Canada’s Electronic Frontier & Digital Copyright Forum

Electronic Frontier Canada

Founded in early 1994, Electronic Frontier Canada (EFC) is a Canadian-based, online civil rights organization. EFC is dedicated to ensuring that the principles of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms remain protected in the Information Age as new computing, communications, and information technologies grow throughout Canadian society.

The EFC mandate is to conduct research into issues and promote public awareness regarding the application of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to new technologies. EFC aims to protect the right to privacy and freedom of expression on the internet. Recently, Electronic Frontier Canada has taken action regarding the Canadian government’s Lawful Access proposals, which include internet service provider wiretapping legislation reforms.

EFC is not formally affiliated with the San Francisco, California-based Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), though the two share many of the same goals. While Electronic Frontier Canada focuses on issues as they relate to Canadians, EFF addresses American concerns.

Big brother

Everywhere big brother is watching

Electronic Frontier Canada became incorporated under the Canada Corporations Act as a non-profit corporation, recorded January 18, 1995. EFC has been largely inactive since 2004, and has been effectively replaced by Online Right Canada.

Digital Copyright Canada Forum

In 2001, Russell McOrmond started the Digital Copyright Canada forum to allow for public response to Canada’s copyright revision processes. Though Digital Copyright Canada (DCC) focuses primarily on digital copyrights, it also addresses other related issues such as patents, trademarks (PCT), non-digital copyrights, and other sui generis protections.

Many participants in DCC are advocates of commons-based peer production methodologies that have come into practice since the start of the Information Age. These include FLOSS (Free/Libre and Open Source Software), Creative Commons, and other related practices and organizations.

Participation in Digital Copyright Canada by both creators and users of these technologies is encouraged. Instead of copyright infringement, many creators feel that the greatest threat to their rights is, in fact, excessive control by past creators. This level of control is thought to stifle creativity that builds upon the past, as almost all digital innovation does in modern society.

DCC hosts countless discussion forums and maintains an active online presence through blogs and other means. DCC is also responsible for two important petitions relating to digital copyrights: The Petition for Users Rights and the Petition to Protect Information Technology Property Rights.

In 2005, members of the Digital Copyright Canada forum and members of Canada’s House of Commons met to discuss digital copyright and related issues. DCC hoped to convince these elected officials to take their concerns into consideration with regard to proposed bills such as the publicly-opposed Bill C-60, which sought to amend the Canadian Copyright Act.

 

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