Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Copyright Reform Back on Course?

There's very encouraging news from Michael Geist, who was at Monday's exclusive government digital agenda pow wow.

There are strong indications that Ministers Clement and Moore really "get it" when it comes to copyright reform and its relation to innovation, and matters generally digital and cultural.

Minister Clement, who has incredibly important responsibilities for everything from competition to communications to copyright, notes that a lot has changed since Bill C-61. And the twittering, young, and very tech savvy Minister Moore once again prominently notes Michael Geist's tweets as a positive example of all that can be done with the various gadgets that he carries in his pockets and uses so often and so well.

All of these positive statements and strong hints at what could be a very exciting and constructive consultation process can be seen on Michael's posting today.

Lobbying organizations such as CRIA and CMPDA, which have clearly spent a fortune trying to hijack the copyright policy agenda in Canada for their members' special purposes and engage in "policy laundering" regarding their own role, may be worried about ministers who actually care about balance, innovation, cool technology and culture - and who are clearly listening to voices other than those of the usual suspects.

Could Canada get back on track and show some world leadership here? That would be cool indeed.

Clearly, what we are currently seeing in France, the UK, and in the USA is not the way to go. Any smart politician - and both Ministers are clearly very smart - can see that directions such as three strikes, statutory minimum damages against individuals, and digital lock downs are neither good policy nor good politics.

This could be an interesting and hopefully very productive summer.

Hopefully, we finally have the right Ministers, the right officials, the right politics and the right timing to modernize Canada's copyright law in a constructive, balanced and forward thinking manner - rather than resorting to desperate and artificial attempts to preserve failed and obsolete business models.


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