Rallying Against Canadian DMCA

Photo Credit: LiminalMike's Flickr stream

Canadians gathered in Calgary, Alberta on Saturday, December 8th to confront Industry Canada Minister Jim Prentice on his proposed copyright legislation. Kempton Lam, who organized the anti-DMCA rally, has posted several reports about the day.

The proposed legislation has been described as the worst copyright law in the developed world, mimicing and exceeding the worst elements of the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) 1998. Reports are that Jim Prentice shut Canadian artists, industry and consumer groups out of the drafting of the bill, writing it with the help of US entertainment giants and the US Trade Representative.

The US DMCA has lead to literally thousands of lawsuits against consumers, and is one of the more commonly abused laws in the United States. According to a report published by the CATO institute...

Some firms have used the DMCA to thwart competition by preventing research and reverse engineering. Others have brought the weight of criminal sanctions to bear against critics, competitors, and researchers.

Meanwhile, the US DMCA has done little to stop music and movie pirates...

Worst of all, DRM technologies are clumsy and ineffective; they inconvenience legitimate users but do little to stop pirates.

On Saturday, approximately forty citizens came to the Minister’s open house in Calgary, and asked him some of the 250+ questions compiled by Canadians and the CBC Radio programme Search Engine. Also, as of this writing, a Facebook group dedicated to fair copyright in Canada has crested 12,000 members, and has posted numerous photos and videos of Saturday.

Apparently, the Minister is currently rethinking the legislation in light of the recent public outcry.

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Wil Alambre of Visual Lizard