Minister Moore’s Speech on C-32

Heritage Minister Moore gave a speech yesterday at a meeting of the The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). His focus was on Bill c-32, the Copyright Modernization Act. He made a number of important remarks about the goals behind the Bill. He also used the occasion to comment on some of the Bill’s main critics Here are some highlights of his speech.

Minister Moore stressed the contribution that the copyright industries make to Canada’s economy noting that they “cannot be underestimated, both in terms of stimulating investment and creating jobs”.

He emphasized throughout the speech that the proposed legislation represents a balanced approach, an approach that the Government believes protects the works of creators while recognizing the interests of consumers and Canadians. It is intended to reflect a variety of views expressed during the consultation on copyright policy that was held in last summer.

The Bill is intended to be principle-based, flexible and adaptable to any changes to technology, while ensuring appropriate protections for both creators and users. The modernized legislation is intended to support Canada as it faces the challenges of the digital environment and to enable Canada to take a leadership role in the global digital economy. It is supposed to contribute to an environment that gives Canadians the tools we need to remain creative, innovative, and competitive internationally. It was created to do so in accordance with international standards.

The Bill recognizes that the best way to fight piracy is by targeting those who knowingly enable online infringement. It therefore is intended to give copyright owners new tools to seek damages from these “enablers.” It is also designed to provide tools to creators to protect their investments, to encourage new business models, and to provide certainty for artists and creators to engage in the global digital marketplace with confidence. This includes providing protections for technological measures which are subject to a specific list of exceptions such as encryption research and security testing.

The Bill including the legal protection for TPMs and the making available right are intended to implement the rights and protections of the WIPO Internet Treaties and to bring Canada in line with these international standards. They will allow creators and copyright-based industries to better compete on the international stage. The Bill is also designed to enable Canada to fulfill the Government’s commitment to bring Canada’s copyright in line with those of our G8 trade partners.

The Government decided not to include a graduated response regime similar to what is being implemented in France, UK, New Zealand and elsewhere.

The Bill is also designed to legitimize commonplace private and/or non-commercial uses of copyright material that are currently not allowed or where their status is not clear under the Copyright Act. These uses include posting mash ups on the web or time shifting television programs. It is also intended to expand the existing uses allowed as ‘fair dealing’ by adding education, parody and satire and to enable publically available materials on the internet to be used for educational purposes.

The Bill is also intended to provide other exceptions to clarify the law or to remove impediments to ordinary uses of technology. In this regard, Minister Moore noted that the Bill proposes new exceptions for computer program innovators, limitations on liability for ISPs and search engines, and clarifies that making temporary technical reproductions of copyright material is acceptable.

In answer to questions following his speech, Minister Moore asked Canadians to consider what is in the Bill and to come forward with ideas on how to improve it. He pointed out, however, that there are opponents of copyright reform who “don’t believe in copyright”, who “pretend” to be experts in copyright, but are misleading the public about what it.  According to the Minister:

“…Those people who are out there who’re saying copyright legislation/copyright reform is not good, these are people who are dressing up the fact that they don’t believe in copyright reform at all.  There’s people out there who don’t believe in copyright at all. They just say well Bill C-61, the old copyright legislation, we disagree with these specific revisions.  Well, Bill C-32 we have these specific amendments.  Don’t fool yourself.  These voices that are out there, there’s people out there who pretend to experts that the media cites all the time, they don’t believe in any copyright reform whatsoever.  They will find any excuse to oppose this bill to drum up fear to mislead to misdirect and to push people in the wrong direction and to undermine what has been a meaningful comprehensive year-long effort to get something right.  This hasn’t been done as I said since 1997, three years after I graduated high school.  It’s been a long time.

We need to amend our legislation and those people out there who try pretend that they’re copyright experts and they want to amend copyright in a meaningful way, don’t be fooled by some of these people.  They don’t believe in any copyright.  They don’t believe in individuals’ rights to protect their own creations and when they speak, they need to be confronted.  If it’s on Facebook, if it’s on Twitter or if it’s on a talk show, if it’s in a newspaper, confront them and tell them they are wrong.  Canada from the Hudson’s Bay Company to FTA and NAFTA to the G8 and G20, Canada always has been always will be a trading nation.  Our future and our past and our prosperity has always been dependant on investment into Canada be in compliance with international standards opening ourselves up to the world, welcoming investment and working with the world, not being an outlier in the world, disregarding international treaties like WIPO that we’ve signed, disregarding our obligations to protect foreign investment into Canada, Canadian investments into Canadian businesses.  We need to protect those investments, protect those jobs and make sure that those voices who try to find technical nonsensical fear-mongering reasons to oppose copyright reform, are confronted every step of the way and they are defeated.  And when we do that, this bill will pass and Canada will be better for it.”

Almost immediately following his speech, Prof. Geist, relying upon a second hand source, published a blog suggesting that the Minister had “warned against “radical extremists” seeking to oppose Bill C-32” He then went further suggesting that Minister Moore could have been referring to just about anyone that sought reforms to the Bill including “all opposition parties, consumers, universities, teachers, students, business, and many creator groups are all seeking changes to C-32.”

It is patently obvious that Prof. Geist is misrepresenting who Minister Moore was referring to. Minister Moore was clearly referring to someone, or some people, who fit the following criteria:

  • They pretend to be experts in copyright.
  • They don’t believe in copyright.
  • They don’t believe in individuals’ rights to protect their own creations.
  • They are the ones “that the media cites all the time”.
  • They “drum up fear to mislead to misdirect and to push people in the wrong direction”.
  • They “find technical nonsensical fear-mongering reasons to oppose copyright reform”.

Who might this be? Here are some blogs that might provide a clue as to who Minister Moore was referring to:

‘TPMs’’: A Perfect Storm for Consumers:Replies to Professor Geist

Facebook Fair Copyright of Canada:Replies to Professor Geist

Fear Mongering and Misinformation Used to Slag ACTA

Legends and reality about the 1996 WIPO Treaties in the light of certain comments on Bill C-32

A reply to ACTA critics

Calling out misreporting about ACTA

More hype than facts about ACTA from its critics

Dr. Ficsor is right; Prof. Geist is wrong about the WIPO Internet Treaties

OECD counterfeiting report misinterpreted to support myth of Canada as a low piracy country

The Owens analysis of the Canadian copyright consultations: what are the implications?

Reflections on the liberal roundtable on the digital economy

*After posting this blog, the complete remarks made by the Minster after his speech were posted online. They included as well the following statements:

“There are those that pretend to be for copyright reform. But they don’t believe in actual copyright reform. There are those that are cited as experts by the media endlessly who are not in favour of copyright reform. They favour only weakening legislation, only in gutting tools that would allow those who are actually investing in jobs to have those jobs.”

“But don’t let those some of them are out there, who as I say are cited endlessly by the media, who pretend to be experts on copyright reform, who put up a smiley, shiny, cute face on what is actually a pretty disingenuous campaign to undermine the rights, the property rights of individual citizens, to invest in their creative goods.”

*A video of the Minister’s speech and comments are linked to below.

Part 1

Part 2

*The complete questions and answers of the Minister are set out below:

For more information about the Copyright Modernization Act or Bill C-11 or copyright reform, see Change and the Copyright Modernization Act.

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8 thoughts on “Minister Moore’s Speech on C-32”

  1. I felt that Mr. Moore’s comments were aimed at me as well. You have met me, and you know that I’m not radical, and only trying to protect the interests of independent software authors.

    I think Mr. Moore is lowering the tone of the debate, and making it much harder for those of us trying to protect copyright holders *from* TPMs to articulate this critically important position.

    I know CRIA is one of your clients, but I wish you would take the time to understand my critique as well. I suspect that if you gave it some time, you might agree.

    Your “wouldn’t it be fair” from the past was all about contract and eCommerce, not about copyright. The answer to “wouldn’t it be fair” if the legal protection for TPM is in copyright law is no, but the answer to “wouldn’t it be fair” if legal protection for TPMs was in provincial eCommerce and contract law becomes the much more familiar legal phrase of “it depends”.

    We shouldn’t give up the checks and balances that exist in current law by giving technical measures legal protection in the wrong laws.

  2. Pieter Hulshoff says:

    So, if professor Geist mentions a group that he feels would qualify as “extremists” under the words of Minister Moore, and these groups are saying the same thing professor Geist is (that protection of TPMs should be limited to acts illegal under copyright law), and you claim professor Geist should be seen as an “extremist” under Minister Moore’s words, then how exactly is professor Geist wrong in his blog?

    On another note: why do lawyers rely on science fiction rather than science when it comes to TPMs, when every scientist can tell you that what you want to use TPMs for is impossible?

  3. Jeff Power says:

    Under Bill c-32 it will become illegal for me to play my DVD’s on my ubuntu media system. I don’t have a problem with most of the bill and passing it will not impact my behaviour. Having said that, why make something that many Canadians do and that causes no harm illegal. I doubt that c-32 will stop Canadians from format shifting digitally locked material in their own home. Why not have an exemption for for non-infringing use? This would still conform to WIPO. Quite frankly I’d rather have 3 strikes than being told what I can do with my own property in my own home.
    Once again consumers are generally inconvenienced and those infringing will carry on anyway.

  4. I did not say that Prof. Geist should be seen as an “extremist”. I repeated what the Minister had said, and his criticism was far more nuanced than calling out critics of the Bill as being extremeist.

  5. Who might this be? LOL.
    Great article!

    The only problem with Mr. Moore’s speech is that he does not see that it is precisely the “balanced approach, an approach that the Government believes protects the works of creators while recognizing the interests of consumers and Canadians” that allows some unnamed copyright experts to mask their hate for copyright and individuals’ rights under the guise of ensuring that the balance thus being established is fair.

    This is precisely the point I was making in my article, Modernization of the Inconceivable, at

  6. Bob LeDrew says:

    Mr. Sookman: Unfortunately, the Minister did not specify who these people were in his answer to the question. He left it for the audience and now the readers to attempt to identify who these “babyish” “absolutists” were.

    Frankly, I find the Minister’s remarks to be intellectually dishonest in that they create a false dialectic: either one is for the proposed law, or one is a voice trying to “find technical, non-sensical, fear-mongering reasons to oppose copyright reform.”

    I would welcome a clarification on the minister’s part of just who he was referring to in his remarks.

  7. Victoria Shepherd says:

    “Canadians deserve up to date copyright legislation” – yes we do. We need to ensure that we have the same laws in place as our trading partners or they will be disinclined to do business with us. It’s all about creating jobs. Kudos to Minister Moore for having the courage to tell it like it is.

  8. I don’t agree at all the Minister created “a false dialectic”. He was not referring to critics of the Bill in general. He referring to those that fit a very small subset of characteristics which I listed in my blog.

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