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Canada Government News

Justification For Canadian Copyright Reform Revealed 96

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the sanity-is-forbidden dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Michael Geist has used the Canadian freedom of information act to obtain a secret ministerial document on Canadian copyright reform that provides the government position on virtually every controversial issue from last year's Bill C-32. The government has no good explanation for its DMCA approach and calls provisions requiring the destruction of course materials part of an 'essential balance.' On the U.S. piracy watch list, it says 'Canada does not recognize the validity of the Special 301 process and considers it to be flawed. The Report does not employ a clear methodology in its country ranking, as it relies on industry allegations rather than empirical evidence and analysis.'"
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Justification For Canadian Copyright Reform Revealed

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  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Wednesday September 21, 2011 @09:15AM (#37467920)

    Canada does not recognize the validity of the Special 301 process and considers it to be flawed. The Report does not employ a clear methodology in its country ranking, as it relies on industry allegations rather than empirical evidence and analysis

    They're really surprised that a U.S. government report is based on corporate whoring rather than empirical evidence and analysis? Wow, Canadians really ARE naive.

    As to the question of why Canada is adopting anti-circumvention measures (and other provisions) similar to the DMCA, well that's an easy one. They're signatories of the 1996 WIPO Copyright Treaty [wikipedia.org]. You remember that one, don't you? That's the treaty that a very tiny handful of people (including myself) were decrying fifteen years ago while everyone else was completely fucking ignoring it and its implications. Yeah, that's the same treaty that the vast majority of you probably still don't even know exists (much less that your country quietly signed it right under the press and public's radar). Not that I'm bitter or anything.

    • That's the treaty that a very tiny handful of people (including myself) were decrying fifteen years ago while everyone else was completely fucking ignoring it and its implications

      Everyone still ignores it and its implications. Most people are exactly what the mass media conditions them to be: passive consumers. The majority of people simply do not care about whether or not it is illegal to produce software that can be used to circumvent copy-restriction technologies.

    • by Trepidity (597)

      WIPO Copyright Treaty. You remember that one, don't you?

      I've probably been around here too long, but I think the #1 reason I know about the WIPO treaty (and the organization itself) is because of the famous Slashdot troll of that name [50megs.com].

    • I didn't ignore it; I was 13...
    • by brunes69 (86786) <slashdot@NospAm.keirstead.org> on Wednesday September 21, 2011 @09:27AM (#37468098) Homepage

      RTFA.

      Bill C-32 goes far beyond what is needed by the WIPO treaty. In fact, C-32 does not even have some exemptions that the DMCA has in it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by DNS-and-BIND (461968)
      Hey, it's not all bad, WIPO enforcement is one of the reasons that China's cleaning up its act these days. It's not like the old days with DVD shops and fake software everywhere. I can't even hardly find counterfeits any more.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        Even if that is true, I couldn't care less. A bill with numerous alleged flaws is not justified to me just because it attempts to stop the potential loss of potential profit.

    • They're really surprised that a U.S. government report is based on corporate whoring rather than empirical evidence and analysis? Wow, Canadians really ARE naive.

      Not at all. They're just smart enough not to put "America are dicks regarding copyright. Fuck their legislation!" into a medium where it might be leaked to the press.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 21, 2011 @09:53AM (#37468450)

      "They're really surprised that a U.S. government report is based on corporate whoring rather than empirical evidence and analysis? Wow, Canadians really ARE naive."

      We aren't naive. We are too polite to tell the Americans to PFO.

      Where we were naive was signing the WIPO treaty way back in 1996 without public consultation, and before most people had any idea that copyright issues would become so important to the general public. Huge revisions to copyright for the "digital age" before we really understood what "digital age" meant. Dumb. As people have become more familiar with it, we've been naive enough to think that our government has been negotiating copyright law revisions in good faith, and with an honest attempt at balance between creator and user rights. It's become more and more obvious that isn't the case. They're seriously going to introduce Bill C-32 without modification? Time to write my new MP.

      The single most important part of C-32 that should change is the ridiculous idea that circumventing "digital locks" should be illegal even if the action being taken is otherwise legal. That's crazy. Either we have the rights described in copyright law and can legally exercise them, or we don't actually have them. The "anti-circumvention" rules should not trump the other parts of the act, otherwise the whole thing is a farce. Oh, yay, we have new rights for format shifting, but if someone rot13'd the data to encrypt it we would be breaking the new law anyway? They've been told over and over how silly it is (the previous minister was even asked about the inconsistency in a news conference and stuttered his way through an irrelevant answer), but the provision is still there. Idiots.

    • by hitmark (640295)

      And that agreement, and others like it, is why no nation outside of "rogue states" will be seen altering their copyright law for the good of the community any time soon.

      • by elrous0 (869638) *

        And sadly, many of those "rogue states" will probably have more economic sanctions leveled at them than countries that do REAL evil, abuse human rights, etc.

        • by hitmark (640295)

          Indeed, this because the "first" world can via those laws take rent from the "third" world. Just observe Monsanto to see the first attempts.

    • by multisync (218450)

      They're really surprised that a U.S. government report is based on corporate whoring rather than empirical evidence and analysis? Wow, Canadians really ARE naive.

      Who said Canadians are surprised? Wow, elrous0 really fails at reading comprehension.

  • by davegravy (1019182) on Wednesday September 21, 2011 @09:25AM (#37468064)

    Between this secret document and the wikileaks cables uncovered [michaelgeist.ca] it's pretty clear that the US owns Canada.

    • by djmurdoch (306849)

      ...it's pretty clear that the US owns Canada.

      Not all of Canada. Only the Conservative party. Oh yeah, and the Liberal party.

      • by Genda (560240)

        Oh, and not all of the U.S., just it's corporations...

        • You make it sound like there's a difference

          • There is, there are the corporations and there are the consumers. The consumers in the US go along with the draconian laws hoping that their stocks in media companies will gain value. When stock values go up far enough, investment bankers sell their stocks and call it "profit taking". It's taxed at 15% here and isn't included in entitlement income taxes either. We in the US are getting screwed, as well, we're just too naive to realize it and take a stand against it.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        I know a guy who votes Conservative because his parents voted for them, and they are (no matter what any party says or does) just better and the morally right choice. When I confronted him over the omnibus internet implications, he said "that's a good thing. The government needs to control and monitor everyone's internet access."

        He's a CS student that put up the OpenMedia flyers...

      • Are there any other party left ?...
        • by w_dragon (1802458)
          Well the NDP is currently the Official Opposition federally, and I'm hearing things about the Wild Rose Party in Alberta, so yes, there are other parties up here.
          • NPD.. You mean the party that we all voted for because we wanted some changes, any changes even if we do not agree with their views, that party that their head died a couple of weeks ago ? Sounds promising... Wild Rose Party ? Never heard about it... It must be as popular as the green party or the communist party. Anyways nothing will change in this department until Canada has a real one person = 1 vote system.
            • by w_dragon (1802458)
              Wild Rose is a provincial party in Alberta. The Liberals have what, about 10% of the seats in the house? But you would put them as a major party above the NDP? You're an idiot.
      • by Jmc23 (2353706)
        Which makes me long for the days of Chretien. At least he had the balls to go against the whole stupid let's go invade Iraq, you know by pulling our US troops out of the country where Osama is.

        It was the equivalent of

        Bush:'Your either with us or against us'.

        Chretien:'Whatever'

    • Did you read this "secret document"? I've gone through the first 10 pages (and the article summary) and it sounds eminently reasonable to me so far. I've seen no indication yet that they're doing the US's (actually RIAA/MPAA) bidding.

      • I've seen no indication yet that they're doing the US's (actually RIAA/MPAA) bidding.

        Really?? [arstechnica.com]

      • Re:Owned (Score:4, Interesting)

        by djmurdoch (306849) on Wednesday September 21, 2011 @09:39AM (#37468276)

        That document contains the planned answers to potential questions before a parliamentary committee. They're designed to hide the truth and sounce reasonable. For example, the answer to the question about non-infringing use on p 10 sounds reasonable, but avoids the question: why can't consumers break TPMs for legal uses of the material?

        • You may find their answer non-compelling (as I do), but they didn't avoid it. They said that if a producer went to some length to lock their work, then it's illegal to break their lock. And if that pushes the market to unlocked products, so be it.

          • by djmurdoch (306849)

            The question was about why there should be government enforcement of TPMs, and there was no answer for that. It was just stated that there should be.

          • And if that pushes the market to unlocked products, so be it.

            If history is any indicator, the music/film market doesn't get "pushed". Consumers will simply be pushed to break the law.

      • by poetmatt (793785)

        if that were true, this would have been made public by politicians willing to take a stand (and gain votes). Instead, it's been acknowledged in complete secrecy.

  • by AngryDeuce (2205124) on Wednesday September 21, 2011 @09:29AM (#37468122)

    I bet the ease with which a politician justifies policy like this is directly proportional to the amount of money those that benefit most from it give to those politicians so that they can remain politicians.

    Capitalism! Fuck Yeah!

    • Capitalism does not create corruption, it minimizes overhead for corruption, but it doesn't create it. There just needs to be a death penalty for taking money from private interests while serving the public interest.

      • by Tsingi (870990)

        Capitalism does not create corruption, it minimizes overhead for corruption, but it doesn't create it. There just needs to be a death penalty for taking money from private interests while serving the public interest.

        As opposed to getting the green light by the supreme court?

      • by Grelfod (1222108)

        That would take care of majority (if not all) of the politicians in the US for sure...

        Great idea!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 21, 2011 @09:48AM (#37468398)

    Years back an ex-porn star running for Gov of California was interviewed by Howard Stern. He said something to the effect of "we don't care what you think, we just want to know how big a c*k you can suck".

    Turns out, that is exactly the right qualification for being a politician.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      I don't think being naked in Terminator makes him a porn star.
      Agree with the rest.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    The real irony here is linking to a document on Scribd in an article about Digital Restriction Management. Scrib is nothing but a scam to hold documents hostage in exchange for ad view and personal information.

  • by guidryp (702488) on Wednesday September 21, 2011 @10:14AM (#37468694)

    http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/1048993--leaks-show-u-s-swayed-canada-on-copyright-bill?bn=1 [thestar.com]

    A U.S. Embassy cable written in April 2009 describes a meeting between
    Zoe Addington, director of policy for then industry minister Clement,
    and U.S. officials.

    “In contrast to the messages from other Canadian officials, she said
    that if Canada is elevated to the Special 301 Priority Watch List
    (PWL), it would not hamper — and might even help — the (government of
    Canada's) ability to enact copyright legislation,” the cable says.

    Days later, Canada was elevated on the piracy watch list.

  • by mark-t (151149) <markt@@@lynx...bc...ca> on Wednesday September 21, 2011 @10:18AM (#37468718) Journal

    Seriously. I hate them. They aren't helping copyright by this, they are harming it.

    This bill so effing retarded it's not funny. In particular, the fact that there is no intention whatsoever to allow any exemption to the digital locks provision where the copying is entirely uninfringing is so utterly lacking in even a modest amount of forethought as to wonder how the heck the people who proposed it could even have the mental capacity to have written it down in the first place.

    The implication is that the content producer will determine what type of non-infringing copies might be allowed to be created, but this determination is inherently coupled with the availability of particular technology, and could quickly be rendered entirely obsolete, forcing the consumer into a situation where they face vendor lock-in with a brand that is all but irrelevant in the ever-progressing field of technology.

    Canadians who even know about this bill are going to presume for themselves that the provisions of this bill are unreasonable, and will summarily ignore it, privately or otherwise, as history is more than enough of an example to show that the general public does not indefinitely continue to follow laws that they believe to be unfair. If they did, nobody would ever speed except by accident, and there would still be racial segregation on buses.

    I've written no less than 3 separate letters to our government on this matter, and received exactly one response from the last one which was a form letter highlighting the so-called virtues of this bill, and did not address even a single concern in my actual letter.

    I used to think Canada was a great place to live.... now I'm really not so sure.

    • by Jmc23 (2353706)
      You can always vote with your money. Really, if it's so important to you don't buy the product. If you'd rather have the product and just like whining, well grow up.
      • by mark-t (151149)

        It doesn't matter what *I* do... the simple fact of the matter is that the new provisions are going to be perceived as entirely unfair by most people - and that's assuming that a person even knows about the new bill, turning millions of people who aren't even infringing on copyright into criminals the very day that this bill is signed into law (since copying within the provisions of fair dealing is considered an actual exception to infringement). This bill causes digital locks to trump all fair dealing p

      • "You can always vote with your money. Really, if it's so important to you don't buy the product."

        This argument is meaningless because most people are stupid/incompetent/anti-intellectual or clueless. Also most kids aren't going to wait or boycott something especially if it's something they are emotionally attached to. People are not rational, so markets in many instances don't work at all.

        See the Modern warfare boycott here (notice a lot "boycotting" the game actually didn't)

        http://imageshack.us/photo/my [imageshack.us]

        • by mark-t (151149)
          It's also the exact same argument that the conservatives themselves use to defend the bill's "fairness". It almost makes me wonder if Jmc23 is actually an alias for James Moore.
          • by Jmc23 (2353706)
            No, I don't like what the conservatives are doing. I'm just saying the truth. Imagine if a product launched and exactly 0 sales were made in canada.

            The problem is that all these whiners are a bunch of wusses. Gauranteed.that all of them will buy the products anyways because they're more concerned about their entertainment. Seriously, if you're worried then do something about it. Boycot products, set up information websites. Create a facebook group. Get a petition in your community going to put for

            • by mark-t (151149)

              Except it won't get zero sales... not because of the digital lock provisions at any rate. I could do everything in my power to organize a boycott and it would be spectacularly ineffective, because most people will buy whatever hits their fancy, and that will be enough for locked products to succeed, When people discover that the law will not permit them to use the works as they see fit, they will simply conclude that the laws are unfair, rather than stop buying those products, and will summarily proceed

              • by Jmc23 (2353706)
                Try it. A written letter from one person does nothing. Organise something, get it on the media, have your member present at the event, there's no way they can ignore an invitation when a large part of their constituency is present. That will accomplish awarenness and awareness is always the first step to change. Don't write go there in person, you might be suprised by how easy it is to talk to your member and how much more effective. BTW, I used to work for our government.
                • by mark-t (151149)
                  People with far more charisma and political pull than I could ever hope to muster have similar views to my own (Michael Geist, to name just one) and their views and concerns have gone entirely unheeded. The conservatives have a majority and are not interested in what anybody else has to say in this regard. The conservatives want this bill to pass and the only thing that can possibly stop it now is either if for some reason this bill requires a majority vote that the conservatives don't have enough seats
                  • by Jmc23 (2353706)
                    Michael has done his part and reached his audience, an international audience of geeks. Level of detail. Your job is not the same as michaels nor on the same level. You need to take that information and disseminate it further. everybody has to do their part.

                    Sheesh, did you grow up without parents? If you don't believe you can accomplish something then you can't.

                    • by mark-t (151149)

                      Sure Mr. Geist has reached his audience... he's even had the opportunity to speak (in person, no less) before the committee that was reviewing this bill. This is far more than I could ever hope to do (or desire to, for that matter, as Mr. Geist has expressed the key matters far more eloquently than I could ever hope to, and my own expression of concerns would doubtlessly sound infantile in comparison).

                      As for disseminating it further myself - I have done... to the fullest extent that I believe I may be p

        • by Jmc23 (2353706)
          The point is do something about it. Most of the great benefits of our country came about because people believed in them and actualy took ACTION instead of whining about it. If you think the masses are ignorant and it's important to you then it's you're responsability to educate them. Simple. Do, don't whine.
    • by DarthVain (724186)

      Now that the Conservatives have a majority, its as good as law.

      I'm sure the majority of American's living in the US that didn't vote for Bush were thinking the same thing, when they got elected. Then more so when it happened again.

      A big chunk of the Conservative support are idiots. I know, I've tried to talk to some of them. Sure there a some nutbags in the NDP and Green, but I'd wager the Conservatives have more per capita. (Well the green might have more, but that is mostly due to their such small numbers

      • by ErikZ (55491) *

        I tried to stress, that if you are working for a union, and vote Conservative, that not only are you voting contrary to your best interests, that also pretty much makes you an idiot.

        Oh really. Well then, please point out the party that happens to align up with ALL of my interests.

        What's that? There isn't any? So then no matter who I vote for, I'll be voting against my interests in some way?

        Who is the idiot here?

        • by nuckfuts (690967)

          So then no matter who I vote for, I'll be voting against my interests in some way?

          Who is the idiot here?

          You are the idiot if you can't see the difference between a party that doesn't align perfectly with every one of your interests and a party with a predominant agenda to actively f*ck you over.

          • by ErikZ (55491) *

            Fine.

            I'm Pro-Union (Democrat) and Anti-Illegal Immigration (Which takes away union jobs by undercutting prices. Republican.)

            Which party should I vote for? Which one of these parties don't have a predominant agenda to actively fuck me over?

            You can say "fuck", I give you a reprieve from your self-sensorship.

            • by nuckfuts (690967)

              I'm Pro-Union (Democrat) and Anti-Illegal Immigration (Which takes away union jobs by undercutting prices. Republican.)

              Which party should I vote for? Which one of these parties don't have a predominant agenda to actively fuck me over?

              FFS, are you really that thick? First of all, no party is Pro-Illegal Immigration. That's why it's "illegal".

              Secondly, if you are pro-union, then Republicans are your enemy [huffingtonpost.com]. Their agenda should be 100 times more frightening to you than the notion of Mexicans sneaking across the border and stealing away union jobs.

        • by DarthVain (724186)

          OK I am assuming your employment and method for earning a living would be one of the largest interests to any one individual?

          It would be like a Jew in 1942 Germany joining the NAZI party because of their position Corporate Tax policy. Sure they might feel strongly about that corporate tax policy, but I am pretty sure anyone would agree that should they vote that way, not exactly in their best interests. Not sure if that counts as a Godwin....

          Now while that is a ridiculously extreme example, I think my first

          • by mdielmann (514750)

            Losing union status, or even losing the protected status that unions have in virtually every province of Canada isn't the same as losing your job. In fact, being able to fire people who need to be fired without having to fear the repercussions from the union may improve the chances of your company's continued success, and therefore most of those jobs you were talking about.

            While unions may have their place, and certainly did in the past, there isn't anything that couldn't be done at least as well with some

            • by DarthVain (724186)

              losing union status isn't the problem. It's when you try and collectively bargain, or go on strike and the government of Canada FORCES you to go back to work, or the government of Canada writes the agreement, that is worse than what your actual employer was offering, and then FORCES you to accept it. In some cases FORCES you back to work on pain of being sued for thousands of dollars. In many cases agreeing to or creating agreements that will reduce the workforce or make it easier for you to be let go witho

              • by mdielmann (514750)

                This isn't something limited to the PC party, although I expect they're worse than most. Both of my ex's parents were in a union (until her dad graduated out as junior management) and she had to listen to their complaints from childhood. They too worked for an essential service.

                • by DarthVain (724186)

                  Having "essential services" in a union is stupid. They are not allowed to strike, but get to vote. For example, we have prison guards in our union. Its not like they can just go on strike. That makes sense. What doesn't make sense is that because they KNOW they will NEVER have to strike, but ALWAYS receive the benefits from one, every time we have a vote to strike, their vote is like 100%. Those of us that are not essential services get screwed.

                  Also people with jobs like, police, prison guards, ambulance dr

                  • by mdielmann (514750)

                    Yes, I can certainly see your point, and that's another thing that reduces the effectiveness of unions (if they still have any). And sadly, the main goal of those in power seems to be to gain more power...

              • by gmack (197796)

                The only one I minded was the back to work legislation for Air Canada but I suspect that is more about keeping the government investments alive instead of instead of admitting they wasted money on Air Canada and letting the airline die like they should.

                Government unions throw off the balance of power in favor of the union in unfortunate ways. In the private sector if the union goes on strike or drives costs up too much they risk the company going out of business and they lose their jobs and while they are

                • by DarthVain (724186)

                  Well as for the Public sector, the politicians also are not under pressure for going out of business. Unless the services are really missed (at which point they are classified as "Essential" and not allowed to strike), they can just ignore the strike so long as they want and if it is politically OK.

                  For example last time we were on strike, what they simply did was keep us on strike long enough to save the amount of money that the Union was asking for, and then give it to them... Union idiots called it a succ

  • and it is...
    copyright == book-burning.

  • I have mixed feelings about this Bill. On one hand, parts of the Bill seem very reasonable. For example, reducing the maximum penalty for infringement and going after the enablers both seem like sensible approaches. Extensions to education for fair dealing also seems reasonable. The less reasonable parts obviously include not being able to make a video library from what you record from TV, and not being able to bypass digital locks for media transfers. On its face, those parts of the Bill seem ludicro
    • by Anonymous Coward

      I think you're thinking of trademark law on one of those points. Copyright holders can have their copyright for a hundred years and don't have to do anything.

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