Comic book explains the fight over the Canadian DMCA

Canadian copyfightin' law prof Michael Geist sez, "Gordon Duggan of Appropriation Art has created a remarkable comic book [PDF - 2.8 MB] chronicling the recent battle over Canadian copyright reform. The book includes over 100 links to websites, articles, and other resources as every quote or reference is hyperlinked. It concludes with references to groups actively involved in copyright issues and suggestions for how to get active. This left me absolutely speechless."

I concur 100 percent -- this is just staggeringly great, the perfect primer on the shameful attempt by Canadian Industry Minister Jim Prentice to smuggle the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act into Canadian law without debate or public input. Link to PDF of comic book, Link to Appropriation Art

(via Michael Geist)


  1. It looks interesting, all right. But I find the way they keep sticking in speech balloons pointing three or four panels ahead to be a bit confusing. It’s like, “Do I read that now? Or wait ’til I get there?”

  2. This looks GREAT. But Cory, of all the captions they could have used for you on the the Copyfighters page, why BoingBoing?
    (oh, note to #2, RTFA please)

  3. Fabulous!

    I’m e-mailing this PDF to my MP (though I’m sure he will never read it due to concerns that it may be illegal to do so under copyright law).

  4. #2: Not America-bashing. Progressive Conservative idiocy bashing, combined with DMCA bashing.

  5. Every non-fiction comic should be referenced so well.

    Every time I read one, I think, wait, is that true or is that spin? Sometimes it’s easy to tell, and some have a nice bibliography, but sometimes it’s a little tricky.

  6. This is good, if a little convoluted as mentioned by #1.

    What I would really like to see from Geist (or any other copyfighter) is an “elevator pitch” for the anti-DMCA movment. That is, four or five bullet points as to what DMCA is (or will be), why you (personally) should get involved and what to do next.

    I find that when I tried to explain the movement to my friends and family I either over-explained it via a 3 page email or left out important details so it just sounded like I was trying to protect my right to download the latest episode of LOST.

  7. JoeKickass @#7:

    “What I would really like to see from Geist (or any other copyfighter) is an “elevator pitch” for the anti-DMCA movment. That is, four or five bullet points as to what DMCA is (or will be), why you (personally) should get involved and what to do next.”


    1. Voters, whether content creators or consumers, don’t want it. Only huge, rich (and mostly American) corporations want it.

    2. It will criminalize a vast and deep range of activities that creators and consumers have taken for granted for centuries.

    3. It has proven to be an economic disaster in the U.S.

    4. Compared to the copyright administrations of other countries, Canada would go from having one of the most equitable systems to one of the least.

    5. If public debate is sidestepped before introduction of this bill, expect all public debate after it’s introduction to be negative, resulting in the Conservative Party and Canada looking bad on the world stage.

  8. If you hold up “51st State!!!1!” as a fright wig then you are indeed bashing the U.S.

    There’s got to be a rhetorically more effective way to get a point across than to resort to scummy nationalism. Nationalism is a huge scam. People behind this issue shouldn’t need to resort to it.

  9. how is Canadian sovereignty “America bashing”? There is a distinction between blind,jingoistic,my country right or wrong nationalism and the ordinary desire of a people to conduct their affairs their own way in their own country. Though one must acknowledge that in true Canadian fashion, they elected a government that has utterly betrayed them.

  10. #5 and #10: Did you even look at the cover pictured above?

    “US vs. U.S. in the Battle for Canadian Sovereignty”

    “Evil Emissaries of American Interests”

    That’s hardcore xenophobia. As an American, I’m plenty familiar with it — our Republican party and Fox News are virtuosos.

    If you still don’t see it, try substituting “Europe” or “Islamofascism” where appropriate.

  11. As one of the cast of characters, I don’t agree with those who suggest this comic as American bashing.

    The primary (and for some MPs only) reason why the current Conservative government in Canada, and the Liberal government before them, want to pass a Canadian DMCA (DMCA = WCT + WPPT + ISP Liability) is because specific officials from the US government are asking them to do so.

    I am a Canadian citizen, and I don’t like when Canadian politicians turn off their brains and try to pass the blame on to someone else for their own bad decisions. This comic is critical of Canadian politicians (from both the Conservative and Liberal parties) who are blindly following what US lobbiests and politicians (sometimes you can’t tell the difference) are saying (most of which is simply factually wrong!).

    If you are a US citizen and don’t like what *your* government and politicians are saying on your behalf, then get involved politically and deal with that. The US government is using nearly all of its international political leverage to impose specific bad policies on other countries. This isn’t about Democrats vs Republicans given it was Clinton/Gore Democrats that policy laundered the policy, and even Obama (the most technologically forward looking of the top candidates, and now the presumptive nominee for the Democrats) has come out strong in support of the underlying belief systems that lead to this policy.

    If anyone in this debate is guilty of American bashing, it is the US government.

  12. I think Max has a point.

    My first take on the cover was “US Bashers.” I mean, 51st State and a looming Uncle Sam? Please… The comic is about the US influencing Canadian copyright law. Not taking over the country.

    People aren’t going to read the comic if the cover insults their intelligence. Those who fall for the cover are probably kooks and aren’t going to get it anyway. All they see is “Oh No! US domination over Canada!”

    I’d point out the evils of sensationalism, but I think it might be too late.

  13. The evils of SENSATIONALISM!?! How DARE you even MENTION this – when the very EXISTENCE of humanity is at stake!!!!!

  14. Awesome work by Gordon Duggan of Appropriation Art! Why SHOULDN’T it be Uncle Sam looming large on the cover?! Deep Integration appears to be the next page in the not so Marvel-ous storyline of Manifest Destiny…DRM is right on schedule… it wants US!

Comments are closed.