Monday, June 16, 2008

The [Un]Canadian DMCA

For anyone that has been living under a rock the last week, 'our' government has introduced a new bill on Copyright Reform - Bill C-61. It is being sold as a "unique made-in-Canada approach to copyright reform" and a "bill [that] balances the rights of creators on one hand and consumers on the other" by Industry Minister Jim Prentice.

This is not a 'made-in-Canada approach' - more an American Digital Millennium Copyright Act approach that is completely one sided.

If you don't feel like being labeled a criminal for simply copying a DVD to your portable device, or making a backup copy of a CD you own, I would check Michael Geist's reaction and commentary for the true story. Michael is the Canada Research Chair of Internet and E-commerce Law. Be sure to check all the links from his site to other opinions so you get all the facts.

Then... do something about it. Here are some suggestions from Michael's site:

1. Write to your MP, the Industry Minister, the Canadian Heritage Minister, and the Prime Minister. If you send an email, be sure to print it out and drop a copy in the mail (no stamp is needed - c/o House of Commons, Ottawa, ON, K1A0A6). If you are looking for a sample letter, visit Copyright for Canadians.
2. Take 30 minutes from your summer, to meet directly with your MP. From late June through much of the summer, your MP will be back in your local community attending local events and making themselves available to meet with constituents. Give them a call and ask for a meeting. Every MP in the country should return to Ottawa in the fall having heard from their constituents on this issue.
3. If you are not a member of the Fair Copyright for Canada Facebook group, join. If you are, consider joining or starting a local chapter and be sure to educate your friends and colleagues about the issue and starting working through the list of 30 things you can do.

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