Canadian copyfightin' law prof Michael Geist has revisited his list of "30 things you can do to stop the Canadian DMCA" — first posted the last time the Canadian government tried to bring down a US-style copyright law. The US's approach to enforcing copyright in the digital age has resulted in 20,000 lawsuits against music fans, technology companies being sued out of existence for making new multi-purpose tools, and has not put one penny into the pocket of an artist or reduced downloading one bit. The USA stepped into uncharted territory in 1998 with the DMCA and fell off a cliff — that was reckless, but following them off the cliff is insane.
The Canadian minority Tory government is planning to do just that, first thing in the New Year, with a full-court press for a Canadian DMCA that goes way beyond the US counterpart, making it one of the worst copyright laws in the developed world, with extra-strong anti-circumvention rules that prohibit making and using tools that open up locked digital files, even when those files belong to you.
The last two Canadian Members of Parliament who championed a Canadian DMCA lost their jobs. Good things come in threes.
# Write to your local Member of Parliament. Nothing is more obvious or more important. Letters (which are better than email) from just a handful of constituents is enough to get the attention of your local MP. It is often a good idea to ask the MP to forward your letter to the relevant Ministers. Contact information for all MPs is available here. Online Rights Canada also provides an easy way to write to your local MP.
# Write to the Prime Minister of Canada. Contact information here.
# Write to Jim Prentice, the Minister of Industry. Minister Prentice is responsible for the Copyright Act in Canada. Despite the fact that Minister Prentice trumpeted his pro-consumer approach on the spectrum auction issue, the rumour mill suggests that he supports DMCA-style reforms and has little interest in advocating for consumer concerns. Minister Prentice's contact information is here.
# Write to Josee Verner, the Minister of Canadian Heritage. Minister Verner is one of the two ministers responsible for copyright policy in Canada. Prior Canadian Heritage Ministers have been perceived to be close to U.S. copyright lobby groups and copyright collectives. Ministry contact information here. Minister Verner's contact information is here….