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Copyright Reform Consultation

August 5, 2009
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In July 2009 the Government of Canada announced a series of consultations across Canada regarding proposed copyright reform legislation. Taking place from July 20 to September 13, 2009, the consultations consist of an online website, http://copyright.econsultation.ca/ where Canadians can make online comments regarding five broad topics, and a series of round tables and town halls across the country. The town halls are archived online (here is the link to the Montreal town hall: http://copyright.econsultation.ca/topics-sujets/show-montrer/24).

The government is hoping to reintroduce copyright legislation in the Fall 2009 Parliamentary session. The previous copyright legislation, Bill C-61, was delayed because of federal elections and an unprecedented outpouring of protest against the Bill. The proposed bill catalyzed widespread and contentious debate among politicians, librarians, educators, creative artists, and citizens because of its strong anti-circumvention provisions and the restrictions it sough to impose on consumer and education exceptions. The citizen furor over Bill C-61 (including the publication of opposing op-eds in the mainstream press and proclamations against the bill from librarian and educational groups) will surely continue and escalate when the bill is re-introduced this fall. Online activism against the bill has set a new standard for effective public interest awareness-raising and mobilization, as well as influencing mainstream media coverage, which has not always been the case with ICT public interest policy activism during the last decade.

Michael Geist, a Professor of Law and the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-Commerce Law at the University of Ottawa Law has been a tireless advocate for copyright reform in Canada. He created an informative website to feature news, resources, posts, videos and information about copyright reform in Canada: http://www.speakoutoncopyright.ca.

Other useful sites and news regarding Canadian copyright reform are listed below:

Chung, Emily. (2009, July 13). Copyright Wish List. CBC News. URL: http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2009/07/30/f-copyright-roundup.html

CBC News. (2007, December 13). Government retreats on copyright reform. CBC News Online. URL: http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2007/12/13/tech-copyright-delay.html

Why Copyright? A forum sponsored by the Canadian Journal of Communication and Concordia’s Department of Communication, September 2008. Includes a podcast and miscellaneous resources.
http://www.cjc-online.ca/index.php/journal/multimedia/view/1

Laura J. Murray’s Fair Copyright Blog. Murray is a professor of English at Queen’s University and the co-author with Sam Trosow of Canadian Copyright: A Citizen’s Guide (Between the Lines Press, 2007).
http://www.faircopyright.ca/

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