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Copyright Fear Mongering Hits a New High: Writers Groups Post Their C-32 Brief

From Michael Geist:

A coalition of English-language writers organizations have publicly posted their response to Bill C-32.  Despite an ideal opportunity for constructive dialogue and a good faith effort to find compromise positions on the more contentious elements of the bill, the groups have chosen to increase the level of fear mongering with a misleading and often inaccurate document that implausibly claims the end of Canadian publishing is near if C-32 is passed in its current form.

Perhaps most disappointingly, the groups had promised in August to offer “constructive suggestions”, particularly on the issue of fair dealing, which was said to require clear legislative guidance.  Rather than offering proposed language for such guidance, the groups simply want to hit the delete key.  Inclusion of education as a fair dealing category?  Delete.  Non-commercial user-generated content?  Delete.  Digital inter-library loans?  Delete.  Format shifting for private purposes?  Delete.

At a time when the opposition parties are asking for constructive advice on how to determine the confines of issues such as fair dealing, the writers groups maintain that there is no scope for including education as a category and refuse to offer any suggested language to improve the bill.  Instead, they offer hyperbolic claims about how C-32 violates international copyright law (despite the fact that the U.S. typically offers more flexibility on these issues) or will result in unfettered copying (ignoring the fact that fair dealing includes a test for determining whether the copying is fair).

The full issues and recommendations section from the document (in italics) – along with a much-needed reality check – are posted below:

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To the extent possible under law, Stephan Kinsella has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to C4SIF. This work is published from: United States. In the event the CC0 license is unenforceable a  Creative Commons License Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License is hereby granted.