By James Pew

UPDATE – The office of the Privacy Commissioner Of Canada sides with Studio Manifesto.

Copyright For Canadians is offering an easy method of writing a letter to your local MP. I created the letter below using their free online service. They have an engine that helps you find out who your local MP is. Once identified it generates the correct address, along with the addresses of minister of industry Jim Prentice, and minister of Canadian heritage Jose Verner. You can use the pre-written letter found on the website, write your own letter, or as I did add a few things to CFC’s letter.

I added a few personal notes about who I am, how I feel about Bill C-61, and a recommendation to read Lawrence Lessig’s book Free Culture.

Here is the letter as it was emailed from the Copyright For Canadians website:

Mr. Mario Silva
House of Commons
Parliament Buildings
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6

These recipients will be CC’d on your email:

The Honourable Jim Prentice P.C, M.P.
5th floor, West Tower
C.D. Howe Building
235 Queen St.
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0H5

The Honourable Jose Verner, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Canadian Heritage
25 Eddy Street
Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0M5

I’m a constituent who is a business owner in the creative content (music) industry. I am an independent record producer and owner of Euphonic Sound Recording Studio. I have been following recent developments in Canadian copyright law. Although this law has been framed as a means to defend the rights of artists – the general consensus amongst the artists I work with is that this law will do more to hurt them then help them. Powerful lobby groups representing corporations who hold many copyrights are interested in extending the restrictions of copyright law, not for the protection of content creator rights, but for the protection of their profits. These lobby groups do not defend the advancement of our creative culture and aim to weaken and restrict our public domain. It is important to remember the tradition of copyright law has been for the protection and advancement of scientific, educational, and artistic culture – areas which serve as the basis for a healthy society. These areas are all in danger if Bill C-61 is passed.

If you haven’t read it already, I recommend Lawrence Lessig’s (leading intellectual on copyright) book Free Culture. It is available for free download at lessig.org.

I’m concerned that the Copyright bill (C-61) presented by the government on June 12th goes too far in outlawing the lawful use of copyrighted material, and does not take into account the needs of consumers and Canada’s creative community who are exploiting the potential of digital technology. I’m disappointed that this bill adopts an American approach to digital copyright laws, instead of crafting a Canadian approach.

Canada’s copyright laws need to advance Canada’s interests. This means copyright laws that respect ordinary consumer practices, such as unlocking cell phones and copying the contents of purchased DVDs for use in video iPods. The current bill outlaws these practices. This means copyright that facilitates the work of Canadian creators, such as documentary filmmakers, who instead find that this bill outlaws the use of DVDs as source materials for their films. This means we find made-in-Canada solutions to the challenges of file-sharing, such as consideration of the P2P proposal of the Songwriters Association of Canada. Instead, this bill paves the road to importing the consumer file-sharing lawsuit strategy that has failed so spectacularly in the United States. Canada deserves better.

Please ensure that C-61 really is made for Canadians by allowing all Canadian stakeholders a say in its final contents. That means meaningful consultation in the coming months, and opening up Canada’s copyright policy to more than just the special interests that lobbied behind the scenes for this law. As my MP, I urge you to represent my interests in the copyright debate.

I have decide to post this letter on my blog – www.studiomanifesto.ca – feel free to make your reply online. Thank you.

James Pew

Euphonic Sound Recording Studio

In addition to Mario Silva, Jim Prentice, and Jose Verner this letter is being emailed (and hard copy snail mailed) to the following:

Stephen Harper
Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa
K1A 0A2

Jean-Paul Boulay, Director
Policy Development Directorate, Copyright Policy Branch
Canadian Heritage
275 Slater Street
7th Floor
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0M5

Albert Cloutier, A/Director
Intellectual Property Policy Directorate
Industry Canada
235 Queen Street
10th Floor, East Tower
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0H5

Comments – Small Systems Regulations
c/o Intellectual Property Policy Directorate
Industry Canada
235 Queen Street, 10th Floor
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0H5
fax: (613) 941-8151

Kathleen Wynne
Minister of Education and Chair of Cabinet in the Ontario Government
146 Laird Drive, Suite 101
Toronto, ON
M4G 3V7

Enquiries Service (BCI)
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
125 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, ON, Canada
K1A 0G2

Library and Archives Canada
395 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0N4
CANADA

Competition Bureau
50 Victoria Street
Gatineau, Quebec
K1A 0C9

Competition Bureau
Ontario Region
Toronto
151 Yonge Street, 4th Floor
Toronto, Ontario
M5C 2W7

Canadian Consumer Information Gateway – Office of Consumer Affairs
Industry Canada
235 Queen Street
6th Floor West
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0H5

Rob Harper
Ministry of Government Services
Policy Branch
777 Bay Street, Suite 501
Toronto, ON
M7A 2J3

Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada
112 Kent Street
Place de Ville
Tower B, 3rd Floor
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 1H3

Please let me know of any other government branches that we should mail this letter to.

Creative Commons License

Letter to Government asking for fair copyright by James Pew is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.

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