Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Canadian Facebook Copyright Activists

Michael Geist set up a Facebook page at the beginning of December to protest against the Canadian government's plans to introduce their own version of the DMCA and EUCD. As of today it has 17,732 members (5 of whom have signed up in time it took me to write this post). Michael has been articulating the problems with the proposed legislation on his blog for some time. Other highly respected bloggers like Cory Doctorow and Howard Knopf have also been railing against the proposals and there have been various real world protests, all of which, superficially at least, seem to have led the minister driving the proposals to stop (scroll to top to see Geist's commentary) and consider whether he is doing the right thing.

The Facebook page is labelled 'Fair copyright for Canada.'
"The Canadian government is about to introduce new copyright legislation that will be a complete sell-out to U.S. government and lobbyist demands. The new Canadian legislation will likely mirror the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act with strong anti-circumvention legislation that goes far beyond what is needed to comply with the World Intellectual Property Organization's Internet treaties. Moreover, it will not address the issues that concern millions of Canadians. For example, the Conservatives' promise to eliminate the private copying levy will likely be abandoned. There will be no flexible fair dealing. No parody exception. No time shifting exception. No device shifting exception. No expanded backup provision. Nothing that focuses on the issues of the ordinary Canadian.

Instead, the government will choose locks over learning, property over privacy, enforcement over education, (law)suits over security, lobbyists over librarians, and U.S. policy over a "Canadian-made" solution.

This group will help ensure that the government hears from concerned Canadians. It will feature news about the bill, tips on making the public voice heard, and updates on local events. With regular postings and links to other content, it will also provide a central spot for people to learn more about Canadian copyright reform."

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