Well the Christmas season has come and gone. Like many people, our parliamentarians are back to the grindstone in just a few weeks, and while most of us have been working at our respective jobs since the start of the year, our MPâ€™s have been preparing for what will be the next round in the ring known as the House of Commons.
A hot topic that will have many punches thrown over this session will most likely be the highly debated and controversial copyright reform bill. A bill that would mimic the highly disliked DMCA bill in the USA. The bill that was suppose to be tabled in the fall session but was delayed when sudden and vocal opposition was demonstrated by the very people who would be effected by this proposed law change, the voters!
A lot of the organization behind this opposition comes in the form of a Facebook group. Started by Dr. Michael Geist, law professor and Canada Research Chair of Internet and E-commerce Law at the University of Ottawa, the Facebook group â€œFair Copyright for Canadaâ€ has attracted the attention of 37000 users and resulted in national news coverage by CBCâ€™s The Hour and The National.
While all that might be old news to some readers, a new development was the creation of local chapters that started quietly over the Christmas break. Just this past week The Fair Copyright for Canada group went public with its announcement of local chapters spanning 13 cities. I was delighted to be asked to start the Halifax Chapter and welcome anyone in the Halifax area to join. You are also encouraged to start your own campus or city chapter if one is not already in existence. Just contact Dr. Geist through the national Facebook group.
The momentum of this group continues to grow with coverage on Computer World Magazineâ€™s site and on local newscasts across the country. This is an important step in bringing the concerns of the public to the MPâ€™s who will eventually vote on this issue. Any stakeholders, who have a desire to see a balanced copyright reform bill put before the House of Commons, or an unbalanced bill defeated, are asked to get involved and ensure that your concerns are heard. Through these Facebook groups we will be making available the necessary information about who to contact, how to get involved, any rallies, and most importantly how this will effect you.
This development is also notable for demonstrating the impact that social networking sites can have on an organization. Although that is another topic. So please get involved, learn how this can affect you, and most importantly stand up for your rights.