Thursday, June 12, 2008

Bill C-61

Here it is.

Comments to follow.

Government explanatory material is here.



  1. Specifically, it includes measures that would:

    -expressly allow you to record TV shows for later viewing; copy legally purchased music onto other devices, such as MP3 players or cell phones; make back-up copies of legally purchased books, newspapers, videocassettes and photographs onto devices you own; and limit the "statutory damages" a court could award for all private use copyright infringements;

    -implement new rights and protections for copyright holders, tailored to the Internet, to encourage participation in the online economy, as well as stronger legal remedies to address Internet piracy;

    -clarify the roles and responsibilities of Internet Service Providers related to the copyright content flowing over their network facilities; and

    -provide photographers with the same rights as other creators.

    What Bill C-61 does not do:

    -it would not empower border agents to seize your iPod or laptop at border crossings, contrary to recent public speculation

    What this Bill is not:

    -it is not a mirror image of U.S. copyright laws. Our Bill is made-in-Canada with different exceptions for educators, consumers and others and brings us into line with more than 60 countries including Japan, France, Germany and Australia

    Bill C-61 was introduced in the Commons on June 12, 2008 by Industry Minister Jim Prentice and Heritage Minister Josée Verner.
    For more information, please visit the Copyright Reform Process website at

    Thank you for sharing your views on this important matter.

    The Honourable Jim Prentice, P.C., Q.C., M.P.
    Minister of Industry

    The Honourable Josée Verner, P.C., M.P.
    Minister of Canadian Heritage, Status of Women
    and Official Languages and Minister for
    La Francophonie

  2. Specifically, it includes measures that would:

    -expressly allow you to record TV shows for later viewing; copy legally purchased music onto other devices, such as MP3 players or cell phones; make back-up copies of legally purchased books, newspapers, videocassettes and photographs onto devices you own; and limit the "statutory damages" a court could award for all private use copyright infringements;


  3. Does anyone wonder if they're going to make this a confidence motion as well?

  4. Just watched a recording of you on BNN's squeeze play on youtube, Howard, and I have to comment on how ignorant the hosts were, especially the woman, who seemed to be willing to sheep herself out to the american corporations.

    What this country needs is more people like you who put the consumer and the people's best interests before foreign corporate fat cats. Our government seems contented on selling out it's populace to please the U.S. corporate body. I think it's about time to seperate corporate and governmental states before people start selling out their neighbours for a few bucks.

  5. @Paper Bag Princess
    would suspect that is the only chance the bill has at passing, assuming the liberals remain spineless and too scared to have an election :P

  6. This bill would have been useful, in 1982. Today, it misses the point of 90% of the daily transactions of the people of Canada.

    It's a confused and muddled document, that gives rights in one paragraph, only to have them entirely taken away in the next.

    For example, if a television station sets a copy protection flag, but your hardware does not use it (is too old), then are you breaking the law? Seems to me you do, and that it is your responsibility to know which broadcast bits are set if your recorder (analog or digital) does not.

    The anti-DRM legislation seems to make it a criminal offense to remove illegal software from your computer, if that software is encrypted. The Sony rootkit opens all of your security to any other program, and it isn't even illegal as such, but removing that program sounds like it is illegal.

    With all of the thousands of hacks and keyboard loggers, people need the right to remove harmful products, not cater to the hackers who use DRM to make the illegal code hard to remove (or illegal to remove).

    Trivial DRM is still DRM. It can be used as a trap to lure users into making minor modifications (ie, changing the file extension), which can be seen as a form of protection. That exposes people to civil liability for doing something trivial, and routine.

  7. Here is an email I sent to our Prime Minister yesterday, which I am hoping he reads, cause I am ticked.

    To Mr. Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada

    As a Canadian Citizen, I am angry, that you will use our hard earned Tax Payers money on a simple useless bill to reform the copyright law. This new proposed legislation is not a Canadian issue, but an American dictated issue. Since when has Canada become a dictatorship. This law is not only going to hurt good decent people, but yourself and your party in the next federal election. Canada is not a member nor a state in the USA, it isnt the 53rd state. We are Canadians, 100% Canadians, I didnt take an oath to become an american citizen, but did you. Canada has one of the Strongest Copyright Laws in the world, why do you feel like it needs to be changed when it is just fine the way it is. I dont mind paying a levy tax that supports the artists in the music and motion picture industry on all CD/DVD media, TV's, Home Theater units, certain computer hardware/software, etc, just to have to right to download from the internet. The internet was created to allow people to connect with one another throughout the world, and to share, upload, and download. Taking away people's rights is wrong. Canada was not founded under a Dictatorship, but as a Democracy, and to let the United States interfere with our countries beliefs and policies is Wrong, like it says in our national Anthem "the true north strong and free". Introducing this American dictated law certainly takes away that meaning. If your looking for a re-election to become Prime Minister again, I would not, and I strongly say I WOULD NOT introduce this law now nor in the future, cause you will severely tarnish the PC party and its reputation, just like Brian Mulroney did when he introduced GST.

    I would like to see our money spent on other issues, such as catching online predators that prey on the weak and children, building new Jails to support the ever demanding prison population increases, more money to our police forces accross the nation, education, healthcare, infostructure, issues like that, which are important, not on this copyright law which isnt an important issue and never really has been. If your going to let the USA walk all over us, or the european union, then maybe we should give up our constitution, and become puppets of the United States, which is basically what you and your party have become. Everytime a canadian made bill is introduced, the united states steps in and makes us get rid of it, cause they dont like what it means for them, like the Maurijuana bill that never got passed through parliament, Cause the USA saw it as a security threat to there country and citizens.

    If this Copyright bill gets passed through parliament and becomes law, as a Canadian citizen I will have lost all faith in the PC government, and refuse to vote your party back into power again. I wasnt born as a Canadian to vote in American puppets as our leaders, only true Canadians as leaders. So please as a Canadian, learn to stand on your own 2 feet, and make decisions based on Canadian views, and not other countries, stop letting the USA hold you and your party up and getting them to dictate there views to you, your party, and the rest of CANADA.

    Mr. Kirk Bannister
    Calgary, Alberta, CANADA

  8. It should be flattering, Howard, that the responsible ministers for Bill C-61 took the time to write to your blog to promote the bill. It shows that they consider your forum to be an important and credible one.

    I know it's a bit of, if not an extract from, a form letter, but it addresses some key issues that other readers of the blog can qualify if they wish.

    Of course they (or their advisors) may have wanted at least one positive posting about the bill on your blog ... But I don't imagine that the ministers have posted across the country on all the blogs that may mention their bill.

    This doesn't surprise me, but congratulations anyway.

  9. Where, in this bill, is the protection for the general public when corporations or other copyright holders overextend their use of the IP? For example, museum artwork that is several hundred years old, yet as this blog mentioned "copyright holders" still prevent photography, and maintain full ownership.

    Who is in charge of the public domain? Why does Prentice think he can pilfer more goods out of it, against previous agreements?

    Where does this bill clearly differentiate between legal, free, valid, open copyright, and "illegal downloads"? Some copyright holders put their own works up onto YouTube. Then some other random business declares that files is a violation of copyright. Who wins? It is NEVER the average person who simply downloads a public file, since confusion is all over this bill. Everything is "illegal". What bullshit. I place my software up onto the internet for free, I own it, and it isn't Prentices place to scare off my potential customers with fear, simply to protect the rights of his friends at Microsoft.

    Why isn't the focus of "protecting copyrights" placed onto the copyright holder? If their items are too good for the general public, why shouldn't the onus be on them to rigidly and completely protect their own IP? This bill permits minimal encryption and full benefits. How about the copyright owners release their goods exclusively on Bluray, with all protections in place, and if the system is broken then a new key is issued. That's how it works. It
    's THEIR responsibility. Consumers face confusion about which goods are free and legal, and which ones are not.

    What about IP placed into the public domain, and then pulled out when the creator dies, and the new owners pull it out? Why wouldn't that be handled in this bill?

    What about infinitely long copyright terms for corporations, but limits for individuals? That's balanced? What planet is he from? How about business copyright is clearly set for everyone equally.

    How about a 3 strikes rule for business who randomly sue with no evidence, hoping you fold and pay $3,000 rather than $50,000+ in legal fees? They do that 3 times, they lose all their IP.

    Copyright should be about responsibility, not free handouts from government, the cost of which is borne entirely by the general public, for goods that somehow never come into the public domain.

    Balanced. What bullshit.

  10. I see what Prentice did, it's just a small typo. It's a "Made in the 51st State" bill. Not everyone wants to be american though.

  11. This is what I wrote back to my auto-response. Do they even read these things? Probably not.

    The lack of public consulation and partipation in this process has been frankly appalling. It is only through watchdog groups that Canadian citizens are even being
    made aware of Bill C-61 and it's full implications. I have to ask, are you intentionally baiting the trap by failing to make the public aware of these changes in order to facilitate the bringing of lawsuits against Canadian citizens?

    Copyright infringement is not a violent crime. It doesn't take a disturbed or sociopathic person to
    commit it. In fact, you yourself have probably been guilty of it at some point in your life. We all have. Rather than be a part of a positive solution, this Bill and the legislators who drafted it have instead decided to paint a target on the chest of Canadian citizens on behalf of corporate entertainment interests. You have virtually ensured that a vast
    majority of Canadians, given the ambiguity and inconsistencies of this Bill, will not understand what
    is expected of them. I have not met a single person who was even aware that this Bill had been introduced.

    What is at issue here is financial liability. There is no question that theft is wrong. However it is
    irresponsible and grossly negligent to make sweeping changes in Bill C-61 that affect almost everyone's
    life, especially those who can least afford the legal trouble, without also launching a public awareness campaign to make the public aware of the changes, at
    the very least.

    Patriotic buzzwords ring hollow when our "Canadian solution" is going to be forced on our lives without our knowledge, participation or consent. I have never been so disappointed in and ashamed of my government.

  12. Help!
    I'm trapped in a police state. Can someone smuggle me to Mexico?

  13. Is C-61 in effect? Or are we waiting for it to become Law in the Fall?