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Friday, June 13, 2008

big brother is upon us..


A new copyright law is set to be introduced that will see new restrictions against file sharing, downloading your music to an iPod or CD, unlocking cell phones and recording "time shifted" television shows.


Following closely in the footsteps of the U.S' Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), the bill will see a $500 fine for anyone who is caught swapping files online and up to $20 grand for anyone unlocking cell phones or recording TV programs.


"The core really is a desire to satisfy U.S. pressure by enacting something very close to the U.S. Digital Millenium Copyright Act," said University of Ottawa law professor Michael Geist to the National Post, an expert in Internet commerce issues.


"The irony here is that while file sharing could be held up as the prime rationale for new legislation, the reality is that individual Canadians and the everyday products they purchase are going to be most deeply affected," he said, citing CDs and DVDs as examples of items that will likely have restrictions placed on their usage.


Meanwhile, entertainment lawyer David Zitzerman, thinks "you have the rights owners that feel that for e-commerce to really flourish on the Internet they need these protection measures," Mr. Zitzerman noted. "But you also have consumer groups and others who feel it will affect free speech [or] will curtail the rights that people feel they are entitled to as owners of the materials."



Either way, I should be able to listen to music whichever way I want if I bought it with my own coin be it via an iPod, CD-man or on my computer. If passed, the only ones who could really benefit from this would be iTunes and not even the mom and pop record shops that are already suffering. However, on the heels of the news breaking that Canadian artists only make an average of just over 16 grand a year due to unauthorized file sharing, this could be good for the homegrown talent. But will the consumer have enough love for their Canuk talent to continue to buy product when they're not allowed to even download it onto their wireless accessory? Are the days of just listening to tunes in your basement over? I think so. We've become an always moving society where portable music players and wireless DVD screens are essential to our progressing lifestyles, but it's "the man" who is keeping us from moving forward with technology. If this bill goes through, we will take a backseat in the development of modern technology and fade away from the natural progression of modern day life.