Press release

As government announces costly new copyright terms, leading experts send letter to Industry Minister urging him to fix existing loopholes that are exposing Canadians to threats and abuse

For months, foreign media giants have abused Canada’s copyright system by threatening Canadians with penalties that are impossible under Canadian law, in order to intimidate them into paying extortionate charges

April 23, 2015Leading Canadian copyright experts and organizations are urging Industry Minister James Moore to fix dangerous loopholes in Canada’s copyright rules. In a joint letter to Minister Moore, 17 organizations and experts set out in detail what needs to be done to safeguard Canadians from media giants trying to abuse the system. The letter comes just days after the government quietly announced in Tuesday’s budget that it will extend copyright terms on sound recordings from 50 to 70 years, a move that will cost customers millions.

As a result of a loophole in Canada’s new copyright rules, Canadians have been inundated by threatening and misleading notices from U.S.-based rights-holders. The notices threaten recipients with penalties that are impossible under Canadian law - such as $150,000 lawsuits and disconnection from the Internet. Experts want James Moore to act fast to close the loophole, which he was warned about but chose to ignore, before the new rules came into force in January.

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Canada is walking into a copyright trap warn advocates, as government quietly announces it will lengthen copyright terms for sound recordings by 20 years with no public consultation

Content creators and everyday Canadians will pay the price for continued mishandling of copyright policy from government, as unaddressed Notice and Notice loophole continues to expose Canadians to abuse  

 

April 22, 2015 – Canadians got an unpleasant surprise in the budget yesterday when the government announced that it would be extending copyright for sound recordings by 20 years, up from Canada’s current term of life of the creator plus 50 years. The move comes after the flawed implementation of Canada’s Notice and Notice system, which has left Canadians exposed to abusive and misleading copyright notices from foreign media giants.

Copyright expert Michael Geist warns that the move looks like a concession to U.S. demands aimed at sleepwalking Canada into the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a proposed international deal that could make the Internet more expensive, censored, and policed. International copyright experts and numerous studies suggest that copyright term extensions benefit neither content producers nor customers, and create major costs for society as a whole.

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Business Leaders pen an open letter warning the government that Bill C-51 will cause serious damage to Canadian businesses

60 leading businesses, entrepreneurs, and investors warn that “unbalanced” legislation will undermine operations and international trust in Canadian businesses

APRIL 21, 2015: 60 leading Canadian business people, entrepreneurs, and investors have sent Prime Minister Stephen Harper an open letter warning that Bill C-51 will stifle business, undermine international trust, and do lasting damage to Canada’s economy. The letter was circulated by digital rights organization OpenMedia. In the letter the business leaders also join with 198,000 Canadians who have added their name to a joint petition at StopC51.ca.

The leaders affiliated with companies worth billions of dollars including Hootsuite, OpenText, Slack, Shopify and Tucows, are asking Stephen Harper to scrap the legislation and go back to the drawing board. Their appeal comes just days before the House of Commons is due to debate the bill on Friday, with a final vote expected very soon.

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Topics: Online Spying

Dozens of community events are taking place across Canada on Saturday to #RejectFear and #StopC51

Events have been organized not by organizations, but by everyday Canadians wanting to take a stand against what experts have described as a “Secret Police” bill

April 18, 2015: Dozens of community-organized events are taking place across Canada today (Saturday), as tens of thousands of Canadians continue to speak out against the government’s Bill C-51. It follows a #StopC51 Week of Education which has seen tens of thousands of people sign petitions (Nearly 200,000 signatures), write letters to local papers, and inundate MP offices with letters and phone calls.

Today’s events are not being organized by any specific organization, but by a wide range of individuals and community groups across the country. They range from rallies taking place in a number of major cities, to smaller outreach events and petition drives.

Confirmed events are taking place in: Toronto, Brantford, Calgary, Chatham-Kent, Edmonton, Elliot Lake, Guelph, Halifax, Kingston, Kitchener, Kamloops, Lethbridge, London, Montreal, Moosejaw, Newfoundland, Newmarket, Ottawa (Day of Action), Ottawa (What Canadian Muslims Need to Know about C-51), Peterborough, Prince George, Regina, Sarnia, Sudbury, Vancouver, Victoria, Vernon, Windsor, Winnipeg.

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Topics: Online Spying

Canadians use social media and local gatherings to educate neighbours and MPs, as #StopC51 Week of Education kicks off

With many MPs home in their ridings in advance of crucial vote, over 50 online and offline activities will take place right across Canada for the #StopC51 Week of Education

April 13, 2015 – With opposition to the government’s controversial Bill C-51 surging, Canadians across the country are coming together to launch a Week of Education about the reckless, dangerous, and ineffective legislation. Canadians have planned over 50 activities, including a range of social media tools aimed at educating fellow Canadians and their MPs about why the bill is wrong for Canada.

The Week of Education kicks off with a social media “Thunderclap” that has gone viral, with a reach of over 1.7 million people including support from high-profile Canadians such as renowned author Margaret Atwood and tech entrepreneur Tim Bray. Online tools and details about events taking place across Canada can be found at https://StopC51.ca/Education.

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Topics: Online Spying

Federal Court of Appeal allows Bell Mobility to challenge university student, single mother, seniors’ organization and others in court over recent CRTC ruling on Mobile TV

April 2, 2015Today’s the Federal Court of Appeal announced that Bell Mobility will be allowed to challenge a recent CRTC decision prohibiting the telecom giant from making competing apps and services more expensive. The decision means that Bell could potentially seek legal costs from university student Ben Klass, a single mother, and a senior citizens’ organization, amongst other respondents, if they have their say in court.

Responding to the news, OpenMedia Campaigns Manager Josh Tabish had this to say:

“After over a year of unpaid hard work from citizens to convince policy-makers that Bell should not be allowed to tilt the playing field in their favour, the company is dragging ‘the little guy’ to court for years so they can regain the power to make the Internet more like cable TV.”

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