Vive la Culture Libre

MONTRÉAL – A few more words on my travels.

Two weeks ago, while I was in Ottawa, I had the fortunate chance to have lunch with three well-known names in the Canadian copyfight:

I got to learn a bit about the state of free culture in Canada and hear their thoughts on Bill C-60, the proposal currently on the table to revise Canadaian copyright law. Michael was written fairly extensively about it – I won`t go overboard with links – but here`s a place to start: killbillc60.ca.

Needless to say, it was interesting to hear their opinions on the bill, and get a little insight into the “scene” here. I think it`s fair to say that it`s not exactly the best bill that Canada could hope for; on the other hand, if it were to pass in it`s current form, it`d be a far cry from the horror it could have been.

Later that week, I met Andy Kaplan-Myrth, a recent graduate of the University of Ottawa `s law school. I got to hear more about the differences between the situation in Canada and in the U.S., which issues are interesting and relevant to Canadians, and how to find interested students.

When I return to the States, I`ll spend a bit of time recruiting in Canada. Due to the geographical proximity and commonalities in language and legal system, those of us in the U.S. can do more to work with interested students in Canada than just about anywhere else. If you`re a Canadian who would be interested in working with a Canadian wing of FreeCulture.org, or have ideas about how to connect with folks in Canada, feel free to comment on this post.

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4 Comments

  1. Elizabeth Stark

    Needless to say, it was interesting to hear their opinions on the bill, and get a little insight into the “scene� here. I think it`s fair to say that it`s not exactly the best bill that Canada could hope for; on the other hand, if it were to pass in it`s current form, it`d be a far cry from the horror it could have been.

    What was the bill missing? How could it have been better (or worse)?

  2. The new law would again be giving more power to the big guys to the detriment of the public. Copyright should be a tool to promote the creation of new works, but is that really what you get when you’re pushing back its expiration date ? It’s what prompted me to put Copyright 2005 : Copyright and you together (and how I met Gavin).

    Bill C-60 is really the work of the culture industry’s lobbying. Sure, there were consultations. Starting back in 2000-2001, the government received over 700 comments, some quite lenghty, but those were mostly dismissed. It’s no surprise a petition against the nature of the bill got 2000 signatures already.

    If you want to find out more, you can now listen to the audio recordings for Copyright 2005 which have been released just a few days ago.

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