Canada: We actually want to hear from public on copyright

23 07 2009

In 2008, the Canadian government discovered a new “third rail” of politics: copyright reform. Long considered a wonky subject of interest only to legislators and rightsholders, interest in copyright has exploded in recent years, and Canadians showed a keen interest in talking about term length, time shifting, DRM circumvention rules, format shifting, mashups, remixes, the public domain, and the levies that Canadians currently pay on things like blank CD-Rs.

When Bill C-61 was introduced in June 2008, though, it was instantly clear that consensus would be hard to find. Consumers wanted rights and flexibility, while copyright holders wanted… well, I’ll let them explain it.

“We would be deeply concerned if the Bill allows people to copy artists’ work onto media devices like iPODS without compensation for creators; and, also if existing levies and royalties are affected by this Bill,” said Brad Keenan, Director of the Performers’ Rights Society and Sound Recording Division at the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA).

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