This unfortunately comes at the busiest time in a long time for me, so I will make this brief. There is rumour that the Canadian government is coming out with new copyright legislation. The legislation has not been tabled yet, so all we have to go on currently is rumour, but the rumour is not good. It could be some of the most restrictive copyright legislation in the world.

Of especial interest, some of you may have heard of the infamous Sony Rootkit. The Sony Rootkit was a piece of software which would silently and automatically load on Windows computers when you tried to play a Sony music CD. The software was intended to prevent you from copying music off that CD. Needless to say it introduced a huge number of security holes—making your computer widely vulnerable to malware—and degraded performance and stability—infamously it could cause a Blue Screen of Death if you attempted to stop it. If the rumours of the upcoming legislation are true, it would be illegal for you to remove software like the Sony Rootkit or attempt to prevent it from being loaded in the first place.

The government had attempted to bring in legislation like this before, under the moniker of Bill C-60. Bill C-60 failed to pass, and I have no reason to think that if the upcoming legislation is as bad as it sounds that it wouldn’t also be defeated.

Still, it’s a little worrying that this is the direction the government is trying to go with copyright. The government says that it is required to draft legislation of this sort in accordance with the 1997 WIPO Treaty, which Canada signed. I’m kind of ignorant on the 1997 WIPO Treaty, so I can’t comment on that. I hope it’s not true.

I’ll post again later once I become better informed, maybe after I get back from the Dominican Republic. In the meantime, you might be interested in Michael Geist’s list of things you can do.

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