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as an electronics technician by trade, and a technology enthusiast by hobby, I have watched as the current conflict between copyrights holders and end users unfolds. as a canadian citizen, i would like to echo dr. Micheal Geist's comments and say no to a canadian DMCA style law. specifically the anti-circumvention aspects, which make utilizing your own legally purchased media in the way you want not only impossible, but illegal. incidents in the US, such as walmart shutting down their DRM servers, thereby rending the music people purchased useless, because to circumvent the DRM on the files would have been illegal.], i think highlights the problems with such legislation. i would not be opposed for rentals or streaming over the internet, but for purchases, once bought, it's yours to do with ad you [please should be the order of business.
i also believe that copyright terms should not be extended, and in fact should be reduced. as numerous studies have confirmed, extending copyright terns only benefit the few, not the many. this is not what our culture is for, the benefit of the few. the EU commissioned a report which said that the extension of copyright would only benefit the top 1 or 2 % of artists, with the rest going right back to music companies. this report was promptly ignored by the EU and copyright was extended anyway. I believe that every generation should be able to share their stories with the next, free. i should be able to show my children the movies i watched, the songs i listened too and the books i read without encumbrance. i believe this fosters culteral growth far better than the current system, where our culture is locked behind an ever increasing wall of "copyright" instead of shared freely after a limited time where profits can be made.
i feel that there should be a central, public, easily searchable database of all copyrights in canada, complete with contact information for the holders and when it will become part of the public domain, and the original master of the work under copyright. with the advent of computers and the internet, a website maintained at the behest of the government would fulfill this requirement quite well, and as works enter the public domain, they would be accessible through this site. this would allow anyone access to materials, as well as easily find out who made the original, so that they can purchase more of their currents works, thus ensuring they can continue to make profit. this would also allow those without an internet connection at home to utilize infrastructure already in place at community access centers, and public libraries. i believe this would allow a much greater freedom for exchange of ideas and would thus promote creativity and commerce in the creative arts.
as we have seen in the US, innovation is often stifled by those who seek to completely control materials, while the personal computer and pervasive internet have often been at odds by enabling people to access more copyrighted material, on a more regular basis than ever before. we must adapt to that reality and embrace the changes, and do so quickly. I am greatly encouraged that the Canadian government is interested in what we, the public, have to say on this. I believe that space, time, and format shifting of purchased copyrighted material should be encouraged and written as rights into any new copyright legislation.