Tory" (leaned more towards the old Alliance party than the old PCs, and is still a strong supporter of the ADQ party in Quebec which is very Reform/Alliance-like). Like Bernier, she is more apt to consider individuals consumer rights and freedoms than many other MPs. Furthermore, there is some antagonism between media conglomerates and the current governing party and as such the Harper Tories are less likely to bend over for them.

The Liberals historically support the DMCA, though "Martin Liberals" (more right-leaning like former PM Martin) have less influence now. High-profile Liberal MPs with NDP histories like Bob Rae and Ujjal Dosanjh are pretty left-leaning and would object to a DMCA for very different reasons than a "green Tory" would (more because it is too friendly to industry rather than its impact on individual freedoms). Plus, left-leaning Liberals are apt to vote against anything that looks too American-like such as the DMCA (whether or not it is a good thing). The Liberals are also less principled/less ideological and their platform shifts greatly with the polls, so they are not likely to follow through on an idea that would lose them votes (again, whether it is good for the country or not).

Anyways, in this Minority government, with the two biggest parties having no strong/passionate opinion on the subject, it is a simply a matter of who speaks loudest. In the absence of public resistance a DMCA could sleepwalk through Parliament on the basis that it meets our treaty obligations and protects the media industry. However if enough people were to protest a government sensitive to getting popular vote would drop it more easily. Also, if lawyers and judges suggest there would be constitutional issues the same thing would happen because nobody in parliament--from any party--is passionate about the issue one way or the other.

So, it may indeed fly given the right circumstance, but it'll drag its feet for a long time, and it could be easily pulled back down by an y meaningful opposition.

Geist's list of 30 things (5, Informative)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#21518491)

Geist's list of 30 things you can do [] , linked to in TFS, is pretty good, actually, no matter where you live. Even if your country already has a DMCA-like law, you can still fight for it or certain provisions of it to be repealed. Just replace the Canadian-sepcific info with the equivalents in your country.

Furthermore, some of it just plain good advice -- only buy DRM-free music and videos, release stuff under the Creative Commons licenses. And so forth.

Most of you are gonna be like, yeah, yeah, but no one cares. That's not true anymore. Now that the MAFIAA have become a nuisance and even public enemy #1 as far as some are concerned, the public will push for change. Like it or not, most politicians eventually cave to public opinion. After all, they need the public's support in order to get elected.

Re:Geist's list of 30 things (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21519309)

anyone who thinks a trade body that tries to stop music piracy is 'public enemy #1' needs a fucking reality check. there are such things as illegal wars over oil, climate change, drug addiction, street violence and poverty, and you people think the biggest worry in the world is not being able to copy copyrighted music?
give me a fucking break and get some perspective.

Finally! (5, Funny)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 6 years ago | (#21518501)

After that whole dollar thing, I thought we'd never be able to make fun of Canada again.

Blame Canada! Woohoo!

Re:Finally! (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519677)

You're blaming us because your cartel decided to an lean on our government?

It used to be that Canada was the place to go.... (1)

8127972 (73495) | more than 6 years ago | (#21518533)

... If you needed common sense. Now it's basically the 51st state since Stephen Harper [] became Prime Minister (or "Steve" as GWB calls him). Too bad.

The good news is that the song "Blame Canada" will now have some real life relevance.

Re:It used to be that Canada was the place to go.. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21519137)

Anne Murray will be even more of a bitch if this law passes?

Contact Your MP (4, Informative)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 6 years ago | (#21518559)

If you are Canadian, I encourage you to contact your member of parliament [] and make sure they know you, as a voter, want them to put the concerns of Canadian consumers before big business (especially foreign big business).

Re:Contact Your MP (2, Interesting)

milescca (1195987) | more than 6 years ago | (#21518807)

I actually did that. And I got absolutely no reply. It was a short polite letter. Not even a note of receipt. But I do not think that the opposition will block this....

Re:Contact Your MP (1)

Symbolis (1157151) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519293)

Don't let this stop you(or anyone else!) from trying.

There's always a chance going against this will fall within his/her personal "agenda".

Maybe they just didn't have a chance to respond. ;)

Last time I wrote(well, emailed) my MP(Bernard Patry) a form letter, I got a nice (postal)mail response in return.

I bet they appreciate regular ol' mail even more.

So...yeah. Don't let a lack of response keep you from trying again. Just...don't spam them. That won't get us anywhere.

Re:Contact Your MP (4, Insightful)

dmatos (232892) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519333)

Until the actual bill is posted somewhere where it can be read, there is no point in doing anything. Hell, I haven't even seen a number that's been assigned to this bill.

My MP has responded in a timely manner to even emails that I've sent him about my opposition to specific pieces of legislation. I will wait until it is actually tabled before I start doing anything. Right now, it's just FUD. "A possible bill that may be proposed might have horrible consequences for the state of copyright in Canada."

So the dollar takes a dip... (1)

HerculesMO (693085) | more than 6 years ago | (#21518613)

Canada gets some more value out of their money, and suddenly, they think they can beat us at everything?

Nobody is as corrupt as US Politicians, I mean hell... we came up with Net Neutrality. Beat that Canada!

Huh? (3, Interesting)

VorpalRodent (964940) | more than 6 years ago | (#21518625)

Does this retroactively make the once ubiquitous VCR (or DVRs) illegal? Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't Canada already have a tax on blank media in an effort to combat piracy (or something similar)?

What about television news shows? If the equivalent of the concept of fair use doesn't exist, are they no longer permitted to report on issues for which they didn't do the original information gathering? What if it's a cited work?

I admit, I only read the summary for this one, but based on the summary, it appears to be one of the first (if only) accurate Slashdot article titles ever. This truly is the worst copyright law ever conceived. For that matter, it sounds like it would take a truly stupendous lapse in the mental faculties of any politician involved in order to come to the point where one thinks that this would be a good idea.

Well, at least there's another reminder that American politicians aren't the only stupid ones...not that such is really encouraging.

Re:Huh? (1)

Runefox (905204) | more than 6 years ago | (#21518977)

It's not to combat piracy specifically; The tax actually goes to the music/video industries, regardless of the intended use of the blank media (CD, DVD, VHS, cassette tape, MP3 players, etc are all levied regardless of intended use).

See the concept of Private Copying Levy [] .

Re:Huh? (1)

xouumalperxe (815707) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519833)

The article is more hype than fact, but if this is indeed that deeply based on the DMCA, I think that this whole thing only applies to anti-circumvention measures. So fair use is still valid -- provided the original media is not DRM-encumbered. The only gotcha is that not even usual fair use provisions give you permission to bypass the copy protection.

US corepirate nazi FUDgepacking far worse.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21518647)

than previously disbelieved. the lights are coming up all over now. there's nowhere left to hide.

consult with/trust in yOUR creators. the last (new)clear(powered) opposition to unprecedented evile's life0cidal pillaging of yOUR planet/population. see you there?

Consider the source (-1, Troll)

superbus1929 (1069292) | more than 6 years ago | (#21518659)

This article, by nature, is useless because of who posted it. Can we get the opinion of someone who's NOT a known tin-hatter?

Re:Consider the source (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 6 years ago | (#21518893)

This article, by nature, is useless because of who posted it. Can we get the opinion of someone who's NOT a known tin-hatter?

Go read the bill (linked in TFS) and form your own opinion then.

Re:Consider the source (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21519085)

Can we get the opinion of someone who's NOT a known tin-hatter?

Frankly, I'm tired of people being characterized as a tinfoil hatter when they point out that a bill, as written, can have bad effects.

Every time those laws are used to do bad things, we get gnashing of teeth and wailing from the congresscritters: "I had no idea that our law would ever be used this way." To which I wish I could tell them to their face "then you shouldn't have written it that way, you fuckwits". Continuing to hide behind "unintended consequences" when the so-called "tinfoil hatters" told them what the consequences would be makes them liars and/or idiots.

How to kill it.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21518685)

....massive, blatant disrespect and disregard for the law. Take away the uses that the grand masses think are reasonable, and the balance will change. Everyone working with risk knows it's something like probability x impact. If millions do it, the risk will be low regardless of the penalty, and the penalty becomes a freak accident like being hit by a car. And in saner parts of the worlds, we won't let people be bankrupt for life over sharing 26$ worth of iTunes music.

So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21518689)

The United States is worse!

The last straw (5, Funny)

ngunton (460215) | more than 6 years ago | (#21518699)

That does it! I'm moving to... oh wait

Re:The last straw (4, Insightful)

AcidLacedPenguiN (835552) | more than 6 years ago | (#21518989)

when we have nowhere to run to our only hope now is revolution.

Re:The last straw (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519605)

That does it! I'm moving to... oh wait

You're welcome to establish your home here in Mexico, where we don't have *ANY* DMCA.

Better not (2, Interesting)

OpenSourced (323149) | more than 6 years ago | (#21518707)

30 things that can be done to address the issues

I'd say better not. It'd be much better if the law would be passed in that very form. The stronger the law, the less likely it'll ever be enforced. Judges will have to impose penalties to normal people that will have just taped some program for later viewing. Probably the judge himself will have done the same. Probably most of the people voting "yes" for the law will have done the same. The situation will be really untenable, and the whole law will gather dust. If they end with a "reasonable" law, perhaps they'll end up really enforcing it.

Re:Better not (1)

slothman32 (629113) | more than 6 years ago | (#21518881)

That would be nice but it doesn't always work. Many laws are harsh but still on the books. Some judges/juries might go against it but not all.
I don't know if drug laws apply but an example could be that pot is still illegal to grow and use. You might get that infrigement hurts value for both but at least value is for illegal people in the case of drugs.

I'm still waiting for someone to use the "I Have a Dream" speech in public. It is completely illegal to say. Hopefully though you idea will make people think that the laws are wrong with that example. They may just, as usual, publicify that one case

Sorry for usin illegal in many cases. I don't know what other word to use.

A law without enforcement (5, Insightful)

courteaudotbiz (1191083) | more than 6 years ago | (#21518725)

The parliament can vote whatever-the-law they want, but they still have to apply it. And the RCMP (our equivalent of the US FBI) explicitly said that they won't go after any individual for copyright infringement...

So what's the use of a law if you're not to enforce it?

Re:A law without enforcement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21518851)

The use of it is to change the agreement.
It is just one more tiny step forward to strip you of all rights and become a government slave. It is like the frog in the hot water, as long as you raise the temperature slowly, he never notices.

Re:A law without enforcement (4, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | more than 6 years ago | (#21518903)

So what's the use of a law if you're not to enforce it?

Selective enforcement.

They only enforce it when you need leverage over someone. And since practically everyone will be a rampant violator, whenever the government wants to shut somebody up, or suspect them of rape, murder, vandalism or whatever and can't prove it, they'll just charge them with 4000 counts of violation of this law, and threaten them with a billion dollar penalty.

Re:A law without enforcement (1)

courteaudotbiz (1191083) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519205)

A billion dollar penalty? Our law is not cumulative on every count, like in the US, where you can be jailed for 4500 years for a hundred murders... So a billion dollar penalty, I don't think even such a big judgment has ever been issued up here.

You really think someone will get charged that much for recording Canadian Idol on his VHS without the commercials for 15 weeks in a row?

Re:A law without enforcement (1)

oahazmatt (868057) | more than 6 years ago | (#21518915)

So what's the use of a law if you're not to enforce it?
To secure contributions from corporations this law would benefit, as well as try to prove to the public that something is actually being done about anything.

Re:A law without enforcement (1)

Ckwop (707653) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519081)

It allows you to claim your adhering to the WTO treaty without actually doing so. I'd say this is a pretty smart of Canada. Everyone knows that the rules have changed on copyright. We've seen today that EMI is cutting funding to the RIAA. Not a day goes by where the landscape subtly shifts towards a more open, DRM free future.

This move allows Canada to enjoy the benefits of the treaty without adopting any of the pain. All Canada has to do is stall sufficiently until the United States is no longer the dominant power. I reckon that'll happen in about ten years. Since it took ten years to adopt this treaty, it will probably be another ten years before anything is adopted. By then the scene will look considerably different.


Re:A law without enforcement (1)

lastchance_000 (847415) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519089)

But what happens when the media industry groups start applying pressure on politicians to get the law enforced? A statement by the RCMP doesn't have the force of law -- They could go back on that at any time.

Re:A law without enforcement (1)

Trojan35 (910785) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519461)

The FBI isn't enforcing it here, somehow the courts let the RIAA/MPAA gather information from ISPs without a warrant. That's the big problem here.

To all the ass clowns blaming this on Harper. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21518853)

This is the result of a treaty we signed in 1997. We are obligated to make a stupid law like this. We signed an agreement to do so. We signed it in 1997. Anyone remember who was Prime Minister then? It wasn't Harper. He wasn't even a conservative. I'll give you a hint, he was a crooked thief who gave big money contracts to his friends.

Re:To all the ass clowns blaming this on Harper. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21518907)

"crooked thief who gave big money contracts to his friends"

Personally I need more hints. So far your statement encompasses just about every politician across the ideological spectrum ... even the ones who were elected on the promise to "clean up government" in Canada.

Re:To all the ass clowns blaming this on Harper. (0, Offtopic)

Wolvie MkM (661535) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519497)

Wait I know! Mulroney? Nice try on the political slam ass-hat since Harper is squeaky clean eh. But wait, didn't we sign up to Kyoto as well? Harper had no trouble breaking that "required" treaty. Glad that you pick and choose the issues to bitch about.

Thanks for playing sport.

Parody (1)

Pengunea (170972) | more than 6 years ago | (#21518887)

-it's an ingrained part of Canadian culture. If the freedom to parodize copyrighted works is removed, then there's going to have to be a multi-billion dollar "cleanup" of existing parody material. The worst hit would be Canadian comedy as a whole. Shows like Air Farce, political cartoons, and the like would abruptly be susceptible to malevolent lawsuits. And what of the perennial short story/animated NFB classic "The Hockey Sweater"? If the copyright holders for the Leafs or the Habs was feeling mean it could be locked away never to be seen again.
This even concerns me directly as I like to make parody comics. I don't want to be threatened with a legal drubbing for making a joke that happens to make fun of a copyrighted work.

Luckily, as a Canadian I'm good at writing strongly worded yet polite letters. I'm even willing to risk walking down the icy hill and visit the legislature. This will not stand.

Re:Parody (4, Funny)

UncleTogie (1004853) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519409)

Does this mean Weird Al will be banned from performing in Canada?

Address the issue (2, Funny)

CaptDeuce (84529) | more than 6 years ago | (#21518899)

Geist provides a list of 30 things that can be done to address the issues.

Do any of them involve the use of rubber chickens and a garrote?

Most scary of these ideas (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 6 years ago | (#21518923)

What's most scary with these ideas is that I fear few upcoming politicians will, if they come into effect, have the guts to abolish them later. It's like eroding peoples' rights to privacy in surveillance societies. "If you have nothing to hide, what are you afraid of?" As soon as they'd try to take something like this in effect out again, they'd get the whole media industry against them, and they usually make more noise through money than the individuals. People just tend to adapt to the new circumstances. Just watch how popular iTunes is, despite the people not owning something they're in control of. People just gape and swallow anyway.

I wonder how long it'll take to repair the damage Bush did to USA, for example. Politicians that intend to take out regulations and point to that infamous piece of paper unfortunately don't grow on trees. :-(

Draconian Law (1)

McMurphy's_Law (1155161) | more than 6 years ago | (#21518933)

Seems to me this version of the law is so restrictive that it was designed to fail. But why? Maybe they intend this as an initial move so that when they do submit the actual bill they want, people wont react as strongly to it; and it slips through:(

More liberal Canadians? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21518957)

OK, maybe someone can help: Is supporting the DMCA a liberal proposition?

I have always been told how much more liberal Canada is than the USA. I would guess the DMCA would be conservative, but then I realize how much liberal politicians support the entertainment industry, so I'm not sure.

Also I guess it makes sense that if you're liberal, you support the rights of others to earn a living, so you would want musicians to be paid, although I don't think record labels are very liberal.

Did the Conservatives take over liberal Canada, or is the DMCA a liberal law? Someone with a political science degree please help, Wikipedia has not been informative.

Dammit! (1)

sootman (158191) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519067)

I just moved here. Now I've gotta move back.

Relationship w/ Government (3, Interesting)

debrain (29228) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519183)

Wasn't the woman in charge of copyright reform in the Canadian Government and in a closet relationship with a member of the Canadian Recording Industry Association?

I can't find the reference, now, but thought it relevant. Maybe someone can find it?

the world won't stop.. (2, Interesting)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519233)

note to governments all over the world:

the world will NOT stop if the mega-rich media moguls make a little less money in the new 'digital millennia' (god, I hate that phrase). why do they have a 'god given right' to extort money from customers but the customers get less and less fair-use rights, over time?

lawmakers, please stop being slaves to media corporations. we all know they help pay your salary (kickbacks) but we, the real citizens, also contribute to your salary (our tax base). please don't forget you are there to serve neutrally and fairly.

propagation delay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21519281)

I haven't RTFA, but I'm thinking they should sue the laws of physics. Cause no matter how hard you push, you can't increase the speed of light. Just wondering how they will differentiate between a really long propagation delay and a short time-shift?

Have European Styled Countries Gone Mad? (0)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519313)

You know, since George Bush took office, we Americans have been hearing about how we're screwing up our civil rights, wrecking the western world and so forth, how copyrights are evil, and so on. Yeah, the PATRIOT ACT is aweful and Homeland Security may as well be another name for Gestapo, but, one would have thought that in light of all of this criticism, that, European styled nations would have gone and done something smarter, but, it seems like, instead of that, they've gone and tried to outdo American mistakes.


the USA has some stepped up security, but in the UK, they've gone completely bonkers. If the island nation doesn't sink under the weight of all of its cameras, the utter assault on civil liberties, in so many ways, will just drive freedom loving Brits insane.

the USA is criticized for not supporting free speech enough, but in Europe, anything construed as anti-politically correct is muzzled in one way or another. In the UK, the BBC is trying to promote the virtues of Islam while at the same time promoting anti-Christian material. In Germany, whack jobs like Scientologists are actually -banned-. In France, riot police are fanning out, again, into the Paris suburbs, dressed more like soldiers, and they are trying to keep yet another outburst in check. France has been rocked by massive strikes.

Now, even the Canadians, of all people, probably the best example of European liberalism, are now succumbing to an even grimmer version of the DMCA. What's next for Canada? Geez, one would think that while the world's environmentalists are condemning Bush's proposal to drill in Alaska, that the Canadians wouldn't go and do something aweful and utterly trash a much larger area of land looking for oil sands or diamonds. But oh, they did.

Fortunately, the European styled nations, having signed Kyoto, have reduced their greenhouse gasses more than the USA, except, well, the USA seems to achieved more greenhouse gas reduction as of late due to the surge in fuel prices, a rapid rollout of energy efficient lighting, among other things.

Heck, maybe after Bush is done with the USA, he can become President of the European Union, and straighten all you guys out! Look at all he's done for the USA!

Re:Have European Styled Countries Gone Mad? (1)

ladydi89 (1159055) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519955)

Stick to criticizing America, you have all that right. As for Europe, they don't have a bill of rights like we do and very few written "freedoms". There is no expectation of religious freedom or privacy based on laws. I have a BA in french and have been watching french news for the last decade. Striking is what those people do best. They love to take to the streets when they have a beef with their government. matter of fact, I don't think it is even possible to go to France without seeing at least one strike. As for the Germans, they have been rife with religious intolerance and upheaval for centuries. Can you say Martin Luther? And the UK, are you kidding me? My american history isn't that great, but I was under the impression that the existance of America is owed to people being fed up with the brits and their heavy handed ways. i.e. religion, taxes, crime and punishment. I don't really know anything about Canada, so I can't speak to that, but this law has the potential to do us all some good. People aren't going to buy the same song 5 times so that they can play it in 5 different ways. Music is not that important and it isn't that much of a hardship to abide by the law. The only way to beat the RIAA at their own game is to hit them in the wallet. Stop buying music, stop going to concerts. It sucks for the musicians, but they will just have to get more creative in how they distribute and it may work out better for them (and the fans) in the end anyhow. from what I have read of the music industry, the labels do their best to screw artists and they need to be brought to heel. That's how I make my stand.

Just one more.... (1)

crhylove (205956) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519325) I'm not moving too. You guys won't get my awesome Mario Kart skills now!

Fair use in Canada (3, Informative)

IPCanuck (1055714) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519441)

A little background may shed some light on Prof. Geist's comments. Canada has no 'fair use' law - we have 'fair dealing' which is more restrictive to users. While American copyright law describes what rights copyright owners have, and everything else is open to users, Canadian copyright law describes what narrow rights copyright users have, and everything else is restricted.

When Prof. Geist talks about time- and format-shifting, parody, and backup exceptions, these are not exceptions to copyright that are being taken away from Canadians. These are rights that, technically, we've never had. Unlike the US, which had the famous Sony/Betamax case which legalized VCRs, we have never had that debate, and consumers would likely lose if we did. VCRs and PVRs (DVRs) are in a legal grey area at best, if not outright illegal, and yet they are in virtually every home.

This leads to Canada lagging behind with adoption of newer technologies, due to the legally questionable situation manufacturers might find themselves in. TiVo just announced their entry into the Canadian market (officially) this month. How can our government move to reform copyright, and in the process make criminals of virtually everyone? How do we get out of our current contradictory mess of copyright law in Canada, through which downloading of copyrighted material from the internet is legal, and yet VCRs are not?

This bill has not yet been introduced, so we cannot even read it for ourselves to confirm or deny these rumours. That said, I urge every Canadian reading this post to write (snail-mail is best!) their MP post haste and let them know that they don't want to become a criminal every time they transfer songs from their CDs to their iPod, or use their PVR/DVR or VCR. No postage necessary. You can find your MP here: []

Hon. Josée Verner and Hon. Jim Prentice are the ministers in charge of the copyright file. Write them too!

Why didn't the following make his list? (0, Flamebait)

PJ1216 (1063738) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519593)

Geist provides a list of 30 things that can be done to address the issues.
Why isn't "Leave Canada" on the list?

Consider the Source! (0, Troll)

CheeseburgerBrown (553703) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519793)

Geist is an alarmist nutter, and an attention-whore. His "interpretation" of the provisions in this bill should be taken with a grain of salt.

smart (2, Interesting)

icepick72 (834363) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519825)

That's the beauty of Canada. This law will never pass. In fact I'd suggest that's the purpose behind the strictness of the law, to ensure it doesn't get passed and therefore everything stays the same. We've got a formula and we're using it. Maybe it's like a company that's being forced into making children's toys and they don't want to, so they always propose something absurd like the nuclear happy fun ball with pins and needles ... and their suggestions always get turned down. It's awesome.

scratch that! (2, Funny)

maroon_fox (1167433) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519837)

Crap!Scratch running to Canada next election []

You can write to your MP for free! (1)

thirty-seven (568076) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519927)

You can send letters to senators [] and MPs [] for free (no stamps required) if you address your letters to them at the federal Parliament in Ottawa.

News at 11 (1)

RHSC (1019802) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519929)

In other news, the popular website was sued today by the Canadian government for mentioning a new draconian copyright law proposal. Under the article, it is no longer fair use to mention anything anyone else has made, said, or put into print ever.
What? Now we're being sued for reporting it? Aww fuck
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?