Friday, March 12, 2010

Will Canadian Copyright Revision Spring Forth Early?

This year, it sure looks like we are having an early spring.

And it may be that we will have an earlier than expected springtime copyright bill, as I am hearing on good authority.

Will it hopefully be truly “recalibrated” to serve Canadian needs and show Canadian competence, sovereignty and leadership? Or will it be the “Son of 61" - and follow in the footsteps of that very unpopular bill from 2008?

Will it be WIPO ready, and if so will Canada ratify the WIPO treaties? More crucially, will it be ACTA ready, whatever that may turn out to mean? If it is a balanced, reasonable and viable bill domestically, will that mean that Canada has drawn a line in the sand beyond which it will not go in the so-far-secret ACTA negotiations?

And above all, can any bill of any substance be passed in this minority Parliament and get through the Senate with adequate committee hearings and debate in time for the next election, whenever that may be? Bill C-32 - which was much simpler and much less controversial than Bill C-61, for example, took precisely a year to get through and that was with a majority government and without any effective mobilization of "citizen democracy" online. In 1997, we did not have blogs, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.

If the next bill is truly balanced, well drafted, and comprehensible, it could be passed into law relatively quickly. If not, it may become the third failed bill in five years.


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