Afterglow: Canadian Copyright Bill Panic

by Irma Arkus

We wrapped up the show today, during which the tabling of the copyright amendment came up numerous times evoking blinding anger, taste of bile, and fist clenching. I had to finally calm down by having some more coffee Yes. While you’re in the throes of angry fits, your body responding to word “Prentice” as if having a stroke, *coffee* was my drug of choice.

The aftermath of that lively discussion is, in short words, not pretty. My wrath has no bounds.

Geist was ridiculed in National Post (to which, strangely enough, I am subscribed to) by various supporters, pointing to industry – did you hear that? INDUSTRY – organisations supporting the bill. The bothersome bit that Geist, as well as many other Canadian consumer advocates point to goes something like this: if it is illegal to email an mp3 for example, or transfer your CD to your mp3 player, how are they exactly to determine your illegal activities?

How will they find out? Do they use magic to peer into your devices? Your email? No. Guess what? They use technology.

The panic button is about surveillance and shredding of privacy of Canadians everywhere. The copyright law proposed may be nothing but a back door way to appease US industry as well as government. After all, what could be sweeter than killing 2 birds with 1 stone? You can both prosecute children for sharing their Avril LaVigne compilation, and catch terrorists at the same time. How? By having the license to inspect, to look for illegal activities…to enforce the bill.

Welcome to the future.