Dear Ms. Owen: Thank you for sending me a copy of your email regarding copyright policy. The legislation to modernize the Copyright Act, Bill C-32, contains marked improvements over past proposed legislation, taking into account the nationwide consultations held last year by Minister of Canadian Heritage and the Minister of Industry to solicit Canadians’ opinions on this important issue.
As stated in a Globe and Mail article on June 2nd, "The legislation targets big online pirates instead of individual Canadian freeloaders and would in fact lighten rather than increase maximum legal penalties for those who illegally download or upload copyrighted works on the Internet for non-commercial reasons." These penalties have been reduced to a maximum of $5,000 for all infringing activity, from an existing ceiling of $20,000 per protected work, " Instead, the bill would go after the big fish in Internet copyright infringement, giving copyright owners stronger legal tools to shut down “pirate websites” in Canada that support file-sharing and introducing a separate criminal penalty of up to $1-million for serious cases where commercially motivated pirates crack digital encryption."
I am pleased that Bill C-32 expands the list of exceptions where Canadians will be able to break copyright for legal reasons, allowing educational institutions to use copyrighted materials as well as allowing Canadians to employ them in producing satire or parody. Libraries are also permitted to digitally send copyrighted material provided under inter-library loans directly to the borrower's computer, with no restriction on initial format.
The rights of creators and copyright owners are also protected, giving them the tools to protect their work and grow their business models. The issue of the digital locks is, as far as I can see, the only issue of contention with the bill. This bill is now being studied at Committee, providing opportunities for amendment of the bill, as follows: House of Commons Committees - CC32 (40-3) - News Release - Study of Bill C-32, An Act to amend the Copyright Act
From this link you will see that:
The Committee believes that it is important to hear from Canadians on this topic. The Committee will be meeting with various stakeholders affected by copyright reform, including authors, artists, musicians, record labels, book publishers, collective societies, libraries, museums, school associations, software developers, retailers and consumers.
The Committee will also be accepting briefs on this topic from groups and individuals who will not have the opportunity to appear before the Committee. The Committee welcomes briefs on the objectives and subject matter of Bill C-32. If a brief proposes amendments to clauses in the bill, draft alternative language should be included if possible.
In order for briefs on Bill C-32 to be considered by the Committee in a timely fashion, the document should be submitted to the Committee’s mailbox at CC32@parl.gc.ca
by the end of January, 2011. A brief which is longer than 5 pages should be accompanied by a 1 page executive summary and in any event should not exceed 10 pages in length.
The Legislative Committee on Bill C-32 (CC32) is composed of 12 parliamentarians representing four political parties. It is chaired by Gordon Brown, M.P. for Leeds-Grenville (Ontario). For more information, please contact:
Michelle Tittley, Clerk of the Legislative Committee on Bill C-32
Again, thank you for writing to provide your input on this important topic.
Kevin Sorenson, MP