New copyright bill hits Canadian Parliament


— 1:34 PM on June 13, 2008

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act is going across the border. Well, sort of. Reuters reports that Canada's Industry Minister Jim Prentice has put forward a bill in Parliament with arguably the same goal: to tackle copyright issues in a way that takes into account both the Internet and digital rights management technologies.

In short, Reuters says the bill would allow users to copy music they've purchased onto iPods or PCs, and it would also allow them to record TV or radio shows for playback at a later time. Should users illegally copy music or movies for their own use, the bill would reduce the maximum penalty from $20,000 CAD to $500 CAD. However, users who bypass digital rights management systems or distribute copyrighted works could face penalties of up to $20,000 CAD. Last, but not least, the bill would make it illegal for users to keep recorded TV or radio shows indefinitely in a "personal library."

Already, the bill has gained staunch supporters and detractors. Reuters says a "broad coalition of Canadian entertainment industry organizations" has applauded the bill, while University of Ottawa professor Michael Geist criticizes how the bill differentiates between protected and unprotected content. Dan McTeague of Canada's Liberal party also chimed in against the personal library part, stating, "How are you going to enforce this when existing jurisprudence doesn't allow you to walk into someone's home?"

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