Mr. Speaker, I listened with great interest to my hon. colleague, who I think raised a number of serious issues in terms of copyright reform and some of the fundamental problems that still remain with this bill.
I think it is important to put into the context that some of today's most respectable corporate interests in terms of defending copyright and defending the rights holders were, yesterday and the day before, some of our most famous pirates. Using Hollywood as an example, most people think Hollywood was set up because they had nice weather year round.
In fact, Hollywood was set up to escape the copyright patents of Thomas Edison. Thomas Edison set up the original motion picture film technology and he used his copyright patents to snuff out any competing business. He was quite ruthless in using the courts to go after anybody who was attempting to set up movie theatres back in the early days.
A number of independent producers, who were the BitTorrents of the day, went out west where they were just slightly beyond the long arm of Thomas Edison's corporate reach and they set up Hollywood. Then, of course, once Hollywood had gathered up enough power, it decided to challenge the Edison monopoly in court. Then Hollywood became the standard.
We can remember in the 1970s and 1980s when the VHS recorder came along. Jack Valenti, who was the long-time spokesman of the movie industry, the way Charlton Heston is for the NRA, said that the VHS technology was the “Boston Strangler” that would destroy artists, because if people were allowed to watch movies on VHS recorders, it would destroy the entire business model on which Hollywood was founded.
Of course, at the time, what was one of the private companies that was supporting the VHS? It was Sony. Sony had a big market to sell the VHS players. Sony was being denounced by the Jack Valentis of Hollywood. Hollywood was saying that it would be the end of its business model.
Of course, we know that Hollywood survived and grew because it created a whole new market in the sale of what was VHS, and then DVDs.
I would ask my hon. colleague why he thinks the government continues to be afraid of new technologies and uses digital locks to shut down developing business models.