Filed Under (blog, for the sake of the song, Midland, Ontario) by Sean on December-13-2007

It’s reported that the Canadian government is about to introduce sweeping changes to our copyright laws which take the worst excesses of the American DMCA and do little to define users rights. Here is a copy of the letter I wrote to my Member of Parliament.


The Honorable Bruce Stanton
504 Dominion Avenue
Midland, Ontario
L4R 1P8

Dear Mr. Stanton:

It was good to chat with you at Saint Marie Among the Hurons last week. I am always encouraged to see our elected officials active and accessible to the community. I am writing to express my concern of the proposed revisions to Canada’s copyright act which has been widely publicized in the press. As a primary school teacher, independent singer-songwriter, producer of an Internet radio program, and a producer of free public-domain audiobooks, I have learned a great deal about the current copyright climate and I have some grave concerns with the reported changes to the copyright act.
My greatest concern is that these sweeping changes are being made without public consultation with Canadians, such as myself who produce creative works. There also seems to me no concern as to how these changes will impact will effect ordinary Canadians, and it is reported that there are no provisions made for fair dealing, for educational use, for parody and other legitimate exemptions.
Other reports I have read indicate that some of the language for the proposed bill may have come from templates provided by the CRIA. Please remember that since all the independent record labels left the organization last year, the CRIA is a spokesgroup for the multinational recording labels, and many independent Canadian businesses and artists are on the record as opposing their positions and tactics. The proposed changes as reported seem to adopt all the excesses of the United States DMCA, giving enormous rights to the owners of content with little balance as to the rights of the users– ordinary Canadians. The American system of suing college students and grandmothers for copyright infingement is fundamentally flawed. We should not repeat the American’s mistakes. We have the opportunity to find a uniquely Canadian, balanced copyright regime that respects the rights of content owners for a reasonable length of time, but also defines and respects the rights of the ordinary Canadians who purchase and use these creations. I would urge you to press for an open consultation within the government process to help Canada revise its copyright law to adequately respect the rights of all Canadians. As one of your constituents, I would happy to speak with you at more length about my perspective on copyright issues.


Sean McGaughey

c.c. my blog at

Sean McGaughey, Singer Songwriter                My new website   My Podcast:  Conversations with Songs and Songwriters    My old website Listen to my music free audiobooks in the public domain

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