updated 04:45 pm EST, Mon December 10, 2007
Canadian DMCA Stalled
Canada's equivalent to the Digital Millenium Copyright Act has been suddenly shelved, according to a claim by fair rights advocate and legal expert Michael Geist. The unnamed revision to Canada's Copyright Act is said to have been at least temporarily postponed from a planned Tuesday presentation due to the "thousands" of messages and phone calls made to the office of the country's Industry Minister Jim Prentice. The planned law is regarded as more restrictive than the American law by restricting copying even for fair use or many educational purposes, which are typically seen as exempt from the DMCA. Staple features of US technology such as time-shifting for digital video recorders would be illegal, according to Geist's analysis.
The delay is unconfirmed but reflects an increasing conflict between major copyright holders and the Canadian public. While Prentice and his ministry are believed to have consulted major businesses including music and movie providers, and has said it needs these laws to obey international treaties, critics note that the law would not only render certain technologies impractical but also a potential violation of free speech and privacy laws as well as provincial authority.
The delay may be to receive more feedback from consumer advocates or other groups that oppose the new measure, Geist suggests.