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hehe, i just wish more people used it, that and the bloody thing worked better than it does.

Careful, new copyright laws are coming to Canada

at 14:54 - 2nd, June 2010
this is terrible. The Montreal Gazette is reporting that Parliament is changing copyright laws in favour of the music and video industry.
this is a step backwards here. how can a body of government who is supposed to represent the people rule against the majority? it doesn't make any sense to me.
i'd rather they tax ipods than change the laws so bloody drastically.

OTTAWA — The Conservative government will unveil new copyright legislation Wednesday that is expected to favour entertainment giants over consumers.

Heritage Minister James Moore and Industry Minister Tony Clement decided against using Parliament Hill as a backdrop for the long-anticipated launch and instead are heading to the Montreal offices of video game maker Electronic Arts Inc., a member of a lobby group that is pushing for a hard-line approach to copyright.

The bill will modernize Canada's copyright laws through a series of reforms that will affect everything from what Canadians can play on their iPods to how artists pay their bills.

The legislation will propose to make legal a number of things consumers do already.

This includes allowing people to transfer music from a legally purchased CD to an MP3 player, which goes against current copyright rules. Consumers will also be permitted to record television shows on their personal video recorders, also forbidden under the current law, universally seen as outdated and last updated in 1997.

But, there is likely to be a major caveat that could cancel out these consumer-friendly measures in some instances.

If manufacturers of CDs, DVDs or video games put digital locks or technological protection measures to limit the transferring or sharing of content, a person could run afoul of the law for things such as breaking the code of a DVD shipped from a friend overseas so it can be watched here.

The effect of digital locks could also mean a documentary filmmaker, artist or student who gets around the device to use a video or audio clip for a montage could get into trouble because such digital locks might trump all fair dealing provisions. Fair dealing allows people to make use of copyrighted works without requiring permission in certain circumstances.

"The foundation of the bill will not come as much of a surprise anymore. The government has chosen to side with U.S. lobby interests by introducing restrictive digital-lock provisions that will have a broad impact on how Canadians use CDs, DVDs, electronic books and other devices. I expect we will see some attempts at balance in other areas such as fair dealing — legalizing recording television shows or transferring music from a CD to an iPod seems likely — but these will be undermined by possibly the most restrictive digital lock provisions anywhere in the world," University of Ottawa copyright expert Michael Geist said Wednesday.

The Entertainment Software Association of Canada, of which Electronics Arts is a member, lobbied the government to follow the copyright model used in the United States in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and pushed for a prohibition against circumvention devices that are freely available for purchase at retail stores to allow consumers to crack security locks and upload pirated computer and video games.

Meanwhile, Clement and Moore have already confirmed the Copyright Modernization Act will not modernize the private copyright levy provisions of the law.

The provisions were first introduced in 1997 to allow musicians and other artists to be compensated every time consumers purchase any "blank audio-recording medium," such as blank tapes or discs, to make mixed tapes or CDs of their favourite tracks.

The 29-cent levy, set by an independent board, is currently charged to manufacturers and importers of blank CDs, and passed on to retailers and consumers. The money is then distributed to musicians, record companies and other copyright holders in the form of royalties through the non-profit Canadian Private Copying Collective.

Since 1999, the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists estimates the levy has put more than $180 million in the pockets of more than 97,000 songwriters, musicians and other rights holders. But the group has warned the government that the money is drying up because consumers now use MP3 players to create playlists.

The House of Commons, with the support of the three opposition parties, has passed a motion to tweak the language in the copyright act to allow the levy to be extended to the current generation of copying "devices" — MP3 players.

Clement and Moore have rejected the idea, calling it a "tax on iPods" that could cost consumers an extra $75 to buy an iPod. Instead, the levy on blank CDs will remain in place.

• Alex


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