Copyright reform is a never ending saga in Canada. Well, saga might be a generous description. The current Conservative government is making another attempt right now with Bill C-11. Currently it is in committee for review, mainly because reviewing it in parliament makes it obvious how contentious the new bill is and the extent to which it divides individual Canadian's expectations from the demands of a select few industries.
Open Media has run several on-line campaigns opposing the draconian clauses that make most of what we do daily with our PVRs, iPods, and other devices totally illegal and punishable by a $5,000 fine per infringement (if a song costs 99c on iTunes why should have to pay $5,000 if I a rip a copy from a CD I already own?!).
Michael Geist, the pre-eminent law scholar at Ottawa University has also debunked a lot of the industry driven demands. Demands that exist only to prop up two out-dated business models: selling movies, music, books, and other entertainment locked in to one media; and of course lobbying.
Michael's blog today encourages us all to speak out and contact the committee members so they know exactly how Canadians feel. We may not be filling their campaign war chests or offering them lucrative jobs when they leave politics; but we are the ones who go to the polls every four years (or less these days) and elect them to the jobs they're currently being over-paid for!
Here's what I had said to them:
I just want to express my concern about C-11 and the demands of certain industries that would harm Canadians and Canada's reputation. I am not a criminal, a pervert, or a free-loader. And I resent any law that automatically treats all Canadians as such.
The demands of the entertainment industry to support their outdated business model must be ignored.
The demands of foreign gouvernments at the behest of their own industry lobbyists must be ignored.
Protecting Canadians from being the pawns of in-fighting industries and of draconian censorship demands is paramount.
Removing barriers that prevent Canadians from embracing new technology, innovating, and participating is essential.
Please, do the right thing for all Canadians. Do not do what a few select elite are paid to ask you to do.
The committe members include the following MP's:
You should also include your local MP in any e-mail to the committee.
Remember: copyright reform is boring, and copyright law is even more boring - until you're looking down the double-barrelled shot-gun of a lawsuit because you ripped a few episodes of Dora the Explorer to your iPad!