Marlene Jennings is concerned about the restrictions in Bill C-61, the Act to Amend the Copyright Act, tabled by the federal government last June, on the circumvention of technical protection measures.

Jennings is the House of Commons deputy opposition leader, a former member of the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology and Liberal Member of Parliament for the Montreal riding of Notre-Dame-de-Grace—Lachine.

In a letter posted on the Facebook group Fair Copyright for Canada, she expressed her hope Bill C-61 would be amended before it’s passed into law.

“Anti-circumvention measures and penalties must be linked to the efforts of those who violate copyright for commercial purposes, and not just the technology itself ..” Jennings wrote.

“Even the few exceptions to anti-circumvention measures in the bill are deceptive since the software programs needed to pick the digital lock in order to protect privacy or engage in research are prohibited. This is a part of the bill I hope will be amended when the bill gets to committee so that only deliberate infringement of commercial copyright is punished, not the possession of the technology to do so.”

She described the bill as a “highly technical piece of legislation” and hopes it will be sent to committee for further study, prior to second reading.

“Should the government decide not to do so, I believe that significant amendments will still be possible in committee after second reading. It will not, in my view, hinder a wide consultation by the Committee.”



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