Michael Geist sez,
Recent revelations that the content industries are demanding that Canada implement SOPA-style provisions into its copyright law have raised concerns the law could be used to target legitimate sites. Industry lawyers say there is no reason for worry, yet an analysis of the proposed law set against the claims made by Viacom against Youtube show that there is a very real possibility that new law could be used to target the Internet's most popular video site.
That would create a huge chill in the investment and technology community in Canada. Online video sites, cloud computing sites, and other online services may look at the Bill C-11 and fear that even a lawsuit could create massive costs, scare away investors, and stifle new innovation. Indeed, a recent study by Booz & Company found this to be a very real problem, with a large majority of the angel investors and venture capitalists saying they will not put their money in digital content intermediaries if governments pass tough new rules allowing websites to be sued or fined for infringing digital content posted by users. The U.S. has dropped for SOPA, but now incredibly Canada may consider the very provisions that causes investors to become skittish.
Would a SOPA Version of the Canadian Copyright Bill Target Youtube?
US court records are not copyrighted, but the US court system operates a paywall called “PACER” that is supposed to recoup the costs of serving text files on the internet; charging $0.10/page for access to the public domain, and illegally profiting to the tune of $80,000,000/year.
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