Thursday, March 08, 2012

Bill C-11 Copyright Bill consultations coming to a close

Michael Geist says: [edited]

The Bill C-11 committee concluded hearing from witnesses yesterday and will begin a review of the bill starting Monday. Next week's discussion will largely determine the future of Canadian copyright law.
For the thousands of Canadians that have participated in consultations and sent letters to their MPs, there is reason for concern.

There are copyright lobby groups who have put forward demands that would overhaul Bill C-11 including requiring Internet providers to block access to foreign sites, take down content without court oversight, and disclose subscriber information without a warrant. The industry also wants individuals to face unlimited statutory damages and pay a new iPod tax.

The last minute push must be met by Canadians who favour a balanced approach to copyright reform. My message to the MPs focuses on three simple principles:

1. No SOPA-style amendments. That means no website blocking, no warrant-less disclosure of subscriber information, no expanded enabler provision, no unlimited statutory damages, no iPod tax, and no content take-downs.
2. Maintain the fair dealing balance found in C-11 by expanding the provision to include education, parody, and satire and relying on the Supreme Court's six-factor test to ensure that the dealing is fair.
3. Amend the digital lock rules by following the Canadian Library Association's recommended change linking circumvention to actual copyright infringement.
The message is going to my local MP, the Ministers and to Bill C-11 committee members.

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