Bill C-11 has disgruntled Canadians taking action

A reporter's laptop shows the Wikipedia blacked out opening page.When news of the threat Bill C-11 potentially poses broke nearly three weeks ago, the majority of Canadian observers took a hard stance against this Canadian SOPA-like anti-piracy legislation.

Comments from our Bill C-11 blog were unequivocally opposed to this bill passing through the House of Commons. Tweets responding the the blog echoed that same sentiment. And the poll placed on our SOPA topic page saw an astounding 94 per cent vote against online piracy regulations.

But it's not enough to simply draw a line in the sand and choose a side.

The 'Stop Bill C-11: Fight Harper's proposed Copyright Act - Defend Your Data' Facebook page is encouraging followers to contact their local MPs and voice their displeasure. Several of the near 2,500 followers have done just that, and the general response has been rather positive.

One follower commented on the page, stating she "just got a reply from the NDP leader, regarding my letter of concern about C-11. I can copy and paste the entire thing out, but in short, they will not be backing the bill as it is currently written."

Three days earlier, an Edmonton native posted a letter (in its entirety) he received from Charlie Angus, MP Timmins — James Bay, Official Opposition Critic for Digital Issues and Copyright. Here's a quick snippet of what he wrote (you can check out the complete letter on the Stop Bill C-11 Facebook page):

"Thank you for your email regarding C-11, the Conservative government's new
copyright bill. Since 2004, New Democrats have pushed to have Canada's
copyright legislation brought into the digital age."

"We believe that copyright in a digital environment must be based on two
fundamental principles — access for consumers and remuneration for artists.
Unfortunately, the Conservative government has failed to meet these two
fundamental principles. On one hand, the government directly attacks
millions of dollars in existing copyright royalty to artists all the while
undermining rights of consumers through their digital lock provisions."

"Given the above, we will not be supporting Bill C-11 unless the government
is willing to amend the digital lock provisions and restore royalty
provisions for artists."

Just a few days later, another follower confessed he "got this e-mail, too," and that he's "very happy to see the official opposition does not back this bill." So while we can convict the NDP of being lazy with their emails, we can't accuse them of turning a deaf ear in support of this bill.

Other followers of the page have found different ways to continue fighting the good fight. One devoted Canadian spent an entire afternoon "whipping up this website to help in the protest against Bill C-11: http://dearbillc11.com/." Another is planning a demonstration in Edmonton (though it looks like the plans may fall through). Admins from the 'Stop Bill C-11' Facebook page are calling on its followers to share their plans for this Friday's National Day of Action.

The Right Click will be keeping a close eye on this burgeoning national issue. If you feel inclined to stand up against online anti-piracy legislation, you're encouraged to contact you local MP, vote against Bill C-11 and/or sign the online petition.

For more coverage on Bill C-11 and SOPA/PIPA, check out our topic page.

(Reuters Photo)