p2pnet news view | Freedom:- Canadians owe Hollywood and the Big 4 record labels a hearty vote of thanks, this Christmas season.
By trying to foist entertainment cartel copyright rule on Canadians, the labels and studios have provided incentive for people across the nation to band together.
Thanks to the Net, blogs, IM, chat, cell phones, PDAs, the people have a voice, loud, strong and powerful.
And they’re using it to talk to each other no matter who or where in the world they are, forcing their elected representatives to listen.
“When did copyright law become sexy?” – wonders the Globe & Mail.
But that’s to trivialise it. The answer is: it isn’t sexy. It’s vitally important because it’s the thin edge of a nasty wage the entertainment cartels, with the major software houses close behind them, are trying to use to gain control of how, and by whom, product is distributed online.
Because the cartels know if they’re not able to dominate the Net they’ll lose the power over consumers they’ve been wielding for all these years.
This week, “Canada’s freshly shuffled Industry Minister [Jim Prentice] was set to table new copyright legislation that could have completely changed the relationship between Canadians and their digital media,” says the story. “But then he backed down, at least until the end of the year.”
And he backed down for one reason only.
Early reports suggested the federal government was planning to adopt an American-style law that would make it criminal to penetrate the DRM on any media, period, says Ivor Tossell in the Globe and Mail piece, going on:
“Anything sitting around the house that’s protected by Digital Rights Management technology would be automatically sacrosanct, and accessing it in ways not sanctioned by its maker – for any reason – could be against the law. This could include doing an end run around DRM for the most benign reasons, like watching an Asian-formatted DVD in Canada, or a film professor burning a DVD of movie clips for teaching purposes.”
DRM doesn’t mean Digital Rights, it means Digital Restrictions.
And the law the story refers to is DMCA —- the detested Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 many believe was largely drafted by entertainment cartel lawyers and foisted on Americans by politicians acting for the corporations instead of their constituents.
Far-fetched? Perhaps. But look at the way things are with American politics and politicians at the close of 2007. And the movie and music industries are spending a fortune lobbying Canadian politicians to make sure things are the same way here.
Concerns about fair copyright for Canada
Meanwhile, “A Facebook group opposing Ottawa’s facelift to copyright law gathered 15,000 members in 10 days. Just yesterday, it added another 1,200,” says the Ottawa Citizen.
“This, says Michael Geist (upper right), the Ottawa law professor who can claim to be the country’s premier digital agitator, is proof that Canadians are more united than ever in their opposition to to changes that would update the law, and will use the latest technology to make themselves heard.
“Geist and his followers can already claim a minor victory.”
Yesterday, the bill was pulled by industry minister Jim Prentice.
“I’m very happy that I was able to contribute to the public debate and I’m flattered that I’ve been identified as one of the leaders.,” Geist told p2pnet, adding:
“The real story, however, is how tens of thousands of Canadians came together in a matter of days to voice their concerns about fair copyright for Canada.
“I think it is a mistake to think of copyright as a right or left political issue. I’ve been critical of Liberals, Conservatives, and NDP at different times in the past.
“I’m concerned with balanced copyright laws and I think that all parties should be able to support that principle.”
Jon Newton – p2pnet
Globe & Mail – How did copyright become cool?, December 13, 2007
Ottawa Citizen – Public outcry delays changes to copyright bill, December 12, 2007
bill was pulled – Christmas break for Canadian DMCA, December 13, 2007
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