Copyright reform stokes the fires

By Peter Nowak,

The anger over the government's proposed copyright reform bill is palpable and it is astounding that it's something normally staid Canadians are getting worked up about.

Just take a look at the growth of a Facebook protest group (I'd link to it but you need to log in) started just over a week ago - when I checked this morning, it had just under 15,000 members. As of this writing, it's up past 16,000. In fact, 50 people have joined in the 15 minutes it took me to write this post. That's incredible and, if the group keeps growing at this pace, it's going to be very difficult for the government to introduce the bill it had planned.

Some group members are even planning to attend a protest outside Queen's Park in Toronto on December 18. So far the protest seems to be a very small grassroots movement with only about a dozen or so confirmed attendees, but you never know - if public anger is really as strong as it appears, the protest could easily snowball into something major.

Minister of Industry Jim Prentice took the bill off the table on Tuesday and there is still the possibility it could be introduced to the House of Commons on Wednesday or Thursday. Friday is seen as unlikely, as experts say prospective bills are rarely introduced at the end of the week.

That gives the government two more days to slap down the proposed bill before the house goes into recess for the holidays.

Word on the street is the Conservatives are "freaked out," as some insiders have told me, and are completely taken aback by all the opposition. The only question now is whether the government is contemplating serious changes to the bill to make it more balanced, or whether it is trying to think of new ways to spin it to the public to make it more palatable.

In the meantime, it looks like Facebook has become a force to reckon with in Canadian politics.

UPDATE: The minister's press secretary on Thursday morning confirmed that the bill will not be introduced before the holidays. The earliest it can now be introduced is Jan. 28.

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This discussion is now Open. Submit your Comment.




All thanks goes to Michael Geist and his insightful and timely comments following this issue.

Posted December 11, 2007 05:52 PM

Basil Berntsen


This is a minority government who has proven they are smart- there seems to have been very little bluster in other issues where I expected it. Hopefully this trend of listening will continue and they will realize that they have an opportunity to appease a large swath of voters on an issue that does not polarize people the way many issues tend to. The only people who stand to gain from a US style DMCA (one that restricts the rights of consumers for the benefits of the recording/movie industry) being introduced in Canada are American companies. There can't be many Canadian voters who would voluntarily give away their right to play their CDs on their MP3 players.

Posted December 11, 2007 06:27 PM

Deb Johnson

I've been following the American Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) for quite a while now. So, I was well aware of the dangers of it appearing in Canada. I also read the blog BoingBoing that a Canadian, Cory Doctorow, contributes to. So, I was one of the first people to join that Facebook group you mention. I, too, am amazed at the support! We really need to do what Dr. Geist suggests: continue with the pressure. Write your M.P. at the very least. Let them know, by email, or phone call, or by a letter that you'd like to be able to continue to fairly copy your CD's onto your computer. Or make an archival copy of that DVD that your kids use as frisbees (mine do!). We must not let this government forget its mandate: Government for the people of Canada, not the multinational corporations lap dog that begs for treats and favors. Keep 'em honest, my fellow citizens.

Posted December 11, 2007 11:10 PM

Chris Brand


I'm not surprised at all.

Back in 2001, the government received something like 700 comments in its copyright consultation. The vast majority of those were from everyday Canadians, and the vast majority of those opposed DMCA-style reform.

Over the last 6 years, partly thanks to people like Michael Geist and Cory Doctorow, more and more people have come to understand what our Copyright Act means (no backing up DVDs, no using your VCR to time-shift, and it's anyone's guess whether you can legally rip your CD to your iPod) and that the lobbyists are mostly pushing to make it even more restrictive.

Frankly, I'm more surprised that the government (and mainstream media) thought this would be uncontroversial.

Posted December 12, 2007 12:43 PM



I find this initiative of the current government stunning and really dissappointing.

I agree completely with Prof. Geist's (among others) long-held view that is is very undesirable for Canada to pass DMCA-like legistlation.

I cannot understand why the current government would have thought this was something that could benefit average Canadians.

Posted December 12, 2007 01:01 PM

Colin Schut


I am very glad that this issue is really resonating and finally receiving media attention.

I would also be attending the protest on the 18th if there was any way I could make it to Toronto. The government needs to realize that this will have enormous, detrimental consequences.

Posted December 12, 2007 01:49 PM



It is legislation like this that can bring down governments. Government mismanagement can be excused and forgotten at election time, but the removal of our rights will not be.

Posted December 12, 2007 02:35 PM



Referencing facebook as a sign of support is problematic. There are much more popular much sillier groups with tens of thousands of members.

Posted December 12, 2007 03:03 PM

tom brown


There's a whole line of thoughts that aren't mentioned above. Whole niche industries have been killed by the DMCA in the US. I'm probably oversimplifying, but there are no "security researchers" anymore. The DMCA makes it illegal to examine how things work (reverse engineering) and test to see if the parts actually work correctly in all circumstances.

I'm a tech, and I'm sick of our "oh, it is broken, throw it away and get a new one attitudes". Take a minute to understand it, see if it can be fixed. There are no TV repair-people anymore (it's cheaper to throw the set away) ... do we really need to encourage this?

Sorry if I seem to be going off into left field, but some of the DMCA provisions have bigger issues than whether or not you can copy your CDs to your iPod.


Posted December 12, 2007 03:08 PM



Don't worry folks, once WiMax/Wifi really takes off it will put these stupid Internet Providers out of business. Then the internet becomes a self-perpetuating network, driven only by cheap routers and power from the consumer. All routers will talk to each other, and offer roaming access to mobile systems. (Phones, laptops etc) The access and control will be maintained by tracker applications, which will monitor and update a users' "P2P" ratio; much like current torrents.

Once the internet is truely free, we can stop worrying so much about censorship and stupid laws.

Posted December 12, 2007 03:12 PM

Simon Simon


Digital Media Rights are an issue like photo radar - one that ordinary Canadians have a immediate, strong and visceral reaction to, and one that will drive voting behaviour on election day. Many of the people up in arms over this issue are customarily politically disengaged--swing voters, in other words, if they vote at all.

Pissing a swath of swing voters off a few months before an election is not, I'm sure, a prospect that the Conservative party relishes, particularly on an issue like this one, in which there's no political upside to be found within Canada.

Posted December 12, 2007 03:16 PM

Jack Robinson

As a web publisher and former computer literacy instructor, I've been following this issue for several years.

That the current government has once again caved to American Corporate Media pressures should surprise no one other than the politically and digitally-disengaged comatose.

The DMCA is nothing more than an attempt to regulate the Zeitgeist of unprecedented global cyber-interactions to the advantage of Luddite Profiteers.

Posted December 12, 2007 03:51 PM



I'm really surprised at the Gov't for even attempting this sort of legislation. In fact they should be doing the opposite and protecting the interests of Candian consumers!

Where are the laws we needed to protect
consumers? I am sick of buying media that is "region" (DVD) protected but sold outside the region, carries a root kit (Sony), or has DRM that interferes with playing it (as intended) on my computer or DVD player? Let alone the fact that every DVD/CD I buy is for computer data purposes, yet I get charged a TAX that goes to the music cartels, and DRM schemes effectively stop my backing up of my legitimately purchased media.

Posted December 12, 2007 04:07 PM

AJ Todd


Michael Geist is no grassroots hero. He has come out against copyright protection in almost all forms. He has written numerous times against legislation that allows photographers to own their own work and that protects consumers against counterfeit goods.
While DCMA not be the way to go for Canada, there still needs to be protection for legitimate creators of artistic work.

Posted December 12, 2007 04:11 PM



It really would be a shame to allow Canada to follow the US in allowing corporate interests to intrude on our everyday lives in this manner. DMCA essentially would give away control of my own hard drive, iPod, and videotape machine to companies that have no right to it. The changes would make criminals out of millions of innocent Canadians, who could then be pressured at will by media interests. See you on the 18th!

Posted December 12, 2007 04:13 PM

Kevin Fleming

Why should it come as a surprise that Canadians are up in arms about a clone copy of the DMCA the Americans have rammed down the throats of their folk? Anyone with half a brain can see the side effects of such a proposal on engineers and developers being locked out of even being able to find a way to get any product to work with such severe locks on the internal works of a piece of hardware. Plus, who really knows the effects DRM software has on your OS? Recall the wonderful fiasco with the root kit put out by a large entertainment company just a while ago? Who can tell what may have happened to a vast number of systems that were 'infected' by this? Some enterprising malware developer could have quite easily crafted a piece of software to 'piggyback' on it and do serious damages to systems and networks, all thanks to some decision that was not very well thought out and being implemented with no advance testing in the wild. I know for a fact that I would be mightily upset to find out that some DRM software aided and abetted someone in compromising my systems. No wonder I won't buy music or DVD's from certain companies, nor will I allow them to be played back on my systems. It may appear paranoid, but I really do not like being told I cannot play back my music files on ANY machine or device I bought and paid for. Why should I give control of my media to some invisible corporate structure that thinks their rights override mine? And then get my life turned upside down when they come along and claim that I am 'pirating' music when all I am doing is making archival copies for my own use? Let's get real here. Copying a piece of music so I can listen to it in a different location should be easy. I don't give away copies, and I don't expect others to give my their music files. All I want is the right to listen to it where and when I want, without some silly restrictive software deciding willy nilly that I am contravening some corporate rule and cutting off my access!

Posted December 12, 2007 04:18 PM

Scott Basinger


Canada certainly needs to update its copyright legislation, but not with consultation only apparently coming from the CRIA and other interested industry partners.

We need the _right_ legislation. A balance is needed between granting the privilege of a monopoly copyright over the works against the rights of consumers to legally replay, backup and ridicule (parody) without having their hands tied by marketing schemes that DRM invites.

Certainly we should protect content creators from folks who would profit by making copies and selling them themselves.

However, the minute we get into DRM that I have to circumvent to make a mixed CD of songs that I have already bought, or to put the songs on some no-name MP3 player because the FairPlay DRM only allows me to put it on and iPod, I think legislating against my right to do this goes way too far.

If I can't use what I paid for, I will certainly circumvent. If US style DMCA legislation is passed, we might as well get the handcuffs out for me and every other Canadian since they will certainly do the same.

Good laws don't make criminals of the majority of its citizens for questionable benefits to a few stakeholders.

Posted December 12, 2007 04:24 PM



American style DCMA for Canada is bad bad news... I can see the cops gleefully dragging grannys off to jail for burning her old LP's of Lawrence Welk to an MP3 player. Or I can see the cops storming in, seizing your computer and arresting YOU for someone else 3 blocks away downloading Limwire MP3's through your open or hacked isn't hard to do. It's your IP address, your on the hook.... and you will pay big money to your lawyers to get out of the jam....if you can. I can see parents slapped with huge lawsuits from Big Music for their kids (or their neighbors kid) downloading the latest hip-hop rap tune.

Frightening stuff... Canadians should be concerned and fight this tooth and nail.

Posted December 12, 2007 04:28 PM


Once e-paper (e.g Amazon's Kindle or Sony's ebook reader) goes mainstream then pretty much everything (books, magazines and newspapers) will only be available in electronic form complete with DRM. The effects of a DMCA look-alike bill will then be sorely felt by everybody, not just the gadget addicts. This will certainly occur within 10 years, maybe five.

We need fair rights and the right to share built into any new copyright bill.

Posted December 12, 2007 04:37 PM



We already have a Canadian solution for the protection of artists: we levy a tax on recordable media. Let's go further: charge $100 a year to every Canadian and let us download what we like, while sending $3B to the artists.

Posted December 12, 2007 04:47 PM

Jeremy Cooper

To answer your question Rob, they tried to pass it because Harper is doing what he does best, sucking up to Bush...thats my opinion anyway

Posted December 12, 2007 04:55 PM



Don't specifically blame the government as a whole. This is the handiwork of one unethical politician who let himself be 'bought' with cash and favours by high level executives and lawyers of the entertainment industry.
This politician is more than willing to sell the very soul and rights of Canadians by tabling a very shortsighted bill to enhance his retirement fund.
Definitely write/phone/email your local MP and demand that he/she votes against this bill. And if they refuse, be very vocal about the fact that you will vote next time for someone who cares for your rights.

Posted December 12, 2007 05:15 PM

Al Evans


DRM, passing this bill will be a D(irect) R(esult) in M(oney) for US corporate coffers...
not in Canada eh!..gringos!

Posted December 12, 2007 05:45 PM

Scott Basinger


I wouldn't be so quick to blame Prentice just yet. My guess is that he was genuinely surprised by the protest and is now looking at the issue personally (he's only been in the post for what... 4-5 months and has a ton of important issues on his plate).

Although I'll reserve final judgement for when this is finally (re?)proposed, credit goes to him for delaying this and taking a closer look at the issues that stirred up the public reaction.

I bet the underlings that drafted the proposed bill and subsequently embarassed him are on the hot seat right now to explain being on the wrong side of an issue that the public has such strong feelings about while being in a fragile minority government.

Posted December 12, 2007 05:54 PM

Jerry Golick


Those in the entertainment industry fail to remember that it is WE the people who have given them copyright. It is not some unalienable right that is due to them. The average artist earns less than $100/year in royalties from their copyright. The real money makers are the entertainment moguls who are doing their best to preserve and extend their stranglehold on their cash cow, namely the obscene profits they have made through the selling, and re-selling of binary digits.

In 1998 I was asked to consult for Warner Music on the impact of the Internet and file sharing. I told them that their business model had changed, and they were no longer in the business of selling music, but rather the merchandise, concerts, and other accruements that went along with the music business. They didn’t want that message and asked me how they could secure their assets. I told them it was impossible, and so they fired me.

There is no way Canadians should accept the passing of this legislation. It is regressive and contrary to the public will. It will only benefit non-Canadian companies. It is not in the public interest. I urge all of you who read this to pass the message around and to drown your MPs in an tsunami of protest to kill this thing. The Internet has given us the power to make ourselves heard quickly, and powerfully. Let us use it.

Posted December 12, 2007 10:04 PM

Perrin Serroul

The goverment is apparently going to put the bill out before Friday anyway. They are ignoring what is at 19,681 as of 10:58pm. The group is growing fast. More than 1 person is joining every thirty seconds. Thousands of people have emailed, written, called, met, confronted the goverment and have been ignored. Jim Prentice and the goverment has sold Canadians out to the united states and declared war on Canadians digital rights.

Posted December 12, 2007 11:00 PM

Kevin OConnor


You're going to make MP3 players illegal ?

Ok , so where do I sign up to protest this agai n?

Posted December 13, 2007 02:32 AM

Rob Wiebe


Thanks Dr. Geist, thanks CBC and thanks everyone else for keeping the pressure up. There's no doubt Canada needs a balanced copyright law, one that protects creators AND users, something that Minister Prentice's DMCA-lite does not do.

And why the surprise at the opposition that is growing to this bill? Canadians are some of the largest users of the web and consumers of digital media in the world. We're informed and we expect fairness.

Canada's copyright bill should protect and empower, so let's not let our guard down, just yet. The CPC can still table this legislation when we least expect it.


Posted December 13, 2007 08:10 AM

Michael Mattsson



your "I wouldn't be so quick to blame Prentice just yet" post is worrying to read. If Mr. Prentice had no clue (as you put it) that the bill he would be tabling would raise the ire of Canadians, and that it was his staffers who are to blame I would suggest Mr. Prentice might want to look for another line of work. A Minister that would table a bill written by others and not even bother to research it or read it himself really should be cleaning toilets and not be sitting in the house of commons.

Is there a single conservative Minister who is competent at their jobs? Baird, Ambrose, Fitch, Prentice, et al.... how are these incompetent people still employed?

Posted December 13, 2007 08:58 AM

Jacques Petit


Facebook is an insufficient measure. Every technology professional I know in high-tech in Ottawa has significant concerns about this new legislation.

I am frankly very upset that for some reason our politicians are rushing to criminalize activities that are now legal and enjoyed by the majority of canadians with a computer.

Listen to the competent and well thought out advise you have been given. Let us not adopt american errors here please; even if the US lobbies desperately want us to. The number of countries repeating a mistake does not make it any less so of a mistake.

Let me spell it out for our politicians: YOU ARE GOING TO LOSE VOTES IF YOU SUPPORT THIS LEGISLATION. Maybe you are hoping the american lobbies supporting it will vote for you.. I know I won't vote for any MP that supports this egregious rollback of consumer rights.

Posted December 13, 2007 09:14 AM

Michael Mattsson


Scott Basinger wrote:
"I wouldn't be so quick to blame Prentice just yet. My guess is that he was genuinely surprised by the protest...

..I bet the underlings that drafted the proposed bill and subsequently embarassed him are on the hot seat right now"

So what you're saying is that although Mr. Prentice is incompetent and didn't know anything about the bill that HE was about to table (and someone else had written for him) he shouldn't be blamed.

Who should we blame? The Liberals again?

Posted December 13, 2007 10:40 AM

Bill Thompson


Once again another example of canadian government doing what the us tells it to despite their own studies contradicting their actions. I swear out politicians must have backbones that are made out of rubber. Toss this rubbish out and leave the system as is.
the canadian recording industry posted a good profit this year, p2p is good for business, leave well enough alone and quit pandering to us business.

Posted December 13, 2007 10:59 AM


Anyone who has seen the implications of the DMCA on consumer rights in the US should be absolutely up in arms over any attempt to mimic our southern neighbours. Their laws are not only making reasonable behaviour and expectations criminal, but they are only supportive of the deep pocketed lobby groups - consumer be damned.

Posted December 13, 2007 11:05 AM



It's amazing to me that they were going to introduce this bill in the first place. Sure, the US media companies have a lot of money to lobby politicians with, but how many votes to do they have? Meanwhile, regular Canadians, the ones who rip their CDs to play on their iPods and share their music with friend, we have millions of votes. Which group is going to matter more in an election?

Political parties would be wise to think twice before selling out the digital rights of Canadians. Wired Canadians are a huge voting block, so it's not a good idea to make them angry. You wouldn't like us when we're angry!

Posted December 13, 2007 12:52 PM

Joshua Chasse


I'm surprised, shocked. I am one of the many 'swing voters'. Completely apathetic, I could care less about voting or what's going on in politics.

Though I cannot accept this, I have already written friends and family, and contacted via email 3-4 MPs and 1-2 MPPs with my honest disbelief and disgust over this issue.

I would call for a great many of you do the same and protest. Let us not sink further into being some lap dog to the whims of the US.

We're Canada, we are our own country and the government is there to represent us, the masses and not our neighbours.


Posted December 13, 2007 12:56 PM

Paul Sigmundson

This is a draft that comes straight from the wish list of the RIAA lobby in Ottawa. It has nothing to do with the rights or interests of the Canadian public. I find the use of the courts in the USA to sue people whose kids uploaded music files to be an abuse of the legal process. I would not want to see our court system used to inflict outrageous penalties on average Canadians. It is an abuse of the financial power of the entertainment industry and another example of the way that the cost of court proceedings is a penalty that applies even to the innocent.

Posted December 13, 2007 02:03 PM



I am fed up with having to pay an extra tax on my photo archiving CDs and DVDs with the money going to music artists - how have they earned that money from me? The last thing I need is a tax on my MP3 player that I use to listen to CBC podcasts with the money also going to these undeserving artists. These people should make their money through live performances - real work in other words - and not through by forcing a tax on me!

I have written my MP and the federal minister concerned more than once but received short shrift in return. Bah humbug, I will never vote for this conservative party, ever.

Posted December 13, 2007 02:23 PM



So, to get this straight, a majority of this bill is to stop what the rest of the world considers piracy?

Personally, I would not want such a bill enacted, because I download a lot of things.

Though I would by no means call it a right for me to not pay for work that someone did. That is a little ridiculous to think I have any sort of right over somebodys intellectual property.

If I steal a cd from the store, it's a crime. If I steal it off the internet, it's fine. Only in Canada.

But I do disagree with that "time shifting" thing. Are they saying you shouldn't be able to pause TV with a recorder, or record it and watch it later? That is stupid.

Posted December 13, 2007 02:45 PM

Scott McAllister


I was a conservative (still a progressive conservative) but next election I will either vote green or liberal. Why?? Broken promises (Income trusts and Atlantic Accord) and this issue.
Next election the new conservative platform will say this : " Not Stand up for Canada"

This copyright bill is a complete sellout to the USA. Knowing the Harpie conservatives they will try to spin something more platable enough to please their bosses (Music/movie lobbyists and Republican Party) in Washington.

If the liberals are smart they would ask Dr Geist to write their platform on copyright bill. Liberals should also look at the models of copyright in Europe and Isreal. But the key to the copyright law should be based on fair use principle.

I wonder who Prentice is working for USA or Canadians??

I wonder if the Conservatives would make this copyright bill a non-confidence matter? in that way the Harpie conservatives can be defeated :)

Posted December 13, 2007 05:35 PM

Sean Karl


I'm a record label owner and I think all forms of IP law are a waste of everyone's time. Intellectual Property rights protect the uncreative and lazy more than the talented and proficient.

Posted December 13, 2007 09:29 PM

Kyle Larose


Copyright was originally brought into force because the cost of setting up a printing press was far too high for the average person to own one: that is, there was a huge divide between content creators and content producers.

At the time, the government granted monopoly of copyright was not very long (something like 15 years). Since then, it has gradually been extended, to the point where art which was created by people who died years ago is still copyrighted--typically by corporations.

The point of copyright is to encourage new creation, as a balance between the rights of consumers (to create and purchase--whether through reproduction or not--and to use whatever they physically *own*, and the encouragement of creation of original works. It was never a right, given at birth, for an artist to have complete control of their works for all time. It was only ever a government granted monopoly intended to encourage creation for the enjoyment of people. It is also meant to expire and enter the public domain so that new works can be created from it, further enriching our lives.

So why was copyright extended so much? We've seen a huge amount of creation since it was originally enacted, so it doesn't seem like the original span was too short. No, the reason is that certain corporations feel entitled to profit from their "intellectual property" for eternity. The constant lobbying from said corporations and their industry groups for more rights for them, and less for everybody else is symptomatic of this delusion. The current symptom is the proposed legislation.

Posted December 14, 2007 11:23 AM

Kyle Larose


(This is continued from my previous post)

We've already extended copyright far past what is required to encourage creation. Now the government is thinking about curtailing our fair use rights in a sweeping manner which would have chilling effects from Academia to ones own home.

If this law passes, what was originally a short monopoly granting essentially only rights of distribution, will instead become a complete stranglehold on all use of works of art.

I urge everyone to write their MPs regarding this legislation. Tell them that it is inexcusable, and contrary to the original spirit of copyright.

Posted December 14, 2007 11:24 AM



Kyle, with all the advances in technology, copyrights need to become stronger if anything. People have a right to protect their own intellectual property, and now it can just be pirated. It would seriously stifle creativity if people couldn't be credited for their work. If they couldn't get paid for their work.

Posted December 14, 2007 12:20 PM



Stop all the Conservative bashing, the Liberals tried to pass the same legislation.

Any informed person knows this is not about putting money into the pockets of Artists, but into the pockets of Corporate executives. In the following note I will refer to Corporate Media Organizations lobying for these draconian laws as "they".

If they don't want me to copy the music from my CDs to my music player, I will no buy any more CDs. When they started putting root kits on DVDs, I stopped buying DVDs. They want me to stop time shifting my TV, then I will have to cancel my Cable Subscription, because I will not be able to watch the show Is like to watch.

What are they going to do when Canadians start to boycott the Movie and Music Media industries. We can still go to Live performances, and listen to the radio, but they will not see a dime directly from the people who boycott.

Posted December 14, 2007 01:49 PM

Perrin Serroul


I would like to inform search engine as well as the ACTRA that they need to update their information. You see the problem is that the ACTRA is reporting that we are a vocal minority. We represent 23,611 people and counting while the ACTRA represents only 21,000. If we are a vocal minority what does that make the ACTRA?

Posted December 14, 2007 02:56 PM



I think some serious research into the declining sales that the Music Industry claims will find that the public is angry at the Music Industry. With the DRM and the spyware that can go with them, the Grandma's and kids being sued in the US, and the overall bad picture that they have painted of themselves, it is no wonder nobody wants to buy from them...
Let the Music Industry finish going through its natural life cycle and DIE... It is a FAT, lazy old man and needs to crawl back into the grave and stay there...

Posted December 14, 2007 03:32 PM

Dan Lumley


Going after people who may download music from the internet like the US and Western nations legal system is a corrupt system of law. They must go after the owner of web pages and the web doman seller and close them down for sell DVD and CD through their web pages that do not belong to them Web doman sellers must stop selling web doman to people selling stolen goods or face legal battles with their right to sell web doman. They go after people who make copies and sell on the market Why not go after people who make copies available on the internet for people to use Wake up legal systems

Posted December 14, 2007 07:54 PM



Hands off my timeshifting...not all of us work 9to5, and personally I spend my evenings volunteering, so the ONLY way to watch the primetime shows I like to watch is to record them and watch them later!

If timeshifting was made totally illegal, instead I would do something more productive with my time and the advertisers would get one less potential customer.

Posted December 17, 2007 04:07 AM



Lumley, sure, why not also sue Bell when someone uses them to commit telephone fraud. Let's also go after the cities and provinces for building so many roads, without which there would be no traffic fatalities. Let us also cut off our noses, as they are responsible for all that sneezing.

Posted December 17, 2007 02:03 PM



Garet, I disagree with you. We do not have a natural right to own everything we create. Having an idea does not give one the authority to dictate what other people can do with that idea once you choose to communicate it. Copyright does not exist to make money for people, it exists to make information available to people. Profit is one of the tools we use to help propoagate information, but it is not the point; the point is the information.

If copyright laws are too strong, they are self-defeating. Eventually there comes a point where we would be better off with no copyright laws at all. I wouldn't argue we've reached that point, but I would argue that we have gone well past the point of optimal returns.

I believe that happened because the intent of copyright has been subverted to the point where it as seen to exist to maximise profit. Perhaps that is even your own position, Garet. This is a horrible corruption, but it is not hard to see how such a thing could happen.

Posted December 17, 2007 02:20 PM

Kyle Larose



How are the current laws not strong enough? How does extension of the term of copyright relate at all to the digital world? Why should circumvention of DRM be made illegal when there is no real reason that said circumvention will violate any copyrights on its own; it requires somebody actively copying/distributing the product for it to become illegal at the moment. I would like to hear what sort of inherent right content producers have to prevent people from circumventing copy protection on physical products that they own.

Posted December 17, 2007 03:56 PM



Geekwad, many musicians, for example, make a living off selling cds and shows and the like. If there was nothing in place to protect their ownership of music, which they should have, why would they even bother making music? Why is it that if someone makes a guitar, it is wrong for me to steal it, yet if someone makes music with a guitar, you think it should be okay to steal? Should you not have to pay to see them either, just because their craft is intangable?

Kyle: I am talking about the fact that it is legal to download music in Canada, where in other places, it's illegal. I mean the peer to peer, or torrents, or whatever type of downloading. Not an Itunes type thing, where you actually pay.

The timeshifting thing is completely stupid, though.

Posted December 18, 2007 12:05 PM

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