We mentioned yesterday that the Canadian Government was poised to bring down the DMCA hammer on us humble citizens, handing the reins of power more overtly than ever to Big Media and Big Telco.
Not so, says the Government, listing off ways in which their new bill is mildly less offensive than it's American progenitor, but I'm struck by what they don't mention. Will cell phone unlocking, including iPhone 3G unlocking, be made illegal? And what about DVD ripping? Can I not take a movie I pay money for and put it into iTunes so I can watch it on my new iPhone 3G? And why, to balance the rights you're stripping from Canadians, have you not long ago introduced a bill to prevent GSM monopolies in the telco industry from charging Canadians among the highest prices in the world for data?
How about that?
(Read on for the full text of the Canadian Government's preemptive email blast)
The Government of Canada has introduced Bill C-61, An Act to Amend the Copyright Act. The proposed legislation is a made-in-Canada approach that balances the needs of Canadian consumers and copyright owners, promoting culture, innovation and competition in the digital age. What does Bill C-61 mean to Canadians? Specifically, it includes measures that would: expressly allow you to record TV shows for later viewing; copy legally purchased music onto other devices, such as MP3 players or cell phones; make back-up copies of legally purchased books, newspapers, videocassettes and photographs onto devices you own; and limit the "statutory damages" a court could award for all private use copyright infringements; implement new rights and protections for copyright holders, tailored to the Internet, to encourage participation in the online economy, as well as stronger legal remedies to address Internet piracy; clarify the roles and responsibilities of Internet Service Providers related to the copyright content flowing over their network facilities; and provide photographers with the same rights as other creators. What Bill C-61 does not do: it would not empower border agents to seize your iPod or laptop at border crossings, contrary to recent public speculation What this Bill is not: it is not a mirror image of U.S. copyright laws. Our Bill is made-in-Canada with different exceptions for educators, consumers and others and brings us into line with more than 60 countries including Japan, France, Germany and Australia Bill C-61 was introduced in the Commons on June 12, 2008 by Industry Minister Jim Prentice and Heritage Minister Josée Verner. For more information, please visit the Copyright Reform Process website at www.ic.gc.ca/epic/site/crp-prda.nsf/en/home Thank you for sharing your views on this important matter. The Honourable Jim Prentice, P.C., Q.C., M.P. Minister of Industry The Honourable Josée Verner, P.C., M.P. Minister of Canadian Heritage, Status of Women and Official Languages and Minister for La Francophonie