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September 12, 2009.
House Of Commons Canada
Attention: The Right Honourable Mr. Tony Clement, Minister of Industry
cc: Hon. Maria Minna
Dear Right Honourable Mr. Clement,
I am a taxpayer who works in the Canadian music industry and am writing to you regarding the urgent issue of copyright reform.
Canada is lacking up to date copyright law — and furthermore, Canada lacks initiative in policing existing copyright law. This has led to the widespread and unrestrained theft of intellectual property in many industries. In fact I would go as far as to say the Canadian government's lack of action regarding this issue has encouraged this ongoing theft.
This issue goes well beyond illegal on-line file sharing and downloading of music — music, being my own personal passion and concern. This issue should be of great concern to every Canadian who creates or consumes any copyrighted product — computer software, literature, news, television, advertising, film, computer games, and more.
The first reason this should be of paramount concern to all Canadians is financial. Each of the industries mentioned above employ thousands of Canadians both directly and indirectly. These individuals earn their income from the creation, promotion or distribution of copyrighted ideas and materials (musical, journalistic, software, cinematic, etc.). This income is spent to house, clothe, and feed families (supporting other industries of our economy) as well as pay taxes.
These industries are shrinking and it's not due to a lack of consumption of these products. It's due to an unwillingness on the part of our government to prevent theft. How could more lost jobs ever be a good thing for any economy?
The second reason this should be of concern is one of initiative and artistic integrity. Considering the music industry, it's clear to me that if people no longer feel the need to pay for great music then great music creators will stop making music. Eventually there will be no music in Canada worth listening to. The same holds true for art, literature or any other product which can be stolen by means of an internet connection.
Canada needs a modern Copyright Act. We are years behind virtually all developed nations in passing laws that align with the 1996 WIPO Treaties (which we signed). Please don't delay in bringing about reformed copyright law which would provide protection to the industries and to the individuals who earn their living creating innovative intellectual property.