TORONTO – A Canadian university professor believes there is a campaign in the U.S. to make Canada out to be a haven for content piracy in order to push stricter copyright law, when in fact Canada’s copyright legislation is compliant with its international obligations.
“The fact is there is zero evidence that Canada is a pirate haven,” said Rory McGreal, professor and associate vice-president of research at Athabasca University.
“We know for a fact there is more piracy going on, copying movies, videos, music, in the United States than there is in Canada even on a per capita basis,” said McGreal.
Yet, he added, the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act is enacted in that country.
McGreal was speaking at the Free Software and Open Source Symposium 2009 (FSOSS) on Friday about the state of Canadian copyright legislation.
Currently, Canadian copyright law is “reasonably open” but many aspects of it are unclear, said McGreal.
“The government wants to bring in laws to make it more clear but are basing it on the U.S. model, a very strict and regimented view of copyright and they’re moving the balance,” he said.
That balance will be shifted, if the government has its way, in favour of the content vendor and at the expense of traditional user rights that have been in place for many years, he said.