Saturday, June 14, 2008

Canadian DMCA

The Conservative Government has brought forth new legislation that would make the average Canadian a criminal. Some facing huge fines. Why? Because some large US corporations cannot adapt to the changing landscape and they want their old school business models to stand.

I'm talking about the new An Act to amend the Copyright Act, Bill C-61. If you read the Industry Canada Press release on the matter, you'd think it was a good thing. But it's all spin. If you read the fine print you'll see that it's all smoke and mirrors. The real catch is you are not allowed to have, make or more importantly use devices or programs that break digital locks. Digital locks can be anything that dictates how you can and cannot use the digital media you now posses. This is a broad and over reaching act. Imagine being sued by a printer manufacturer because you make aftermarket ink cartridges for their printers?

Closer to home, you won't be able to transfer your copy protected CD or DVD to your portable media player (iPod) without a $20,000 fine. Want to unlock that cell phone that you bought because you're travelling to another country and don't want to pay insane roaming fees? $20,000 fine.

I could go on, but there is even a more important point. How is Canada going to police this? How much of our tax dollars is going to be spent turning us all into criminals instead of battling REAL issues that we call genuinely care about? The answer can be found in the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement which our government is now negotiating and mentions in this new copyright bill. This trade agreement has very little to do with counterfeiting and everything to do with policing copyright infringement on a level like many police states. ie. having your iPod and notebook searched by border guards in member nations for copyright material.

I'm not sure who Jim Prentice, the Industry Minister responsible for a lot of this is working for. Canadians or Lobby groups representing large US corporations. I encourage you to help Kill Bill C61 by writing your MP, the Industry Minister and our Prime Minister.

No comments: