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Liberals Criticize Digital Lock Provisions

The Liberal Party of Canada announced its opposition to the digital lock provisions contained in proposed amendments to the Canadian Copyright Act.

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Unedited press release follows:

Liberals Oppose Conservative’s Unbalanced and Out of Touch Copyright Legislation

October 18, 2011 – OTTAWA — Liberal Industry Critic Geoff Regan and Liberal Heritage Critic Scott Simms today called on the government to get back to the drawing board on its unbalanced and out of touch copyright legislation.

“The Conservatives want us to believe that Bill C-11 will give Canadian consumers the right to take material they purchase—such as music—and transfer it onto different devices” said Mr. Regan. “But what they are not saying is Canadians can only do this if that content is not already locked. Circumventing those locks under this legislation will make lawbreakers out of Canadians who are simply trying to do something that the government has otherwise said should be legal.  Allowing digital locks to trump the rights of consumers is the complete opposite of balanced legislation. It’s contradictory and completely skewed. The Conservatives giveth and the Conservatives taketh away! They take away from Canadian consumers and they take away the abilities of innovators and creators.”

Bill C-11 is a carbon copy of Bill C-32, which saw numerous witnesses and submissions for consideration at a special committee.

“When announcing Bill C-11 we heard the Heritage Minister proudly proclaim that not one comma of this legislation has changed since the bill was first tabled in 2009,” said Mr. Simms. “During the committee hearings, we heard from artist, industry and retail groups, educators and students, as well groups representing those with disabilities. In all there were 142 witnesses and 167 submissions to this special committee. All of this consultation resulted in zero changes to this legislation. This just epitomizes the father-knows-best arrogance that has come to define this Conservative government.”

When looking at Bill C-11, it seems that the only thing the Conservative government is concerned with is kowtowing to American interests.

“It’s disturbing, but we all know why the Conservatives are force-feeding us one of the most restrictive digital lock provisions in the world,” continued Mr. Regan. “Diplomatic cables tell us that the Conservative government colluded with the US in their lobbying efforts, even going as far as to encourage the US to elevate Canada on the Special 301 Priority Watch List—a list of countries that do not provide adequate protection of intellectual property.”

Liberals believe Canada needs an updated Copyright Act that fosters a balanced approach to the interests of Canadian consumers, educators, artists, creators and innovators. Liberals understand how this is accomplished: by listening to stakeholders and ordinary Canadians and acting transparently to strike equilibrium. The Conservatives have chosen backroom deals with American government lobbyists over the interests of Canadians.