For something that’s still mostly speculation (both Michael and Howard acknowledge not yet having seen the actual contents of the upcoming copyright reform Bill), there has a remarkable outpouring of interest from numerous individuals on the issue of Canadian copyright reform, not the least of which is:
- The Facebook group Fair Copyright for Canada which now has over 12,500 members;
- The Globe and Mail’s article yesterday: New copyright law starts Web storm;
- Cory Doctorow’s continuing coverage on Boing Boing;
- The gathering of critics at an open house even held by our Industry Minister;
- The CBC’s Search Engine asks Questions of Industry Minister Jim Prentice; and
- The anti-DMCA rally at Industry Canada Minister Jim Prentice’s office in Calgary held on Saturday.
All indications suggest that the new Bill will be introduced sometime this week. Perhaps it won’t contain strong anti-circumvention legislation and will instead contain flexible fair dealing provision and parody exceptions, time shifting and device shifting exceptions and expanded backup provisions. But, like Michael and Howard, I’d be very surprised if it did.
Michael now reports that the Canadian DMCA’s introduction will likely be delayed (although he’s not sure on whether it will be delayed for a day or two, or for longer). Perhaps, as Michael notes, the Industry Minister will take this opportunity to engage in broader consultation prior to the Bill’s introduction.
See also Dierdre McMurdy article in today’s Ottawa Citizen’s, entitled Prentice to unveil his answers to copyright law disputes, about why the issue of copyright has this power to polarize people so much. According to the article, copyright is the single most lobbied issue in Ottawa. Copyright also affects everything from movies and music to video games and software, to radio and tv broadcasts, to books and eduational materials. No wonder people have philosophical differences over how much, or how little, copyright protection there ought to be.