A while back, I wrote an e-mail to James Moore, Minister of Heritage, expressing my concern that the proposed new copyright legislation (Bill C-32) is going to turn me into a de facto criminal for the mere act of copying legally purchased DVDs to my computer’s hard drive for easy viewing.
Yesterday, much to my surprise, I received a reply. In his reply the Minister explains, among other things, that “copyright owners may decide whether to use technological protection measures for their content and consumers whether to pay for such content”.
In other words, screw me, it’s laissez faire capitalism. (In fact, he’s preaching to the choir: I stopped purchasing software like computer games eons ago because I despise Activation-type technologies.) Except that… our Minister and his government already decided that it is NOT laissez faire capitalism since government intervention (in the form of criminal sanctions, no less!) is required to protect the interests of copyright owners. The Minister’s reply is also representative of this government’s very callous attitude towards culture in general: by stating that “Copyright is a marketplace framework law”, the Minister makes it clear that they see intellectual property only as marketable products, and the consumption of culture as merely a voluntary consumer activity. I wonder if they maintain the same attitude towards, say, food or health care: in the marketplace, after all, consumers have a choice whether or not to purchase foodstuffs, right?
Their plans concerning copyright law was one reason why I did not vote Conservative this time around, and it seems that my concerns were well justified. Now my hope is that as this legislation passes, its ridiculousness will eventually become evident, and either the Supreme Court will step in or a successive government will make the necessary changes.