Election Canada 2008: Copyright & Bill C61

by Irma Arkus

Bill C61 is still alive and well, and yet, both the ignorance of politicians on the topic of Copyright issues, and its absence from political platforms is noticeable and disturbing.

Michael Geist stopped calling Bill C61 a Copyright Bill, instead renaming it Canadian DMCA bill, and rightfully so.

It seems that this time around, elections have not produced any momentum discussing issues of privacy, surveillance, and digital rights. Instead, for the most part, we’ve given way to what could only be categorized as raw corporate interests.

Geist notes that despite the absence of Copyright issues from political discussions and platforms, there is an active movement to engage our politicians and affirm their standing on this issue. I present to you the 2008 copyright pledge:

Will you commit to a balanced approach to copyright reform that reflects the views of all Canadians by pledging:

1. To respect the rights of creators and consumers.

2. Not to support any copyright bill that undermines or weakens the Copyright Act’s users rights.

3. To fully consult with Canadians before introducing any copyright reform bill and to conduct inclusive, national hearings on any tabled bill.

While our crazy neighbours to the south are eager to create a Copyright Czar, initiating yet another type of public and law enforcement war, except this time war waged against unruly consumers, teeny boppers and confused grandmas; Canadians are perfectly happy to maintain their already existing Copyright Act without turning their country into an acid version of Big Brother society. Thus the pledge.

NDP and Green Party have thus far signed onto the pledge. No word from Liberal or Conservative camps yet.

For more coverage, visit Michael Geist’s blog here.