According to an article on Globe Technology earlier this week, Googling may be about to become illegal in Canada. Bill C-60, which was first read in the House of Commons on June 20th, ammends the Copyright Act and includes a provision to ban the provision of copyrighted information through “information-location tools”. Hmmm – doesn’t that sound like a pretty good definition of a search engine?
Of course, the Bill has received only it’s first reading so there are guaranteed to be plenty of changes before (and if) it’s passed. The concern comes from the way the Bill is worded and the potential interpretation that a search engine is infringing on copyright by archiving copyrighted materials as part of it’s search architecture.
It isn’t in the spririt of the legislation to outlaw search engines, but the debate reinforces the challenges governments face in legislating the Internet.