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I strongly disagree with proposed C-61 and any effort to attack the neutrality if the public internet.
please reply as to what you are doing to protect our freedoms not limit them.
signed, Canadian citizen v.hartt, vancouver, B.C.
What to do?
- Flexible fair dealing. A more flexible fair dealing provision would address many of the current concerns associated with Canadian copyright law. By opening up fair dealing, Canadian law could ensure that user rights extend to parody and satire as well as to format shifting, time shifting (recording television shows), and device shifting. It could cover transformative works to ensure that remix creativity is adequately protected and it could ensure that the law is technologically-neutral.
- Digital reforms. There are three key reforms here. First, anti-circumvention legislation (rules against picking digital locks) is a certainty given the pressure to implement WIPO. If we move in this direction, anti-circumvention rules should be specifically linked to circumventions for the purpose of copyright infringement. Non-infringing circumventions should remain legal. Second, we should create a safe harbour from liability for Internet intermediaries by adopting the notice-and-notice approach used in both C-60 and C-61. Third, we should introduce rights management information protection as requested by many creator groups.
- Modernize. There are areas where Canadian law is out-of-date and needs to be modernized. The backup copy provision, which currently only covers computer programs, should be extended to all digital data. Crown copyright, which dates back centuries, should be abolished. Education and library provisions should be updated, not with a new Internet exception, but rather with rules that facilitate digital library loans, digitization, and distance learning.
- Public Domain. The current term of copyright stands at life of the author plus 50 years. The government should make a clear commitment not to extend any further. Moreover, it should identify a presumed public domain date (based on birth date and reasonable life expectancy) to facilitate digitization of Canadian heritage.
- Enforcement. The statutory damages provision should be amended so that the prospect of millions in liability for cases of non-commercial infringement is eliminated. Moreover, the provision should not apply where the infringer had a good faith belief that the alleged infringement was covered by fair dealing.
What not do?
- Do not allow anti-circumvention legislation to override the copyright balance. The U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act is not the only way to implement the WIPO Internet treaties. We can follow our own Bill C-60 by limiting anti-circumvention rules to circumvention for the purposes of infringement.
- Do not ban technologies that can be used to circumvent. Assuming it is recognized that there are many legitimate reasons to circumvent a digital lock, then the distribution of the tools (ie. software) used to circumvent is also legitimate. There is no international legal requirement to ban their distribution.
- Do not harm the public domain with copyright term extension. While some countries have extended the term of copyright beyond the Berne Convention requirement of life of the author plus 50 years, there is no compelling reason — either from an economic, creativity, or innovation perspective — to extend the term. Indeed, there are strong arguments that harming the public domain would have the opposite effect.
- Do not establish a three-strikes and you’re out system that removes Internet access based on unproven allegations of infringement. Attempts at three-strikes systems have struck out in virtually every country where they have been raised. Internet access is far too important to establish a system that would cut off access based on unproven allegations of infringement.
Do not permit international treaty negotiations to pre-determine domestic reforms. Canada is an active participant in the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement negotiations, which will shortly address Internet-related issues. Those provisions could have a significant impact on the domestic reform process. Canada should not let ACTA dictate the future of Canadian copyright law.
There is much more to say about each of these issues as well as many that do not fit nicely into this framework. I plan on writing about all of this during the consultation and encourage as many Canadians as possible to get educated and to Speak Out on Copyright.