Monday, April 16, 2007

CRIA and CMEC Train Wreck?

As Michael Geist first reported yesterday (the Hill Times paper edition comes out on Sunday), the Hill Times has a blurb today about at bill that would make CRIA, CMEC and the USA very happy - and will or should cause distress to just about every other current Canadian copyright stakeholder.

This sounds like exactly what I talked about last September 8, 2006.

Here, for your research purposes, is the brief Hill Times report, as provided by a third party:

Ottawa, April 16, 2007:

Copyright bill to be tabled before summer if no election: sources

The Conservative government is preparing to table its copyright reform bill if there is no election this spring, The Hill Times is hearing.

Sources say the bill will depart in two key ways from the last piece of legislation, tabled by the Liberal government in June 2005, which died on the Order Paper when Parliament dissolved for the 2006 election. Reflecting the policies of the Conservative government, the bill is expected to depart from the Liberal legislation by providing stronger legal protection for rights-management technologies (also known as technological protection measures, or copy and access controls); as well as an educational exception for classroom access to free web materials, addressing concerns raised by the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada. The bill has also undergone a large amount of technical fine-tuning, and although some issues remain unresolved, bureaucrats in Canadian Heritage and Industry Canada will be under pressure to get a bill before Parliament this spring if the government decides not to trigger an election. Some observers now consider it unlikely that, this spring, the Conservatives will try to engineer their defeat on a confidence vote in the House because, given the political environment, the party does not seem to have a clear opportunity to win a majority government. Copyright is considered one of the most divisive and lobbied areas of federal policymaking. The government is not expected to introduce a bill in advance of an election because there will be unhappy industry and public interest groups, creating unnecessary nuisances at a time when the government is trying to focus on campaigning.The previous bill proposed to implement two treaties of the World Intellectual Property Organization, which the former Liberal government signed in 1997. Action on implementing the treaties has come at a slow pace largely because industry groups are divided about how to proceed with amendments.—Simon Doyle

If the Bill lives up to the billing and gets passed as such, it will be a very bad development for Canada and quite possibly for Canada's New Government.

On the other hand, if the Bill is introduced but somehow doesn't move forward to committee before the next election, that would be a win/win for everyone - at least for a while. It might postpone and ultimately even provide sufficient time to stop what could be a very serious train wreck for all concerned....

Of course, Canada's New Government could also listen to the other stakeholders - who actually have some positive suggestions that would actually benefit major Canadian interests and not cause harm...and Canada's New Government should live up to its March 19, 2005 Policy Declaration...

Some of these other points would be very easy to draft - and would not cause any delay...

More to come....


No comments:

Post a Comment