Here it is, folks, at long last: Industry Canada Minister Jim Prentice is about to introduce his Canadian version of America's disastrous Digital Millennium Copyright Act tomorrow. In so doing, he is violating his own party's promise to seek public consultation on all treaty accession bills, he's ignoring the cries of rightsholders, industry, educators, artists, librarians, citizens' rights groups, legal scholars and pretty much everyone with a stake in this, except the US Trade Representative and the US Ambassador, who, apparently, have had ample opportunity to chat with the Minister and give him his marching orders.
Watch this space -- we'll have all kinds of ways for you to call your MP, the Minister's office, and everyone else with a say in this sordid, ugly sellout. In 1998, the US bill criminalized the majority of American net-users at the stroke of a pen with a bill that cost tens of thousands of downloaders their life's savings, allowed the entertainment industry to destroy innovative companies and devices, and did not reduced infringement or pay a single artist. Ten years of this misery and absurdity, ten years of trying to make the Internet worse at copying, and all it's done is drive a rift between customers and musicians and allowed the music industry to piss away the business opportunity of a lifetime with lawsuits and saber-rattling.
Canada can do better. Certainly, it can't possibly do any worse -- unless men like Prentice continue to make law without allowing Canadians to get a say in it.
Government of Canada to Table Bill to Amend the Copyright Act
OTTAWA, June 11, 2008 -- The Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of Industry, and the Honourable Josée Verner, Minister of Canadian Heritage, Status of Women and Official Languages, and Minister for La Francophonie, will deliver brief statements and answer media inquiries shortly after the tabling of a bill to amend the Copyright Act. Members of the media will also be able to attend a technical briefing and lock-up prior to the tabling of the bill to amend the Copyright Act.