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Copyright Law: ZeroPaid
Copyright Consultation Blasted By Copyright Maximalist As ?Useless?
The Canadian copyright consultation has allowed many Canadians from all walks of life to voice their opinion on the critical issue of copyright law and reform. Apparently, some involved in the copyright industry have a problem with that.
We’ve been following the twists and turns of the Canadian copyright consultation closely and it seems to be an endless supply of noteworthy occurrences. More recently, Michael Geist posted an updated version of the submissions tally. Amongst the tally, there were 243 submissions in favour of stronger personal use/copying and backup protections, 222 submissions against another Bill C-61, and 270 submissions against anti-circumvention or in favour of limiting DRM/Digital locks. On the other end of the spectrum, 1 submission in favour of turning copyright into a crime, 1 submission in favour of implementing WIPO, 2 submissions in favour of stronger penalties for copyright infringement, and 20 submissions against works being available in digital or other forms for free. It’s hard to argue with the numbers of what Canada wants in copyright, but that doesn’t mean the the pro-restricting copyright camp isn’t going down without a fight.
Barry Sookman, a registered lobbyist for CRIA and the CMPDA and Stephen Stohn, a Canadian entertainment lawyer, have already argued for Canada to adopt a three strikes law.
In another posting in the Law Times, apparently, Sookman blasted the consultation as “useless”.
Glen Bloom, a partner with Osler Hoskin & Harcourt LLP?s Ottawa office, says the consultation process is unnecessary.
?The government has had years of input,? he says. ?I think it?s a political decision. The bill will be controversial regardless of what?s in it.
?The government has got to come out and state, ?This is our policy; this is why we?re doing it,? and proceed. Endless consultation is useless,? he says.
With thousands of Canadians standing up against this kind of push to restrict copyright, one wonders if he thinks the consultation is useless because he knows the copyright industry has been hugely outnumbered by, well, Canada. Clearly, his viewpoint is in a very small minority if the submissions or the round tables are anything to go by. So really, his hopes is that the Canadian government will reject the will of the Canadian people in favour of a handful of foreign interests – a concept that could wind up being political suicide.
Stunningly, Sookman further gives this comment:
?That?s really what needs to be done, and that?s all being delayed because of the inaction on issues that have been addressed by our trading partners worldwide,? he says.
Define “addressed”. Does the French revolts against three strikes count as “addressed”? What about how big file-sharing is in the United States even though one person was fined $1.92 million for sharing 24 songs? What about the UK political war over three strikes where one ISP was under fire for implementing their own three strikes while the Culture Secretary called three strikes as too draconian? What about the industry still being unable to implement an EU-three strikes law, but still trying? His use of the term “addressed” is extremely poorly worded at best.
What Sookman seems to hope is that no one is paying attention to the international media and try and convince everyone that Canada is the only country that has yet to address the issue of copyright. Bad news for Sookman, at least one Canadian is.
Sookman also argued that the Canadian government has years of input on the subject of copyright. If he was truthful on the matter, perhaps he should have said that the government had some input on the matters 8 years ago. Either that or had years of input from one side (the consultation reveals, the side with the least support numbers-wise) of the debate behind closed doors. The government was criticized for years for picking winners and losers in the debate when the Liberals tabled Bill C-60 and the Conservatives tabled Bill C-61 – mainly the vast majority of the Canadian people were the losers.
It should be noted that it wasn’t like the consultation was ever stacked against the pro-copyright restricting movement. The CRIA, AFM, CMPDA and other organizations who want to restrict copyright have a huge member base to draw from. One wonders if the member bases are either not participating in copyright for various reasons or the member bases are finding themselves at odds with their own entities and supporting a more liberal approach to copyright. There’s still 5 weeks left in the consultation, so that could still theoretically change if the member bases were never mobilized at this point. Still, at this point, it’s really looking like Canada has spoken on the issue and it’s infuriating foreign interests.
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