Canadian Copyright Laws To Change

It has come to my attention that the Canadian government is working on amendments to the copyright laws. After reading their announcement (available here) I have a few concerns about how they’re going about this.

From the interpretation provided by a Canadian Law Professor (available here) I’m concerned when I read things like we’ll continue to pay levies on blank media, but be unable to use that media for making personal copies of music. Reading the gov’s announcement also makes me wonder what kind of crack they’re smoking – they surveyed how many people in what year? The data they collected and used to form the basis of the needs of Canadian copyright law reform was acquired in 2001 and comprised a whopping 700 submissions? (This was found in their FAQ.) Let’s see – what was the state of technology in 2001, and who could fortell what the needs would be in 4 years, when the changes would be examined?

So naturally the laws they are going to create MUST be wishy-washy, such that they can apply to future technology while sticking to the comments made by some 700 Canadians 4 years ago. Just typing that makes me shake my head. Of course interpretation of these laws will be difficult, and will require many lawyers many hours. I guess that’s not a surprise to anyone.

But they are obviously trying to make it easier to enforce copyright law without explicitly following the U.S. and its DMCA. In the meantime they are removing some of our current rights as consumers of copyrighted material. The legislation will allow ISP (Internet Service Providers) to be forced to provide details of what their subscribers do and how often, enabling the copyright holders to pursue perople in court for breaking their copyrights.

I’m all for supporting copyrights – provided they do not stifle innovation or the creative process. But this does not seem to focus on maintaining status quo. It sounds to me like they are setting up a legal framework that can be used to actively hunt down and kill people who break copyright laws. Yes, kill.

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