I had another blog post in mind for today, but after reading this article in today’s Toronto Star, I was reminded of a more pressing issue. Bill C-11 — the copyright one. If you haven’t seen the article yet, please read it. It does a good job of outlining the concerns around the bill.
I shared an open letter to my MP, Jim Flaherty, here on my blog once before. Here is the email that I sent to him today.
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Dear Mr. Flaherty,
Have you had the chance to read today’s Toronto Star yet? I was happy to see the piece on copyright reform. The link is below, in case you need it.
As a children’s writer who lives in your riding, and has written to you on this matter before, I’d like to urge you again not to pass this bill in its current form. The wording under “fair use” is too general. It is a threat to my livelihood and to that of other writers whose work is used in schools and available in libraries.
Teachers must have access to the resources they need. I’ve been a teacher; I do understand this. My daughter attends a local school (third grade), and I want her to have a wide variety of reading options there, in the library and in the classroom. I want her teacher to have access to top-quality, up-to-date source material and lesson plans so that she can concentrate on teaching the students.
Bill C-11 is not the way to accomplish those ends.
The bill in its current form will curtail the creation of new material for use in schools and classrooms. It will make the already-challenging task of making a living as a writer or artist nearly impossible. And it will cause Canadian children’s literature, something of which our country can truly be proud, to stagnate.
Please think long-term when you vote on this bill, Mr. Flaherty. And please make recommendations that will allow fair dealing to live up to its name.
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If you are Canadian, whatever your point of view, please consider writing to your MP to voice your opinion on Bill C-11. I think the worst thing that could happen here is for the bill to pass unexamined. It’s worth thinking about, and it’s worth talking about. Copyright isn’t a simple issue. Take the time to let your voice be heard.