Story Tools: PRINT | Text Size: S M L XL | REPORT TYPO | SEND YOUR FEEDBACK

Jesse Brown: Obama the copyright cyberbully

By Jesse Brown, CBC technology columnist:

The Obama administration has placed Canada on the United States’ copyright blacklist. Under Bush, we were on their “Watch List.” Now we’re on the “Priority Watch List.”

Scary!

So what makes us a “priority”? It can’t be the numbers - even data provided by the International Intellectual Property Alliance (a lobby group who applaud Canada being blacklisted) shows software piracy levels in Canada are lower than in any other country named on either list.

Can it be because we’ve let pirates run rampant? Unlikely. As Michael Geist points out, we’ve come down harder (and dumber) on “piracy” than most countries in the world, and have some of the slightest (and stingiest) fair use exceptions around.

So what then puts us on the same list as China and Russia when it comes to copyright abuses?

One thing and one thing only: we have yet to copy America’s failed Digital Millenium Copyright Act. We have failed to replicate laws that allow record companies to sue children for downloading music. We have stalled on our vow to stumble down the same idiotic path that America has.

We didn’t do this on purpose - former Industry Minister Jim Prentice tried hard to push through a bizarre and punitive copyright bill that he himself could not explain. It would have happened too, if it were not for pesky public outrage followed by a peskier prorogue of Parliament.

But Prentice’s successor, Tony Clement, is now holding the bag and facing enormous pressure from none other than Barack Obama and Joe Biden to make the same mistake twice, only this time for keeps.

Word is that Clement is a sharper guy than his predecessor - someone who actually understands the technology he’s legislating the use of. It’s time for him to prove it by standing up to this latest round of Presidential pressure by asking Canadians what kind of copyright works for Canada, not what works for her bully.

« Previous Post | Main | Next Post »

This discussion is now Open. Submit your Comment.

Comments

JimBexelySpeed

Ottawa

The more interesting thing to look at is the WHY of illegal downloading. It's interesting to note that in line with this news item, there is talk about who can benefit from giving Canadians access to online video feeds that are blocked to people outside of the US.

While, piracy will never be fully eliminated (these copyright holders are foolish to think that they can, and your right the whole thing amounts to stupidity, and a lot of pathetic victories like taking CHILDREN to court) you can bet if increased accessability and affordability of these items, piracy would be significantly reduced.

The United States in particular increases piracy by creating these region restrictions. People are going to try and get access to stuff they cannot access, and over all else they're going to try and get it for free.

The other problem these assinine copyright laws will never be able to contend with is the fact that the technology that proliferates pirated materials is constantly changing. For each new law, and new method of prevention and tracking that's initiated, there are literally thousands of different ways these things can be cracked, or for people who want something bad enough to go unnoticed.

Posted May 1, 2009 01:51 PM

DrDuKeS

Ottawa

I would be more inclined to purchase music if I knew that the proceeds were actually supporting the artists and not the faceless record executives.

Posted May 4, 2009 03:06 PM

« Previous Post | Main | Next Post »

Post a Comment

Disclaimer:

Note: By submitting your comments you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that due to the volume of e-mails we receive, not all comments will be published, and those that are published will not be edited. But all will be carefully read, considered and appreciated.

Note: Due to volume there will be a delay before your comment is processed. Your comment will go through even if you leave this page immediately afterwards.

Privacy Policy | Submissions Policy

Story Tools: PRINT | Text Size: S M L XL | REPORT TYPO | SEND YOUR FEEDBACK

World »

Analysis Why it's time to reform the EU, with or without Britain
Will the real European Union please stand up? For that matter will the real Great Britain please stand up? Because last week's talk of an “Independence Day” was a bit confusing.
Great Lakes water ruling sparks fear of thirsty cities video
The recent decision by eight U.S. governors to grant a small Wisconsin town access to the Great Lakes water basin has sparked concerns about the precedent this may set for other thirsty towns and cities.
New U.S. Supreme Court strikes down Texas law regulating abortion clinics
The U.S. Supreme Court has struck down Texas's widely replicated regulation of abortion clinics in the court's biggest abortion case in nearly a quarter century.
more »

Canada »

CP track worker layoffs pose derailment risks: union
The layoffs of 500 track maintenance workers this week at Canadian Pacific Railway will raise the risk of future derailments and potential disasters, the union representing the workers warns.
Three Amigos talks: Canada pushing Mexico to fully reopen beef market
If Canada succeeds in convincing Mexico to fully reopen its market to Canadian beef at this week's North American leaders summit, it will be an economic and politically symbolic victory.
Squamish BASE jumper dead after parachute reportedly malfunctions
A BASE jumper who leaped off a climbing spot on the Stawamus Chief has died after a parachute failed to deploy properly, Squamish RCMP said.
more »

Politics »

Three Amigos talks: Canada pushing Mexico to fully reopen beef market
If Canada succeeds in convincing Mexico to fully reopen its market to Canadian beef at this week's North American leaders summit, it will be an economic and politically symbolic victory.
Live David Cameron addresses British Parliament LIVE at 10:30 a.m. ET video
British PM deals with aftermath of Friday's Brexit vote
Three Amigos talks: Support for NAFTA weak among Canadians ahead of summit, poll says
Only one-in-four Canadians say the North American Free Trade Agreement is good for their country, and more than one-third want it renegotiated, according to polling results released ahead of a North American leaders' Summit.
more »

Health »

Sorry - we can't find that page
 
CBC.ca

Sorry, we can't find the page you requested.

  1. Please check the URL in the address bar, or ...
  2. Use the navigation links at left to explore our site, or ...
  3. Enter a term in the Quick Search box at top, or ...
  4. Visit our site map page

In a few moments, you will be taken to our site map page, which will help you find what you looking for.

more »

Arts & Entertainment»

New Winds of Winter bring sweeping changes on Game of Thrones season finale
A major fan theory is confirmed, and Westeros has a new villain to fear, as new power players emerge in the Season 6 finale of HBO's fantasy series.
2016 BET Awards: Prince, political content loom large
The BET Awards — or "The Prince Tribute Show" — featured emotional and energetic performances from Sheila E., Stevie Wonder and Jennifer Hudson, along with political statements on issues ranging from racial injustice to the upcoming election.
Kanye West dares Famous celebs to sue him, then changes his mind
Kanye West might profess to be millions of dollars in debt, but that's not stopping him from asking to be sued by the people in his new video for the song Famous.
more »

Technology & Science »

China on schedule to launch new space station this fall
China on Sunday recovered an experimental probe launched aboard a new generation rocket, keeping China on schedule to place its second space station into orbit later this year, that country's space officials say.
Bay of Fundy fossils may hold evolutionary secrets of the dawn of the dinosaurs
Researchers are digging through the sandstone cliffs on the Nova Scotia shore of the Bay of Fundy in search of 200-million-year-old bone fragments that could reveal more about the diversity of life at the dawn of the dinosaurs.
Coral scientists urge Australia to conserve reefs, curb CO2 emissions
As the largest international gathering of coral reef experts comes to a close, scientists have sent a letter to Australian officials calling for action to save the world's reefs, which are being rapidly damaged.
more »

Money »

Analysis Big Oil vs. Big Auto: Who gets the easy ride on climate change? video
Canada's oil industry would sure love to receive the same level of support the country's auto sector receives, especially as decisions by politicians over the next few years will have a vitally important influence on the oilpatch's future.
Updated Brexit fallout continues today as TSX, British pound sell off video
The British pound hit fresh new lows today as investors who drove the currency to its lowest level since 1985 last week found new reasons to worry about the prospect of Brexit.
CP track worker layoffs pose derailment risks: union
The layoffs of 500 track maintenance workers this week at Canadian Pacific Railway will raise the risk of future derailments and potential disasters, the union representing the workers warns.
more »

Consumer Life »

Sorry - we can't find that page
 
CBC.ca

Sorry, we can't find the page you requested.

  1. Please check the URL in the address bar, or ...
  2. Use the navigation links at left to explore our site, or ...
  3. Enter a term in the Quick Search box at top, or ...
  4. Visit our site map page

In a few moments, you will be taken to our site map page, which will help you find what you looking for.

more »

Sports »

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Lionel Messi says he's retiring from international soccer
Lionel Messi tells Argentine network TyC Sports he's quitting national soccer team after losing to Chile in Copa America final.
Preview Raonic, Bouchard look to recapture Wimbledon magic
Two years ago Eugenie Bouchard and Milos Raonic were the toast of Wimbledon. A year later, injuries led to early exits for the Canadians, who will be looking to recapture the magic in this year's edition.
Preview Wimbledon: 5 storylines to watch
Novak Djokovic's chase for the Golden Slam, Serena Williams's pursuit of Steffi Graf and Milos Raonic's partnership with John McEnroe are among the storylines to watch when Wimbledon begins on June 27.
more »

Diversions »

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
more »