Conservatives Introduce Copyright Bill

By Greg Farries on Jun 12, 2008

Industry Minister Jim Prentice stated yesterday that he will be tabling amendments to the Copyright Law in the House of Commons this morning,

The bill, which will amend the existing Copyright Act, was first put on the House of Commons order paper in December, but then was held in limbo for the next six months as speculation built about what it contained.

The long-awaited changes are a hot political potato for Mr. Prentice, who must find a middle ground between business interests who want strict protection for intellectual property, including recordings and films, and Internet users accustomed to downloading material free.

Dr. Michael Geist, a law professor at the University of Ottawa, will be covering the Bill, as it moves through the House, on this blog, michaelgeist.ca.

Update: Michael Geist reports that the Bill has been delayed till Friday.

The Financial Post has more information on what might actually be in the controversial Bill:

The new Copyright Act has been updated to reflect the growth of digital media and is said to include a number of contentious provisions including:

— A $500 fine for each illegal file shared online

— Making it illegal to unlock cellphones or copy music from protected CDs to iPods

— Forbidding the right to copy "time shifted" shows onto personal video recorders if flagged by broadcasters.

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