Canadian Throne Speech Says Government Will ‘Strengthen’ Copyright

If you thought that the Canadian government will finally get at least a clue on copyright after protests, swarming riding seats and giving very clear signals through the copyright consultation, you have another thing coming if you heard the speech from the throne today.

Note: This is an article I wrote that was published elsewhere first. It has been republished here for archival purposes

When the Conservative government of Canada held a copyright consultation to gauge what the public wanted in terms of copyright laws, Canadians were very clear about it. A graph from Michael Geist shows where Canadians stand on the issue and a vast majority are against another Bill C-61 (often referred to as the Canadian DMCA), against anti-circumvention laws, are for a stronger Fair Dealings, and stronger protections from liability for non-commercial use.

Previously, before the consultation but shortly after Bill C-61, the speech from the throne (and everyone knew it was a signal that a Canadian DMCA was on the way at the time) said, “Our Government will proceed with legislation to modernize Canada’s copyright laws and ensure stronger protection for intellectual property.”

After the copyright consultation, the government says, “To encourage new ideas and protect the rights of Canadians whose research, development and artistic creativity contribute to Canada’s prosperity, our Government will also strengthen laws governing intellectual property and copyright.”

So the difference? After Canadians made clear what they want in copyright, the government, instead of saying “stronger”, they say, “strengthen”. In other words, the Canadian government has sent a clear signal that it doesn’t care one bit about what Canadians have to say about copyright, they will only listen to foreign corporations intent on destroying Canada’s competitiveness in the global economy today by making copyright stifle Canadian innovation. Not one thing has changed, we are back to square one. The only thing that has really changed is that the government showed Canada the finger on copyright related issues. The copyright consultation, at this point, has pretty much been a complete farce at this point.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.



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