Does Anyone Like Bill C-32 Anymore?

With the 3rd session of the 40th Parliament now in session there is little doubt that copyright will be at the forefront of the conservative agenda between now and Dec 17. And when talking copyright in Canada, we are of course referring to Bill C-32. Prior to the summer adjournment of The House and MP’s exodus to their cottages and the barbecue circuit, battle lines were clearly drawn in the great copyright debate.

On one side were lobbyists music industry types, trade groups and MP James Moore pitted against educators, a coalition of big tech companies, retail representatives and Canadian consumers. Bill C-32 polarized the Canadian copyright reform debate almost immediately which comes as little surprise, however, what has since transpired in the waning dog days of summer is indeed eye opening.

Call it sober second thought or some iteration of buyer’s remorse, but it is now apparent that the honeymoon effect between lobbyists, trade groups and industry types has run its course. Witness the following:

Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA)
June 2010 September 2010
“[Bill C32 is] a very serious attempt by the government to balance the rights of creators and the needs of users. I think the intentions are good and I think the principles are sound.”
Source: iposgoode.ca
“Once this bill is passed, you could go online and steal every movie that’s ever made, every book, and every song, put them on your hard drive, admit liability, and write a $5,000 check. That would be the full extent of it — and it would be the first rights holder who would get all the money. Nobody else would get a cent. It’s close to saying that for people who want to steal stuff, there’s a compulsory license of $5,000.”
Source: grammy.com
Balanced Copyright for Canada
June 2010 September 2010
“I believe the Copyright Act amendments proposed in Bill C-32 do a good job of balancing the right of artists and creators to benefit financially from their work, and the ability of consumers like me to make copies for non-commercial use and personal enjoyment. If Bill C-32 passes, it will give me the peace of mind of knowing that when I take music I’ve purchased and downloaded online, and copy it to my player, it’s legal.”
Source: michaelgeist.ca
“Unfortunately Bill C-32 falls short of meeting the government’s stated intentions. The core message, ‘thou shalt not steal’ is diluted by such a bewildering array of exceptions that if anything the situation for creators will grow worse.”
Source: michaelgeist.ca
Canadian Recording Artists (Loreena McKennitt & Carole Pope)
June 2010 September 2010
“That is why I welcome copyright reform legislation. And it is why I am counting on parliamentarians to ensure the measures we need are passed into law. It is only fair.”
Source: winnipegfreepress.com
“We…feared such a bill would try to create a fake divide between creators and users. We worried that, rather than put forward a balanced approach, the government would try to pit musicians against fans in order to score political points. And that’s just what it has done with Bill C-32.”
Source: theglobeandmail.com
Canadian Independent Music Association (CIMA)
June 2010 July 2010
“We are pleased that the government not only has recognized the need for copyright reform, but is now taking action.”
Source: cimamusic.ca
“However, when we compare this bill with the Digital Britain initiative, we can see that it pales by comparison to the British example. Clearly, the UK recognizes that its cultural industries are engines of economic growth, and their protection is vital. Therefore, as we say, they have legislation with the “teeth” necessary to enforce their laws, including the possible disconnection of chronic infringers.”
Source: cirpa.ca
Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN)
June 2010 September 2010
“SOCAN is pleased that the Government of Canada has tabled copyright reform legislation that addresses some of the challenges and opportunities creators face in the digital marketplace. We are optimistic that these changes will help make Canadian copyright law more consistent with international standards.”
Source: socan.ca
“It is SOCAN’s view that, although it strives to achieve a balance, the bill falls short. We believe Parliament must now make changes to the proposed law to ensure that a balance is indeed achieved and that this balance results in fairness to all those who will be affected by the legislation.”
Source: socan.ca

To summarize, we now have lobby groups doing a 180 and insinuating that Bill C-32 is a perfect fit “for people who want to steal stuff”. Coalitions of content creators, artists and rights holders, and people who work in music, movies, games, books, and software industries flip-flopping and claiming that under Bill C-32 “the situation for creators will grow worse”. And finally Canadian artists breaking ranks to allude that Bill C-32 “pit[s] musicians against fans in order to score political points.

Now that Canadians have had the summer to digest this bill and hopefully sift through the rhetoric, only one nagging question remains – just who likes this purposed copyright reform legislation anymore? Because it is certainly not consumers, educators, retailers, artists, creators, lobbyists, trade groups, industry groups, opposition MP’s and most certainly not the CCER.