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Major business players come out in favour of fair copyright reform laws

Good news on the Canadian copyright reform front for those of us interested in having fair copyright laws; Michael Geist, the person who in my opinion is leading the fight in Canada for a balanced new copyright act, details how some major companies and businesses have formed a coalition to advocate for fair copyright reform in Canada. Telus, Rogers, Google and Yahoo are amongst the players who warn against accepting a clone of the US copyright law:

The coalition, which also includes the Canadian Association of Broadcasters, the Canadian Wireless and Telecommunications Association, the Canadian Association of Internet Providers, the Computer and Communications Industry Association and the Retail Council of Canada, publicly released a seven-point plan for balanced copyright reform that responds to business concerns that “the government would err too much on the side of the copyright holders.” For example, the BCBC’s plan cautions against overly restrictive legal protection for digital locks, warning that new provisions “must not prohibit Canadians from engaging in non-infringing activities.” The private copying levy, which the Conservatives promised to abolish in their 2005 policy declaration, was also featured as the coalition urges the government to “seriously question the continued existence of the private copying regime”…every Canadian region is represented including Eastlink from Atlantic Canada, Cogeco Cable from Quebec, as well as MTS Allstream and SaskTel from the West.

As Dr. Geist points out, it is very significant that all these major businesses are actually aligning themselves with the education, community and consumer groups – “normal people” in otherwards. It is to be hoped, as Dr Geist points out in the article, that this new lobby will persuade Jim Prentice and the Conservatives to drastically overhaul their copyright bill to make it more balanced for all Canadians.

I note from the article that apparently the Conservatives have apparently decided yet again to hold off tabling their copyright bill. Call me a cynic, but I believe that has to do with trying not to create another potential flash issue during any potential election campaign. Let’s hope that consideration is used to make this bill a lot fairer and “made in Canada” , not a something dictated to us by the US copyright lobby.


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