Boooo! Copyright Laws

You might not have heard about it yet, but changes to the Canadian Copyright law are making big waves on the blogosphere. Slashdot ran a story about Heritage Minister Bev Oda, who is set to bring in updates to Canada’s copyright laws. Last election, Oda received thousands of dollars in political donations from the big media companies in Canada the US. And now that she’s responsible for media laws in Canada, she seems to be returning the favour. Soon, we will have new copyright laws which will scrap the current “fair use” rules and make it illegal to create copies of music you have already legally paid for. Nevermind, the grey areas of sharing music with friends.
Jeremy Fisher's Trippy Music
Want to rip that CD to your computer? Sorry, that’s now illegal.
Want to create a mix tape for your next party? Nope. That’s illegal too.
Supposedly time-shifting with a Tivo will be illegal too, but seriously, who owns a Tivo?

Cory Doctorow on Boing Boing has a great article about what the changes mean. Interestingly enough, it was Doctorow who turned the spotlight on Sam Bulte – a Liberal MP and Canada’s previous Heritage Minister, who was also receiving a lot of money from big media companies. She was defeated last election by New Democrat Peggy Nash, but it looks like the entertainment industry was playing both sides.

The new copyright laws will suck for music fans, but many Canadian artists (mostly indie bands) are coming out against the new law. Broken Social Scene and the Barenaked Ladies have been the most vocal so far. The Hour has a great interview with the Barenaked Ladies where they talk about how they’re selling raw MP3s to their fans on USB thumb drives, and how they want their fans to share music (via P2P if they want) because that’s how they build their fan base. Of course the big record labels who like to crank out overly marketed, one album wonders (a la Canadian Idol), don’t really care about building fan bases, now do they?


  1. I’m sure you also saw the Slashdot article about how Canadians contribute a whopping 50% of all the piracy in the world. These changes, however idiotic (and boy are they idiotic) will not likely stop me from ripping my CDs to MP3s so I can play them on my iPod, but if law enforcement decides to actively enforce the new changes, things could get pretty heated up here! Unbelievable how corrupt our government is becoming. Sickening, really.


    • I don’t know why the American companies are pointing their fingers at us, they should look to their own country for copyright infringement. When I was in New York’s China town there were people on every street corner selling DVD’s of movies still in theatres for $4! If they want to crack down on piracy, they should fix their own problems first before pointing fingers at us.


    • I saw that article too, but I couldn’t figure out how to work it into my post. They seem to blame all Canadians for movie piracy, but the article singles out Montreal as the place where people are using handicams to record movies in theatres. Way to blame the whole country for an isolated problem.
      Personally, I think it’s all just posturing. The new law is going to be harsh, so they need some excuse to justify it. Expect more articles and “studies” showing that Canadians are horrible thieves in the next few weeks. Don’t forget, we pay $30-$40 million dollars a year in private copying levies on IPods, CDRs, etc. that is supposed to compensate artists when we share music.


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