Canada’s Bill C-32: Copyright that can stifle creativity

Until the end of January 2011, the Bill C-32 Legislative Committee is accepting public comments on the proposed bill. Their guidelines are:

In order for briefs on Bill C-32 to be considered by the Committee in a timely fashion, the document should be submitted to the Committee’s mailbox at CC32@parl.gc.ca by the end of January, 2011. A brief which is longer than 5 pages should be accompanied by a 1 page executive summary and in any event should not exceed 10 pages in length.

I recently sent the following letter to the Committee.

Citizen’s comments on Bill C-32

Straight to the point: The protections and advancements that Bill C-32 claims to make with regards to openness of media usage are all nullified by the digital lock sections. A digital lock takes away all of the important rights, and thus negates the flexibility of media usage.

This must change if we are to have fair and just copyright in Canada. As currently stated, C-32 would damage the creative flexibility of our culture.

I suggest that this committee pay more attention to the work of Dr. Michael Geist at the University of Ottawa, the Canada Research Chair on Internet and E-Commerce Law. He is the most visible and active academic in North America on the subject of copyright law. He has published extensively about how we might rectify the problems with Bill C-32.

Thanks for your time.

Benjamin Harack B.Sc. B.A.

I suggest that people who are concerned about the dangers of stifling copyright limitations take a look at Michael Geist’s work on the subject of Bill C-32, including his proposed amendments. I also suggest that citizens take this opportunity to make their voice heard.

Update: Serendipitously later in the day after writing this, I ran across this XKCD Comic.

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Ben Harack

I graduated from the University of Regina in Computer Science and Mathematics in 2007. I continued my studies there and eventually graduated again in Physics and Psychology in 2010. I am originally from a small town near Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. For the last several years, I have been investigating the energy and resource usage of societies in great detail. My interest in this eventually led to the launch of Vision of Earth in 2007. I love to read and write, as well as listen and argue. I pursue knowledge voraciously but I also constantly look for ways to apply it meaningfully to the real world. I play badminton competitively and pursue many other physical activities avidly. My current plans for the future as far as education and employment are broad at this point. What is certain is that I will continue to try my best to learn and teach about those things that I feel are important to me and my society. I enjoy living, thinking and doing. The what, when, where, why and how of those are not as important to me as doing them. I try to better myself and the world around me. I am a firm believer in the power and value of knowledge, and also the responsibility that comes with power. I am humbly grateful to be alive, and hope to make good of the opportunity.

One thought on “Canada’s Bill C-32: Copyright that can stifle creativity

  1. This is insanity. How corrupt is our government to allow this to even be considered? The world is worried about being green and at every turn someone thinks of a new way to create even more waste.

    Why is my government allowing greedy corporations to rob us and generate more garbage when the world is trying to reduce waste? Canada has no middle class left. We are either poor or we are rich and we will be forced even poorer or have no cheap sources of entertainment left. 

    Ontario’s highway 407 is a provincial embarrassment. We allowed our taxes to build something on Canadian soil then sold it to a foreign corporation that charges us per kilometre to use it. People are consistently billed wrongly or billed when they’ve never used it leaving them with no way to dispute the erroneous charges and they get transferred from one finger pointer to another but eventually give up and pay the extortion fees or forcefully have their license plates suspended by the ministry. Now they want to do the same with internet. Billing by the byte for bandwidth use is just pure greed. Cell phone companies started this way and have evolved to much better service and plans by doing the opposite with unlimited plans instead. The Internet Meter would be a complete step backwards to allow billing by the byte. This insane idea we would limit the internet to the rich only eventually.  The schools, the poor and the middle class would be drastically limited to internet access and any form of online entertainment like movie rentals, online radio, Skype and other online chatting and online gaming would be no longer an option to anyone but the rich. There is no reason to allow these greedy companies to charge for the internet by the byte. There is absolutely nothing good that will come of this. Canada prided itself on being a high tech nation and this draconian scheme would put us back in the dark ages and reduce our national internet use to that of a third world nation. 

    When compact discs were first introduced they were better quality made and the majority of them had a protective teflon type coating to reduce scratches. Now we have poorly made discs that scratch very easily. We won’t be able to use tools to make a copy to protect our investment. Instead we will have to buy a new copy of a movie or music disc every time they get scratched because of poorly made players or from kids or any number of things that can damage the disc. And instead of reducing waste we fill our landfill sites needlessly with more garbage from things we have paid for again and again because greedy politicians and corporations don’t care about anything but selling their products and lining their pockets. The crooked politicians try to sell you that it is a good law to protect copyrights when they know full well it won’t or don’t care because they are getting kickbacks to turn a blind on yet another nickel and dime scheme to further erode the middle class and to keep any source of entertainment unreachable to the poorer.

    I can record my TV shows or movies from my cable box onto a VCR and watch them later. What difference is there between that and watching TV shows online and recording it for later? Even more so what difference is there to sharing it? It was broadcast publicly already on public air waves and anyone could have watched it. Sharing TV shows would only increase the marketing potential for any show.

    I can record music I hear on the radio onto cassette tapes and make my own collection of music  but I cannot record my music from online radio to my computer? If I purchase an album online or at the store why cannot I make a backup onto my computer so I can listen to it there? I paid for the music. I am not selling it or sharing. I just want to be able to play my music unhindered on whatever device I choose to listen to it through.

    Please, someone for the love of god wake up the politicians that the working class in Canada cannot afford to keep getting gouged at every creative scheme greedy corporations can think of to squeeze more money from us.

    The only people that will benefit from this new copyright law are the people making counterfeit music  and  movie discs along with the greedy corporations forcing people to do without or fill our landfill sites needlessly. 

    Thank you for your time, 

    Paul.B

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