Jun 30

The Conservative view on Bill C-61

Category: copyright,politics

I just thought I’d post this form letter I recieved from the local conservative MP:

Dear Mr. Laing,

Thank you for your recent e-mail which expressed your concerns regarding amendments to the Copyright Act.

After careful analysis of existing legislation and consultations with stakeholders, our government introduced Bill C-61 which will amend the current Copyright Act and bring it in line with advances in technology and current international standards.

These amendments were much needed and long overdue.  It has been ten years since the last major reform of this important legislation.  In that time we have seen nothing short of an Internet revolution and major advancements in technology.

In today’s technological environment, strong copyright law becomes even more important both to ensure the rights of those who hold copyright are protected and to ensure that users have access to copyrighted works.  That is why our government has made every effort to ensure that the legislation strikes the right balance between creators, rights holders and consumers.

For creators and rights holders, people who work hard to use their talents and abilities to create things, the Copyright Act provides protection over the communication, reproduction and other uses of their work while ensuring they are fairly remunerated for their efforts.

For the average consumer, Bill C-61 means you will now be able to record television shows for later viewing(time shifting); copy legally acquired music onto other devices such as MP3 players or cellphones; and make backup copies of legally acquired books, newspapers, videocassettes and photographs onto devices you own(format shifting).

The Bill also provides exceptions for different categories of users by permitting teachers, schools, public libraries, archives and museums to make copies of copyrighted materials for educational purposes.

Should individuals find themselves in violation of copyright infringement, the Bill provides protection from massive lawsuits for individuals who find themselves in violation of copyright infringement for private, non-commercial use.  In this regard, exposure to liability is limited to a fixed amount of $500 provided that the material is not protected by a technological measure(TM or digital lock).

Ensuring that artists, consumers and providers of digital technologies are protected and that copyright is respected will in the end promote creativity, innovation and competition in a digital, knowledge-based economy.

I understand your concerns and want to assure you that over the next several months our Government will continue to consult with Canadians to ensure the legislation balances the rights of all parties.

I look forward to a vibrant debate over the Bill’s provisions as it moves through the legislative process and I am confident that this debate will result in a stronger, distinctly Canadian approach to copyright law in Canada.

I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts and opinions with me.  If you would like to discuss this or any other issue please feel free to e-mail or telephone me at any time.


Ron Cannan, MP
Kelowna – Lake Country
(250) 470-5075 (Constituency Office)
(613) 992-7006 (Parliament Hill Office)
“Your Kelowna – Lake Country Voice in Ottawa”

Each and every one of those claims are patently false. I am currently working on a series of essays on the different aspects that this Bill does not talk about, or does completely wrong.

I’ll also leave you with this:


4 Comments so far

  1. Aziz June 30th, 2008 1:02 pm

    Great posts … my teacher for Law & Ethics in the Information Age was telling us about Bill C-61 and how we should mail our MPs … keep posting about this, I’m getting more interested. Soon it will be illegal for us to store these webpages in our cache =/

  2. Zeroth June 30th, 2008 5:36 pm

    Not quite Aziz. There is an allowance for caching later on in the bill. Don’t just mail your MPs, but call them. Talk to them. Bring notes, show them how each clause conflicts, and talk about the impact on good, law-abiding people, /that already paid money/. Also mention how technological locks do nothing but harm the consumer.

  3. Russell McOrmond July 1st, 2008 4:05 am

    For Conservative MPs it is helpful to talk about how “technological measures” impact private property rights, given they allege to hold private property as important to their party.

    The Two Locks of DRM

    Petition to protect Information Technology property rights

    BTW: We have very little about Kelowna – Lake Country. If there is any chance you can email me when you post about your riding, that would be great! http://www.digital-copyright.ca/edid/59011

  4. Robert MacDonald July 2nd, 2008 7:57 am

    I would like to talk with you about writing an article on copyright and creativity for Okanagan Arts magazine.