Monday, December 10, 2007

New Canadian Copyright law starts web storm

This is from the Globe and Mail.
There is a short article with links on the DMCA at Wikipedia.
I really don't know that much about copyright law. The DMCA was concerned primarily with net audio and visual material but it has also been used with respect to text material particular in its use by the Church of Scientology in which the law was in effect used to try to silence some criticism of the Church by claiming copyright infringement by a critical website.
I quite often include an entire article in my blog but give URL's and always make some commentary. Probably this could be challenged as not fair use but I have been blogging for a year with no complaints--about that issue at least! I suppose if I had paid ads or something the big media people would take a different attitude. As it is I probably get people linking to the media.
I used to edit a poetry mag. The poets most concerned about copyright were those
who probably had never published and probably never would!

New copyright law starts Web storm
Mathew Ingram, December 9, 2007 at 7:10 PM EST

The federal government is expected to release the latest version of a new copyright law this week, but it has already whipped up a storm of negative publicity on the Internet – a blogosphere and Facebook tsunami with Industry Minister Jim Prentice at the centre.

One of the architects of this storm is Dr. Michael Geist, a professor of law at the University of Ottawa and an expert in copyright and the Internet, who says he is afraid that the new law will copy the worst aspects of the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Among other things, Geist says, the legislation will likely "mirror the DMCA with strong anti-circumvention legislation - far beyond what is needed to comply with the WIPO Internet treaties," and will likely contain no protection for "flexible fair dealing. No parody exception. No time shifting exception. No device shifting exception. No expanded backup provision. Nothing."

Dr. Geist has posted a YouTube video that lists 30 ways in which people can protest the legislation, and has set up a Facebook group as a central rallying point for those opposed to the new legislation.

The law professor's fight has also been adopted by half a dozen influential blogs, including Boing Boing, whose co-founder Cory Doctorow is a Canadian author and former Electronic Frontier Foundation staffer.

In a recent post, Doctorow wrote that "The US’s approach to enforcing copyright in the digital age has resulted in 20,000 lawsuits against music fans, technology companies being sued out of existence for making new multi-purpose tools, and has not put one penny into the pocket of an artist or reduced downloading one bit. The USA stepped into uncharted territory in 1998 with the DMCA and fell off a cliff — that was reckless, but following them off the cliff is insane."

Canadian copyright lawyer Howard Knopf has also been blogging about the legislation, and CBC's Search Engine show tried to get Jim Prentice to come on and do an interview, and solicited questions from readers (host Jesse Brown got more than 240 responses) but the minister said he couldn't go on the program.

The Facebook group Geist set up has more than 10,000 members after less than a week, and helped to generate a small but opinionated crowd of vocal critics who gathered at an open house event held by the Industry Minister in his home riding in Calgary on Saturday.

Other sites that have been following the issue include Fair Copyright and Digital Copyright Canada as well as Online Rights Canada

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