Canada proposes tighter copyright law

The Canadian government introduced new legislation today that would tighten aspects of copyright law in ways generally favorable to interests such as record labels and movie studios.

The proposal, which is already drawing protest from some digital consumer circles, is aimed at bringing the country more in line with copyright statutes in the United States and other countries. Canada has diverged from several other countries in waiting to implement aspects of the 1996 World Intellectual Property Organization treaty, which led to legislation such as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act in the United States.

Among many other aspects, the proposed legislation would create a new exclusive "making available" right to copyright holders, responding in part to recent court rulings that said file-swapping in Canada was legal. It would also add a ban on breaking through digital copy protection (with some exceptions), in many respects similar to the "anti-circumvention" prohibitions in the United States.

Canadian record companies praised the legislation's introduction, while saying it didn't go far enough to "protect digital businesses from hackers."

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    John Borland
    covers the intersection of digital entertainment and broadband.
     

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