As government announces costly new copyright terms, leading experts send letter to Industry Minister urging him to fix existing loopholes that are exposing Canadians to threats and abuse
April 23, 2015
“Let’s be clear about one thing: Because of James Moore’s inaction, innocent Canadians are being shaken down by foreign media giants for thousands of dollars,” said OpenMedia’s free expression campaigner Meghan Sali. “James Moore knew about these loopholes and could have fixed them at the time. Instead he put his head in the sand - and now everyday Canadians are paying the price.”
Sali continued: “Today we’re calling for robust safeguards to protect every Canadian from these abusive shakedowns. No Canadian wants to import the failed U.S. system where Internet users are routinely subjected to bullying, harassment, and intimidation. James Moore should fix these loopholes and ensure all Canadians can benefit from balanced copyright rules that protect the privacy of Internet users.”
The experts make a number of specific recommendations in their letter to James Moore. They urge him to use his regulatory powers under the Copyright Act to ensure that copyright notices:
properly identify the notice as a mere allegation of infringement, instead of giving the impression that the recipient is in fact liable for unlawful conduct;
accurately identify the rights-holder on whose behalf the notice is sent;
provide details informing the allegation of infringement (including the work involved, the date and time);
include no settlement demand or offer;
make no mention of damages or other remedies under the Copyright Act, or, alternatively, require accurate reference to such remedies, including limitations applicable to non-commercial infringement under the law;
explicitly state that receipt of a notice does not necessarily mean the recipient is engaged in infringing activities;
standardization of notice letters, preferably in forms provided by regulation; and
mention the potential applicability of exceptions and defences to copyright infringement such as fair dealing.
The letter also calls on Minister Moore to prohibit and penalize rights-holders who break the rules, to institute a tariff that ISPs may charge a rights-holder in order to pass on a notice, and to strengthen privacy safeguards related to copyright.
An online petition organized by OpenMedia attracted over 11,000 signatures calling on James Moore to address problems with the current system. Canadians are continuing to speak out at https://OpenMedia.org/Shakedown
OpenMedia is an award-winning community-based organization that safeguards the possibilities of the open Internet. We work toward informed and participatory digital policy by engaging hundreds of thousands of people in protecting our online rights.
Campaigns Coordinator, OpenMedia
OpenMedia works to keep the Internet open, affordable, and surveillance-free. We create community-driven campaigns to engage, educate, and empower people to safeguard the Internet.
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