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COPYRIGHT REFORM PROCESS
SUBMISSIONS RECEIVED REGARDING THE CONSULTATION PAPERS
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Submission from Pierre Igot received on September 14, 2001 via e-mail
Subject: Comments - Government of Canada Copyright Reform
To the Intellectual Property Policy Directorate,
I am appalled to hear that you are considering implementing legislation similar to the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) in Canada. While protecting the intellectual rights of individual creators is laudable, the reality is that, in most cases, such pieces of legislation are designed to protect the COMMERCIAL interests of CORPORATIONS, and not the rights of individual creators. From that point of view, they have nothing to do with "intellectual property", unless you adopt a very twisted definition of the term.
Such fundamental hypocrisy is unacceptable.
It also goes totally against the fundamental concept of presumption of innocence. Intellectual property theft can only be established through formal legal procedures and, until it is established, the accused is and always should be presumed innocent. While the shortcomings of the judicial system might cause certain guilty individuals to enjoy impunity for too long, it is not with legislation that deprives all citizens of their most fundamental rights that you will fix those shortcomings. If there is suspicion of actual intellectual property theft (with respect to the intellectual property of CREATORS, not corporations), then the judicial system should be improved so that it can deal with such a suspicion RIGHT AWAY. Corporations, Internet providers, etc. have a very twisted and short-sighted view what intellectual property is, and cannot be relied upon to make decisions that affect the individual rights of Canadian citizens, who are usually powerless against the financial clout of corporations. The judicial system is supposed to maintain neutrality at all times, not to side with the commercial interests of corporations as soon as there is the slightest suspicion of intellectual property infringement.
This type of legislation could be challenged all the way up to the Supreme Court of Canada -- which, it has to be said, can still pride itself on being more politically and economically neutral than its US counterpart.
I, for one, would not hesitate to participate in any challenge of this kind -- and it should be noted that I myself am an artist/creator whose work is available in electronic form on the Internet.
I certainly hope that you will take our comments into consideration.
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