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Canadian Copyright Act changes tabled, softened

updated 02:00 pm EDT, Thu June 12, 2008

Can. Copyright Act tabled

The Canadian government's Industry Minister, Jim Prentice, has today officially tabled Bill C-61, a set of proposed amendments to the country's Copyright Act. Early versions of the changes have been criticized by thousands of citizens -- and a number of businesses and other organizations -- as overly harsh, and too close in nature to the United States' Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Prentice has defended amendments as necessary for bringing compliance with the World Intellectual Property Organization treaty Canada signed in 1996.

Today's bill is said to have been somewhat liberalized in response to complaints, and if passed would continue to allow ISPs safe harbor from users' copyright infractions. Similarly, ISPs would only be forced to pass on copyright notices rather than halt illegal material themselves, Reuters notes.

People would also be able to copy legally-bought files at will, but would not only be forbidden from circumventing DRM locks, but even distributing the tools needed to do so. In theory, wording in the legislation could also prevent Canadians from unlocking cellphones. Long-time critic Michale Geist also observes that uploading copyrighted material to YouTube could result in fines as large as $20,000 or more, and ISP provisions may be subject to the proposed, controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).

Time- and format-shifting would remain possible, but files could not be kept indefinitely.

By Electronista Staff


  1. Athens

    Addicted to MacNN

    Joined: Jan 2003


    still c***

    The new form of the Bill still prevents the copy of DVDs. I like the ability to convert my DVDs to a format my iPod can play. Until this is addresses I cant support this Bill. Below my comment on CBC

    I buy one or 2 DVDs every pay check. Been doing that for the last few years and own over 200 DVDs now. I also convert my DVDs to MPEG4 format for my ipod video so I have the ability to watch them on my ipod, and play them on my TV via my computer so I don't actually have to dig up the DVD. If this new copyright law passes I will
    #1 Stop buying any DVDs
    2 Stop going to movies
    3 Get my movies via other means such as pirated movies in Chinese markets or from friends or via the internet.

    Not one single dollar of mine will go to the movie industry or as tax money to the government related to movies. I also expected myself to vote for Harper in the next election because I was happy with the government, as a minority it has not been to bad. If this law passes there is no chance of that either.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001


    soon enough

    Hey, once the US swallows up Canada, it won't be a concern anymore...

  1. bobolicious

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Aug 2002


    Media lockup...?

    ...on a press conference regarding proposed law by the government that affects all citizens - perhaps there is a quasi-reasonable explanation, perhaps from someone other than the government or a paid corporate lobbyist...?

    Personal & fair use is of course a touchy subject, however in practical terms this would seem a subject worthy of broad discourse if nothing more than to assist in educating everyone on reasonable expectations & rationales...

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