Debunking the record industry shill who said that his amendments to Canada's proposed copyright law are no big deal

Michael Geist sez, "Barry Sookman, lawyer and registered lobbyist for the Canadian Recording Industry Association (now Music Canada), the Motion Pictures Association - Canada, and Canadian Publishers Council, has an op-ed in the National Post claiming that concerns that proposed amendments to Bill C-11 could result in SOPA-style rules in Canada are the stuff of wild claims and hysteria.

"The short response is that Sookman's column - along with his clients - downplay the dramatic impact of their proposed amendments. Their proposed amendments to C-11 would radically alter the bill by constraining consumer provisions, heaping greater liability risk on Internet companies, and introducing website blocking and Internet termination to Canada. Several of these provisions are very similar in approach to SOPA in the U.S. and the comparison is both apt and accurate. Moreover, the column leaves the false impression that Bill C-11's digital lock rules are standard when they are widely opposed by numerous stakeholders that Sookman would not dare to call anti-copyright. There is much more to take issue with in the column and I've done so in paragraph-by-paragraph format in the post."

"Bill C-11 Is No SOPA": My Response (Thanks, Michael!)


  1. I read that op-ed this evening while sitting in a Vancouver cafe. At the time I wondered if Barry had any affiliation with Big Content … Because he sure as shit didn’t disclose it in the column, saying only at that he worked for XYZ law firm and was an academic at Osgoode Law School. Shame on the national post for not requiring full disclosure.

  2. I’ve posted some comments to Sookman’s blog which I republished via my own blog

    Sookman and I have been repeating this conversation for years.  He believes there is only one class of owner impacted by C-11 (copyright holders), and is only concerned with a tiny subset of copyright holders (his clients).

    I recognise there are 4 classes of owners, and that Mr. Sookman is completely dismissing the legitimate rights and interests of anyone that is not in his client base.  His disrespect for the property rights of technology owners includes his unwillingness to even acknowledge this class of owners as a stakeholder in the debate.

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