Canadians speak out en masse against pro-censorship, pro-DRM copyright proposal; government ignores them

Michael Geist sez,

Tens of thousands of Canadians have spoken out against proposed copyright reform in recent days that could combine the US DMCA with SOPA to create restrictive digital lock rules along with targeting of legitimate websites and website blocking. Canadians recognize that the bill will have an impact on the legitimate activities of millions, creating barriers to creators, students, journalists, researchers, and the visually impaired. While the government is right when it says there has been wide consultation, the question is whether it has taken the public comments into account and conducted a full analysis of the implications of its current proposal. There is reason to believe that it has not.

When asked about enforcement concerns, Industry Minister Christian Paradis said "enforcing these rights in a given instance, however, is a private legal matter on which the government cannot speculate." This post does some speculating for the Minister, demonstrating how the law will chill freedom of expression and scientific research, jeopardize fair use, and impede competition and innovation.

Canadian Government Has Consulted on Copyright but Won't Consider How Its Law Will Be Enforced


  1. Remind me what’s so wonderful about Canada?

    Actually, remind me what’s so wonderful about governments who aren’t legislating for now or tomorrow but for the outdated interests of companies that believe that info pukes overlaid on television programmes let the consumer know how much the show they’re watching is valued, who labour under the belief that unskippable copyright notices actually prevent piracy and that region coding is some form of remedy to decreased advertising revenue?

  2. Isn’t that the job of government? Get elected, ignore the voters? I thought that was the point of the whole exercise.

    Here’s the crux, representative democracy doesn’t work. Semi-direct also doesn’t really work. We know that dictatorships work pretty well, or at least, according to their specification. Far as I can tell, nobody has really tried actually down to earth direct democracy in practice. Sure there’s a lot of detractors claiming it’d equate to instant anarchy and stupid decisions. But, well, first of all, unless you try, you don’t know. And second, the other models aren’t that great either.

    1. Has anyone ever actually tried representative democracy though?  We don’t even have that – and I’m not sure we ever have.  One of the few places where representative democracy actually does work is the jury system, which demonstrates how unrepresentative the rest of our democracy is – and look at how flawed that has become over the years.
      (I really hate that Churchill quote; you remember, the one about democracy being the worst form of government except for all the others that have been tried from time to time.  As you note, there are plenty of forms which haven’t been tried and some which have which are arguably better, albeit only under certain circumstances.)

      1.  Direct democracy has been tried in ancient Athens. They still had problems, for example Sparta kicked their buts in the Peloponnesian War. The fact is that sometimes the right decision is unpopular, which is why direct democracy won’t work. For example under direct democracy minorities would never be heard.
        That all being said, C-11 is not an instance of right but unpopular, it is an instance of cowardly and stupid policy making.

    1. I’m pretty sure it would have happened no matter who was in power.  That people continually don’t see this is a major problem.

  3. How about doing what the industry does, but even more blatantly : everyone mail their representative $10, with a note saying “this is to vote against bill C-11. Pleasure return it if you vote in favour.

  4. A couple of things:

    One, this is not really a big surprise, I’m pretty sure many people saw this coming, both this bill in particular, and Harper’s ability to ignore reality in general in favor of party ideology.

    However, even if passed, it won’t stay passed for long. Even a divided left, and pretty much destroyed liberal party, will not stop the conservatives from imploding. For one demographically speaking, the conservatives likely have far more old people supporting them. They will be dead soon. Also as a general trend, I would say in the last couple of years people have been generally migrating left (as they come into political status). So things will change eventually on their own. Question is if the Conservatives really want to muck things up in the short term before we boot them out of office. Unless they modernize now, they will not be doing themselves any favors in the future. Of course most politicians are pretty short sighted these days anyway.

    Anyway, if they thing this stuff is unpopular now, just wait til the police and courts start enforcing some of this stuff. Just wait til they sue a few students and grandmothers into oblivion and see how the public reacts then.

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