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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Canadian Copyright Legislation vs American

Canada’s copyright law envisions another approach to copyright violation, as opposed to the controversial US model. It appeared that the Canadian government has declined the suggestion to adopt the same aggressive measures as the US Stop Online Piracy Act promoted.

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The perception of the Canadians on Bill C-11, the legislation aiming to adjust the copyright act, is basically positive, but there’s still fear that the country’s government’s point of view might grow aggressive later on because of the pressure by the United States. As opposed to the controversial SOPA, which allows for immediate removal of the copyrighted material upon complaint by the rights owner, Bill C-11 requests that ISPs notify their subscribers on behalf of the copyright owners before taking further measures.

Advocacy outfits are largely satisfied with the legislation, though they have expressed concern regarding the digital locks provisions. The matter is that the Canadian legislation does tolerate the copying from one device to another, but it still considers the breaking of eventual digital locks against the law. The suspicions are that this measure can actually prevent consumers from accessing both their own services and legitimate content.

The critics of copyright and digital issues believe that the suggested bill is flawed, because the digital lock provisions won’t just interfere with the legal rights of the citizens, but will also hinder the ability of digital development. But regardless of all the criticism, no-one has suggested a viable amendment for the digital locks provision, which means that the creative industries will have to decide how they want to resolve this issue themselves. In addition, the music industry doesn’t rely much on digital locks, in contrast to the video gaming industry, which depends on them heavily.

The proposed legislation stipulates the reconsideration after 5 years, so it can receive revisions and additions if the Parliament thinks they are necessary. A special committee responsible for examining the legislation is expected to meet this week in order to establish a preliminary list of witnesses to invite. The bill will be examined in depth by the middle of March, and the study will be concluded by the end of March, when it will be reported back to the House of Commons.

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