Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Digital Rights Management Act

It looks imminent that Jim Prentice (Industry Minister) is going to introduce the Canadian Conservative party's version of a frightening new copyright bill. From the sounds of things it's likely going to be a huge detriment for Canadian copyright in general, taking us back into the dark ages of copyright, with no exceptions allowed for parody or other "fair use" (known more commonly in Canada Copyright law as "fair dealing") limitations and exceptions.

Think about that for a moment. No exceptions allowed for parody.

What kind of world would it be without parody? There goes half of Rick Mercer's wonderful weekly show -- imagine this in the U.S. -- what would happen to shows like Saturday Night Live, brilliantly creative artists like Weird Al who thrive and excel at parody?-- never mind some of the only amusing bits on virtually any top 40 morning radio program are the seasonal and timely song paradies.

Would that mean I would have to go back and remove several parody themed blog posts here? D'oh!!!! (whoops, is that phrase copyrighted? Are Matt Groening's people going to come after me now? Sorry, I'm getting paranoid - but, shouldn't I be, with this ridiculous new copyright bill on the horizon?)

The whole thing is frightening -- but we do live in a democracy and there is something we can do to prevent this backwards step. (See links below)

What You Can Do (You Tube Video by Michael Geist) - two minute video

Write Your MP Online Form (From Online Rights Canada) - it takes 2 minutes to use this form. I did so between two sips of coffee this morning. (Laura J. Murray's site) - up to date and interesting information from the co-author of Canadian Copyright: A Citizen's Guide


lecram sinun said...

I was talking to a friend the other day about a similar topic. I really think that copyright laws are facing a major overhaul over the next 10-15 years. The internet has really turned everything (in the creative department) on it's head.

It's probably going the way of a tighter squeeze initially... but I think it will let up after that unless they find a way to police anarchy.

Rainypete said...

I completely hadn't heard a thing about this. Thanks for the heads up Mark. I'm off to harass MPs!!