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Canadian Politicians Reverse Course On DMCA 95

Posted by kdawson
from the sudden-outbreak-and-so-forth dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Michael Geist reports that the two Canadian Ministers responsible for copyright seem to have reversed course on copyright and now appear to oppose a Canadian DMCA. At a government event this week, Industry Minister Tony Clement spoke of how things have changed and of the need for consultation, while Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore emphasized the great potential of the Internet and how older politicians often don't get it."
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Canadian Politicians Reverse Course On DMCA

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 24, 2009 @12:42AM (#28449111)

    The Conservative Party of Canada isn't kowtowing to american business interests?

    What?
    I think my brain just had a core dump.

    • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

      by Reed Solomon (897367)

      Well its about time the Conservatives got on the right side of this. The Liberals are whores to the American media companies. The Conservatives SHOULD have been rational about this but they got in bed with the same people who will TURN ON THEM EVERY ELECTION. The Media companies are ultimately Liberal stooges. Still, it remains to be seen if this is simply lip service or if this is something else.

      • by rakslice (90330) <rakslice AT gmx DOT net> on Wednesday June 24, 2009 @02:02AM (#28449513) Homepage Journal

        Political fortunes are low, and so the risky somewhat-anti-populist business has to be shelved. But the media companies still have money, and so after the next election, when once again the contributors' favours are to be repaid, they'll be pulled back off the shelf no matter who wins. Just you wait.

        • by thirty-seven (568076) on Wednesday June 24, 2009 @10:40AM (#28452347)

          But the media companies still have money, and so after the next election, when once again the contributors' favours are to be repaid, they'll be pulled back off the shelf no matter who wins. Just you wait.

          Do you know about the restrictions on campaign contributions [elections.ca] in Canada at the federal level?

          Any individual who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada may make these contributions:

          • up to $1,000 in total in any calendar year to a particular registered party
          • up to $1,000 in total in any calendar year to the registered associations, nomination contestants and candidates of a particular registered party
          • up to $1,000 in total to a candidate for a particular election who does not represent a registered political party
          • up to $1,000 in total to the contestants in a particular leadership contest
          • [405(1)]

          The Act provides for maximum contribution limits of $1,000, subject to an inflation adjustment on April 1 of each year. On January 1, 2007, the contribution limits were adjusted by the April 1, 2006, inflation factor and therefore established at $1,100.

          So if you want to "buy off" a party or candidate, you can give only $1,100 to the political party and $1,100, in total, distributed among the candidates to whom you want to donate for that party. A "leadership contest" is held, at most, every few years within a party to choose a party leader.

          The following are ineligible contributions, either monetary or non-monetary:

          • contributions from individuals who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents as defined in subsection 2(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act
          • contributions from corporations
          • contributions from trade unions
          • contributions from unincorporated associations
          • contributions in excess of the contribution limits set out in the Act

          I added the emphasis in this quotation. So I'm not sure what "favours" the media companies, with all their money, can use to get repaid. I'm sure that bribery can and does happen on occasion, but the amount that the parties spend in elections is also monitored and reported, so I'm not sure how such "favours" could swing an election enough to need to be repaid. Federal politics in Canada aren't like in the US, where some forms of bribery are legal and common.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Piata (927858)
            Mod this guy up. This is one of the best things about Canada's political system. It may not stop bribes, but it does make it a lot harder for big business to get away with it.
          • by Chirs (87576)

            I seem to remember some cases where corporations got gave "bonuses" to their employees, which they then turned around and donated to political parties.

        • by Fractal Dice (696349) on Wednesday June 24, 2009 @11:23AM (#28452939) Journal

          A pleasant side effect of Canada fractured, regionalized politics and it's inability to elect a majority government any more is that as soon as someone tries to cash in a political favor, it's ammunition the opposition parties (plural!) can use to threaten an election and alter the balance of power. There's an actual incentive to call out the ruling party on unpopular special-interest gimmies! And since parties receive a few pennies a year of funding for every vote they get, every voter matters.

          Canada consistently gets better, more innovative, progressive and balanced policies during minority governments despite how much they all whine that they can't get anything done without a majority.

      • by Jurily (900488)

        Well its about time the Conservatives got on the right side of this. The Liberals are whores to the American media companies. The Conservatives SHOULD have been rational about this but they got in bed with the same people who will TURN ON THEM EVERY ELECTION. The Media companies are ultimately Liberal stooges. Still, it remains to be seen if this is simply lip service or if this is something else.

        You mean you have two big parties which are not equally bad? Canada can't be that wierd.

        • We have more than two big parties. The Conservatives and Liberals are simply the most likely to be able to form a government.

          And actually in general the Liberals are better than the Conversatives if you have left-leaning views. It's a case of them being different, with 'bad' often ending up as a relative term.
          • Vote for the Liberals and you get what you have in the USA, Obama appointing every single judge from the RIAA. So, until the Liberals outright say "no" to a DMCA type law, whatever they bring in will be far worse.

            whoever modded my post flamebait has a bug up their butt for the Liberal party.

            • by schon (31600)

              Vote for the Liberals and you get what you have in the USA, Obama appointing every single judge from the RIAA.

              Umm, sorry what? How in the world will voting for the Liberals give the US president the ability to appoint Canadian judges?

              And even if it was possible, how the hell would he appoint Americans to the Canadian Judiciary?

              And why would he do that when he hasn't done it in the USA? (You know, where he actually *does* have the power to do that.)

              • I only used that as an example of what Obama is doing in the USA. The Liberals are the same type of corrupt

          • by twidarkling (1537077) on Wednesday June 24, 2009 @11:04AM (#28452657)

            Keep in mind, "left-leaning" is also a relative term. From what I can tell, our Conservatives are about as left as Obama, and maybe a bit further. Now that the Reform party's gone, there furthest-right party is arguably as left as the "Leftist" President.

          • "The Conservatives and Liberals are simply the most likely to be able to form a government."

            For the love of God don't let them. If you think this are screwed now just elect a majority government.
            Minority governments are good for Canada.
      • by ArtDent (83554)

        "The Liberals are whores to the American media companies. The Conservatives SHOULD have been rational about this but they got in bed with the same people who will TURN ON THEM EVERY ELECTION. The Media companies are ultimately Liberal stooges."

        Huh? The American media ignores Canada pretty much all the time. Occasionally they'll do a story on waiting lists and why socialized medicine is such a horrible idea. The private Canadian media largely supported the Conservatives in the last election. Both national ne

    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by DirtyCanuck (1529753)

      Canadians need an election AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

      We need to exercise democracy and first get the conservative nut wings out of government. These guys are an embarrassment to anybody with any sort of real education in Canada. That is step one, only then we can work on other parties such as the liberals (who have been going to the dark side as of late).

      • As of late????? The Liberals are worse. If the CRIA asks them to jump, they escape the earths gravity.

        • by CokeBear (16811)

          Actually, the Liberals seems to be coming around on tech issues. They just last week released a statement in support of 'net neutrality.

      • Unless Canadians are way smarter than the people in my country, elections don't change jack. Your politicians, as well as mine, are a shame to anyone with an eduction that goes beyond "count to 100", but appearantly there ain't too many people who managed to get such an education.

        People are more easily cowed, scared and conned into following a "strong leader" that promises easy solutions for nontrivial problems. Sure, the solutions don't work, but fortunately he doesn't even implement what he promises. Then

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by DirtyCanuck (1529753)

          The Prime Minister is apologizing for some hack in Alberta who recently made these comments.

          Premier says apology punishment enough after Alberta MLA's comments

          "In his blog, Elniski offered advice to junior high school girls. He suggested that a girl wear a smile when entering a room, and that men don't want to hear about that "treated equal" stuff."

          http://www.cbc.ca/canada/edmonton/story/2009/06/23/edmonton-elniski-stelmach.html?ref=rss [www.cbc.ca]

          In response my flamebait is a result of people up on politics who are OU

          • The Prime Minister is apologizing for some hack in Alberta who recently made these comments.

            Premier says apology punishment enough after Alberta MLA's comments

            "In his blog,

            The Prime Minister (Stephen Harper) and the Premier of Alberta (Ed Stelmach) are two different people.

            I think the second part of his comment was offensive. Although I agree with the other poster, shouldn't people smile :P ?

            Disclaimer: I'm from Alberta. I'm not too impressed with Stelmach, and Harper's been ok but I have a pretty blase feeling from him. We need someone more dynamic running Canada (this, coming from a Conservative).

            • Also Albertan, and yes, I think Stelmach was a bad choice. He's basically treading water. He's almost acting like a placeholder. Someone just to kill time between the dynasties of "King Ralph" and whoever comes next, and he's afraid to do anything that'll make their job difficult. Harper, eh, he's doing a fine enough job. Nothing I really disagree with, nothing I'm wildly enthusiastic about (other than the lower GST, that was nice).

              • by Myrv (305480)

                Actually the lower GST was a stupid idea whose only purpose was to buy off votes. It only really benefits the rich. If Harper had truly wanted to lower the tax burden in a meaningful way he would have reduced income taxes. This would have helped lower and middle income families much more than the GST cut did for the same cost in tax revenue. Unfortunately cutting the GST sounds so much better in sound bites during an election.

                • Have you actually looked at a tax form? There's 50 bajillion different credits and deductions you can get if you're lower/middle class. I haven't paid any income tax in 4 years. And we all know the rich find loopholes to lower their tax burden as well. If we closed up more of those loopholes, then I'd be fine with doing away with income tax (it's a relatively recent invention anyways). But considering no one's actually made significant (or really, insignificant) tax cuts, I'll fucking take them where I can

                  • by Myrv (305480)

                    Yes I've looked at a tax form.

                    It's exactly because of these bagillion tax loop holes that the GST shouldn't have been cut. It's much harder to avoid paying the GST meaning the rich (or anyone for that matter) can't get out of it. As such it provides a much more stable income stream to the government (on the order of $5 billion per percentage point) which is fairly recession proof (something that would have been nice given the current economy).

                    Now having said that, I never claimed I don't like the tax cuts.

          • by compro01 (777531)

            If you think a conservative is going to get voted out in Alberta, you ought to lay off whatever you're on.

            Also, MLAs (Members of the Legislative Assembly) and premiers are the provincial government, which in Alberta's case has been the provincial "progressive" conservative party since 1971. MPs (Members of Parliament) and the prime minister are the federal governent.

      • I've had enough of elections, thank you very much, I have participated in 3 in the last 4 years, and that is sufficient.
    • I'd like to believe that and get genuinely excited about my country's democratic system, but I think it's more likely that someone with opposing interests probably just gave them a bigger bribe (campaign contribution, whatever you want to call it) and upped the ante. I suppose we should be thankful because this time it aligned with our interests?
  • ^_^ (Score:2, Offtopic)

    by master5o1 (1068594)
    I like it when this sort of thing happens.
    • thinking about it more, perhaps this is a preemptive strike on a potential pirate party as seen gaining traction in the EU.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Dunbal (464142)

        One sorry TWO delegates is hardly "traction"

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Reed Solomon (897367)

          It is when they're helping you push your car out of a snow rut.

        • Re:^_^ (Score:4, Informative)

          by Citizen of Earth (569446) on Wednesday June 24, 2009 @02:58AM (#28449839)

          One sorry TWO delegates is hardly "traction"

          They're the two *cabinet ministers* who have been behind this farce. I can't imagine what would change their minds. My solitary vow never to vote for the Conservatives specifically because of draconian copyright changes surely wasn't enough. Perhaps other voters hold the same position while the Conservatives are sagging in the polls and the Liberals could topple the minority Conservative government at any time.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Dexx (34621)

            Maybe it was the Standing Senate Committee on Transport and Communications meeting that Geist was speaking with?
            Transcript Link [parl.gc.ca]

          • by Quantos (1327889)

            I can't imagine what would change their minds.

            I threatened to send the negatives to the newspapers :)

          • Keep in mind, if an election was forced, whoever was seen to have forced it would be completely destroyed. Polls show that something on the order of 70% of Canadians are against another election any time soon.

    • by julesh (229690)

      Offtopic: the underline on your subject line makes it look like a happy cat. That's kind-of cool. :)

  • by bertoelcon (1557907) <berto.el.conNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday June 24, 2009 @12:53AM (#28449177)
    Its a world that has changed more growing ever recently, its not hard to blame them for not catching up on everything. Technology is multiplying its growth rapidly.

    However It would be a good idea to keep up on the events that can influence their own reelections and how they are perceived by the public.

    As I understand it (I am American and in Texas, far from Canada) Canada has some really bad setup of restrictions on media already since most of it is imported from the US, as well as some tax on blank media since it COULD be used for illegal copies and such, and I would assume there is more BS like that.

    • by skreeech (221390) on Wednesday June 24, 2009 @01:16AM (#28449281)
      Our TV/Radio has some rules about a certain amount of Canadian content. Example, we see and hear Canadian bands in disproportionate amounts - which would be ok if not for nickleback being Canadian.
    • by tixxit (1107127)

      as well as some tax on blank media since it COULD be used for illegal copies and such, and I would assume there is more BS like that.

      Yeah, we pay ~$0.20 per CD in tax. However, we don't have courts awarding record companies $2m from a single citizen who shared 24 songs. Not sure which BS I would rather subscribe to.

    • by atomic777 (860023)

      As I understand it (I am American and in Texas, far from Canada) Canada has some really bad setup of restrictions on media already since most of it is imported from the US

      This is "bad" depending on your perspective. Bad for American media companies that want free access to the Canadian market, good for nationalist Canadians that fear cultural assimilation from the behemoth to the south. One could argue that we would not have such a vibrant music scene producing bands like Arcade Fire (ironically the lead singer is an American from Texas!) if not for these protectionist measures.

      While our current conservative government in many ways is just an offshoot of the republican pa

  • by Ragingguppy (464321) on Wednesday June 24, 2009 @12:57AM (#28449193)

    We have to look at this in the context of whats going on in the Canadian parliament. They are a minority government and they don't want to necessarily do anything stupid that would alienate half the population. So they have decided to not go forward with that legislation. They may decide to go ahead anyways. Right now they are consulting not with the public but with so called most successful CEO's in industry. Which means that they are just going tow the party line and not do anything all that innovative. So put your faith in the snakes that are the Canadian politicians. They are bigger liars then George W Bush.

    • I also wonder what's going on behind the scenes. It seems that a lot of things are going through internationally as "treaties", as has been mentioned in many US-centric articles. Perhaps there's no need for such legislation if it's already been pushed through as "confidential" treaty clauses...

    • by Nerdfest (867930) on Wednesday June 24, 2009 @08:00AM (#28450999)
      It may have something to do with all of the people that wrote to their MP's. There are also other good signs, such as a huge display of condemnation regarding a bill giving police the power to get ISP subscriber information without a warrant (this was on the CBC site [www.cbc.ca], check the comments). People seem surprisingle informed and politicians may be taking note. Of course, I could be blindly optimistic.
    • They'll push it ahead in next year's budget like they did last year with all the controversial legislation they wanted to railroad through our "democratic" parliament. The opposition parties will make a big song and dance again and threaten to take down the government with another vote of non-confidence, the conservatives will label them as the scary monsters that don't respect Canadian democracy again, and then Stephen will ask the governor general to suspend parliament again until the opposition's allianc
  • by UndyingShadow (867720) on Wednesday June 24, 2009 @01:04AM (#28449229)
    Sounds like some checks bounced.
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Which is a shame, as it should be 'checks and balances' not 'bounced checks'.

  • Translation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by whisper_jeff (680366) on Wednesday June 24, 2009 @01:46AM (#28449415)
    Translation: We didn't expect this strong an outpouring of opposition and we know we already only have a minority government so we're just going to lay low a bit and not piss people off. Sound good?

    And, yes - it does sound good. Stop messing things up! Stop selling our country out! More importantly, stop selling our country out to foreign media corporations!
    • "we already only have a minority government so we're just going to lay low a bit and not piss people off"

      It is nice to see democracy working the way it should. Normaly they'd just bribe other parties until they get a majority, and then piss people off.

      • I'm still exceedingly pissed that they managed to get the Canadian media outlets to go along with their line that, in our Westminster-style parliamentary system, attempting to form a coalition government was, some how, a usurpation of they system.

  • by erroneus (253617) on Wednesday June 24, 2009 @02:06AM (#28449539) Homepage

    We all generally know what ACTA is and who is largely behind it. It seems increasingly, we see more stories of government bodies moving away from enhanced copyright assault techniques targeting individual users, abusers and consumers. ACTA is still "secret" so we may never hear about what is going on in the negotiations, but could these laws and failures to enact laws be a sign of what may not happen? This could be significant, after all [sarcasm] ACTA is a matter of national security [/sarcasm].

  • A) Trying to avoid an election

    or

    B) Trying to cozy up to voters before an election.

    and

    C) If they win the election they will try and ram the stuff through again.

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