p2pnet news | Freedom:- Ottawa law professor Michael Geist was correct.
“The word this afternoon is that Industry Minister Jim Prentice will not introduce the Canadian DMCA tomorrow,” he posted on Monday.
“The thousands of letters and phone calls over the past week have urged the government to adopt balanced copyright reforms that meets everyone’s needs and does not unduly harm education, consumer rights, privacy, and free speech. The delay provides an exceptional opportunity for Minister Prentice to consult more broadly and to factor those concerns into the forthcoming bill in the interests of all Canadians.”
Today, says Deirdre McMurdy in the Ottawa Citrizen, “Kempton Lam, Corey Doctorow, Michael Geist (left) and Howard Knopf (right) aren’t exactly familiar names in Ottawa’s political power circles,”
But, “those four – along with thousands of other Canadians – managed to throw a spanner into the works of the Harper government.
“As leaders of an increasingly vocal and organized grassroots cyber-movement against controversial, anticipated changes to the federal Copyright Act, their persistent efforts derailed Industry Minister Jim Prentice’s plan to introduce an amended bill this morning.”
However, IMHO, the names Geist and Knopf are all too well-known in Canada’s corridors of power, largely thanks to the Net.
Both men, often quoted in the mainstream media, instantly and regularly reach Canadians everywhere via their blogs, and two of their more recent posts (Geist, Knopf) in particular powerfully drove home the message which forced Prentice to jam the brakes sharply on his plans to unveil a Canadian DMCA.
However, it’s important to remember that Canadians and the Bush administration aren’t the only ones watching.
Said Knopf on Sunday, “The legendary ‘free software’ (‘free’ refers to ‘liberty, not price’) proponent, Richard Stallman, has contacted me and expressed his appreciation of my post about how Canadian copyright law is already stronger and better in many ways than American law.”
He went on:
He has pointed out that “DRM” also stands for ‘Digital Restrictions Management’ and has warned Canadians to take action to stop it. He has also written a letter to the editor of the Hill Times about this and about my piece in that publication dated November 26, 2007.
Canada should listen carefully to American experts such as Richard Stallman We must learn from American excesses and errors. Even Bruce Lehman, architect of the DMCA, has effectively told Canada so more than once.
What Richard Stallman says is very important and is watched and admired by many influential people.
He is one of the illustrious pantheon of EFF Pioneeer Awards Recipients and recipient of many other honors and honorary doctorate degrees.
For a “fragile minority government, the chorus of angry voices was too loud to ignore,” says the Ottwaw Citizen, adding:
“Although many are demanding a broad-based public consultation process on copyright, the objective is now to table a revised version of the bill within the few remaining days before Parliament breaks for Christmas.
“Although Industry Canada shares the copyright file with the Heritage Department, Mr. Prentice has been the lead minister on it. He not only has more clout in caucus because of the nature of his portfolio, but he’s known to have the ear of Prime Minister Stephen Harper.”
Now, as Geist posted yesterday, “It remains to be seen whether the delay is for a day or two or for at least six weeks. Moreover, if the longer delay, it will be important to see how Prentice takes advantage of the time to consult Canadians on copyright reform.”
Jon Newton – p2pnet
Ottawa Citrizen – Tories blink on copyright law change, December 11, 2007
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