Canadian Library Association Disappointed with New Copyright Legislation

From Canadian Library Association | June 12, 2008

Bill C-61 is a missed opportunity and demonstrates that the government did not consult adequately with the user community, and did not listen to the concerns of Canadians. Overall, the Bill is extremely complex and will need more detailed study, but there are many glaring problems. Fundamentally, the Bill circumvents user rights.

One example is the missed opportunity on perceptual disabilities, where the Bill allows users to circumvent digital rights management (DRM) software, but does not allow them to import the technology to do so.

Copyright Bill Hurts Education and Research

From Canadian Association of Univeristy Teachers | June 12, 2008

The group representing Canada &s academic community says the federal government &s new copyright legislation will restrict teachers & and students & access to electronic documents and on-line material.

We are deeply disappointed that the Harper government caved in to the demands of the American entertainment industry and is limiting the rights of Canadians to access information and entertainment, said James Turk, executive director of the Canadian Association of University Teachers.

Copyright Reform

From Industry Canada | June 12, 2008

Government of Canada Proposes Update to Copyright Law: Balanced Approach to Truly Benefit Canadians
On June 12, 2008, the Government of Canada introduced long-overdue and much-needed amendments to the Copyright Act that will bring it in line with advances in technology and current international standards. The bill fulfills the government’s commitment in the 2007 Speech from the Throne to improve the protection of cultural and intellectual property rights in Canada, including copyright reform.

Also House of Commons Canada

Copyright law could result in ‘police state,’ critic warns

From CBC News | June 12, 2008

The federal government has introduced a controversial bill it says balances the rights of copyright holders and consumers – but it opens millions of Canadians to huge lawsuits, prompting one critic to warn it will create a “police state.”

“We are confident we have developed the proper framework at this point in time,” Minister of Industry Jim Prentice told a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday. “This bill reflects a win-win approach.”

Update from Michael Geist’s blog:
Bill C-61 was just tabled by Industry Minister Jim Prentice on the floor of the House of Commons (at 11:25 am). The government plans for second reading at the next sitting of the house, effectively removing the ability to send it to committee after first reading (and therefore be more open to change).

Orphan Works Bills Move through Congress

From American Libraries | May 16, 2008
Both houses of Congress are acting on measures designed to limit the liability of good-faith users of orphan works-copyrighted works whose owners are difficult or impossible to find. The Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved the Shawn Bentley Orphan Works Act of 2008 (S.2913) May 15, while a companion bill was adopted by a House subcommittee. ALA has urged its members to support the Senate version….

ACTA – continued

The real ACTA threat (it’s not iPod-scanning border guards)
By Nate Anderson | ars technica | June 02, 2008

Drafting treaties in secret, especially when they concern new crackdowns on intellectual property violations, is a bit like rolling around in red meat, stuffing your pockets with raw hamburger, and jumping into a shark tank; reaction in both cases is likely to be swift and violent.

Transparency Needed on Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)

By Micheal Geist – Law Bytes , Toronto Star | June 9, 2008

Last week, Canadian negotiators huddled with representatives from the United States, Europe and Japan at the U.S. Mission in Geneva to negotiate the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).

The ACTA, shrouded in secrecy until a leaked summary of the agreement appeared on the Internet last month, has sparked widespread opposition as Canadians worry about the prospect of a trade deal that could lead to invasive searches of personal computers and increased surveillance of online activities.

While documents obtained under the Access to Information Act reveal internal ACTA discussions as early as 2006, the trade negotiations only came to the Canadian public’s attention last fall when International Trade Minister David Emerson revealed the government’s intention to participate in the negotiations.

Leaked document: Discussion Paper on a Possible Anti-counterfeiting Trade Agreement