After months of review, it looks like the Harper government's copyright reform bill will likely become law before Parliament's summer recess.
Bill C-11 passed a final vote at third reading on Monday night, bringing Canadians one step closer to SOPA-like regulation of their media consumption. According to the CBC, the bill was immediately introduced to the Senate after passing the vote, and will likely be sped through the Senate review process, meaning it stands a good chance of becoming law in the coming month.
Regular readers of The Right Click are likely quite familiar with what the copyright bill will mean to Canadians: Bill C-11 would allow rights holders to include 'digital locks' on their content, which includes music, video, e-books and software. Users can make copies for personal backups, but all other duplication could result in fines for doing so.
The movie, music and software industries were quick to thank the Harper government for how quickly they have moved on the bill, while other groups have remained cautious of the bill. Library groups, educators, consumer associations and thousands of Canadians have expressed concern over these digital locks, and what it will mean for the distribution of content.
Much like how the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) led to widespread opposition from both Americans and numerous websites, the reaction against Bill C-11 by Canadians has been overwhelmingly negative.
As Michael Geist, a University of Ottawa professor who has been one of the most outspoken individuals on Bill C-11, said in a recent blog post, many who spoke out against the copyright act's digital locks are likely feeling ignored by the government. Geist suggests, however, that the fight by many Canadians against strict copyright provisions has still had a profound impact. While the digital locks will still be in place, Canadians won't be subjected to website blocking, three strikes systems, or notice-and-takedown measures that other countries have adopted. Revisions of the bill have also included better fair dealing and public performance legislation than what a predecessor to Bill C-11 had back in 2006.
While the fight against Bill C-11 is likely at an end, it certainly won't be the last we hear from Canadians who oppose these new copyright laws. Keep reading The Right Click for more information on this legislation.