Bill C-61 Spin Control

I just received this email from Industry Minister Jim Prentice's office:

The Government of Canada has introduced Bill C-61, An Act to Amend the Copyright Act. The proposed legislation is a made-in-Canada approach that balances the needs of Canadian consumers and copyright owners, promoting culture, innovation and competition in the digital age.

What does Bill C-61 mean to Canadians?

Specifically, it includes measures that would:

expressly allow you to record TV shows for later viewing; copy legally purchased music onto other devices, such as MP3 players or cell phones; make back-up copies of legally purchased books, newspapers, videocassettes and photographs onto devices you own; and limit the "statutory damages" a court could award for all private use copyright infringements;

implement new rights and protections for copyright holders, tailored to the Internet, to encourage participation in the online economy, as well as stronger legal remedies to address Internet piracy;

clarify the roles and responsibilities of Internet Service Providers related to the copyright content flowing over their network facilities; and

provide photographers with the same rights as other creators.

What Bill C-61 does not do:

it would not empower border agents to seize your iPod or laptop at border crossings, contrary to recent public speculation

What this Bill is not:

it is not a mirror image of U.S. copyright laws. Our Bill is made-in-Canada with different exceptions for educators, consumers and others and brings us into line with more than 60 countries including Japan, France, Germany and Australia

Contrast this with what the Ottawa Citizen is saying:

  • Under the new legislation, it is illegal to make a copy of a DVD, even if you purchased the DVD at a store.
  • The legislation clearly states that users cannot circumvent digital locks placed on media such as DVDs.
  • Time shifting, or the process of recording a TV program to a TiVo or digital video recorder is allowed, however the program must be watched and then deleted. "The time shifted recording could not be kept indefinitely. It could not be stored to build a library of recordings," according to the new legislation