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(Original story by Michael Geist at michaelgeist.ca...)

Patriotism may be a hard to define, but I'm relatively certain that it doesn't usually involve Ministers and Parliamentarians flagrantly selling themselves out to the commercial interests of a foreign government, while wrapped-up in a maple-leaf flag. I'm fairly certain that I read that in a book somewhere...

"Copyright, U.S. lobbying, and the stunning backroom Canadian response gets front page news treatment today as the Toronto Star runs my story on new revelations on copyright from the U.S. cables released by Wikileaks. The cables reveal that former Industry Minister Maxime Bernier raised the possibility of leaking the copyright bill to U.S. officials before it was to be tabled it in the House of Commons, former Industry Minister Tony Clement’s director of policy Zoe Addington encouraged the U.S. to pressure Canada by elevating it on a piracy watch list, Privy Council Office official Ailish Johnson disclosed the content of ministerial mandate letters, and former RCMP national coordinator for intellectual property crime Andris Zarins advised the U.S. that the government was working on a separate intellectual property enforcement bill.

The disclosures are particularly relevant since Parliament is set to resume in several weeks with the reintroduction of a copyright reform bill slated to be one of the government’s top priorities. The bill is expected to mirror Bill C-32, the previous copyright package that died with the election in the spring.

That bill garnered some praise for striking a balance on difficult issues such as fair dealing, damages, and the liability of Internet providers. However, its approach to digital locks - which are used to control access to DVDs, CDs, and electronic books - was roundly criticized by consumer, education, and technology groups since it effectively ensured that inclusion of a digital lock trumps consumer and fair dealing rights. The bill’s digital lock rules largely mirrored those found in the United States..."


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