Crawl Across the Ocean

Thursday, June 03, 2010

New Copyright Bill (C-32) Introduced into Parliament, But Will the American (Corporation)s be Satisfied?

The past few years have seen a number of attempts by the party in power (first the Liberals, now the Conservatives) to introduce a copyright bill in Canada that copies the American legislation.

In the debate there have generally been two sides. On the one hand, the Canadian public which supports a bill that won't make millions of Canadians into criminals just for acting like they own the things that they have bought. On the other hand, there are large American media corporations that want to squeeze as much profit as possible from their movies, recordings, etc.

Traditionally, the interests of the Canadian public (commoners) have been represented by Members of Parliament, who sit in the House of Commons, and legislation has been introduced in the House of Commons in recognition of this fact. But in the case of this bill, the government decided that rather than introduce it in the House of Commons, they would introduce it in the House of Large Foreign Corporations, specifically the offices of a large American media company. Just in case you missed that bit of symbolism of whose interests the bill (and the government) represents, Michael Geist refers us to a quote from the chief of staff for Maxime Bernier (from 2007 when Bernier was Industry Minister) saying that Harper's office told the ministers responsible for copyright that, "We don't care what you do, as long as the U.S. is satisfied."

I guess if you want American lobbyists to have strong representation in Ottawa, keep voting for Stephen Harper and his AmericaNorth party...

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