The record labels, movie studios and ACTRA want Canadian copyright laws reformed. Internet legal experts, musicians and bloggers say the proposed changes are flawed. The showdown has only just begun.
The changes were supposed to be presented on Tuesday, December 11th, but were delayed at the last minute by Prentice.
It’s quite possible that this delay was a response to heated criticism of the legislation, which was expressed most publicly at an Open House in the minister’s own riding last Saturday. A Facebook group, which had been organized by University of Ottawa’s Canada Research Chair of Internet and E-commerce Law, Michael Geist, sent representatives to protest the changes in person.
This delay isn’t sitting well with ACTRA, the union that represents professional English-language performers in Canada. They claim that opposition to the copyright changes is coming from a "vocal minority".
However, given that the changes in question may well turn everyday consumer behaviours into illegal acts such as recording using a PVR, copying music from a CD to an iPod, or making backup copies of software or movies, it’s likely that this "minority" may soon find millions of new supporters.
Although Prentice says it is inappropriate to judge a change to legislation before it is made public, Geist isn’t waiting to see the official text before weighing in. He feels that the government has "dropped considerable hints" in the past as to what the changes contain and is convinced that there hasn’t been sufficient public consultation on the matter.
So where do you stand on these possible changes to Canada’s copyright laws? Will you wait until the amendments have been tabled to judge them, or have you already made up your mind? Is ACTRA correct that opponents are in the minority? Let the showdown begin…
Update, Thur. Dec 13: Prentice has decided to delay tabling the changes until after parliament returns from their holiday break. Read more.