For the past 30 days, Michael Geist has been listing reasons why Canadians should be alarmed at Canada's proposed new copyright law, which will bring the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act to Canada's lawbooks. The DMCA has been roundly criticized as terribly upsetting the copyright balance, resulting in researchers being jailed and threatened with lawsuits, an unchecked expansion of the copyright monopoly into areas unenvisioned by law (region-coding, limiting compatibility), and a chilling effect on free speech.
Canada's DMCA, Bill C-60, is slated to be one of the first orders of business for the new Parliament. Today, Geist has posted a list of thirty things you can do to fight Bill C-60 in Canada. This is the make-or-break moment, when Canada decides whether it is going to follow the US down the same tiger-pit it fell into in 1998, giving American media and technology companies the legal tools to clobber Canadian culture and industry, or whether Canada is going to learn from America's mistakes and produce a copyright law for the digital century that promotes new forms of expression and creativity.
- Write to your local Member of Parliament. Letters (which are better than email) from just a handful of constituents is enough to get the attention of your local MP. Contact information for all MPs is available here. Online Rights Canada also provides an easy way to write to your local MP.
- Write to the Prime Minister of Canada. Contact information here.
- Write to Bev Oda, the Minister of Canadian Heritage. Minister Oda is one of the two ministers responsible for copyright policy in Canada. Prior Canadian Heritage Ministers have been perceived to be close to U.S. copyright lobby groups and copyright collectives. Ministry contact information here. Minister Oda's contact information here.
- Write to Maxime Bernier, the Minister of Industry. Minister Bernier is responsible for the Copyright Act in Canada. Despite the fact that Minister Bernier is viewed as a strong advocate of reduced government intervention, the rumour mill suggests that he supports DMCA-style reforms. Minister Bernier's contact information here.
- Ask each political party where it stands on copyright. Copyright policy could prove to be a divisive issue in the months ahead - ask each political party for their views on the issue.
- Write to Canadian Heritage's Copyright Policy Branch. The Copyright Policy Branch is home to a large contingent of bureaucrats focused on copyright matters. Contact information here.
- Write to Industry Canada's Intellectual Property Policy Directorate. The IPPD is Industry Canada's counterpart on copyright policy, though it addresses a broader range of IP issues. Contact information here (scroll to the bottom).
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