The phenomenally busy Russell McOrmond notes that, with the end of this Parliament, Bill C-60 is no more:

Bill C-60 has died on the Order Paper, but you can be sure that whoever forms the next government will table a similar bill (likely with a different number). We need to ensure that any new bill protects the rights of the majority of Canadians, including Canadian creators and their audiences (users have rights too!), and not privilege the economic interests of the extreme minority represented by the incumbent old-economy media, content and “software manufacturing” monopolists.

Michael Geist has written extensively on this bill, as has Laura Murray. CIPPIC has a terrific FAQ:

It is a proposed law introduced in June, 2005, which, if passed into law, would substantially alter Canada’s Copyright Act. The Bill would delete current rights of Canadians to access and use copyright works and add numerous new and stronger rights for copyright holders.

(For an opposing point of view on, well, nearly everything, visit the Canadian Recording Industry Association.)

Here’s something worth mulling over. When Paul Martin hands corporations a multi-billion-dollar tax cut, or gives income trusts a free ride, it’s a tangible, visible redistribution of wealth.

The kind of redistribution of rights entailed in Bill C-60 is just as much that kind of redistribution of wealth — away from all of us, and toward a very small segment of society. But because we still aren’t used to thinking of IP rights in that way, we don’t recognize what’s being done to us.

Somehow, that has to change. As consumers, users and transformers of information, we need to begin seeing the value of our access to that information as no less tangible than the value of our houses, savings or pensions.

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