Bill C-61 is the Canadian government’s latest attempt to change the Copyright Act of Canada. The bill affects all Canadians which is why it’s very important that Canadians know about it and understand the parts that affect them. Here are some resources that I strongly encourage you to view:
- Bill C-61 summary with references to relevant parts of the bill
- Michael Geist’s “A Week in the Life of the Canadian DMCA” – Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5 – shows how the bill makes ordinary activities illegal
- Jim Prentice interview with on-screen commentary debunking some of Prentice’s statements about what will be legal under the bill and what won’t (original MP3 from CBC)
In a nutshell, Bill C-61 will make many common and legitimate consumer activities, such as transferring a DVD to a video iPod or transferring a copy-protected CD to an MP3 player, illegal. For these reasons, you should contact your local Member of Parliament to express your concern. The best way to do this is in person, although mailing a letter (no postage required) is also an option. For some ideas, you may wish to read the Bill C-61 petition I wrote. You can also contact me for suggestions. The government will probably try to pass Bill C-61 soon after Parliament resumes on September 15 so it is imperative that you speak with your MP now.
An even greater threat to society than the negative impact on consumer rights, I believe, is the control that Bill C-61 gives to the big media companies, which will ultimately stifle innovation and competition. The rights granted by C-61 to big media companies are equivalent to granting Ford the right to say who is allowed to sell seat covers to be used in Ford vehicles and how much they have to pay Ford for Ford’s permission. I will make a post about this consequence of C-61 soon. In the meantime, you can read these articles which explain the problem to some degree: Red Hat founder concerned over Bill C-61, Why Are TPMs Still Popular?, and DVD-CCA Sues to Suppress Kaleidescape Product.
To learn more about Bill C-61 or to get involved in informing people of its consequences, I suggest you refer to these: