The recommendations over a new report that recommends using spyware and ransom-ware to combat online infringement are shocking. They represent next-generation digital locks that could lock down computers and even "retrieve" files from personal computers.
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 video game industry has been a Canadian success story and copyright is certainly an issue for some companies within it. But the government's claim that adding balanced digital lock rules to Canadian copyright law would destroy the industry is plainly false.
Harper's bill C-11 is far more restrictive than it needs to be, more than the controversial copyright laws being fought in the U.S. courts, and more than international treaties regarding intellectual property require. Honest, hard-working educators, archivists, documentary filmmakers and consumers will be criminalized.
The Canadian digital lock rules are more restrictive than those required by international law, more restrictive than those found in many other countries, and so restrictive that they undermine the government's claims of striking a balance.
While everyone is opposed to counterfeiting, the CACN is pushing for a massive public investment into private enforcement matters at the very time when the evidence suggests Canada already has strong legal rules against counterfeiting and a clear commitment from law enforcement to take appropriate action.
The pipeline decision is one of several U.S. decisions that have gone against Canadian interests in recent months. Whether it is the decision to apply new border fees for Canadian travellers or the imposition of Buy American rules (which the current U.S. Ambassador implausibly claimed was good for Canada), Canada has sustained successive losses on the economic policy front with the U.S.