Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Courting copyright controversy

This is dumb. Really dumb.

If the reports are true, I'll be tearing up my CPC membership card. I can't believe Harper could be so stupid.

After months of delays and speculation, the federal government is set to unveil its controversial update to the Copyright Act of Canada Thursday.

According to a press release, Industry Minister Jim Prentice and Heritage Minister Josée Verner are set to introduce the legislation during the morning Parliamentary session. Both ministers will deliver brief statements and answer media inquiries shortly after the tabling of a bill to amend the Copyright Act.

Reports have also indicated that the two ministers will unveil the Copyright Act under the slogan "Made In Canada Copyright Reform" during a scheduled press conference.

The new Copyright Act has been updated to reflect the growth of digital media and is said to include a number of contentious provisions including:

-- A $500 fine for each illegal file shared online

-- Making it illegal to unlock cellphones or copy music from protected CDs to iPods

-- Forbidding the right to copy "time shifted" shows onto personal video recorders if flagged by broadcasters.

While this might make Hollywood and Big Media happy, they don't vote. Once consumers realize that the content they just purchased has been locked down, they will be furious.

The Conservatives are going to take a big hit for this. Watch the sparks fly.