Réforme du droit d’auteur: Faits saillants

Olivier Charbonneau fut l’invité des nouvelles de CTV aujourd’hui à midi (jeudi 3 juin), j’ai préparé quelques notes concernant le projet de loi sur la réforme du droit d’auteur. Nous les diffusons rapidement, en anglais. Nous allons les traduire dans la journée.

Here are some speaking point about Bill C-32, an Act to amend the Copyright Act.
1. (Imperative) Digital technologies allow all Canadians to become active players in the creation and use of cultural products: creating, using and making available their own cultural works as well as the works of others on the Internet. This poses a problem to the “logic” of the Copyright regime, as only professionals or corporations were traditionally active players in shaping our culture, individuals were seen as having a passive role: consuming. International treaties tried to resolve this, but they were drafted almost 15 years ago.

2. (Process) The Bill was introduced yesterday but there is still a long way to go before it comes into force. The Government has indicated it wants this Bill to go through “3 readings” at the House of Commons, usually in Committees. It could take over a year for this process if the Government does not “rush” the Bill. The Bill could also change drastically during this time.

3. (Content) The government tries to have a balanced or nuanced approach, with regards to the needs of creators, industry and consumers. It is difficult to make everyone happy and most everybody will have issues with the Bill. Remember copyright applies to video games, movies, music, literature, scientific articles. It affects creators (musicians, actors, authors, etc.), the industry (producers, publishers, distributors, etc.) as well as consumers and their institutions (you and me, as well as teachers, librarians, archivists, etc.). The issue is money: how to make money with culture, and how much money should be made with culture.

4. Spaghetti Western Analysis

4.1 (The Good)
– Broadening “fair dealing” to include parody, satire and education, as in the USA. Teachers will be able to show movies in the classroom and email links to content on the Internet to students.
– Time-shifting and place shifting exceptions, so my mom can tape this program and show her friends (but only done by and for herself).
– User-generated content exception: remix and post content as long as it’s not under “digital locks” – really cool!
– A “notice and notice” regime, so that corporations can’t pull down content posted on the Internet.

4.2 (The Bad)
– You can only get content from “legitimate” sources – it’s not clear if your neighbor can tape a show for you when you’re on vacation. Borrowing and lending ebooks seems to be out of the logic of this Bill.

4.3 (The Ugly)
– Digital locks: nothing can override digital locks, except if you have a perceptual disability. So, you can’t take music from a CD with a “lock” and place it in your MP3 player. It feeds into the “legitimate” source issue.

5. (Key message) The Bill proposes some “cool” things and the government should get some praise for trying to forge a Canadian approach to the digital paradox. But we have to be very vigilant and engaged in the debates that will ensue. There are some problems, but we can work together on making them better.

6. (Next Steps) Stay informed: The Canadian Library Association’s Copyright page: www.cla.ca/copyright. Michael Geist’s blog: www.michaelgeist.ca or my blog (en français): www.culturelibre.ca. Understand what imperative drives the position made by different stakeholders and how they relate to you. Talk to your federal MP – they will have to vote on this.

2 Responses to “Réforme du droit d’auteur: Faits saillants”

  1. In my new article, “Modernization of the Inconceivable”, at http://mincov.com/articles/index.php/fullarticle/modernization_of_the_inconceivable/ (http://bit.ly/8YQZ3r), I explain why modernization of the copyright law based on compromise and concessions, without a good understanding of the underlying principles of copyright protection, is doomed to fail.

    Copyright laws exist either for the protection of the creator, or for the benefit of the public. There is no middle ground. As long as we keep entrusting the government (any government) to find the right “balance” between the two, we are destined to keep on making up exclusions from limitations on exceptions from the rights – without even stopping for a second to question why we are doing this.

  2. [...] La question des serrures numériques semble être le point où la position de ces groupes divergent. Certains y voient une raison pour sévèrement critiquer le projet de réforme, tandis que d’autres mettent l’emphase sur d’autres aspects du projet de loi. Par ailleurs, l’analyse rapide de CultureLibre.ca a déjà été diffusée il y a quelques jou…. [...]


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