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To Whom It May Concern,
I am writing to express my deep concern over the proposals to move Canada toward a "DMCA" style copyright regime, as evident in draft provisions in bill C-61. I believe such a move is retrograde, chilling, and counter-productive to the growth of Canadian artists and content.
Copyright is not an innate right owned by corporate conglomerates. Copyright is a privilege granted by the public commonwealth in order to foster the development of the arts and sciences. This privilege provides a time limited monopoly to incentivise creative production, in exchange for future unlimited access to build upon that work.
Corporate interests have increasingly used new copyright legislation to essentially pervert the spirit of the copyright privilege granted by the public commonwealth. For example, a recent court ruling in the United States upholds a DMCA provision which prevents the manufacture or distribution of content encryption systems, even for personal use. This ruling essentially destroys a major provision of copyright that people may make copies of works for personal use.
Such concerns extend beyond today, potentially hindering the cultural richness of arts and sciences for future generations. As new technologies develop at rapid paces, how can public archives, such as libraries, ensure that works of art are available for future generations to enjoy, especially after technologies change and copyright protections expire? "DMCA" style laws prohibit technologies which break the encryption systems of today, without provision for ensuring public access to the content tomorrow. This essentially grants non-expiring copyright protection, and is an unacceptable perversion.
The purpose of copyright and intellectual property protection is to provide a financial incentive for the production of creative works. However, this incentive must be balanced against the greater good-to provide future unhindered access so that future generations may build upon those works to develop new works. The current copyright provisions are already too long and restrictive in today's fast-changing and developing world. Corporate content owners understandably desire "DMCA" style laws for their own financial gain. However, if Canada bows to these requests, it will be at the cost of future generations of Canadians and their ability to create leading, innovative, world-class art.