[d at DCC] New letter to MPs
russell at flora.ca
Mon Sep 6 11:22:16 EDT 2010
One of the features of the digital-copyright.ca site is a series of
form letters people can send to their MP.
We haven't had one since the beginning of 2008, prior to Bill C-61
being tabled. Clearly we have a need to get a more recent letter up.
I have drafted a new letter that is largely based on the 2008 letter
Please send any comments you might have, and I can then get this
letter on the site fairly soon for people to send to their MPs just
prior to them returning on September 20'th.
Current draft (Updated at above URL as I received comments).
Member for <riding name>
Bill C-32, an act to amend the copyright act, was tabled on June 2,
2010. While this bill is promoted as a modernisation of Canadian
copyright, the most controversial aspects of the bill pre-date the most
recent major update of Canadian copyright in 1997. The two 1996 WIPO
Internet treaties were authored at a time when some people saw new
communications technology as a threat. The treaties were premised on
the idea that if new technology can be abused to infringe copyright,
then private citizens should not be allowed to own or control these
I strongly disagree with this idea, and believe that we should have our
right to own and control communications technology protected in law.
While this is important for all citizens, it is especially important for
creators who rely on personal control of communications technology in
order to create and communicate their art and other works of the mind on
their own terms.
It is claimed that Canada is obligated to ratify these treaties because
we signed them. It is important to remember that signing is to
ratification like dating is to marriage. Many countries sign treaties
which they later decide are not in their best interests, and never
ratify. It is only after a country ratifies a treaty that they are
legally obligated to honour it. The United States signed Kyoto and many
other treaties that it later decided not to ratify.
It is claimed that Canadian copyright law is weak. There are many ways
in which Canadian Copyright law is already stronger than the law of our
trading partners, including the United States. Intellectual Property
lawyer Howard Knopf has written many articles documenting how Canada’s
copyright law is stronger than U.S.’s :
It is claimed that current Canadian copyright law is harming copyright
holders. The recording industry wants Canada to make massive changes to
Canadian law, allegedly to give them the tools to sue people sharing
music without permission. The problem with this claim is that the
Federal Court and the Federal Court of Appeal gave them a blueprint to
sue in the "BMG vs. Doe" decisions. The recording industry lost those
cases not because of Canadian Copyright law, but because of our strong
Canadian Privacy Law which required that the recording industry provide
evidence of infringing activity before the names of customers would be
disclosed by ISPs.
Various industries commission studies that allege harm that copyright
infringement is causing them. Each of these studies have been refuted.
Parliament must ensure that studies they rely upon are not tainted by
invalid assumptions of incumbent industry associations.
Bill C-32 is far more complex than the two 1996 WIPO treaties, and
includes many things (including access control technological measures)
which are not part of the two WIPO treaties. Given that Copyright law
now regulates the activities of all Canadians, shouldn't government be
introducing laws which simplify copyright, rather than omnibus bills
that nobody can possibly understand the impacts of?
A series of frequently asked questions and answers has been authored for
this bill at http://BillC32.ca/faq . It includes discussions of all
the major sections of the bill. It describes how legal protection for
technological measures impact areas of provincial jurisdiction such as
contract, e-commerce and property law, and really has no place in
federal Copyright law.
Would you be willing to meet with me and/or members of our community to
discuss these issues?
<Constituent name and other contact information>
<constituent postal code>
Constituent of <riding name>
Russell McOrmond, Internet Consultant: <http://www.flora.ca/>
Please help us tell the Canadian Parliament to protect our property
rights as owners of Information Technology. Sign the petition!
"The government, lobbied by legacy copyright holders and hardware
manufacturers, can pry my camcorder, computer, home theatre, or
portable media player from my cold dead hands!"
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