Copyright reform will affect the lives of millions of Canadians including creators, consumers, educators, entrepeneurs, and students. Bill C-11 represent a major overhaul of Canadian copyright law with dramatic new protections for digital locks, new fair dealing exceptions, changes to Canada’s statutory damages regime, new rights for photographers, performers, teachers, and librarians, and a host of other amendments. The starting point to speaking out is to learn more about the bill. This site features dozens of posts on the legislation along with pointers to other sites with detailed analysis of the legislation. SpeakOutonCopyright.ca will be regularly updated with new posts assessing C-11, tracking discussion during Parliamentary hearings, and providing guidance on how Canadians can ensure that their voices are heard.
There are many ways Canadians can ensure their voices are heard on Bill C-11 and Canadian copyright reform. This site does not include a specific form letter. Rather, it urges Canadians to send their own thoughts – no matter how concise – to their elected representatives. Great ways to speak out include:
- Write to your local Member of Parliament. Nothing is more obvious or more important. Letters (which are better than email) from just a handful of constituents is enough to get the attention of your local MP. It is often a good idea to ask the MP to forward your letter to the relevant Ministers. Find your MP here. All MPs can be sent letters c/o House of Commons, Ottawa, ON, K1A 0A6. No stamp is needed.
- Write to the Prime Minister of Canada. Contact information here.
- Write to Christian Paradis (firstname.lastname@example.org), the Minister of Industry. Minister Paradis is responsible for the Copyright Act in Canada. His contact information is here.
- Write to Michael Chong, the Chair of the House of Commons Industry Committee. Chong is an Ontario MP who chairs the powerful Industry Committee. His committee may lead the review of the bill. If the government tries to fast-track the bill, there will be enormous pressure to limit the diversity of voices before the committee. Chong should be urged to ensure that they hear from all stakeholders and all perspectives. Contact information here.
- Write to the leaders of the opposition parties in an effort to achieve compromise on Bill C-11.
- Write to Canadian Heritage’s Copyright Policy Branch. The Copyright Policy Branch is home to a large contingent of bureaucrats focused on copyright matters. Contact information here.
- Write to Industry Canada’s Intellectual Property Policy Directorate. The IPPD is Industry Canada’s counterpart on copyright policy, though it addresses a broader range of IP issues. Contact information here.
Once you have submitted your comments, make sure your family, friends and colleagues do the same.
- You can notify your Twitter followers that you’ve just taken action on copyright and urge them to do the same here.
- Notify your Facebook friends about Bill C-32 and the need to speak out.
- Join the Fair Copyright for Canada Facebook group to get active and the Fair Copyright for Canada Page to stay current on the latest Canadian copyright developments.