Michael Geist explains that it was the ongoing contention between the Industry and Heritage Ministers that ultimately required the Prime Minister’s Office to weigh in. Heritage Minister Moore was for an almost exact repeat of the failed C-61 bill while Industry Minister Clement was more receptive to changes like improvements to fair dealings. Sadly, the PMO sided with Moore.
With mounting pressure from the U.S. – there have repeated meetings with senior U.S. officials in recent weeks – the PMO sided squarely with Moore’s vision of a U.S.-style copyright law. The detailed provisions will be negotiated over the coming weeks by the respective departments, but they now have their marching orders of completing a bill that will satisfy the U.S. that comes complete with tough anti-circumvention rules and no flexible fair dealing provision.
As Geist goes on to say, the aggressive schedule that will have the bill tabled by June isn’t the most concerning part. This latest change in direction flies in the face of the public consultations on copyright conducted in the wake of C-61. It also would align Canadian law with what is being proposed under ACTA, deflating any rhetoric about a purely home grown, Canadian solution to copyright.
There is hope in that public pressure mounted through widespread action was instrumental in defeating not only C-61 but its predecessor, C-60 (which was almost as bad). With only six months until the draft comes out, there is no time to lose in writing a paper letter and calling your MPs. Geist has more details on how to send your letters and suggests sending copies to the Prime Minister, Moore, Clement and the Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff. Facebook is also serving again as a center of coordination for public resistance.