To my Canadian Facebook friends

Please consider joining the Facebook group Fair Copyright for Canada.

If you don't live on the web, or if I haven't already talked your ear off about it, here's a quick run-down of what it's all about. Canada's Industry Minister Jim Prentice is pushing forward with a Canadian version of America's draconian DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act). In fact, it will be worse than the American DMCA. Canada's version of the law will contain an "anti-circumvention" clause that prohibits breaking the locks off music and videos you already own. No exceptions.

This means that, if the law passes, it will become illegal to break the locks off your music or DVDs in order to move them to new devices. If the DRM (Digital Rights Management) scheme associated with a DVD or CD "calls home" before allowing it to be played -- if that isn't happening now, it will happen very soon -- and the company it's calling goes out of business, or even merely changes its verification scheme, it will be impossible for you to continue enjoying what you've purchased. Not because DRM schemes can't be broken (they can, and very easily), but because it will be illegal to even try to break one.

If you make the terrible mistake of buying DRMed music and later decide you want to burn it to a CD to play in the car, or convert it to MP3 to play on your Creative Zen, you're shit outta luck. It will be illegal to convert it. Instead, you'll have to buy a second copy for the car, and a third for the Zen. A DVD that plays fine in the ultra-modern player in your entertainment center (because it knows how to handle DRMed discs) may not play in your Chinese cheapo portable player. Breaking the DRM to make it do so will not be a (legal) option. Compressing it to play on your video iPod will also be illegal. You'll be forced to purchase more copies of the same thing.

It's American companies that are lobbying Canadian politicians to push this law through. American companies want to force you to buy multiple copies of the same thing, removing rights we've enjoyed for as long as any of us can remember.

Joining a Facebook group may not feel like much (I sure won't stop you from writing your MP, too), but as the group grows it becomes something those who are actively fighting the Canadian DMCA can point to as evidence that Canadians just won't stand for it.

Please join. Please encourage your friends to join.

Click here to learn more about the Canadian DMCA and the damage it will cause you, your freedoms, your wallet, our artists, and our Canadian culture, and to find out other, even more effective, ways to fight it.
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