Digital Copyright Canada
Digital Copyright Canada
I don't yet know Mr. Stewart, but it would be interesting to have someone with a background in both public policy and music involved in future Copyright debates. He may be able to move away from the pure emotional demands towards an evidence-based public policy goal. There is often a disconnect in Copyright between problems that are identified and proposed solutions which often make the problem worse (TPMs, misapplied compulsory licenses, "stronger" rather than better copyright).
Saying this was an interesting election to watch would be an understatement. The Conservatives received the majority they asked for with 167(54.2%) seats, but that wasn’t the biggest story for me last night. The NDP is now the official opposition with 102 seats, the Liberals are down to 34 seats, the Bloc may fade out of existence having barely kept 4 seats, and Green party leader Elizabeth May won her seat. It is clear that change was in the air, and change we received.
Now we will move to the hard part of governing. The Conservatives have some Progressive Conservative types who may be willing to aggressively ensure that Mr. Harper governs close to the center.
The NDP have a large, but very young and new caucus. Their learning curve is going to be massive, and there will be some bumps along the way which they will need to be very careful about.
The Liberals now need to take the time to figure out where they go from here, as will the Bloc who I hope will decide that the days of having a separatist party within the federal parliament are now over.
If you haven't already voted, please vote. If you voted in advanced polls, take the time to convince family, friends, co-workers or anyone else you come into contact with to vote. If you drive, offer to give people rides.
If you have thoughts on the election, please post in the comments.
This is turning out to be a more exciting election than it seemed heading into it. While a Conservative majority or minority still seems most likely, who would have guessed that an NDP minority government or NDP official opposition was on the table? Who would have predicted the collapse of the Bloc support in Quebec?
While the mangling of voter intention caused by our antiquated First Past the Post electoral system makes it hard to predict outcomes, I'm pretty confident about some districts. There are a number of specific districts I will be watching closely election night, with most (but not all) based on my interest in technology law.
I received some phone calls from the Liberal party the last few days, asking that I spread the word in support of their party. I have voted for their candidate in Ottawa South the past few elections, and already did so in the advanced polls on Friday. I have said before that I vote for the candidate despite the party, not because of it. I’m not a fan of any of the parties who have seats in the house of Commons.
I'm really liking this Vote Mob thing, and hope it will increase voter turnout. I also hope we all check these videos out before someone sends a take-down (This is Canuckistan, and we don't have a living Fair Use regime).
The National Post had an interesting article today on the election and Elections Canada's increasingly futile attempt to try to keep a lid on election results across time zones.
It quotes Dan Zen, professor of interactive multimedia at Sheridan Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning who said "There must be lots of options but I know one option that isn’t going to work is trying to enforce secrecy over Twitter and Facebook. That’s just not going to work, so expectation needs to change."
The fake iPod Tax issue being brought up by the Conservatives isn't the only way that Copyright is showing up in the campaign. Seems that yet another one of their campaign advertisements infringes copyright.
So, as we go after the so-called "wealth destroyers" the Conservatives liked to claim that C-32 targeted, does that include the Conservative Party itself?
This is not a uniquely Conservative issue, as Michael Geist has asked whether Liberal MP Dan McTeague is a repeat Copyright infringer?
The common thread is that some politicians and parties are pushing for copyright to be treated as if it were a "law and order" issue needing immediate attention to stop scofflaws. These same persons seem to often find themselves on the wrong side of these same laws.
I have mapped the "core values" of Telecommunities Canada to statements on the digital economy included in Party Platforms. See:
The Conservative Party has launched an embarrassingly inaccurate campaign website focused on the private copying regime at ipodtax.ca. The reality is quite different given the Conservatives tabled legislation that would have increased the existing levy (which the campaign calls a "tax"). It is the Liberals proposing getting rid of the levy.
While it is true the Conservatives weren't proposing an expansion of the levy to devices, it is inaccurate to suggest they are greater opponents of the music levy than the Liberals.
I'm not sure why the Conservatives continue to highlight a policy area where their primary political opponents -- the Liberals -- have offered a better alternative. I'm not a partisan supporter of either of these parties as anyone reading this blog would know, but it bothers me when such misinformation is abused in a political campaign.
See also: Is the private copying levy a tax?
Re: "The Digital Canada of Tomorrow." Liberal Party's platform, April 3, 2001, pages 18-19.
[Originally written for posting to a Telecommunities Canada (TC) discussion list]
I’ve seen some reminders in the media these days about emotional elections not being the time for rational discussion of “policy.” So I do concede that advancing a detailed analysis of danger zones in the Liberals’ plan for Canada’s digital future is, for the moment, hopeless. But, maybe for later on, when we all go back to the hard work of governing?
The Liberals’ “Digital Canada of Tomorrow” is more like the Digital Canada of Yesterday, a backward glance in its framing of issues that’s startlingly [conservative?]!
I live in the electoral district of Ottawa South. While people have asked me during the election which party to vote for that would best protect their rights in relation to technology law, I don't offer them the answer they want. I say to get involved in the local district, and find out which person or person(s) will best represent them. Having sat down with many MPs over the years, I truly believe it comes down to the individuals and not the parties.
In response to a tweet from me asking for comments about C-32 to add to the Kitchener - Waterloo district section of this site, incumbent Conservative candidate Peter Braid wrote:
A very strong Bill supporting innovation and IP that has died because of the Opposition Coalition's naked ambition #elxn41
Of the 12 members of the C-32 committee, only one of them was from the NDP (based on the percentage of NDP seats in the house). While Mr. John Rafferty (Thunder Bay—Rainy River, NDP) stood in for Mr. Charlie Angus (Timmins—James Bay, NDP) for part of one of the days, it was otherwise Mr. Angus at all meetings. He is the Heritage, Culture, and digital issues critic for the NDP.
As the general election starts, I want to remind people of some advise I gave during the 2008 election. I was often asked which political party I thought was best on technology law issues. My answer always was: It’s the candidates, not the parties.
My belief in this is even stronger now that I have spent approximately 4 hours a week for the past few months with the group of MPs who made up the legislative committee for Bill C-32.
As this parliament closes, I'm feeling far more nostalgic than with other parliaments. It might be because I've been going into committee twice a week for a few months, and watching a small subset of MPs interact with each other.
Below is a list of the dates of past parliaments, and the dates of election. The date of the election for the 41'st parliament is May 2, 2011.