Dear Allegra, Thank you for your recent email about copyright legislation in Canada. Please be assured your views are valued as all emails received are read, considered and reported. I appreciate your input, which is vital to better understanding the concerns and issues of constituents in Burnaby-New Westminster.
I have been concerned about this direction of the former Liberal government and the current Conservative government to inhibit users’ rights. For that reason, I was the first MP to table petitions expressing this concern in Parliament.
In attempting to update copyright legislation, the previous Liberal Minister of Canadian Heritage tabled bill C-60. The NDP felt there were significant problems with this legislation. We had serious concerns about the lack of discussion on the potential impact of providing the legal sanction of digital locks. These digital locks, also known as Digital Rights Management (DRMs) and Technological Rights Management (TPMs) could seriously impact consumer rights as well as the fair and lawful use of materials.
Concerns were also raised about placing electronic toll booths on the development of digital education opportunities. The NDP felt then, as we feel now, that legislators need to become aware of the evolving complexities of cyberspace, so that any new legislation will be relevant both to the present and the future. New legislation must also balance the rights of individual creators with those of industry and the public.
The NDP is committed to working with all stakeholders to ensure that artists receive fair remuneration for their work. But we must not blindly accept restrictive copyright legislation that could be used to quash the development of new digital distribution models, sue kids who share music files and impose tollbooths on the educational use of the Internet.
Please rest assured that the federal New Democratic Party Critic for Canadian Heritage, Charlie Angus, is studying all recommendations and is developing positions on the many facets of potential copyright legislation. There are no simple answers to this very complex issue, but the NDP will do its utmost to ensure the government brings forward copyright legislation that is both comprehensive and relevant.
Thank you again for sharing your concerns.
Peter Julian, MP