Canadian Legislator: We Don't Want a USA-style DMCA

March 11, 2008 -

Here in the United States, entertainment industry lobbying groups such as the ESA, RIAA and MPAA have wielded the Digital Millenium Copyright Act like a club against consumers. A member of Canada's Parliament does not want to see the same thing happen north of the border.

As reported by Boing Boing, New Democratic Party member Charlie Angus (left) has ripped Industry Minister Jim Prentice over Prentice's push for a DMCA-like law in Canada:
 

Prentice has consistently refused to allow public consultation into his bill, and instead has drafted a kind of wish-list representing the fondest fantasies of US entertainment giants.

Instead of marching off the same cliff that the US fell off of in 1998 with its DMCA, Canada could adopt a balanced copyright approach that will pay artists without criminalizing the public...


Indeed, Angus pulls no punches:
 

We are in no way obligated to go down the same dead end road as the United States with their restrictive legislation... However, if Mr. Prentice is going to let Canadian copyright legislation be written by U.S. trade interests he will certainly face a major backlash from both artist’s organizations, consumers and Canadian business groups.

 


Comments

I'm very glad to see someone standing up to Harper and his corporate overlords, even if he is from the NDP. Harper's Conservatives have tried to come off as a party that understands Canadians and would free us from the rampant corruption that was Chretien's Liberals but make no mistake, all is not what it seems. He has made himself very much out to be someone who will bow to pressures from the US and corporations as a whole. One of the first things he did after taking office was broker an unreasonable trade deal to end US tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber exports, even though the World Trade Organization had ruled that the US was breaking the law and violating NAFTA with those tariffs. Canadians need to stay on top of this DMCA issue and what Michael Geist (www.michaelgeist.ca) is doing about it because mark my words, this will come back.

And yet another reason I'm moving to Canada to open my game design studio when I have the money, knowledge, and experience to undertake such an endeavor.

This guys should come south of the border and run for office!

Too bad I don't agree with every Canadian politician, but at least we got this guy.

Angus has been one of the few MPs to actually take a stand on this issue since Prentice almost introduced the new legislation right before Christmas. Thanks to the quick actions of some dedicated Canadian bloggers, most notably University of Ottawa law professor Michael Geist, the issue received quite a bit of publicity and the bill was delayed.

Bravo.

I do love Canada.

As a Canadian I applaude Charlie Angus for not pulling punches in his criticism. Althou he also forgot comedians, and news groups.

I wish the US had politicians with the balls to stand up to lobbyists. All of our politicians have this green blindness. When shown a pile of green rectangles they go blind and deaf and simply do as the green rectangles say and they completely ignore any kind of reason or logic.

Can Charlie move to the US and run for Office?

Bravo, now if only we could stop being referred to as "consumers" and start being referred to as "customers" again.

Excellent. Now if the USA would just pull it's head out of it's ass and dump the DMCA, thinks might start to improve around here.

"Prentice has consistently refused to allow public consultation into his bill"

Just another in a long line of promises that Prentice has broken. No surprise here. Party of accountability my butt. Even corporate lobbies have come out against him, so you know his version of the DMCA was REALLY bad.

@EZK

"I wish the US had politicians with the balls to stand up to lobbyists."

Well, it's easy when you're a member of the smallest opposition party. The NDP get relegated to Parliament's pressure valve.
-- If your wiimote goes snicker-snack, check your wrist-strap...

I like this guy. Now all we need is more publicity on what's going on, and for the public to stop blindly trusting conservative policy...

@ Spartan

NO! He's a Canuck! You can't have him! :P

Yet another reason I've voted NDP since I've been old enough to vote.

As a Canadian and a provincial employee I have to say that I'm glad to see someone in our govenment standing up against the DMCA.

Our government is so busy being bought and paid by the RIAA and MPAA they don't realize that the rest of the world is laughing at us. The reason so many other countries hate us now is we are so obviously backwards, but we like to claim we are the best and try to force the rest of the world. We lost the War on Drugs, so now we have the War on Terror and the War on Piracy. It is easier to win a war when you have a person or place as the enemy. You can't really win wars against actions or abstract ideas.

Gotta love Canadian politics. The party with the fewest sitting members is always the most vocal. Still, I doubt any of the other parties will support a DMCA after that rousing statement for at least 3 years.

Ok someone needs to check this guy's background... He's REALLY Canadian? O.O

Bravo sir!

O Canada.

Man am I glad to be living here. The American laws seem really strict and unfair for media consumers.

And if any Americans want to move now, don't come to Winnipeg. We're full. And bored.

I'd say come to Saskatoon, but there's no jobs, and the housing prices are crazy! I think we're trying to catch up to Winnipeg... ;)
-- If your wiimote goes snicker-snack, check your wrist-strap...

Oops sorry, force of habit. I meant tons of jobs, and no workers. Unemployment is the lowest in Canada right now...
-- If your wiimote goes snicker-snack, check your wrist-strap...

I'd be overjoyed about this is if wasn't an NDP memeber. Don't get me wrong, some of their ideas are good but at the same time you just need to look at Jack Layton's idea about getting rid of ATM user fees to see they'll say the craziest stuff to try to get votes.

I mean, they do know they'll never run the country right?

@Moriarty70

"you just need to look at Jack Layton’s idea about getting rid of ATM user fees"

On the other hand, it got people talking about how redunculous it was that you'd get dinged $1.75 "convenience fee" + $1.75 "not our atm fee" + $1.75 "interac fee", just to make a $20 withdrawl...

While implementing NDP ideas whole-heartedly is probably a silly idea, they certainly do get people talking. Several banks reduced their atm fees in response to Layton's calls for change.

Just like their latest calls, reducing credit card interest to prime + 7%. Instead of prime + 15-20% as it is in some cases... It'll get people talking about how crazy it is.
-- If your wiimote goes snicker-snack, check your wrist-strap...

Never thought I'd agree with the NDP on something like this, but I do. look at how well the DMCA has worked in the US, honestly, I hope the bill doesn't pass, yes we need copyright reform but the "everyone is a pirate until proven otherwise" mentality is getting old. I already refuse to buy music from any of the "major" labels. I think we need to change politics here in Canada, these backroom deals are really starting to annoy me, especially with groups like the RIAA/CRIA. But hey, what do I know? I'm just an average consumer.

@ Jabrwock

As a note for pretty much ANYONE with a credit card, you CAN have your rate reduced. Every 6 months you can call your CC company and either request a reduction in the interest rate or the maximum limit. That's standard boilerplate in most CC contracts, but they're buried deep. You might only be able to get it dropped a couple percent initially, but after a year or two it can add up, and if you've been decent with the card you can expect to get it down to prime + 4-6%. That's a hell of a lot better than the 19.9% they can charge (and as an added bonus, they'll usually give you those limit increases for free anyhow.

@Reede

Nice. There are more and more game studios opening in Canada (especially in Québec).

Just don't try to go to Québec right now because the weather is terrible at the moment. Just got more than 400cm of snow (and to think it's Québec's 400 anniversary).

Back on topic, I didn't knew him, but I applaud his decision.

@ Pierre-Olivier

Haha, I wish I could do it now. And don't think that would stop me, I've been wanting to snowboard for so bad lately, but I don't have the money to go anywhere and the snow here is pathetic. Plus theres the sad fact I haven't even started college yet :( Can't wait for fall though, computer science galore!.

And yea, this guy kicks any politician in America's ass hands down. I'm still laughing over the Spitzer thing.

What is wrong with the DMCA?
Don't you want a third of your economy to be liable for copyright violation like it is here in US?
Don't you want half of your population to be considered criminals under the law like here in the US?
Don't you want to be owned by US media maffia?

You Canadians with your free will and rights of the people:)

@ EZK

Have you seen man of the year? Put it pretty well that most lobbists put thousands into campanions so in the end the political figure has to pay them back in some way.

@Jabrwock

It's fine that it gets people talking, but that's the only thing it ever amounts to, talk.

@Jabrwock

Layton's party also says they are in full support of protecting minority (including religious minority) and women's rights while openly lobbying for cooperation with the Taliban in order to pull canadian troops out of Afganistan.

Think about that - I mean, cooperation with a group of people who are very openly against rights for women or those who practice other religions.

Hey, I am no Lib or PC either - but wow, that one blew me away!

If you're interested in Canadian copyright legislation commentary, check out www.michaelgeist.ca . Dr. Michael Geist is a brilliant lawyer, and an excellent expert to get information from.

Good for Canada for fighting the pro-DMCA lobby. Fight them as long as you can...
 
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