Canada's coming DMCA will be the worst copyright yet


21 Responses to “Canada's coming DMCA will be the worst copyright yet”

  1. JimmyJazz says:

    Greatly interested in this topic, but woefully undereducated and late to the party. How did a bill such as this, that obviously licks the boots of (mostly) American corporations even get to the House of Commons? Canadian movie and recording lobbyists?

    Writing to my MP immediately.

  2. aenea says:

    I wouldn’t lose too much sleep over this…we’ve still got a minority federal government up here, and they’re not going to do anything radical at least until the next election.

  3. pauldrye says:

    On the other hand, the government’s been pushing the Liberal Party pretty hard with unpalatable measures lately. This is a question of whether the Liberal opposition want to risk an election over this issue more than the Conservatives. Since the Liberals were responsible for C-60, I’m guessing they wouldn’t.

  4. Ian70 says:

    As much as it’s easy to think that this stuff will be buried, all you have to do is wait for our old friends Barenaked Ladies to stand up and smack some sense into these guys. They still hold a lot of clout in the Canadian entertainment industry.

    Hey Cory, I was just as surprised as you that your blog was American. I guess it’s easy to just assume that everything comes from there – who needs the rest of the world, right?

  5. rdi says:

    @2 – depends whether Harper cares enough about this to make it a confidence vote. Granted, that seems to be his style of governing, and it’ll work as long as the Liberals remain too scared to fight an election.

  6. Dave X says:

    It’s kinda weird, especially considering the huge percentage of their media that comes from America anyway…

  7. sadmarvin says:

    @4 I don’t know what you mean, Dave? Aside from BB and 30 Rock, I rarely encounter American media in my daily routine. I’m normally surfing to sites like Bookninja and Dinosaur Comics, and I actually can’t think of an American band on my iPod at the moment (although I know that there have to be some somewhere on there–but probably under 10% of the total music). I hate to say it, but Canada has a pretty awesome culture, and we would lose very little by ignoring the US “Culture” industry.

    @3 Knowing Harper’s government, they’ll tack it onto another GST cut and make it a confidence vote, then start screaming loudly about how Canadians don’t want another election yet.

  8. Cory Doctorow says:

    BB is American media? Our main server is in Toronto, I’m a Canadian living in Britain…

  9. sadmarvin says:

    Oh, I didn’t know your server is in Toronto. Neat! That said, I still think that you guys cover enough American media for me to mention you in my assessment–anything less would invite comments that I was being dishonest.

  10. Simon Greenwood says:

    Simple answer – mobilise (with an ‘s’). Is there a Canadian equivalent of There should be. This is the sort of issue that MPs *need* to be informed about, need to understand that they are selling away the right to own media for exactly the reasons that you mention above, need to know that they will be limited by the implications as much as anyone else. With a bit of luck it won’t happen… until the next time.

  11. Dave X says:

    I wasn’t referring to the net, obviously. A quick search for “top tv shows in canada” brings us this:

    “The following is a list of the Top 10 Primetime shows in Canada for the week of September among Adults 18-49 according to BBM Nielsen Media Research

    1. House (Global) – 1.93 million
    2. Grey’s Anatomy (CTV) – 1.42 million
    3. Survivor: China (Global) – 1.34 million
    4. Heroes (Global) – 1.14 million
    5. CSI (CTV) – 1.11 million
    6. CSI Miami (CTV) – 1.1 million
    7. Desperate Housewives (CTV) – 1.01 million
    8. CSI New York (CTV) – 963,000
    9. Prison Break (Global) – 920,000
    10. Family Guy (Global) – 827,000 ”

    “top albums in canada” brings me this:
    “Ultimate Hits” Garth Brooks
    “Noel” Josh Groban
    “American Gangste” Jay-z
    “One Chance” Paul Potts
    “Blackout” Britney Spears
    “Carnival Ride” Carrie Underwood
    “Famous Last Words” Hedley
    “Best Of Andrea Bocelli-vivere” Andrea Bocelli
    “Ryandan” Ryandan
    “Unbreakable” Backstreet Boys
    “I-empire” Angels & Airwaves
    “Soundtrack” High School Musical 2
    “Good Girl Gone Bad” Rihanna
    “Reba Duets” Reba Mcentire
    “Timbaland Presents Shock Valu” Timbaland
    “Exclusive” Chris Brown
    “70s” Sylvain Cossette
    “All The Lost Souls” James Blunt
    “Raising Sand” Plant/krauss
    “Country Heat 2008″ Various Artists

    “top films in canada” brings me this:
    Top 10 films in Canada for the weekend of Nov. 16-18, ranked by box office receipts:

    1. “Beowulf” – $2,205,930
    2. “Bee Movie” – $1,362,077
    3. “American Gangster” – $1,299,513
    4. “Fred Claus” – $930,542
    5. “Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium” – $637,738
    6. “No Country For Old Men” – $312,665
    7. “Dan in Real Life” – $311,320
    8. “Lions for Lambs” – $262,848
    9. “Saw IV” – $191,457
    10. “Love in the Time of Cholera” – $135,370

    Sounds to me like this is a lot of Canadians consuming a lot of American culture.

    Don’t get me wrong– I’m not saying one is better than the other, I’m just pointing out stats. If anything, I’m jealous about all the cool electroacoustic music coming out of Canada… but this is hardly something topping the charts!
    Check out: it’s great stuff!

  12. sadmarvin says:

    Dave, fair enough. I guess as an English grad student, I don’t even come close to representing the average Canadian. That said, I can’t help but get defensive the moment someone suggests that Canada has a weak (or, most often, non-existent) culture.

    Interesting lists, btw. I can’t help but notice that Canadian Favourites like Corner Gas and Little Mosque on the Prairie are nowhere to be seen on the TV list. And I don’t even want to talk about the list of movies. As for music, however, I’m both surprised that Canadian music is represented by artists like Hedley (whom I didn’t know even existed anymore) while international favourites like Feist are absent. (in fact, Feist’s absence makes me question the legitimacy of those statistics. Maybe they don’t count indie releases?)

    With regards to this law, I’m always mildly amused that by the fact that Canada’s musicians are overwhelmingly against such legislations seems not to register with the politicians supporting these bills. Sure, they’ve all sold out to corporate interests, but you think that they’d at least try to hide that fact.

  13. Dave X says:

    That’s kind of what I was getting at, Sadmarvin– these DMCA laws seem more about protecting American interests than those of Canadians. I know that the two countries surely have to work together quite a bit being neighbors and all, but it certainly makes for an interesting relationship with this imbalance.

    As for Boing Boing being Canadian, I did know that Cory was Canadian, and that he’s currently in Britain… but c’mon– this blog reports on so much stuff out of San Francisco it isn’t even funny. I probably won’t even notice when my (SF-based) Wired magazine subscription runs out, seeing how much material of theirs gets linked on here a week after I get it in the mail….

  14. rmccue says:

    Thanks for bringing this up… I’ve sent e-mails and letters to Jim Prentce, Gary Lunn (my MP), and Stephen Harper. Here’s the text of my letter. Keep up the good work!

  15. Todd Sieling says:

    Canadian voters, remember to thank the federal NDP for ushering in this wonderful Conservative overlord government and heeling at their right hand. None of the opposition parties have the wherewithal to oppose this bill in any meaningful way, so I’d get ready to get used to draconian copyright in Canada.

  16. thekevinmonster says:

    Since this law appears to benefit companies in the United States, perhaps…

    okay, I’m going to put on my tinfoil hat and apply the Time Cube…

    …this is intended as some sort of beginning step towards justifications for the North American Union that would consist of all the North American countries (or at least Canada, the U.S.A, and Mexico.)

    (I don’t really believe this stuff, but it makes me wonder…)

  17. Chris S says:

    The most suspicious part of this is the timing. Announcing new legislation in December is not the best time for something important – quite the contrary, in fact. It’s the best time to get something buried.

    If it were really announced in two weeks, that would place it three days before the Christmas break. And then you get the government saying “pass this or you don’t go home for Christmas” – followed by royal assent at the end of December. Or it’s announced just after everyone leaves on break, and you can’t get anyone on the phone – until mid-January when something else is the new hot story.

    Meanwhile, you are faced with telling your significant other that you can’t get the kids gifts in order, plan the trip to her mother’s for Christmas, or get the tree up – because you have to go phone twenty or so MPs and explain why they shouldn’t do this?

    Better yet – start calling now. Call your MPs local office. Be prepared to go down and meet them during the holiday season – even Dec 24th. Call their Ottawa office – try to get their legislative assistant, who will be more familiar with actual bills going forward. Find out – don’t wait to be told – who the relevant people are for this portfolio (Industry, and Heritage) from every party. Phone them. Get the list of committee members for those two groups. Phone them.

    Make clear to your representatives that abstention is NOT an option. If you want this blocked, the only vote that matters is a No vote. An abstention only clears the way for a minority government to claim that this is will of Parliament. If it’s your local MP, don’t let them hide behind party policy. Ask them outright whether they are your representative to government and party or the other way around.

    Write two letters to newspapers. Do it NOW. Editors will see the flow, and someone can be assigned to cover the bill because readers are writing in. When someone is covering a bill, that takes time, and they will have to write something about it because that’s where they spent their time. That generates mainstream coverage. If you don’t see your letter in print in a few days, pick a different aspect of the issues and write again. Pick themes that resonate with average Canadians. Be concise and pithy.

    If blocking this legislation really matters to you, then be prepared to give up some Christmas and holiday time. But be warned – timing of political announcements to get maximum political benefit is an ancient art.

  18. samfrimp says:

    Jim Prentice, the Industry Minister, can be reached at I just fired off an e-mail and cc’d Cory and Michael. While e-mail to politicians ain’t much, if they get enough of it, the tend to take notice. I spent 15 years on Parliament Hill, so I’m very aware of how this all works. Speak up. Make noise.

  19. owen says:

    Some say that postal mail makes a bigger impact than email, and postage is waived on letters to your MP in Canada… but email is much easier to send. Here are a couple of steps you could take to get actual letters into the hands of your parliamentarians, with an ease rivalling that of email:

    (i) Find your MP’s address, perhaps via your own postal code;

    (ii) Use a free postal mail service to send a letter to that MP.

    If you’re at a loss as to what you might write, Online Rights Canada can help you fill in the blanks. For the keen, Canadian copyright law expert Michael Geist offers a whole list of things that you can do.

  20. Powers says:

    I’ve already emailed the Prime Minister, (who is the MP for my district,) but as I’m currently living in Japan, I’d like to know if the Free postal mail offer still applies? Does anyone know?

  21. Galoot says:

    My MP’s about to go “Oh, that guy again.” I just finished sealing the envelope.

Leave a Reply