The new federal Copyright Modernization Act, Bill C-11 recently passed in the House of Commons in June 2012. As stated on the Government of Canada’s Balanced Copyright website,
“Canada now has a modern copyright regime, which will play a critical role in protecting and creating jobs in Canada’s digital economy. With this bill receiving royal assent, the Government of Canada has delivered on its commitment to seek swift passage of modernized copyright legislation in a way that strikes the right balance between the needs of creators and users.”
Though the government seems sure that this new “modern” act will provide just the right balance, I’m not so sure. I am certainly no expert on copyright. But I do think with the ever changing nature of the technological, global world, copyright laws will be in a state of continual revision, as our values and ideals toward intellectual property shift and change.
Rheingold sees it as all out war. “The conflict over who has the right to use digital media to create and disseminate intellectual property is a war over political control of the power to inform, persuade, educate, debate, and innovate.” Rheingold makes a good point. Anyone off the street who wants to, can make a statement using the digital media of their choice, to an audience of millions. There is awesome power in that.
The government says that copyright is about balance. There is a lot at stake on this scale. I picture the government, who need to create jobs, and win political support, big business, who need to keep shareholders happy, creators, who need financial remuneration for their work, and innovators, who need ideas to build upon.
How will the “right balance” be maintained in future?
Government of Canada (2012). Balanced copyright. Retrieved from http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/crp-prda.nsf/eng/home
Rheingold, H. (2012). Net smart: How to thrive online. Cambridge, Mass: The MIT Press