Contact Your MP or Lose Your Rights: Bill C-61 – The Canadian Copyright Act

Bad news in Canada: Yesterday Bill C-61 was tabled and it doesn’t bode well. Among the rights at risk:

  • time shifting (no, not sci-fi time travel but recording television now to view later
  • transferring media (music, video, etc) you own to a portable music/video device that you own (like an iPod)
  • format shifting — transferring media from analog to digital (records to dvd, vhs tapes to dvd)
  • unlocking a cellphone — want to switch providers? you’ll have to buy a new phone
  • unlocking media so you can watch it on a Linux machine or Mac. If it’s made to only work under windows then you’re breaking the law to run it on anything else

Find your MP here: Members of 39th Parliament – Canada, list updated March 2008. Call them!

The legalese details of Bill-C61 here: Bill C-61

There’s a a Facebook group called Fair Copyright Canada started back in December by Michael Geist. It’s a great place for updates. He also has a list of 30 Things You Can Do — so check it out and Do Something. In general, Michael Geist’s blog is an incredible place to keep up with Canadian laws on copyright, technology, internet, etc and the activism necessary to make Canada a great place to live.

I joined the facebook group a few months ago and I phoned my MP, Brian Masse, this morning. I’m going to go through that list and see what else I can do. Canada’s dropped the ball this time around. Instead of a leading model of fair use and fair copy protection we have big business protection and jail time in our futures.

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