News from my MP regarding Bill C-61

My Member of Parliament, David McGuinty, replied to my concerns about Bill C-61. Here’s the good stuff:

In June, the Conservative Government introduced its copyright legislation, Bill C-61. This is a highly technical bill that requires careful study to ensure it strikes the right balance between consumers and creators. As well, we are concerned with how this bill treats technological protection measures.

We are also concerned with the Government’s failure to properly consult Canadians to ensure that the final bill fosters innovation, fairly compensates creators and treats consumers with respect. We need wide consultation — with consumers, creators and the business community — to ensure that we properly understand all of the impacts of the legislation. Based on the results of these consultations, my Liberal colleagues and I are committed to amending the bill as required.

Even though it’s a form letter and makes it sound like the Liberals are the only ones against the bill, I did appreciate the acknowledgement of my message as well as his having the same basic opinion of C-61.

Something doesn’t seem right about this, however. Oh, that’s it. I didn’t write my MP about Bill C-61. How’s that for strange? Thinking back, I wrote him about the Liberal copyright bill, C-60. I imagine he believes that correspondence means I’m interested in the Conservative bill as well. He’s correct, but his message certainly took me by surprise.

If you’re interested, the full text of his message appears below:

From: “McGuinty, David – M.P.” <McGuinty.D@parl.gc.ca>
Date: July 31, 2008 1:33:33 PM GMT-04:00
To: Rick Pali <rpali@alienshore.com>
Subject: COPYRIGHT REFORM

Dear Mr. Pali,

Thank you for bringing your views concerning copyright issues to my attention and in particular the need for a fair and balanced approach. I am very sorry for the delay in responding. Regrettably, I was not able to reply sooner due to the extremely large volume of correspondence my office receives.

The area of copyright legislation initially came to my attention by way of concerned constituents during my first term as a Member of Parliament. It is an area that touches most Canadians on a daily basis in their use of printed and recorded media, and the Internet. The coming of new technologies and their rapid development has raised numerous questions relating to government regulations resulting in the need to review copyright legislation.

To address these changes, the previous Liberal Government introduced Bill C-60 in 2005 to amend the Copyright Act. C-60 attempted to be fair to creators, distributors, and consumers. As you know, the Liberal Government fell before the bill could be debated or amended.

In June, the Conservative Government introduced its copyright legislation, Bill C-61.  This is a highly technical bill that requires careful study to ensure it strikes the right balance between consumers and creators.  As well, we are concerned with how this bill treats technological protection measures.

We are also concerned with the Government’s failure to properly consult Canadians to ensure that the final bill fosters innovation, fairly compensates creators and treats consumers with respect.  We need wide consultation — with consumers, creators and the business community — to ensure that we properly understand all of the impacts of the legislation.  Based on the results of these consultations, my Liberal colleagues and I are committed to amending the bill as required.

Once again, thank you for your input.  Rest assured that I will keep your comments in mind when discussing copyright issues with my caucus colleagues, and please do not hesitate to contact me if I can ever be of assistance to you.

Sincerely,

David McGuinty, MP

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