Thursday, June 12, 2008

Canada’s Conservatives Advance Police State With Copyright Bill C-61

How in the hell did the conservative Party take control in friendly Canada? I have a theory.

Under more liberal control, people obtain power through consumer protection, and comfort knowing there are social safety nets in place. With that comes power and a certain amount of risk taking, or thinking outside the box. It’s in this state of well being that we are willing to try something new, experiment with a different approach to taxes, personal freedoms and ceding a little more responsibilties to our representatives. But under conservative rules, they are either the authority, or hand control over to their ideology. Thus, the move to conservative authoritarianism. We have seen it in the U.S. under the relatively new concept of the “Unitary Executive.” The all powerful President.

So in Canada, the same power struggle is going on. Conservatives there so trust the power of their ideology that they don’t see the unintended consequences of their simple platitudes.
Case in point, Canada’s Bill C-61.

According to the CBC: The federal government has introduced a controversial
bill it says balances the rights of copyright holders and consumers — but it opens millions of Canadians to huge lawsuits. Liberal industry critic Scott Brison said. "There's a fine line between protecting creators and a police state."

Bill C-61 contains an anti-circumvention clause that will make it illegal to break digital locks on copyrighted material. That means TiVos and other personal video recorders (PVRs) will be made useless if television broadcasters choose to put technical locks on their shows so they can't be recorded. People caught downloading music or video files illegally could also be sued for a maximum of $500, but uploading a file to a peer-to-peer network or YouTube could result in lawsuits of $20,000 per file. Minister of Industry Jim Prentice deflected questions about potential lawsuits by saying, "You can get into hypothetical situations…"

Critics feared the bill will mirror the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which similarly brought in restrictive measures and opened the door for copyright owners to enact huge lawsuits against violators. University of Ottawa internet and e-commerce Prof. Michael Geist, an outspoken critic of the bill said, "Those rules are quite clearly 'Born in the USA.'"

Isn’t it nice to know other countries are using U.S. law as a "what not to do" example.

No comments:

Post a Comment