Music creators coalition opposes Jim Prentice's copyright bill

The Canadian Music Creators Coalition issued a news release opposing new copyright legislation introduced into Parliament yesterday.

The coalition includes many Canadian artists, including Sarah McLachlan,Broken Social Scene, and Avril Lavigne. It is founded on the following three principles:

*Suing Our Fans is Destructive and Hypocritical *

*Digital Locks are Risky and Counterproductive *

*Cultural Policy Should Support Actual Canadian Artists *

The coalition claims that Industry Minister Jim Prentice's Bill C-61 parrots U.S. legislation instead of bringing forward a "made-in-Canada solution".

Under Section 29 of the bill, it is not an infringement of copyright to reproduce something that an individual "legally obtained" -- i.e. a photograph, book, periodical or videocasette -- other than through renting or borrowing.

However, it would be illegal to reproduce anything legally obtained if it has a digital lock. And even if there is no digital lock, the person who legally obtained the item could not give the copy to anyone else.

Otherwise, the person would be fined $500 if this is done for personal use, and up to $20,000 if it's done for commercial uses.

The bill is not expected to become law before MPs go on their summer break.

In a column last January, Georgia Straight high-tech columnist Blaine Kyllo suggested that U.S. media corporations want the Harper government to replicate the Digital Millennium Copyright Act in the U.S.

That law has resulted in more than 20,000 people being sued for copyright infringement.