On December 1, 2007, Professor Michael Geist of the University of Ottawa launched the Fair Copyright for Canada Facebook group with limited expectations. With the federal government expected to introduce new copyright reform within a matter of days, a Facebook group seemed like a good way to educate the public about an important issue. He sent invitations to a hundred or so Facebook friends and seeded the group with links to a few relevant websites.
What happened next was truly remarkable - within hours, the group started to grow - first 50 members, then 100, and then 1000 members. One week later, there were 10,000 members. Two weeks later, there were over 25,000 members with another Canadian joining the group every 30 seconds. One month later, the group had over 35,000 members and had succeeded in gaining the government's attention, as it delayed the introduction of a Canadian DMCA.
Despite the delay, new copyright legislation that includes many DMCA provisions is expected in early 2008. While the national Fair Copyright for Canada Facebook group will continue to grow, educate, and provide a forum for discussion and debate, Canadians concerned with fair copyright must act within their local communities by educating friends, planning local events, and meeting with local Members of Parliament. To that end, local chapters of Fair Copyright for Canada have been formed. A full list of the local chapters is posted on this site. If your community is included, considering getting involved by joining both the national and local group. If your community is not there, please consider starting one by contacting Michael Geist directly.