I’ll be sending this letter to my Member of Parliament, David McGuinty, first thing in the morning via Canada Post. Copies will go to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Heritage Minister James Moore, and Industry Minister Tony Clement.
As one of your constituents, I’ve written you before asking you to stand against Bill C‑61. I’m extremely unhappy to see that things are now worse, not better.
This morning I read a post by Michael Geist:
Months of public debate over the future of Canadian copyright law were quietly decided earlier this week, when sources say the Prime Minister’s Office reached a verdict over the direction of the next copyright bill. The PMO was forced to make the call after Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore and Industry Minister Tony Clement were unable to reach consensus on the broad framework of a new bill. As I reported last week, Moore has argued for a virtual repeat of Bill C‑61, with strong digital locks provisions similar to those found in the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act and a rejection of a flexible fair dealing approach. Consistent with earlier comments on the need for a forward-looking, flexible approach, Clement argued for changes from C‑61.
With mounting pressure from the U.S. — there have repeated meetings with senior U.S. officials in recent weeks — the PMO sided squarely with Moore’s vision of a U.S.-style copyright law. The detailed provisions will be negotiated over the coming weeks by the respective departments, but they now have their marching orders of completing a bill that will satisfy the U.S. that comes complete with tough anti-circumvention rules and no flexible fair dealing provision.
The current government claimed they would not quietly create new copyright legislation and try to sneak it through to become law as the last government did with Bill C‑61. To this end they held the national copyright consultation and it garnered more attention and submissions than any such consultation ever has. The message behind those submissions were unequivocal. Canadians do not want a U.S.-style DMCA copyright law. Three quarters of all the submissions voiced their opposition to another bill like C‑61.
Now we see that the consultation was all for show. For copyright to work, the government must balance the interests of the content creators and the interests of the public. Unfortunately for the public, the government has again forgotten this. I’m writing to ask you to remind them.
Voice your opposition to this power play by foreign media giants, clearly and unequivocally. I say “no,” but they won’t hear me without your help.
The government’s actions are absolute bullshit and I won’t let them pass without doing what I can. I can’t stop it myself, but if everyone who cares about the issue applies a little pressure, the result will be significant.
Write to your MP with your thoughts and encourage them to act. This back-door sleight-of-hand mustn’t succeed.