Charlie Angus, a Member of Parliament with Canada's New Democratic Party, has written a blistering open letter to Industry Minister Jim Prentice over the issue of Prentice's proposal to ram through a Canadian version of the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Prentice has consistently refused to allow public consultation into his bill, and instead has drafted a kind of wish-list representing the fondest fantasies of US entertainment giants.
Prentice argues that this law must be enacted to meet Canada's international obligations under the World Intellectual Property Organization's WIPO Copyright Treaty of 1996, but this is just not true, as Angus points out.
Instead of marching off the same cliff that the US fell off of in 1998 with its DMCA, Canada could adopt a balanced copyright approach that will pay artists without criminalizing the public:
As a follow-up to this Three Step approach I am offering Jim Prentice some thoughts regarding WIPO obligations. Minister Jim Prentice needs to come clean with the Canadian public over the fact that restrictive, U.S. style DMCA legislation is not synonymous with ratifying the WIPO treaty. Under international trade obligations Canada could ratify WIPO and still maintain a wide variety of choices of how to go about setting up appropriate copyright legislation for the 21st-century. We are in no way obligated to go down the same dead end road as the United States with their restrictive legislation.
However, if Mr. Prentice is going to let Canadian copyright legislation be written by U.S. trade interests he will certainly face a major backlash from both artist’s organizations, consumers and Canadian business groups. Put simply, he can’t pretend that restrictive DMCA legislation is being forced on us because of WIPO obligations.
Let's be clear -- Canada as a signatory to WIPO is under no obligation to go further. As a signatory we simply have to commit that we will not undermine the principles of the treaty. Ratifying or not ratifying is entirely up to the discretion of individual countries.
As the WIPO documents themselves state: “The effect of signature is not, of course, to bind the signatory State…It is only the ratification of the Convention by an existing member State which has signed the Convention, or accession to the Convention by a new member State, which creates an international legal obligation.”
(via Michael Geist
Redditor Vadermeer was in a local Goodwill Outlet and happened on a trove of files from Apple engineer Jack MacDonald from 1979-80, when he was manager of system software for the Apple II and ///.
Charles Duan from Public Knowledge sends us “a video we put together for Fair Use Week about copyright and fair use, to the tune of ‘Let It Go’ from Frozen, and full of clips of other fair use videos.”
An excellent excerpt from Aaron Perzanowski and Jason Schultz’s The End of Ownership: Personal Property in the Digital Economy on Motherboard explains how Section 1201 of the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act — which bans tampering with or bypassing DRM, even for legal reasons — has allowed corporations to design their products so that using […]
DJI is the world’s leading designer and producer of easy-to-fly drones and aerial photography systems. If you’re a drone enthusiast, you want a DJI. If you know absolutely nothing about drones and think they’re weird, if you win a DJI you’re going to become a drone enthusiast.Enter this giveaway (for free, yes) and you’ll get a […]
Although there will never be a consensus about the best way to make coffee, any coffee connoisseur will agree that controlling the grind of your beans and balancing water temperature are the keys to a tasty cup. Since your plastic coffee pot doesn’t really allow for that kind of customization, going back to the French […]