US record labels starts fake "citizen's group" to support Canada's DMCA

A website in support of Canada's proposed US-style copyright law looks to be a work of corporate astroturf, and signs point to the Canadian Record Industry Association (mostly composed of US record labels; many Canadian labels have left to form an independent lobby that opposes much of CRIA's agenda) as the entity behind it. The group, Balanced Copyright for Canada, has bought headline placement on Bourque, and recently took down its member list after TVOntario reporter Jesse Brown announced that it appeared to consist of record execs from CRIA's member-companies.

The site provides talking-points for its supporters to use when contacting media outlets over their coverage of the bill, which criminalizes breaking "digital locks" on the copyrighted works you buy, even if all you're trying to do is lawfully enjoy your property. Canadians came out in overwhelming numbers to oppose this approach in the Canadian government's consultation on copyright (over 6000 opposed, fewer than 50 in favour), but the Conservative government has ignored their own consultation and made a law that plays into the hands of the US media companies.

It's really telling that the opposition to the Canadian DMCA has come from real grassroots: artist groups, citizen groups, technologists, educators, disabled-rights groups, archivists -- people who don't hide their funding or their affiliations behind false flags. Meanwhile, the only support for this law has come from slick, fraudulent PR campaigns that shroud their origins in secrecy in order to disguise the fact that this is just the same four record labels running around in circles, wearing several hats, pretending to be a crowd.

The Copyright Lobby's Astroturf Campaign in Support of C-32



  1. If the cute girl in the miniskirt and boots says I should take action, who am I to argue?

  2. anyone know anyone in anonymous group? Could they please please hack that site to oblivion…maybe change the site with photoshopped orgy depicting mpaa having sex with riaa??? pretty please with cherry on top??

  3. It would be interesting to see where these people come from. Did they hire models, or are the people photo shopped from stock footage. If that is the case it would be interesting to see what these “people” also support with their image!

  4. What I want to know is how to stop this, permanently.

    It seems they’ve been trying to make this damn law up their for years now- is there any way to just stop them forever? Are we going to see them just keep resurrecting this for the next decade until one time, they vote it in quick enough?

    Really, what is the best strategy for stopping a law that keeps getting pushed by government flunkies run by lobbyists? Is there really no way?

    It seems to me “democracy” nowadays is a losing battle- they keep buying politicians to pass their laws, and we have to keep screaming at the top of our lungs to stop them. And even then, we have no recourse but to vote someone else in- who always gets corrupted, or already was secretly corrupt.

    I have no more hope for democracy. As long as everyone knows you can buy laws, we have no democracy.

    That’s how the DMCA in the US got passed. That’s how everything gets passed now.

    Can’t we learn from Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, and use guerrilla tactics to smear the truth of these fools everywhere?

    1. Yeah, it’s become apparent that un- or under-regulated capitalism is the enemy of democracy. It’s a power vacuum in which those with money come to power.

    1. Great find! God what fucking douche bags, can’t even find real people to agree with them.

      On that note I think it’s time a start looking for people to pool money purchase an island and start a truly democratic nation. I have a couple of doctors, nurses, a black smith and a couple of experienced farmers so far. Who’s with me?

      1. Isn’t that the point?

        They can’t find ordinary citizens who actually understand the bill to support it, because it is against our interests.

        Tell EVERYBODY.

  5. rather than attempting to adapt to a changing landscape of music listeners, they pull this. why would i support any company who would engage in these actions? one more reason to laugh as we watch the dinosaurs die, leaving only the art form itself.

  6. Since we seem to have overwhelmed the cat rave site today, lets see if we can do the same with this astroturf site.

    I’m kind of disturbed, because the response I got from writing my MP reads like he like he read my letter as supporting these douchebags.

    1. That’s a classic doublespeak technique.

      They pretend you are agreeing with them. That’s why its so important to keep disagreeing with the propaganda. If its allowed to stand most people will think it’s true.

      The other thing is, subtlety doesn’t seem to work on politicians. Be respectful, but be clear. Since the reasoned argument got twisted perhaps short and sweet is best:

      I think Bill C-32 is bad. Do not vote for it.

  7. I just posted a link to this on their Facebook group’s wall. Let’s see how long this lasts. ;)

  8. It seems anytime significant legislation of any kind is introduced it ends up being tossed when Harper pro-rogues parliament or calls an election. My favorite thing about the current Conservative Gov’t is that they NEVER get around to actually passing the bullshit legislation they keep trying to win votes and contributions with.

  9. Wow, that’s a pretty disgusting pile of shyte that they are shovelling over at that Facebook Group page. I’d love to be able to write on that wall!

  10. Who paid for the website and professional logo design? I’d guess that the logo was near $5k and the website itself was *at least* $10k of work, if not more.

    The name of the professional website design team was “AdsNational”:

    That’s a huge chunk of change for a grassroots effort. Let’s follow the money.

  11. So who is paying for the likely expensive website and logo?

    The web design team seems to be, a social media marketing expertise company.

    I’d guesstimate the value of the logo around $5k and highly functional website around $10k.

    Let’s follow that money.

  12. We need to contact news media organizations and ask them why they’re not covering this as news…

    //picking up the phone…

  13. Wow, some real constructive discussion here – namecalling, suggesting website hacking. Not a way to engage in a civil discussion. Too bad.

    Oh, and maybe BB should fact-check their headline, only 1 of the 4 big record labels is a US company (British, French, Japanese…).

    And no, I didn’t start the site/Facebook page, etc, but I do post there (and agree with some of the sentiments but NOT ALL), and I am a “real” person… oooooh shocker!

    1. @74vespa

      The problem is that corporations didn’t bother to discuss the fact that they were changing the definition of ownership.

      Our government neglected to discuss the fact that they had abdicated any responsibility to protect Canadian consumers… or that they were ignoring the clear directives revealed by the copyright consultation instead imposing legislation beneficial to foreign corporations at our expense.

      Civil discussion would be great, and if Bill C-32 wasn’t poised to crush our freedom maybe we’d have time to discuss.

      All of the “Four” may not currently be owned by Americans, but that does not prevent them from being American companies doing business under American law on American soil with an American workforce. It does not stop them from being members of the RIAA either.

      In this context, “Real people” means people who are not employed by RIAA companies.

  14. Every time I read the comments on a BoingBoing article about copyright, there’s always someone who disagrees with it. This isn’t the first time I’ve wondered if there’s astroturfing going on right here.

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