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Submission + - Conservatives Commitment to Internet Surveillance (michaelgeist.ca) 1

alexo writes: Dr. Michael Geist writes that Canada's Conservatives committed to pass "lawful access" legislation that would fundamentally reshape the Internet in Canada within the new Parliament's first 100 days if they win a majority.

The legislation includes new laws that would establish massive Internet surveillance requirements and the potential disclosure of personal information without court oversight.

The proposed bills were never debated in parliament nor subjected to committee hearings, yet the Conservatives election platform promises to bundle all the crime and justice bills into a single omnibus bill and to pass it within a new Parliament's first 100 days.

With the elections looming, it is time to fight for your rights.

Submission + - Canadian Copyright Bill: Flawed but fixable? (michaelgeist.ca) 1

multisync writes: Michael Geist analyzes Bill C-32, the Conservative government's latest attempt to modernize Canada's copyright laws, and appease US demands that they introduce U.S.-style DMCA rules in Canada. But Dr. Geist believes there is hope the bill can be salvaged:

The digital lock provisions are by far the biggest flaw in the bill, rules that some will argue renders it beyond repair. I disagree. The flaw must be fixed, but there is much to support within the proposal. There will undoubtedly be attacks on the fair dealing reforms and pressure to repeal them, along with the U.S. and the copyright lobby demanding that their digital lock provisions be left untouched. If Canadians stay quiet, both are distinct possibilities. If they speak out, perhaps the bill can be fixed.

Feed Techdirt: Canadian DMCA Introduced; Digital Lock Provision Trumps Any And All User Rights (techdirt.com)

As was widely expected, Canadian politicians have introduced their version of the DMCA, dubbed the "Copyright Modernization Act" (or Bill C-32 if you want to get technical). Michael Geist runs down the good and the bad at the link above, but it appears there's a lot more that's bad than good. While the plan tries to add "balance" by extending fair dealing provisions just slightly wider than before (though, still pretty limited), it undermines that very concept with a heavy anti-circumvention clause. This is the worst aspect of the DMCA exported north to Canada. Basically, as long as a rights holder puts some form of DRM/copy protection on their work, all those exceptions go out the window. You can't circumvent, even for non-infringing reasons.

What this does is change the basic contours of copyright law. It gives the rights holders the ability to define the exceptions, and take away the right of users. It's this very aspect of the DMCA that needs to be fixed, not expanded to other countries. It goes against the core principles of copyright law, which include exceptions for the sake of important modes of expression. By letting the rights holder determine what is and what is not allowed as an exception, simply by letting the rights holder put any kind of digital lock (no matter how weak) is a travesty of copyright law. It's not copyright law at all, at that point. It's really a law to lockdown content away from the public, and to have the government declare a particular business model as supreme and protected by the government.

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Submission + - Canada Re-tables DMCA Style Copyright Reform Bill (canoe.ca)

Samalie writes: The conservative Canadian Government have once again tabled a bill to reform Canada's copyright laws, taking a firm stance on the side of the copyright owners in a US DMCA-style bill presented to parliament today.

While it will be theoretically legal to make copies of anything you legitimately own for your own non-commercial purposes, it will be illegal to circumvent any DRM to do it.

This bill will also force ISP's to pass along any notices they receive from copyright holders, and makes them liable for civil damages if they don't keep records of it all.

Time to blast our MP's with letters again. Not that it does any good.

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