Imagine a world where you could receive a fine, and possibly be dragged before a judge, just for clicking on the wrong link, or where big media companies could demand your private online information. Here in Canada, our government looked at giving this kind of control to big media, yet the public opposition led them to decide against it.
The House of Commons may have passed Bill C-11, but the constitutional concerns with the copyright bill and its digital lock rules will likely linger for years. Many experts believe that the government's decision to adopt one of the most restrictive digital lock approaches in the world. And guess what? It's vulnerable to constitutional challenge.
The Motion Picture Association - Canada reports meeting with Canadian Heritage Minister, Foreign Minister, and Industry Canada Senior Associate Deputy Minister all on the same day. These meetings occured less than three weeks after the introduction of Bill C-11 and the decision to sign the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). Ministers were willing to meet with the top U.S. copyright lobby group, but not with Canadian creator, consumer, or education groups who offered a much different perspective on legislative reform.
The second reading debate on new copyright legislation Bill C-11 will conclude today. Canadians have been speaking out on copyright reform in general and digital locks in particular for years with widely held views, but will the government listen with the bill now headed to committee for further hearings?
The Business Coalition for Balanced Copyright has already expressed concern with the Bill C-11 digital lock rules. Turning Bill C-11 into a Canadian SOPA would only make matters worse, creating a legal framework that would harm Canadian business and consumers.
While SOPA may be dead (for now) in the U.S., lobby groups are likely to intensify their efforts to export SOPA-like rules to other countries. With Bill C-11 back on the legislative agenda at the end of the month, Canada will be a prime target for SOPA-style rules.