Bill-C11, An Act to Amend Copyright

I received a response from the NDP regarding Bill C-11. Basically it is a Canadian version of the American’s DMCA. Should this bill pass it would make me a pirate for copying all my CD’s into FLAC files on my computer; Not only that, but anyone who circumvented “digital locks” to make copies for personal use would be breaking the law.

So on Linux watching a DVD using the free decoding libraries (libdvdcss2) you would be performing a criminal act. Many of you don’t know this, but if you watch a DVD on your computer you paid royalties to the movie industry to do so when you bought your DVD player software. Furthermore, if you use free ones, like VLC, you would now be breaking the law and would be prosecuted in Criminal Court.

It’s good to see at least the NDP is taking a stance against this specific part of the Bill, and is actually, it seams, listening to the people. Too bad they form a minority in the House of Commons. Here is their response:

Thank you for taking the time to write regarding Bill C-11, An Act to amend the Copyright Act. We appreciate having the benefit of your comments and the opportunity to let you know more about our work on a number of these legislative concerns.

New Democrats want updated copyright laws to balance the rights of artists, consumers and rights-holders. We believe that Canada needs effective legislation to ensure artists’ royalties are protected; long-distance education opportunities aren’t hindered; and that young people aren’t subject to unfair, expensive fines.

That’s why we will not be supporting Bill C-11 unless the government is willing to amend the digital lock provisions and restore royalty provisions for artists. The blanket provisions for digital locks will allow corporate interests to decide what legal rights you may or may not exercise. This unbalanced approach will ultimately hurt artists, educators and consumers.

New Democrats also think that it is time to strike a balance in Canada’s copyright law that will properly recognize the cultural community for its valuable contributions to our society. Going forward, we will continue to work hard to improve this bill and press the Harper government to adopt the best copyright laws for the 21st century.

Please find below a letter from NDP Copyright and Digital Issues critic Charlie Angus that further explains our position on Bill C-11.

Again, thank you for taking the time to register your views.


Nycole Turmel, M.P.
Interim Leader of the Official Opposition
New Democratic Party of Canada

Charlie Angus, M.P.
NDP Copyright and Digital Issues Critic

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