Canada should not bow to the RIAA/MPAA

It is becoming increasingly apparent that the only individuals who will benefit from a Canadianized version of the DCMA will be organizations who hold the copy rights on their various products. In particular, the CRIA – the Canadian branch of the Recording Industry Association of America [RIAA] lobby group – and the MPAA, that does not have any apparent Canadian flavor.

These two group are based out of the United States and are attempting to project their influence throughout the world by pressuring the worlds most powerful nation, who in turn are pressuring their trading partners. In this case, the true north strong and free.

Case in point: A recent Reuters story was published that accuses Canada of being one of the worst copyright infringers on the planet. Placing it in the top 10 and asking the U.S. Trade Representative’s office to place Canada and two other countries on a trade watch list. Now when you consider who published the report that the article was based on, it should fall under speculation. The International Intellectual Property Alliance is a lobby group comprised of – according to their own website – American based industry groups covering the spectrum of music, movies, and software.

So in summary –to be as clear as possible – an American industry association that is comprised of American companies is accusing just about everyone else of lax copyright laws. However, this is to protect the content producers [music, writing, video, etc], right? Wrong!

While the government argument to justify a copyright reform bill includes a point that businesses want it. The reality is much different and only a small select group of companies, which are based outside of Canada, will benefit from theses changes. In fact, some of the largest companies in Canada and a number who operate internationally have come out against the government’s stance. The list of companies includes: Google, Yahoo! Canada, Rogers, Tucows, Telus, and many of the industry associations they are members of.

These companies would effectively become the police and watch dogs for the music and movie industry, since they will have to monitor networks and develop technological measures to protect the content of another industry. This is not their place or job and it should not be thrust upon them. Instead, they argue for a more balanced copyright reform. Some of their major points are an ISP safe harbor, private copying, expanded fair dealing, rational and effective enforcement, among others.

This kind of balance still provides the tools content providers need to chase down infringers while allowing customers flexibility to use the materials they obtain legally. The question remains, will the government listen to these companies or bow further to American pressure and threats? Make sure your voice is heard and write your MP today, join the Facebook group to get more information about this very important issue, and ensure your rights are protected.

About Christopher 119 Articles
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