Information identified as archived on the Web is for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It has not been altered or updated after the date of archiving. Web pages that are archived on the Web are not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards. As per the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada, you can request alternate formats on the "Contact Us" page.
How do Canada's copyright laws affect you? How should existing laws be modernized?
As a consumer, the laws restrict my legal options when it comes to making backup copies of software, music and artwork that I purchase. As a result I must often resort to illegal means when I make backups, or when I need to assist a family member who has not made a backup and, for example, needs to reinstal Windows but can't find the original disk. Additionally, if I am not mistaken, there is a levy on recordable media that is designed to somehow compensate artists for imagined theft. I do not feel that this charge is reasonable, and I would be very surprised if this compensation ever made it to the artist. I suspect rather that this money goes to large corporations, which is why they lobbied for this charge to begin with.
As an artist, Canada's copyright laws limit what I and other artists can create, thus limiting the sum total of art generated by Canadians and hampering our cultural development as a nation.
Based on Canadian values and interests, how should copyright changes be made in order to withstand the test of time.
The influence of corporations on the development of copyright laws should be minimized as much as possible. Corporations are (understandably) interested only in money. They are not interested in culture, and certainly not freedom of expression. They are not to be trusted in the slightest when it comes to setting government policy. Qualified members of academia as well as artists recognized by their peers as critical thinkers on the topic should form the committee that determines what copyright laws should look like.
What sorts of copyright changes do you believe would best foster innovation and creativity in Canada?
I believe the Creative Commons copyright system is an excellent starting point.
What sorts of copyright changes do you believe would best foster competition and investment in Canada?
The more freedoms we as innovators have, the more innovations we will make. Short periods of protection on ideas and inventions are useful; long-term protection is detrimental to competition and progress.
What kinds of changes would best position Canada as a leader in the global, digital economy?
An open process and a total abandonment of all forms of DRM. DRM will never, ever work. No uncrackable lock has ever been made, and there is no reason to think DRM will be any different. Trying to make it work is a waste of time and energy and only serves to slow progress down, whether that progress be artistic, scientific or commercial. The sooner we stop spending time and money on DRM, the sooner we can move to systems that accept the impossibility of DRM and the sooner we can start to come up with reasonable alternatives that can satisfy the largest number of people.