House of Commons Hansard #64 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was hunting.


8:20 p.m.

Peterborough Ontario


Dean Del Mastro ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, that was remarkable. The member jumped back and forth between both groups on both sides and talked both in favour of stronger, more prohibitive copyright legislation and weaker copyright legislation in the exact same speech. It is remarkable.

When we write a copyright bill, such as Bill C-32, it is about the appropriate balance.

The member is going to get angry when I say this. She has advocated on behalf of a tax on iPods, MP3s, laptops, PDAs, and BlackBerrys. She wants to put a tax on them. She wants consumers to pay this tax into some conglomerate fund which would then trickle down to the artists. We do not want to tax consumers.

She talked about how consumer groups are upset about digital locks. It is interesting. I gather from the member's speech that she is in favour of circumvention of digital locks. These are the technological protection measures that would protect against people buying a DVD, putting it on their computer and then sending it out to the Internet.

Under her provision, she is saying that they should be able to do that. It would not pay actors and it certainly would not pay the movie companies, but she is saying that she would put a levy on iPods and so forth so that she could then give the money to music artists for people who break the digital locks on movies and then send them out to the Internet. This does not make any sense at all. The people at home have to be confused. As I talk this out, her positions are in complete contrast with one another.

Bill C-32 is about balance. It is about balancing the rights of consumers and the rights of rights holders. That is why groups across the spectrum, musicians, actors, film companies, students, schools, have come forward and said that it is a balanced bill. Is it perfect? It is pretty tough to write a perfect copyright bill by its very nature. People are going to say they would really like to have just a little bit more rights one way or the other. Consumers would like just a bit more liberty in some ways and rights holders would like to have a bit more protection in some ways. It is about balancing the two.

What people cannot do is argue both in favour of stronger copyright rules and weaker copyright rules and somehow come out with a bill at the other end.

What she has proposed in her speech just a few minutes ago would anger artists and consumers at the exact same time. The member comes from Quebec. I am sure she knows that Montreal is the number three destination for the creation of video games in the world. The position the member is arguing is contrary to those software creators. They are the ones who are asking for technological protection measures to protect the work they are doing in the video game software industry. I cannot believe she would argue that we should not have digital locks on these things.

8:25 p.m.


Carole Lavallée Bloc Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, I propose that every sentence the hon. member for Peterborough began with “she”, be dropped. He is using his own theories and preconceived notions to put words in my mouth. I have never said or thought such things.

In fact, I think copyright legislation should protect the author and not give everyone the right to make copies, as is currently the case. I am not at all against digital media, but there is a way to use it. I certainly do not think this should be at the heart of a bill. It is incidental and we cannot say that it will protect artists. Maintaining the system of copying for personal use is what will really protect artists and allow them to be paid for their work.

Currently, this bill is not balanced. Artists are getting absolutely nothing. What is more, they are all against this idea, as the minister himself pointed out.

8:25 p.m.


Dean Del Mastro Conservative Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, once again, I am going to point out the contradiction in the member's very first statement. She started out by saying that she is opposed to copying, but then she wants to put on a digital copying levy. If we are opposed to copying, then we support stronger copyright rules that do not allow copying at all. We certainly do not propose an iPod tax or a digital levy that encourages people to copy. This does not make any sense. She is on both sides of the argument.

Writing a copyright bill is about balance. There is not a consumer group in the country that would support a tax on digital devices, such as iPods and PDAs. She talked about consumer groups. That proposal does not have the support of a single consumer group in this country, and it certainly does not have the support of our Conservative government.

8:25 p.m.


The Acting Speaker Conservative Barry Devolin

The motion to adjourn the House is now deemed to have been adopted. Accordingly, this House stands adjourned until tomorrow at 10 a.m., pursuant to Standing Order 24(1).

(The House adjourned at 8:28 p.m.)