Michael Geist sez,
Since his appointment as Canadian Heritage minister in 2008, James Moore has carefully crafted an image as "Canada's iPod Minister." Young, bilingual, and tech-savvy, Moore has expressed regular support for the benefits of the Internet and is always ready with a quick "tweet" for his many followers. Yet according to the scuttlebutt throughout the copyright community, Moore may be less iPod and more iPadlock. As the government readies its much-anticipated copyright package, Moore is said to be pressing for a virtual repeat of Bill C-61, the most anti-consumer copyright proposal in Canadian history.
The copyright bill may still be several weeks away, but reintroducing Bill C-61 with only minor tweaks - a bit more flexibility for recording television shows or transferring content from one format to another - would leave in place the core provisions of the bill that generated widespread discontent. These include U.S.-style legal protection for digital locks known as anti-circumvention legislation and a rejection of the flexible fair dealing approach that attracted considerable support during the copyright consultation as a balanced, technology-neutral solution.
Recent experience indicates that the copyright bill isn't final until tabled, but after spending the summer of 2008 fighting Bill C-61 and the summer of 2009 revisiting copyright reform as part of the national consultation, copyright is unquestionably on the public radar screen. Canadians had been promised a forward-looking, technology neutral approach, but they may soon find that someone has hit the delete button on those promises.
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