CRIA to Play ‘Beat the Clock’ with Copyright Reform

Many Canadians woke up yesterday very surprised. Many things were working against the Liberals like Bill C-60, Bill C-74, the Sam Bulte incident and a number of other issues.

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

Also, poll after poll stated that the Conservatives were going to win the election hands down and possibly even get a majority government. This prediction was matched with the Liberals worrying the Bloc (Quebec separatist party) would take over as the official opposition, having a possible chance at winning more seats. So how does this play out in terms of copyright reform and other key important issues surrounding the Internet?

Canadian minority governments have been notorious for not lasting very long – an average of a year to be more precise. Canadian minority governments have also been known as ‘governments where nothing much gets done.’ That being said, the CRIA may have their work cut out for them to lobby and get submit copyright reform bills they see fit.

Last session, Canadians saw the introduction of Bill C-60 and Bill C-74 while many consumer advocates worked hard to bring these bills into a more balanced light. The fall of the last government scrapped these bills to the delight of consumer advocates, but they also knew this was a hollow victory. New parliament means new bills and new bills will very easily include a new copyright reform bill. One thing is for certain, copyright lobbyists will be working harder then ever to push candidates into tabling the bills they were sent to influence candidates to table.

There is also the aspect of the Government Accountability Act that Conservatives plan on tabling which would effectively stop what Sam Bulte has done with her fundraiser (revised later to a ‘celebration’) during the campaign. This may be a stumbling block for lobbyists should they fail to get what they want on either side, but some poorer lobbyists will find this advantageous with the $1,000 cap.

There are rumors circulating on how Bev Oda may have been influenced by the copyright stakeholders. Bev Oda has an interesting profile that may also come into play in the future.

Her profile states, “In 1973, Ms. Oda joined Ontario‚Äôs public broadcaster, TVO. In 1976, she entered commercial broadcasting. Ms. Oda held a variety of production and management positions in the broadcasting industry.” So she comes into the House of Commons to potentially be the minister of heritage with a background in broadcasting management. The profile continues, “From 1987-1993 Ms. Oda served as a full-time CRTC Commissioner. During her term, Ms. Oda helped introduce competition to the telecommunications industry and numerous broadcasting policies. She has served as the Vice-Chair of a number of national and international industry organizations.”

There was also the lack of a response by the Conservative party when they were asked by CIPPIC to answer key issues many internet users are more then aware of.

Sam Bulte lost her seat to the NDP candidate, Peggy Nash. Peggy Nash has been known to be the ‘Canadian Heritage critic’ and perhaps activists will be watching her as she personally witnessed Sam Bulte refuse to accept the Copyright Pledge. Everyone knew that this was going to be a close race, but Ms. Nash gathered enough votes to make that win.

Now Canada will go through formalities and proceed to get to business. How things turn out from a digital point of view remains to be seen.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.

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