Speak out on Copyright in Canada

Tue Jan 18 22:48:15 2011 EST (-0500 GMT)

The Conservative party’s take on Copyright reform, Bill C-32, is working its way through the parliamentary process. The last two copyright reform bills in Canada have died on the order paper, so it’s about time we revisit copyright as the Conservative government looks long in the tooth.

The Bill C-32 Legislative Committee has invited Canadians to share their views. The Committee has set the following parameters, as summarized by Michael Geist:

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 [email protected] 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 couldn’t write that much, but I thought I’d take an other opportunity to send my thoughts on the need for an educational take on fair dealing (fair use) that deals with only who has access and not how (dead trees versus electrons) and doesn’t suggest that anyone should help enforce a company’s “digital lock”.

Here’s what I’ve sent to my MP and modified for the committee. I encourage you to send something similar to your member or parlament and perhaps to the committee.

Honourable Ms. Raitt
Member of Parliament for Halton

Dear Ms. Raitt,

I am writing you with respect to Bill C-32, Canada’s copyright reform bill. I want to urge you to help ensure a fair approach to Canadian copyright works used in education and that respects the rights of those who purchase copies of copyrighted works. I would further urge you to ensure that the Canadian government does not create a copyright regime that centres around fundamentally flawed concepts and technologies that create “digital locks”. This type of approach is no more appropriate than when politicians first tried to control access to the printing press.

When Canada updates its copyright act it should acknowledge the difference between educational uses and commercial use or public performances. A distinction for using copyrighted works in education can be made by either loosening of restrictions of copyright for educational use or in imposing fair costs to students and educators.

For creators, to custodians to consumers of copyrighted works; “digitals locks” are too cumbersome, rarely effective and need to be written into law in order to give them an artificial validity. Please do not adopt any concept of “digital locks” into Canadian law.

Thank you for your consideration,


Matt Clare – mattclare.ca

You can learn more about the changes coming to Canadian copyright and the threat it poses to fair dealing (fair use) and what almost all consumers assume to be fair at www.speakoutoncopyright.ca/

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