Thursday, June 3, 2010

Bill C-32

Bill C-32 is the latest attempt to change Canadian copyright law. The U.S. copyright lobbyists should be mighty pleased with the result since it gives them everything they could ever want. The Bill makes breaking a digital lock illegal and that provision trumps everything else in proposed legislation. What good is expanded fair dealing if a digital lock prevents you from exercising your rights.

The Bill distinguishes between commercial and non-commercial infringement but only to the extent that the penalties are greatly reduced for non-commercial infringement. I wonder whether this encourage or discourage suites against file sharers in Canada. It could go either way, since the difference between the minimum and maximum penalty is quite large ($100-5000). It seems tailor made for outfits like the US Copyright Group who have turned copyright law suits into a business model.

The Bill may make web sites like isoHunt illegal if they are deemed to have no other purpose other than to facilitate infringement. Note how this conveniently lets mainstream search engines off the hook. I smell a rat.

Bill C-32 is bad. Michael Geist thinks it can be fixed if we make enough noise. The problem is, we made lots of noise during the copyright consultation last year, and if C-32 is any indication, we were completely ignored.

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