As Canadians plan to return to the polls next week, they should know that the Conservative Party has pledged to reintroduce the bitterly controversial, one-sided Canadian DMCA, a copyright act modelled on the US failed Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The US DMCA has been in place for 10 years now and has resulted in tens of thousands of lawsuits against downloaders, the destruction of dozens of innovative businesses, and the mass-censorship of thousands and thousands of documents that were removed from the web by dishonest ideological opponents who accused them of infringing copyright. It has also totally failed to compensate artists or to reduce infringement.
One formal definition of insanity is doing the same thing twice and expecting a different outcome. Canada's DMCA is, by this measure, insane — and so is the party that insists on ramming it through.
The Conservative Party has released its platform and it devotes a half-page to copyright that leaves little doubt that it plans to bring back Bill C-61 and continue to support ACTA. According to the platform:
A re-elected Conservative Government led by Stephen Harper will reintroduce federal copyright legislation that strikes the appropriate balance among the rights of musicians, artists, programmers and other creators and brings Canada's intellectual property protection in line with that of other industrialized countries, but also protects consumers who want to access copyright works for their personal use. We will also introduce tougher laws on counterfeiting and piracy and give our customs and law enforcement services the resources to enforce them. This will protect consumers from phoney and sometimes dangerous products that are passed off as reliable brand-name goods.