Friday, June 13, 2008

In the News - Streetcars and Copyright

Well it’s been busy in the news the last few days for things that I personally care about. In Thursday’s Province, Brian Lewis wrote a piece about the 200th St. Streetcar idea.
Bateman wants a modern streetcar system as the primary public-transit provider along the fast-developing 200th Street corridor, which runs in a north-south direction along the so-called spine of Langley Township.

Right now, roughly two-thirds of the township's population, or about 76,000 people, live along this corridor between 196th and 216th streets, and in another 20 years that should increase to 80 per cent of the population, or about 185,000.
Not surprisingly, yesterday the Environmental Assessment Office green-lighted the twinning of Port Mann and 37km expansion of Highway 1 from 4-6 to 8-10 lanes. We can now look forward to construction during the 2010 games. Still no word on the South Fraser Perimeter Road Project.

Also in totally unrelated news, the federal government introduced Bill C-61 which aims to change our copyright laws to be more like US copyright laws. This would make things that many of us do everyday like copying a DVD to a laptop for private viewing later, posting on blogs, quoting from blogs, or uploading clips to YouTube illegal. Michael Geist, a law professor at the University of Ottawa and the Canada Research Chair of Internet and E-commerce Law, has a great blog about this bill and copyright law in Canada. Also, the Vancouver Sun ran a piece about it.
Had Prentice and Verner respected the Supreme Court's emphasis on balance and the public interest, they could have easily avoided this one-sided approach.

Canada's earlier copyright bill, which died on the order paper in 2005, along with the approach in countries such as New Zealand, has identified a more balanced framework that preserves user rights by only prohibiting circumvention where the underlying purpose is to infringe copyright.

That approach ensures that the law targets commercial piracy rather than consumer property.

Instead, their self-described "made in Canada" solution actually looks an awful lot like the much-criticized U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Once Canadians read the fine print on this bill, many may demand that the government go back to the drawing board.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Totally agree on the copyright law--it's stupid.

Good post from a Langley guy on it here.