Federal Conservatives Out of Touch With Canadian Pubic Copyright Wants

With the reset of the items in the news – the Auditor General wanting to look in the MP expense accounts, the Afghan detainee reports, the G8/G20 expenses ($1.1B+ really), etc – the issue on Canadian copyright protection seems to be sneaking under the radar.

The National Post in the article Conservatives to unveil national securities watchdog: sources states:

All signals suggest Heritage Minister James Moore has triumphed over the objections of Industry Minister Tony Clement, setting up Canada to march in excessively protected lockstep with a United States that boasts the toughest laws against pirated music or movies on the planet.

It may well be a legal constraint that’s impossible to enforce, but the rumble out of the PMO suggests the new law will ignore the extensive public consultations that advocated a go-easy take on copying of CDs and DVDs in favour of robust anti-consumer limits on transferring or sharing content.

Of course, it is starting to seem as if I shouldn’t be surprised. It appears to me and other that the Prime Minister is molding his position into President of Canada and the Prime Minister’s Office (the PMO noted above) into his cabinet – a/k/a the way the US Government is structured. Now, if we could only get rid of the Governor General and elect our Senate (with two seats per province) we’d be all set. But I digress…

This issue is sneaking under the radar. In fact, it almost seems that we are setting up to repeal the video tape copying decisions made over 25 years ago. I’ve heard it said by some knowledgeable people that this may make time-shift recording illegal (maybe it would have to be re-fought in the courts – the broadcasters don’t like it so they would like to have this battle re-fought).

And, of course, you wouldn’t be able to download that song to your PC and then transfer it to your iPod or USB memory fob or to a DVD/CD for the car. It would be locked to the device that you licensed the right to use the song, etc on. To use it elsewhere you would have to “break” the digital locks and this would make you a criminal. You would have to buy a right to use for each device – one for your PC, one for your iPod, one for the MP3 stick you use in your car. Crazy.

One thing to remember: We already pay a levy on each MP3 player, CD/DVD we purchase to deal with “illegal” copying. While I hate citing Wikipedia (I believe you should really go to the sources and quote them) but I’m lazy this morning. The page Private copying levy cites what you pay out to be redistributed. I wonder if that levy will go away?

You should also take a look at Michael Geist’s site it has a great deal of information on this (and other) subject.

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