Canadian musician-turned-MP challenges minister on new copyright law

Michael Geist sez,

NDP MP Charlie Angus [ed: ex- of punk-rock act L'Etranger] has issued a lengthy letter to Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore and Industry Minister Tony Clement that challenges them on the digital lock provisions in Bill C-32 [ed: This copyright bill says that any rights the public get in copyright, such as privacy, the right to sell or lend media, the right to rip or time-shift media, etc, are null if they are blocked by a "digital lock" or DRM]. In a release on the letter, Angus states "the digital lock provisions will subject Canadians to arbitrary limitations on their legal rights of access. The government is trying to create the impression that this unbalanced approach to digital locks is necessary in order to bring Canada into compliance with WIPO and the Berne Convention. Nothing could be further from the truth." He adds:

"The government is establishing a two-tiered set of rights. Bill C-32 offers rights that consumers will be restricted from exercising. These provisions make a mockery of the claim that the bill is balanced and pro-consumer. Either the government has a faulty understanding of international treaty obligations or is looking to use these existing treaties as a cover to pursue a specific political agenda. The New Democratic Party will challenge any provisions that would lead to unbalanced and arbitrary copyright legislation."

The letter delves into much greater detail on the digital lock issue, discussing how there is flexibility at international law with Angus emphatically stating "I believe the government will be unable to produce evidence that these onerous digital lock provisions are the result of existing treaty obligations." As result, Angus makes a formal request that the government seek an opinion from WIPO on the issue of exceptions to digital locks. [Ed: the minister responsible for the bill says that the digital locks rules are required to comply with a UN treaty from the World Intellectual Property Organization. He's wrong.]

Angus Calls Out Moore on WIPO: Says Fails to Understand Treaty, Makes Mockery of Copyright Balance

(Thanks, Michael!)