As you know, the federal government introduced Bill C-32, the Copyright Modernization Act, last week. Reaction has been predictably mixed, with consumer advocates claiming the digital rights management protections proposed in the act will trump any new user provisions, and various arts groups asking for balancing compensatory mechanisms for those new user provisions (see the ACTRA press release here, and the PWAC presser here).
As the bill is debated and possibly amended over the next little while, I may have a thing or two to say about what's in it. In the meantime, I invite you to check out IP lawyer James Gannon's analysis of the DRM worries surrounding this new bill. In the same vein, IP lawyer Barry Sookman has a summary analysis of the bill itself.
As well, it might be a good time to remind ourselves why we have copyright. As this series of films from the Canadian Film Centre suggests, we have copyright to respect and protect work... the work of artists. My favorite is the third film Respect the Original. A man arrives at work to find he's been replaced by a copy of himself, downloaded for free from the Internet. Not only is this lovely little Kafka-esque scenario almost exactly what it feels like to have one's work suddenly devalued to nothing, but the film also shows the second shoe dropping -- value the copy over the original, and see how many originals get made. Funny, poignant, thought-provoking.
(image courtesy the Canadian Film Centre and Spencer Maybee, writer, director, producer)