Is Canada's new copyright law a northern DMCA?

Is Canada's new copyright law a northern DMCA?

Summary: Canada has a new copyright law that limits consumers' liability for copyright infringement but exposes them to thousands of dollars in penalties for circumventing anti-copying technology, the Globe and Mail reports.The existing copyright law, passed in 1997, exposes consumers to a maximum of $20,000 in statutory penalties.

SHARE:
TOPICS: Hardware, Mobility
19

Canada has a new copyright law that limits consumers' liability for copyright infringement but exposes them to thousands of dollars in penalties for circumventing anti-copying technology, the Globe and Mail reports. The existing copyright law, passed in 1997, exposes consumers to a maximum of $20,000 in statutory penalties. The new law cuts that to $500 for all infringements contained in a lawsuit, the newspaper reports. But, says Prof. Michael Geist in the Star the limitation doesn't apply to uploads to YouTube or peer-to-peer networks. Anyone caught messing with DRM or other anti-copying technology could be slapped with $20,000 fines. Says Geist:

The law creates a blanket prohibition on picking the digital locks (often referred to as circumventing technological protection measures) that frequently accompany consumer products such as CDs, DVDs and electronic books. In other words, Canadians who seek to circumvent those products – even if the Copyright Act permits their intended use – will now violate the law. While this sounds technical, circumvention is not uncommon. Under the Prentice bill, transferring music from a copy-protected CD to an iPod could violate the law. So, too, could efforts to play a region-coded DVD from a non-Canadian region or attempts by students to copy-and-paste content from some electronic books.
Some artists have spoken out against the law.
"The question is, who gains from this bill?" said Brendan Canning, a member of the Canadian Music Creators Coalition and a co-founder of the band Broken Social Scene. "It's not musicians. Musicians don't need lawsuits. ... What we do need is a government that is willing to sit down with all the stakeholders and craft a balanced copyright policy for Canada that will not repeat the mistakes made in the United States."

Topics: Hardware, Mobility

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

19 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • just a technicality...

    ...but this isn't law in Canada, yet. It's just a bill at this point. Carry on...
    Scream
  • it will never be

    This farce of a bill is the single most anti-consumer thing i ever saw in Canada.

    You can copy legally own media on portable player and other device (Nice!) but you cannot remove illegal DRM infecting almost every piece content you can get leggaly. This does not make sense: DRM is illegally preventing from enjoying the content i have PAID FOR.

    The only way for the Digital Mafia (MPAA/RIAA) to prove that i own a illegal movie / music track is to illegally break into my computer.

    The Digital Mafia have no power in Canada and should be prevented from doing any investigation in the Country. Canadian Police and justice system in canada (have opposed to the USA) have better thing to do (like protecting citizens, not openly criminal cartel such at the MPAA/RIAA) then baby sitting the 26 Billion/year US enterteiment industry.

    No serious court of law should ever accept any complain from the digital mafia (MPAA/RIAA) as those organisations have proven more then once to use illegal action to optain flawed proof and they commit crime on a daily basis.
    Mectron
  • Get ready for 2 DVD players in every home...

    With companies allowed to put unbreakable "digital locks" on all products it's the consumer (not the pirate) who will suffer under this new law.

    If you have multiple cultures in your home (and Canada is multicultural after all), you will need to buy multiple DVD players. No longer can you buy "region free" players since they circumvent "locks" in place on some region specific DVD's.

    Just imagine, a German DVD player, and a Italian DVD player, PLUS a Canadian DVD player, just to play movies from all 3 areas.

    Whoever campaigns and votes against this will have my vote next election.

    Sounds good for the Companies, bad for honest consumers.
    randallD
    • Region-blocking should have been illegal

      Years ago, but the big guys in the industry tried to moan and groan about "We will lose MONEY if someone imports a movie from another country that we have for sale here!"

      No, they wouldn't.... IF they would charge the same price in every single country, exempting the local taxes and other add-ons that different countries have.
      Lerianis
  • RE: Is Canada's new copyright law a northern DMCA?

    Does this mean that we(Canadians) now will see the end of the levy?

    http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20060409-6558.html
    Arm A. Geddon
  • RE: Is Canada's new copyright law a northern DMCA?

    At this point, it can be as simple as causing the minority government to fall. If Canadians want to defeat this, lobby your member of parliament, especially those on the opposition benches to show no confidence in the government. All bills on the docket are automatically trashed.

    Only thing, don't permit a majority government who will support this bill. We know that the Conservative Party does (they drafted the bill), but we do not yet know that the Liberal Party, NDP or Bloc Quebecois yet oppose it.
    metamagico
  • RE: Is Canada's new copyright law a northern DMCA?

    Yes it is - made in Canada to serve lobbyists for large US interests. Prentice didn't want to hear from Canadians, so no public consultations and/or input. It is even WORSE than the DMCA, because the anti circumvention provisions have even fewer exemptions.

    Fiction: Canada needs to pass this to comply with WIPO.
    Fact: We are already in compliance with WIPO, very few companies have enacted DMCA type laws.

    What appears to be a compromise w.r.t. timeshifting is only an illusion - all the broadcaster has to do is include a "no copy flag" and due to the anti-circumvention provisions poof - the few remaining rights you thought you had are gone. And don't think of watching that DVD on your Linux PC - that's now illegal too.

    This is analogous to buying a car with engine and wheels padlocked by the dealership after the sale that you are forbidden to tamper with. The doctrine of first sale has just gone up in smoke. Forget about switching your cell phone to another carrier - You are locked into a business model that will see locked down electronic electronic devices dumped into landfills every time you switch phone carriers.

    Oh and remember that shiny new cell phone that they widely advertise as taking high def pictures and holding 15,000 songs? It is only after you sign the contract you find out the USB port on the phone has been disabled, and you have to send your pictures over the phone carriers VERY EXPENSIVE airwaves instead of downloading them to your PC. You also find out after singing about the 15,000 songs and ringtones - The phone is configured so all have to be purchased from your carriers exclusive store, even if you have them on CD. Thanks to Prentice and Harper this ripoff is not only legal - You are forbidden to unlock your phone and escape from it, by force of law.

    If this isn't bad enough, the door has now been opened for US style en-mass lawsuits that has seen everything from dead people and computer illiterate grandmothers sued for downloading rap music. (Google for DMCA abuse - I am not making this up)
    Phone up and write your MPs office, and let them know your vote depends on this. Your digital freedom is at stake, the buck must stop here. If they are conservative let them know you will strategically vote next election if it helps remove them from office. If they are liberal, tell them that if Dion finally gets off his @ss you will support them all the way in a non-confidence vote. The NDP and greens (I think the Block as well) are on the correct side of this issue. I was a long time Tory and my parents even campaigned for the, but the 2 voters in this house plus my parents will never support them again.
    earthforce_1
  • RE: Is Canada's new copyright law a northern DMCA?

    Fuck them, neo-nazis of the digital world.
    Random Person
  • It Is Not Yet a Law

    At this point, this draconian 'law' is only just a proposal.

    A 'bill' regarding a proposed redrawing of copyright law in
    Canada has been put forward in Parliament.

    It needs to 'pass' in parliament prior to it being made law.

    To do that, the bill will have to be considered by all parties
    (the governing party, the official opposition, and any other
    sitting Members) and then be voted upon.

    That won't happen until the autumn.

    To make matters more dramatic, this wee iPod vote could
    topple the Government. The governing party is in the
    minority so if the other sitting parties act in concert, they
    can easily defeat this bill and possibly topple these
    morons.

    In the meantime, Canadians are mobilizing in an
    unprecedented web/blog assault on this bill.
    winstonsteele
  • RE: Is Canada's new copyright law a northern DMCA?

    ... it's sadly a major mistatement to asert that it's already a law - this will never pass as is in a minority government and the ultimate legislation will likley look very different from the current proposed legislation. (Perhaps that's the main reason for loading it so much in favour of content creators to the detriment of consumer rights; it allows the oposition to look as though they've protected consumer interests while stripping the most obsurd of legislative pieces... leaving the original objectives intact.

    My personal favorite is how they have placed minimum staturory fines of 200$ per copyright holder if the court finds that there citizen had not knowledge of the infraction and there was no reasonable grounds to assume there was an infaction... Also worth noting is that each piece, in the case of music - since everything is being miscatagorized as music realted in the media - that there are multiple copyright holders...)

    Personaly: I think this will do a lot for the porn-industry... gives them some teeth to fight back on all the kids/poeple downloading their content illegally...
    Anonymous223
  • RE: Is Canada's new copyright law a northern DMCA?

    Yes, absolutely. I have watched the sharks from down south circling now for years. They rush in and take a bite and then withdraw to watch us die. When we rally they rush in again. I guess eventually we will die if we do not kill the shark forever.
    sonofbc
  • RE: Is Canada's new copyright law a northern DMCA?

    Actually i dont believe so.
    The DMCA is realy bad!
    dsfagdfghdfhs
  • RE: Is Canada's new copyright law a northern DMCA?

    i agree!
    What is the DMCA?
    dsfagdfghdfhs
  • RE: Is Canada's new copyright law a northern DMCA?

    The DMCA is the act where the big fat elaphant squashed three small monkeys.
    dsfagdfghdfhs
  • RE: Is Canada's new copyright law a northern DMCA?

    I hate elephants and monkeys
    thsrtyhtfghgf
  • RE: Is Canada's new copyright law a northern DMCA?

    die monkeys die
    thsrtyhtfghgf
  • RE: Is Canada's new copyright law a northern DMCA?

    tigers rule
    thsrtyhtfghgf
  • RE: Is Canada's new copyright law a northern DMCA?

    i have a ruler
    thsrtyhtfghgf
  • RE: Is Canada's new copyright law a northern DMCA?

    go to hell
    thsrtyhtfghgf