Michael Geist’s Blog has this to say about the new C-60 DMCA-like Canadian Copyright Bill;

My regular Law Bytes column (freely available hyperlinked version, Toronto Star version) examines Bill C-60, Canada’s new copyright reform bill. I argue that the bill represents a missed opportunity.

While some of provisions strike an admirable balance, those that are ostensibly designed to facilitate technology-based education and the digital delivery of library materials fall far short of their goal by hobbling any new rights with suffocating restrictions that render the provisions practically useless.

For example, Bill C-60 purports to promote Internet-based learning by permitting schools to communicate lessons featuring copyrighted materials via telecommunication. The bill quickly restricts that new right, however, by forcing schools to destroy the lesson within 30 days of the conclusion of the course. Moreover, schools are required to retain, for three years, records that identify the lesson as well as the dates it was placed on a tangible medium and ultimately destroyed.

He goes on to say;

While copyright is frequently characterized as a battle between creator and user interests, policies such as these that seize technology and Internet opportunities generate benefits for all constituencies including greater exposure and income for creators, increased access to knowledge for users, and economic growth for the broader Canadian economy.

The most disheartening aspect of Bill C-60 is that there is so little in it that unifies technology with culture and education to the benefit of all. Rather, the potential of the Internet is viewed as a threat, leading to legislative provisions that will leave Canada looking on enviously at other countries that courageously put the public interest first.

In a previous entry, Michael Geist mentions an article in the Ottawa Citizen entitled, Copyrights and Wrongs. Also great reading. Here’s just a small, but telling quote that Michael Geist mentioned about the article:

The first major newspaper masthead editorial on Bill C-60 is out and it is a good one (letters to the editor can be sent from here). The lead editorial in today’s Ottawa Citizen, which is titled “Copyrights and Wrongs“, leaves little room for doubt about its perspective. The editorial begins by stating:

“Proposed changes to the federal Copyright Act, if adopted as law, would punish legitimate users of copyrighted material without making much of dent on illegal file sharing.”

The discussion that follows supports the link between anti-circumvention and copyright infringement, noting that “peer-to-peer networks that connect file-swappers’ computers have legitimate uses; trying to shut them all down because some (even many) people use them to trade copyrighted material would have been folly, not to mention hopeless.”

Much more in these articles and on the rest of the Michael Geist Law blog. Must read for anyone who is interested in what’s going on with copyright not only in the US, but in the real Great White North – our Canadian neighbors.

I must say that it is a shame that Canada didn’t learn from the US mistakes. 😦

Thanks Michael for keeping everyone aware of Canada’s moves regarding these very important issues.

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