Video on copyright in Canada

Why Copyright? Canadian Voices on Copyright Law is a 50 minute film about copyright in Canada, produced by Michael Geist and Daniel Albahary. It is largely a response to the Conservative government’s deeply problematic proposed copyright legislation.

Equitable copyright laws are an important issue. In the first instance, that is due to the overwhelming importance of information, who controls it, and who can do what with it. Secondly, it has to do with societal decisions about what kind of conduct is acceptable, who enforces the rules, and what the consequences for violating them can legitimately be. Rules on when technical means of copyright enforcement can be legitimately circumvented are especially important, since that is a new sort of right potentially being extended to content owners. As such, the balance between the societal interest of fair use and the content owner’s claim to protection needs to be evaluated in a more profound way than has occurred so far.

As with many of the new developments on this issue, I found out about it through BoingBoing.

Author: Milan

In the spring of 2005, I graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in International Relations and a general focus in the area of environmental politics. In the fall of 2005, I began reading for an M.Phil in IR at Wadham College, Oxford. Outside school, I am very interested in photography, writing, and the outdoors. I am writing this blog to keep in touch with friends and family around the world, provide a more personal view of graduate student life in Oxford, and pass on some lessons I've learned here.

2 thoughts on “Video on copyright in Canada”

  1. Documentary on Canada’s DMCA

    A group of Canadian copyfighters produced this mini-documentary, “C-61,” about the proposed new Canadian copyright law, which the US government is pressuring Canada to pass (that’s why the USA added Canada to a nonsensical list of pirate nations). Previous attempts to pass this bill have been a disgrace — famously, former Industry Minister Jim Prentice refused to discuss the bill with Canadian record labels, artists, tech firms, or telcos, but did meet with American and multinational entertainment and software giants to allow them to give their input. In the bill’s earlier incarnation as C-60, its sponsor, Sam Bulte, was caught taking campaign contributions from the same US and multinational entertainment companies, and went berserk at a town hall meeting when questioned about it, decrying “user-rights zealots and EFF members.”

    “C-61” does a good job of explaining what passing American-style copyright in Canada would mean and why it’s a bad idea. I contributed some narration to it, as well!

  2. First, penalties for unauthorized copying or tampering with digital rights management (DRM) technologies are made tougher. Bill C-32 would have done that, too.

    Second, “notice and take-down” rules require ISPs and search engines, once notified of a claim of copyright infringement, to block access to P2P networks, MP3 search engines and blogs that link to cyber-lockers of unauthorized music stashes. To its credit, Bill C-32 did not mandate such requirements, although every major Canadian ISP retains the right to take such steps all the same in their acceptable use policies.

    The third item is the “notice and notice” rules that require ISPs to send warning letters to people accused of violating copyright laws and to store records that allow infringers to be identified. By including these rules, Bill C-32 aimed to enroll ISPs and search engines in the copyright protection racket, but without the drastic step of requiring ISPs to cut-off the Internet connections of “repeat offenders” – as is now the case in Britain and France.

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