Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Canada Needs Election to Kill Copywrong Bill

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If an expected Canadian election gets called at the end of the week it will kill one of the worst pieces of legislation on the order paper. Bill C-61 the bill to "reform" Canada's copyright act which has been stuck having only made it past first reading won't even make it past parliament.

This hasn't been the first time that a bill dealing with copyright legislation was lost due to an election. When the Liberal minority government was toppled in 2005, there was a copyright bill that died on the order paper.

Like the previous bill this copyright bill contains provisions that would create a clone of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the highly unpopular legislation in the United States. A ban on circumventing Digital Rights Management (DRM) is one of the provisions that is contained in both the DMCA and C-61. This ban on removing DRM is considered by many to strip citizens of their right to fair use of copyrighted works that they own. Ripping movies off of DVD's onto a computer for viewing in another location at another time will become illegal in Canada as it is now in the United States.

Bill C-61 also implements the use of the Broadcast flag technology which is supposed to prevent recording of television shows that are transmitted in a digital format be it Digital Cable or Satellite or OTA DTV. The use of the Broadcast Flag was banned in the United States because the supreme court felt that it violated fair use rights.

The cries of "I don't want another election" still ring out from citizens from coast to coast. To them and the politicians who represent us and potential politicians wanting to represent us, I've got three words for them "Bring it on"

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