Straight dope on Canada's new copyright law, ACTA, and SOPA

Michael Geist sez, "In recent days there has been massive new interest in Canadian copyright reform as thousands of people write to their MPs to express concern about the prospect of adding SOPA-style rules to Bill C-11. The interest has resulted in some confusion - some claiming that the Canadian bill will be passed within 14 days (not true) and others stating that proposed SOPA-style changes are nothing more than technical changes to the bill (also not true). Given the importance of Canadians speaking out accurately on Bill C-11, ACTA, and the TPP, I've posted ten key questions and answers to sort through the claims. They point to the fact there is serious concerns with the bill as currently drafted and that it could get much worse if content lobbyists get their way."

Ten Key Questions and Answers About Bill C-11, SOPA, ACTA, and the TPP

Canadians from all corners of industry, culture, education, law and civil society oppose Canada's SOPA

Michael Geist sez, "Throughout the fall, I ran a daily digital lock dissenter series, pointing to a wide range of organizations representing creators, consumers, businesses, educators, historians, archivists, and librarians who have issued policy statements that are at odds with the Canadian government's approach to digital locks in Bill C-11. While the series took a break over the Parliamentary holiday, it resumes this week with more groups and individuals that have spoken out against restrictive digital lock legislation that fails to strike a fair balance. Recounting the series to date, it illustrates that no amount of spin can disguise the obvious opposition from groups representing millions of Canadians to the Bill C-11 digital lock provisions. This includes leading business organizations, creators groups, consumer associations, educators, librarians, representatives of the visually impaired, civil liberties groups, archivists, and historians."

The Daily Digital Lock Dissenter: The Series To Date

Canadian Parliament: a notorious pirate marketplace

The IP addresses assigned to the Canadian Parliament have been implicated in several copyright-violating BitTorrent downloads. The 192.197.82.0 – 192.197.82.255 IP block was seen to be in BitTorrent swarms for movies, Windows cracks, Adobe Premiere, ripped CDs, and many other files. The IP records were retrieved from YouHaveDownloaded, a Russian database of IP addresses seen in copyright-infringing swarm. Other YouHaveDownloaded queries have yielded evidence of illegal downloading at the RIAA, the official residence of Nicholas Sarkozy, the Department of Homeland Security, and several MPAA member companies.

“It’s pretty funny, given that this very same group of people is working on harsher copyright law with Bill C-11, ” says former Pirate Party Candidate for Vancouver Centre Travis McCrea, “It just highlights how absurd and unenforceable this copyright monopoly is. Just as in the Hurt Locker lawsuit, we can tell where the files were downloaded but it is impossible to tell which individual is responsible.”

PRESS RELEASE: Copyright Infringement in Canadian Parliament

Canadian MPs use bogus video-game industry data to defend hated DRM law they're about to ram down the country's throat

Michael Geist sez,

The Canadian government has turned to the video game industry as a major source of support for its much criticized digital lock rules. Given the fact that writers, performers, publishers, musicians, documentary film makers, and artists have all called for greater balance on digital locks, the government has been left with fewer and fewer creative industries that support its position. On Monday, government MPs repeatedly referenced the video game industry and the prospect of lost jobs as a reason to support restrictive digital lock rules. For example: "I wonder if the member and her party opposite are talking about putting an end to the video gaming industry in this country with weak TPM measures [ed: that is, making it legal to break DRM if done for a purpose that doesn't violate copyright]."

Later, an MP asked an MP: "Could he explain to the House how, in the absence of effective technical protection measures, that industry could continue to flourish in the province of Quebec?"

Government MPs regularly referenced the 14,000 jobs in the industry and suggested that they would be put at risk with "weak" TPM measures. Given the focus, it is important to examine the evidence that supports claims that jobs are at risk. A closer look at the industry' own evidence demonstrates the government's claim that adding balanced digital lock rules to Canadian copyright law would destroy the industry is plainly false. Based on the industry's own data, opinion surveys of Canadian video game makers, industry growth in other countries with balanced digital lock rules, and the massive taxpayer investment in the industry, there is little reason to believe that amending the Bill C-11 digital lock approach would harm the Canadian video game industry.

The False Link Between C-11's Digital Lock Rules and Video Game Industry Jobs