The long promised amendments to the Canadian Copyright Act (Bill C-60 (pdf)) were tabled today. Based on the early reviews it sounds like copyright owners make out very well, creators are mentioned in passing, and Canadian users of copyrighted materials are the big losers. There is even unconfirmed reports that educational use of copyrighted materials has been negatively impacted - and how is that good for Canada?
Minister of Industry David Emerson's press release:
" "Canada's ability to foster an innovative economy depends on the creation, dissemination and commercialization of ideas. Innovators are rewarded, research is facilitated, and the use of technology is enhanced," said Minister Emerson. "I believe this bill will provide creators, intermediaries, and users of copyright material with the certainty and clarity that will allow them to take full advantage of the opportunities of the Internet."... Additional issues of concern in copyright law do remain, including the educational use of publicly available Internet material and private copying. "
Michael Geist's initial reaction:
"I'll have much more to say in the days ahead but my immediate impression is that the recording industry is the big winner with an enormous basket of new rights and individual Canadians are the big losers as the bill does little to address their interests."
Philippa Lawson of the CIPPIC states:
" "This is not a happy day for Canadians," states Philippa Lawson, Executive Director of CIPPIC, the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic. "The Bill calls for a massive transfer of rights and entitlements out of the hands of the Canadian public, and into the hands of copyright holders. Foreign content industries should be very, very happy with the governmentÂs draft legislation Â they are the big winners here. Losers, unfortunately, include Canadian consumers, educators, students, CanadaÂs security research community, CanadaÂs public domain and Canadian innovators and creators, whose interests have been sacrificed to the wishes of collectives and multinational entertainment companies." "
"The Canadian government this afternoon kept one promise many could live without. It introduced new copyright legislation that will bring DMCA-style legislation to Canada."