Friday, June 6, 2008

Consumer groups voice concern over potential digital copyright bill

A coalition of consumer groups has waded into the copyright reform debate, calling on the federal government to avoid introducing legislation that will limit consumer rights.

In a letter sent Thursday to Minister of Industry Jim Prentice and Minister of Heritage Josée Verner, the groups said "adapting copyright laws to the modern world and to modern technologies should in no way limit or undermine existing consumer rights or constrain common consumer practices."

They also said technologies that undermine existing consumer rights should be illegal.

The coalition includes members from the Union des consommateurs, Option consommateurs, Consumers Council of Canada, Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC), the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC) and Online Rights Canada (OnlineRights.ca).

Their letter comes in response to speculation the government may be close to introducing a bill that could impose serious penalties for illegal downloading.

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