Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Fair Copyright for Canada

Michael Geist is spearheading a movement on Facebook to raise awareness about the Canadian government's plans to introduce new copyright legislation that is expected to cave in to U.S. government and lobbyist demands:
The new Canadian legislation will likely mirror the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act with strong anti-circumvention legislation that goes far beyond what is needed to comply with the World Intellectual Property Organization's Internet treaties. Moreover, it will not address the issues that concern millions of Canadians. For example, 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 that focuses on the issues of the ordinary Canadian.

Instead, the government will choose locks over learning, property over privacy, enforcement over education, (law)suits over security, lobbyists over librarians, and U.S. policy over a "Canadian-made" solution.

The Facebook group has grown to nearly 40,000 members and is garnering lots of media attention in Canada.

Geist, Canada Research Chair of Internet and E-commerce Law at the University of Ottawa, talks more about what's at stake with this proposed legislation in this CBC interview:

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