copyright Politics

Letter to My MP

June 13th, 2008
To: Mr. Rick Casson
House of Commons
Parliament Buildings
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6

CC: The Honourable Jim Prentice P.C, M.P.
5th floor, West Tower
C.D. Howe Building
235 Queen St.
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0H5

CC: The Honourable Josée Verner, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Canadian Heritage
25 Eddy Street
Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0M5

Subject: Please Stand Against the New Copyright Bill

Dear Sir,

I am a constituent who has been following recent developments in Canadian copyright law. I’m concerned that the Copyright bill presented by the government on June 12th goes too far in outlawing the lawful use of copyrighted material, and does not take into account the needs of consumers and Canada’s creative community who are exploiting the potential of digital technology. I’m disappointed that this bill adopts an American approach to digital copyright laws, instead of crafting a Canadian approach.

Canada’s copyright laws need to advance Canada’s interests. This means copyright laws that respect ordinary consumer practises, such as unlocking cell phones and copying the contents of purchased CDs and DVDs for use in iPods (or other digital music players). The current bill outlaws these practises. This means copyright that facilitates the work of Canadian creators, such as documentary filmmakers, who instead find that this bill outlaws the use DVDs as source materials for their films. This means we find made-in-Canada solutions to the challenges of file-sharing, such as consideration of the Peer-to-Peer proposal of the Songwriters Association of Canada. Instead, this bill paves the road to importing the consumer file-sharing lawsuit strategy that has failed so spectacularly in the United States. Canada deserves better. WE DESERVE BETTER, and you can make a difference.

Please ensure that this bill really is made for Canadians by allowing all Canadian stakeholders a say in its final contents. That means meaningful consultation in the coming months, and opening up Canada’s copyright policy to more than just the special interests that lobbied behind the scenes for this law. As my MP, I urge you to represent my interests in the copyright debate.


Jeff Milner

Check out Online Rights Canada’s new action alert, “Tell MPs What’s Wrong with the Prentice Bill” and use the site to send a message to your own Member of Parliament.

Here’s what their website says about it:

“After months of hesitation, Industry Minister Jim Prentice has finally revealed his re-write of Canada’s rules of copyright. Tell your MP just what you think of it.”

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