Canada: Copyright Lobby Wants Filtering?



In a meeting with the editorial board of the Ottawa Citizen the Canadian Copyright Lobby indicated at several times that they support ISP filtering. Part of the reasoning is based on the belief that consumers say “if you made it impossible for me, if you stopped me, I would just get on with my life and yeah I would return to the market place and I’d buy things.” (28:26) As Prof. Michael Geist notes:

Henderson cites with approval several initiatives to move toward ISP filtering of content, pointing to a French report, comments from the UK that such legislation could be forthcoming, and the AT&T negotiations in the U.S.  Later in the conversation, the group is asked what their dream legislation would look like.  The first response?  ISP liability, with the respondent pointing to Belgium as an example of an ideal model (“the file sharing issue will go away there as ISPs take down people”).  Last summer, a Belgian court ordered an ISP to install filtering software to identify and block copyrighted content (the decision is currently being appealed).

Some other interesting notes from the conversation include the persistent attempts by the Copyright Lobby to highlight the fact that they do not like the changes they want made to the Copyright Act to be referred to or compared to the U.S. DMCA despite the fact that a version of the DMCA is in fact what they want. To accomplish this they continually refer to WIPO, arguing that Canada should just implement WIPO.

There’s an interesting exchange concerning Fair Use rights in which a question is asked concerning how someone would use a 8 second clip of a half-hour show on a blog if the clip is encrypted (DRM protected). The response was a somewhat hostile attack on the person who asked the question concerning an assumption that the Government will somehow outlaw fair dealing which is quite odd since they are explicitly lobbying for an anti-circumvention clause which would outlaw fair dealing in the case presented in the question. It is too bad the questioner did not pursue this line of question more avidly.

As Geist points out, the principles that advocates of fair Copyright want are not necessarily at odds with interpretations of WIPO. WIPO provides for Limitations and Exceptions and even has a document that discusses many such limitations. It is clear that simply ignoring the consequences of implementing new measures, such as anti-circumvention, will leave many unanswered questions regarding Fair Use/Fair Dealing which is why Fair Copyright for Canada wants explicit protections put in place.

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