WIPO my ass-o

Hey kids, the Canadian government is looking to immediately ratify the WIPO treaties which have allowed the government down South impose wonderful legislation like the Digital Millenium Copyright Act. This is bad for a number of reasons. The treaties would facilitate corporations, organizations, entities, and individuals to request content takedowns from ISPs/hosting companies on only the belief that said content infringes on someone’s copyright.

Don’t like what someone said? Claim infringement, order a takedown. It’s that easy. Don’t believe me? Spend some time on ChillingEffects, a site devoted to what kind of nonsense legislation like this can lead to.

Should Canada ratify these treatys, takedowns will not require due process (if the way it’s gone due South is any guideline, and you can bet your booty it will be) and puts the burden of determining whether the content in question infringes on the hosting provider. Most hosting companies and ISPs operate on thin margins, so the easy response will be to pull the $50/month site. There’s a whole lot of other bad, and when groups like CRIA are strongly behind the push for the government to ratify the treaties, you know it’s in their best interest, and not the public’s.

Please take the time (if you’re a Canadian citizen) to write your local MP and let them know that you’re not so keen on giving corporations and others another tool to control information flow. If someone is doing something illegal, it’s for our legal system, not our market system, to decide. Have a peek at www.digital-copyright.ca, and send a copy of the petition to the official collectors and your MP.

The cost of a stamp (mail to an MP is still free), two sheets of paper, and two envelopes will cost you less than a buck. Be sure to tell your MP in no uncertain terms that the law is not to be used to protect an antiquated business model, remind them who it’s supposed to protect, and let them know why you’re sending them a copy (hint: elected representation). It’ll be a buck well spent.