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Canadian Gov't Asks Public About New Copyright Law

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the hunched-on-the-border-stealing-our-wifi dept.

The Courts 77

Mike Lawrie writes "The so-called Canadian DMCA has had a long history. Historically, proposed legislation has favoured the views of CRIA, the Canadian arm of the RIAA almost completely. However, this time around the government is consulting the public before drafting the bill. They have launched a (Linux-based!) website designed to provide a public forum for discussion. Now is the time to speak up."

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No surprises there (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28784905)

They're not even a real country anyway.

Re:No surprises there (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28785025)

It seems like everything's gone wrong since Canada came along.

Re:No surprises there (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28785509)

With all their beady little eyes
And flapping heads so full of lies

Re:No surprises there (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28785665)

With all their hockey hullabaloo...

Re:No surprises there (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28786113)

With all their hockey hullabaloo...

And (that CRIA tax^H^H^H"levee" on blank media that goes to pay) that bitch Anne Murray, too!

To bad mikey geist bans people for (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28788585)

calling a nazi law the same people asking about copyright go and get themselves for warrant less arrests and searches and seizures.

Seems mister geist and his lil crew a people don't get it that privacy is core to democracy and if your are going the fascist way then SAY SO.
BEING a chicken shit about it gets him less and less credibility, like all these invites to govt meetings when he is all yap and no action.

And a nice way to go would have been the pirate party of Canada , but they went and got a leader whose buddies with Canada's media people. So it too feels like a sham.
Betrayed we are on all fronts and the only thing to do is to NOT say anyhting let em have the worst law possible and let the lawsuits begin.
Do not vote ever and when it gets to below 50% then they do not have the right to govern.

Re:To bad mikey geist bans people for (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28791601)

Chronoss:
You, sir, are an idiot. The Pirate Party of Canada has no associations whatsoever with the CRIA. And their PR guy obviously has contacts with the media because... well, what would Public Relations be without trying to get media attention?

I must state you lack the intellectual capacity to comprehend the basics of politics.

Sincerely,
Your Friends at the PPoC

Re:No surprises there (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28785667)

Indeed... my geography professor always referred to "America Jr" rather than "Kanada".

Re:No surprises there (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28785883)

Odd. Many Canadians refer to Americans as "Upper Mexicans".

The irony is overwhelming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28789385)

Odd. Many Canadians refer to Americans as "Upper Mexicans".

...

Re:No surprises there (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28786047)

Troll? I thought it was funny...

Re:No surprises there (1)

mofag (709856) | more than 5 years ago | (#28788533)

Maybe South Park the musical was to long ago? Today's moderators don't know they're born....

What can I say? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28784939)

What can I say? Finally?
suddenoutbreakofcommonsense?

I hope enough people will make their voice heard.

Re:What can I say? (1)

i_ate_god (899684) | more than 5 years ago | (#28785077)

yeah, enough people are trying to alright. It's already slashdotted.

Re:What can I say? (1)

davegravy (1019182) | more than 5 years ago | (#28786163)

Watch as the entire slashdot community matches wits with a few unsuspecting ordinary passers-by on the forums of the Copyright Consultation webpage!

Re:What can I say? (5, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 5 years ago | (#28785153)

Don't get too excited just yet. Just because they're soliciting feedback doesn't mean they'll listen to it. More than likely, they'll cherry pick public responses that support what they were going to do anyway, and use them to claim they have "public support".

Re:What can I say? (5, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#28785259)

They're doing better than the UK government. Over here, they spend a lot of money getting reports researched and then do the opposite. At least the Canadians aren't wasting much money on finding the opinions to ignore...

Re:What can I say? (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 5 years ago | (#28785813)

And it tends not to matter who gets the first word; it's all about who has the last word.

Re:What can I say? (0, Offtopic)

KlaymenDK (713149) | more than 5 years ago | (#28786973)

Hey! New meme:

"Last post."

Re:What can I say? (2, Funny)

KlaymenDK (713149) | more than 5 years ago | (#28804727)

That's not off topic. It's the last post in that thread.

Err ... crap.

Re:What can I say? (2, Interesting)

teklob (650327) | more than 5 years ago | (#28788637)

I don't think I've seen any other government websites that don't use the .gc.ca domain. Why is this different I wonder.

Re:What can I say? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28789453)

Don't get too excited just yet. Just because they're soliciting feedback doesn't mean they'll listen to it.

Exactly. They are doing this because bill C-61 was heavily critisiced for not soliciting public opinon. But it's already clear they have no intention to listen. Monday's "Public Copyright Forum" [www.cbc.ca] in Vancouver was announced the Thursday before - giving 4 days notice. It was also announced on twitter(?!?!).

They then spontaneously changed the time from 12:45 to 11:00 or something like that. It was over when I showed up.

How about we leave things as-is? (4, Insightful)

HalAtWork (926717) | more than 5 years ago | (#28785181)

Canada doesn't need any new laws, copyright law is already established, making illegal copies is already illegal. Why do we need any new laws? If anything, Canada should not have the kind of copyright extensions that we have seen in Europe and USA.

Re:How about we leave things as-is? (3, Insightful)

xZgf6xHx2uhoAj9D (1160707) | more than 5 years ago | (#28785319)

It's complicated by the fact that Canada foolishly signed on to WIPO. In order to honour our international obligations, we have to make our copyright laws completely draconian and dysfunctional, or at least that's the rationale they're using. Really I'd much rather see them diplomatically try to weasel out of WIPO.

Re:How about we leave things as-is? (2, Interesting)

belmolis (702863) | more than 5 years ago | (#28792155)

We don't have any WIPO obligations. Canada has signed the WIPO treaty but we have not ratified it. See Howard Knopf's discussion [blogspot.com] of this issue. As he puts it, signing is to dating as ratification is to marriage.

Re:How about we leave things as-is? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#28792889)

What's more interesting, how do you file for divorce?

Re:How about we leave things as-is? (2, Interesting)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 5 years ago | (#28785329)

Canada doesn't need any new laws, copyright law is already established, making illegal copies is already illegal. Why do we need any new laws?

The copyright system in most countries is fairly badly broken and the internet revolution has made that a more pressing issue. The point of copyright is to provide incentive for the creation of new artistic works. There are lots of ways copyright can be changed that will do a better job than what currently exists. Laws reducing the length of copyright, fixing how much of copyright can be transferred, etc.

Re:How about we leave things as-is? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#28792927)

Actually, the current forms of copyright hinder the development of new art more than they provide an incentive.

First, if I can live forever on something I once created, why be creative anymore? This applies to companies even more than to normal people, since they are technically immortal and they won't ever create any art "for love" (as a human might, even if he isn't forced to by his hungry stomach). Disney is a perfect example of this. Mickey and Donald will stay protected, possibly forever and a day. Why should they come up with something new? They can milk that franchise forever. They needn't invent new figures, they needn't create.

Second, works that never enter into PD never become the base of something new. Provided the artist allows you to in the first place (he can always refuse you the right to use his art as the base of something new), you'd have to pay him to use his works, even if you only wanted to use them for something you, in turn, wanted to be free for everyone to use. So you can't use it, unless you are already rich enough to "buy" that right and generously give it to everyone. How many artists do you know that can do that?

Re:How about we leave things as-is? (5, Insightful)

Xiph (723935) | more than 5 years ago | (#28785377)

To Cement fair use
To reduce ridiculous copyright lengths
To differentiate between commercial and personal abuse
To ensure that the copyright legislation promotes diversion creation of culture.

Re:How about we leave things as-is? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28785611)

Posting anon to my own post...

in case you missed it, I also support diverse spelling of diverse

Re:How about we leave things as-is? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28785661)

Yea right, like that's ever going to happen.

Re:How about we leave things as-is? (3, Insightful)

multisync (218450) | more than 5 years ago | (#28787041)

Here are a couple more:

  1. Abolish the tax on blank media. Fair dealing is non-infringing activity, and copyright holders should not be compensated for it
  2. Establish the right of citizens to access the copyrighted media they own, even if it means defeating technological measures put in place by copyright holders to prevent them from doing so (I would actually go further, voiding copyrights on media that is encumbered by DRM, as it prevents these materials from ever entering the Public Domain)

Re:How about we leave things as-is? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28786003)

Didn't RIAA say that one of the biggest busts they had was on a CANADIAN BASED SERVER. Go figure. Lets also not forgot how proud Canadians are of the fact that no one can check up or monitor them. So "illegal is illegal" how do you know if anyone is following the law? Right or wrong saying
Canada doesn't need any new laws, copyright law is already established, making illegal copies is already illegal
doesn't mean Stick. In the US murder is wrong but they still have police, trials, and a crimminal Justice system.

Re:How about we leave things as-is? (1)

youngone (975102) | more than 5 years ago | (#28788651)

Yes, and the same Criminal Justice system can be used to prosecute copyright infringers. Of course in a sane world copyright infringment would be a civil matter. Murder is illegal, and no new laws are needed, HalAtWork was making the same point about copyright.

Simple... (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 5 years ago | (#28785183)

What to do with copyright? GET RID OF IT. [dklevine.com] Seriously.

Re:Simple... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#28792961)

No. Just as patents should provide an incentive to invent and publish, copyright should offer an incentive to create and enrich the arts with your talent, your ideas, your creation, so people can enjoy it.

But we need a balance. Copyright should be an incentive. Not the 'right' to milk something you did half a century ago. Not the 'right' to refuse people its use. Not the 'right' to cripple art so you might get a buck but the art will be lost soon after because it is impossible to create copies of it. And while I agree that about 99 percent of the 'art' created today, especially the kind you can (and often have to, want it or not) hear is better lost, it would be a shame if the few gems that define our culture, our expression of emotions, joy and fears, could not be heard a century from now. I think future generations have the right to understand us, and why we do what we do. Art plays an important role in this, because it often shows the psychological situation of a culture far better than any sterile statistics could. When you look at (or listen to) the art of the 1920s, you can feel and understand how "lost" these people felt. And it might give you an idea how something like WW2 was possible.

A balance doesn't work... (1)

Xebikr (591462) | more than 5 years ago | (#28799121)

...and striving for a balance in copyright/patent law will never work. Copyright started out with a reasonable term and scope. It has steadily and gradually pushed out to the obnoxius abuse of law and culture that it is now. Having a copyright system will always encourage rent seeking behavior. Copyright holders will fight tooth and nail to extend and expand it. They are still doing that now even with the draconian policies they have managed to buy/coerce from our law makers. The only solution is to eliminate it all together.

Also, the idea that people will stop creating art if they can't controll the distribution of it is absurd. People have always created art and always will. We might not get the blockbuster movies that we do now, but having recently been subjected to the travesty that is "Transformers: 2", I think that could be a good thing.

That's not how Harper does things. (4, Insightful)

Garbad Ropedink (1542973) | more than 5 years ago | (#28785187)

This is the Harper government you understand. This bill's gonna get passed regardless of what people say. Though maybe he's using the 'Linux-based!' website to woo computer nerds to the cause.

'Well he hates the environment, he's plunged the country into a debt our grandchildren will still be burdened with, he hates gays, minorities, the french, socialists, our healthcare system, Ontario, all of eastern Canada, he refuses to give interviews to any Canadian media but frequently appears on Fox news (which we don't get up here), but he likes Linux, so I guess he can't be all that bad!'

Re:That's not how Harper does things. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28785245)

This is the Harper government you understand. This bill's gonna get passed regardless of what people say. Though maybe he's using the 'Linux-based!' website to woo computer nerds to the cause.

'Well he hates the environment, he's plunged the country into a debt our grandchildren will still be burdened with, he hates gays, minorities, the french, socialists, our healthcare system, Ontario, all of eastern Canada, he refuses to give interviews to any Canadian media but frequently appears on Fox news (which we don't get up here), but he likes Linux, so I guess he can't be all that bad!'

There isn't even a bill yet. The Harper government is asking for public opinion before they draft a bill, and considering the public outcry on the bill that died in the fall election this is not surprising.

PS. Standing up for the strong part of Canada's economy (natural resources) does not make him hate the environment.

Re:That's not how Harper does things. (4, Insightful)

Magic5Ball (188725) | more than 5 years ago | (#28785267)

[citation needed]

It's also disingenuous to both complain that the government doesn't consult with constituents, and then to complain about the speculative output of the consultation before you have seen it.

Re:That's not how Harper does things. (1)

starfishsystems (834319) | more than 5 years ago | (#28785413)

You do realize that the Conservatives form a minority government, don't you?

Re:That's not how Harper does things. (2, Interesting)

Garbad Ropedink (1542973) | more than 5 years ago | (#28786345)

You do realize the Liberal's won't be triggering an election over a DMCA law, don't you?

To further clarify this for you. The Liberals will vote for this bill no questions asked because they don't have any issues with terrible new copyright laws. They would be out of their minds to go to the polls over it. (going the polls means voting down a bill which would result in non-confidence in the government and trigger an election)
SO even though the Conservatives only form a minority government, passing this law won't be an issue for them. That's really the crux of my argument. I hope this clears it up for you.

-To answer your first question. I know the Conservatives have a minority government. Thanks for asking.

Re:That's not how Harper does things. (2, Insightful)

mdielmann (514750) | more than 5 years ago | (#28790277)

So what you're saying is, it's Harpers fault the Liberals either don't have a spine or principles? Just want to be sure I'm following what passes for logic from you...

Re:That's not how Harper does things. (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#28792977)

A spineless politician in power is nobody's fault but the voters'.

Re:That's not how Harper does things. (1)

mdielmann (514750) | more than 5 years ago | (#28820961)

His being in in power is the voters' fault, his being spineless in his own.

Re:That's not how Harper does things. (1)

jascha00 (1261000) | more than 5 years ago | (#28800911)

Do you seriously think that every single bill introduced by the government has to be passed or they will be kicked out? That basically only applies to the budget and things specifically declared to be confidence motions (http://www.parl.gc.ca/information/library/PRBpubs/prb0812-e.htm#confidence2).

Re:That's not how Harper does things. (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28785689)

Please read the following website before you flap your gums:

http://www2.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?pub=bill&doc=c-60&parl=38&ses=1&language=E [parl.gc.ca]

This was the bill introduced into parliment by the Liberal party which (fortunately) died on the floor with the confidence vote and subsequent election. In many ways Bill C-60 was significantly more draconian than bill C-61 http://www2.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Docid=3570473&file=4 [parl.gc.ca] .

If you think any Canadian politician has your personal interests in mind, guess again.

Re:That's not how Harper does things. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28786777)

We all hate the French.

And we do get Fox News...some of us at least.

Re:That's not how Harper does things. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28788147)

Quebec isn't France any more than the USA is England.

Re:That's not how Harper does things. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28786787)

Whatever else is true, I can pretty much guarantee that Harper neither knows nor cares whether or not this is a Linux server.

Re:That's not how Harper does things. (1)

GeordieMac (1010817) | more than 5 years ago | (#28789503)

we get foxnews

Re:That's not how Harper does things. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28790363)

ooooooh Linux-based website!!! ooooooooohhhhh baby let me kick off my Berkinstocks and pull my tie-dyed t-shirt over my oversized fish-white belly and grope around and try to find my weiner so I can stroke off!!!

WILL YOU LINUX FAGS SHUT THE FARK UP FOR A CHANGE AND TONGUE-FARK EACH OTHER!!

WE DON'T GIVE A SHIT!!

The rest of the World

Re:That's not how Harper does things. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28790545)

Well he hates ... , the french, ... , but he likes Linux, so I guess he can't be all that bad!'

Everything he hates isn't something that a lot of people will object to (remember the rainbow warrior). Posting as an AC for obvious reasons.

Re:That's not how Harper does things. (1)

mrbcs (737902) | more than 5 years ago | (#28791081)

Where have you been? Harper has a minority government, and will for the rest of his days. Nobody likes him anymore. With the liberals in the east and ontario, the ndp in ontario and bc, bloc heads in quebec, tories on the prairies.. it could be a very long time before Canada sees another dictator, I mean majority government. I could give a shit if we have elections every two years as long as this shit dies like it has every other time they've tried to enact it.

Canadian DRM or DMCA will be the end of whatever government enacts it.

Re:That's not how Harper does things. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28800095)

Some comments:

  - Using a "linux based" website is hardly a big deal, and shame on the submitter for acting like it is. Take a look around, in this day and age running linux doesn't distinguish you from most of the internet
  - Fox News: channel 142 on shaw, and also available with the better providers. We've had it for years in Canada
  - I doubt Stephen Harper is even aware this website exists. You make it sound like he took some time out of his Prime Ministerial duties to throw together a server so he could take the pulse of Canadians on this issue.
  - As much as I dislike the man, he is not responsible for the current global recession. The blame for that mess lies with the privately controlled US Federal Reserve (although his insistence on lowering taxes when the government was facing a decreasing revenue stream was a bit idiotic.)

For hire (2, Funny)

Again (1351325) | more than 5 years ago | (#28785207)

If I was the CRIA, I would be hiring a bunch people to go online and stear the conversations towards my own agenda. Good thing we slashdotted the website. We have foiled their schemes!

DO THEY REALLY ASK? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28785233)

I highly doubt it.

Actual Submission Page (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28785415)

http://copyright.econsultation.ca/topics-sujets/show-montrer/18

Answer the questions and email the responses to the address given.

The courts decide (1)

Demonantis (1340557) | more than 5 years ago | (#28785425)

It does not matter what the government puts forward in a sense. If I remember correctly the last bill was struck down by the courts because they saw the potential for the legal system to be flooded with cases not in the interest of protecting our free and democratic society(might be wrong). They should be getting input from the legal system as well as the public or the same thing will happen again. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

Smoke & mirrors (4, Interesting)

PFAK (524350) | more than 5 years ago | (#28785651)

The site was announced on Friday July 17 with the first consultation for Vancouver scheduled the following Monday July 20.

Typical weasel politics and tactics used by Conservatives.

Re:Smoke & mirrors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28787121)

The Conservatives are the best at it. The Liberals, and the NDP, and the Bloc, and... well the Greens haven't really had a chance to prove one way or the other yet, but anyway they all love saying one thing while doing another, it's just that most people in the other parties here are monumentally bad at it.

For example, if the Liberals did this, they wouldn't put up any site at all, but still claim that they did. When corrected, they would say "it's coming up soon" and it never would. Also they would chalk up $5 million in expenses to the site.

Re:Smoke & mirrors (1)

mdielmann (514750) | more than 5 years ago | (#28790299)

The Conservatives are the best at it. The Liberals, and the NDP, and the Bloc, and... well the Greens haven't really had a chance to prove one way or the other yet, but anyway they all love saying one thing while doing another, it's just that most people in the other parties here are monumentally bad at it.

For example, if the Liberals did this, they wouldn't put up any site at all, but still claim that they did. When corrected, they would say "it's coming up soon" and it never would. Also they would chalk up $5 million in expenses to the site.

$5 million in expenses, which would go to a guy who lives in the same neighbourhood as the Prime Minister. And even though he's a used car salesman (albeit a very successful one), they will still claim he's the best person they could find for the job.

Pirate Party of Canada (3, Informative)

debrain (29228) | more than 5 years ago | (#28785731)

If you're Canadian and wish to have a positive impact on Copyright, the Pirate Party of Canada [piratepartyofcanada.com] may be your cup of tea.

Re:Pirate Party of Canada (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28788661)

I do love a good tea party.

Copyright comment solicitaion (1)

mandark1967 (630856) | more than 5 years ago | (#28786407)

Of course, any comments you provide to them become their copyrighted material. ;)

They may ask... (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 5 years ago | (#28787483)

They may ask the public, but are they actually going to listen to them? Governments have a long history of trying to pacify the unruly mob when government actions are so outrageous as to stir them up, but pacify more often than not appears to mean giving the appearance of caring -- and then going ahead and doing exactly what they intended to do in the first place. That's not even throwing them a bone.

And it works time-after-time because of the short attention span public who keeps reelecting them!

Essential to participate in consultation (1)

Geof (153857) | more than 5 years ago | (#28789153)

They may ask the public, but are they actually going to listen to them?

We don't know. They may not know yet either. Whatever the case, it is essential to take place in the consultation.

Consider the possibilities: a) the consultation is in good faith and they plan to listen, or b) they intend to ignore what people say and use this as cover for a warmed-over imitation of the DMCA.

In case a) participation is obviously worthwhile: the more we consult, the closer the legislation will be to what we want. And we give them political cover. When big media and the U.S. trade representative come demanding their DMCA, the government can throw their hands in the air and say, "the Canadian people made it clear to us we had no political alternative."

In case b), participation is also worthwhile - perhaps even more so. The more people push for a reasonable law the more political capital they will have to spend if they wish to go against our wishes. Tens of thousands of people protested when C-61 was introduced; next time around the number will be even greater. And when we rise up, we will be able to say, "look, we participated in good faith - but you ignored us."

Consider the alternative. If we do not participate in the process, the government can do whatever it likes and say it did so with our consent. Any protest movement against a bad bill will be neutered before it begins. "You claim to represent Canadians," the media will say, "but where were they when there was consultation?"

This does not mean we should lose our skepticism. We need to hold them to account. At this point, that means hitting them with feedback from as many Canadians as we can.

By the way, I represented Vancouver Fair Copyright at the Vancouver roundtable on Monday. I am not sure how significant it was, but many of the participants were in favor if sensible reforms like simplification of the law, flexible fair dealing, reduction or elimination of crown copyright, and no blanked ban on circumvention of DRM. The proponents of draconian law have the inside track with the government, but there is a point at which sufficient numbers of ordinary Canadians, if they take part and express themselves, can outweigh the special interests pushing for a bad law.

My letter (4, Insightful)

Sj0 (472011) | more than 5 years ago | (#28788315)

Copyright, like most things, is a contract between artists and society. Originally, the contract was to allow the use of government resources to prevent publishers from reprinting works without paying the artist their due. There is a monetary cost to society in enforcing copyrights, as well as a cost inherent in the monopoly on works granted by copyright. In ages past, the trade-off for this burden to society was being forced to release the works into the public domain after copyright expired, within a reasonable time limit. Further, governments would only enforce copyrights in civil court, it wasn't a criminal issue, and copyright law was limited to the act of copying itself.

This century has seen unprecedented shift in copyright, where copyright owners are seeing more and more rights, with fewer and fewer responsibilities. All Canadians pay taxes on blank media which is handed to the copyright industry. Copyright terms are now several lifetimes long. Now the copyright industry is trying to make the act of copying a criminal offense, and further making peripheral acts illegal and subject to civil and criminal prosecution.

The perpetuity of copyrights is effectively theft of our own culture. "Happy Birthday To You" is a song first written before the second world war, but singing it in public is technically illegal and will be for another generation. Records from the turn of the last century, songs for example written about the depression or the first world war, are illegal to distribute despite the artists who wrote or sang them being long dead. This affected me personally recently when I found someone's amazing record collection with some incredibly interesting songs about life during the depression, but couldn't share any of the unknown songs I found. It won't be long until the records deteriorate completely, and these pieces of our past are gone forever.

Copyright today isn't structured to foster creativity, it's structured to allow companies to build portfolios. The same chilling effect I felt when I wanted to share the old songs with others is felt with artists, musicians, and writers who want to pull from old sources to build upon their own works. When our past culture is stolen, our own present culture becomes transient and loses a lot of value. Scriptwriting would lose tremendously without the works of Shakespeare to draw upon, musicians would lose tremendously without the works of bethoven and bach to draw upon. The current stifling copyright legislation is eradicating more contemporary Shakespeares or Bachs. They disappear into a mist of "Not profitable to sell, not legal to distribute".

Further copyright won't help increase investment in Canada -- Positive conditions for creative workers will, including progressive copyright that allows artists greater freedom to use our history to build their own works. No film company will say "Oh, even though Vancouver is inexpensive to shoot in and very friendly, they haven't criminalised DRM circumvention so we'll go to New York instead".

Ironically, the best thing for everyone would be to continue what was inadvertently started by the copyright industry themselves when they lobbied for the levy on blank media. American film and music companies are now trying to sue their customers into buying media, but this is the worst solution possible -- regular people are finding their lives ruined over a trivial matter, and principled people are no longer buying movies or music because it's unjust to fund such lawsuits. If Canadian laws protected everyone; consumers, new artists, and existing copyright holders, and tried to create a balance rather than simply creating a draconian wall of legislation, I think we'd see more creativity coming from Canada, which would draw the global digital economy into our borders to leverage our talented engineers, technicians, writers, artists, and musicians in a way that more restrictive countries wouldn't enjoy.

well stated (1)

tobiah (308208) | more than 5 years ago | (#28789317)

hope it reaches its intended audience.

Re:My letter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28792727)

Very nice piece. I'm just wondering about this bit in your first paragraph:

In ages past, the trade-off for this burden to society was being forced to release the works into the public domain after copyright expired, within a reasonable time limit.

Without copyright everything would be in the public domain in the first place, so "releasing the works" is not the way that society benefits, as it would be the status quo without copyright! Right now that paragraph reads as if that releasing is bad for the industry, but that is what would have happened any way so that is not the way society is compensated for the contract.

The real way society is supposed to be compensated is by more high quality works being created with copyright than without copyright, but whether that is actually achieved is uncertain.

Re:My letter (1)

Sj0 (472011) | more than 5 years ago | (#28797327)

You've only got it half right. Society is supposed to be compensated by having more higher quality works in the public domain. That's the reason for having limited terms, so we can get our culture back after the person who created it has their time to earn their share.

Re:My letter (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#28793001)

If I ever go into politics, can you be my speechwriter?

Legitimate consultation website?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28788701)

The copyright consultation is not listed on the Canadian government public consultation website

http://www.consultingcanadians.gc.ca

It is also missing a normal .gc.ca ending and there are other inconsistencies that have me concerned about the website.

Re:Legitimate consultation website?? (1)

guardia (579095) | more than 5 years ago | (#28791775)

The e-mail address for submission ends with .gc.ca: info@copyrightconsultation.gc.ca So, it's going to end up somewhere in there at least :)

Fallout lied! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28789393)

Now we know the -real- reason that, in the near future, the US will annex Canada...

What is the purpose? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28790971)

The format and design of the forum is dreadful, but the discussions going on there are very enlightening.

The question is, are they just giving us a place to vent and debate, or will the government actually somehow take these discussions into consideration?

Diderot said.. (2, Interesting)

Mr_chaput (73522) | more than 5 years ago | (#28797291)

The freedom to write and speak with impunity, is either the sign of the extreme kindness of the prince, or of the profound slavery of people, Only are permitted to speak the ones who can do nothing.

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