Dr Michael Geist: Why Copyright? The Fight for Canada’s Digital Future

27 10 2008

Vue Weekly

SCOTT HARRIS / scott@vueweekly.com

Late last year, rumours began to swirl that federal Minister of Industry Jim Prentice was about to introduce legislation to make sweeping changes to Canada’s copyright laws.
In response, University of Ottawa law professor Michael Geist created a Facebook group to provide a forum for discussion on the expected bill. The reaction was incredible. In less than a week the group had grown to more than 10 000 members, and within a month to 35 000. Fair Copyright for Canada chapters began appearing in cities across Canada, many holding demonstrations at the offices of their local MPs.
The outcry forced the government to delay the bill’s introduction by six months. When it finally appeared on June 12 in the form of Bill C-61, the changes confirmed the worst fears of many, drawing comparisons to the restrictive copyright legislation south of the border, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).



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