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October 26, 2011

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Ending the Long-gun Registry #C19, Beginning the computer lockdown #C11

The House of Commons will begin debate on Bill C-19 (Ending the Long-gun Registry Act) later today.

When I spoke in front of the Bill C-32 committee, after discussing how the "technical measures" aspect of the bill will protect non-owner locks on computers, I ended with the following observation:

For no other type of property would this be considered. We would never legally protect non-owner locks to all guns in a country where many are uncomfortable with the mere registration of long guns. We would never legally protect non-owner locks on our homes, alleging it was necessary to protect the insurance industry from fraud. We would never legally protect non-owner locks on our cars, allegedly to ensure that automobiles could never be used as a getaway vehicle.

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April 16, 2011

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Thoughts on C-32 committee members from the Conservative Party of Canada.

Of the 12 members of the C-32 committee, six of them were from the Conservative party of Canada. This included chair Gordon Brown (Leeds—Grenville, ON). Three members were there for almost all meetings: Mike Lake (Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont, AB), Dean Del Mastro (Peterborough, ON), and Peter Braid (Kitchener—Waterloo, ON). While the other members included Sylvie Boucher ( Beauport—Limoilou, QC) and Kelly Block (Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, Sask) when the committee was formed, they were substituted with other Conservative members including Ed Fast (Abbotsford, BC) who became very active, Hon. Maxime Bernier (Beauce, QC) who became acting chair at one point, as well as Brent Rathgeber (Edmonton—St. Albert, AB), Daryl Kramp (Prince Edward—Hastings, ON), Hon. Michael D. Chong (Wellington—Halton Hills, ON), Leon Benoit (Vegreville—Wainwright, AB), Mike Wallace (Burlington, ON) and Paul Calandra (Oak Ridges—Markham, ON).

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April 15, 2011

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Copyright in the campaign

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.

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April 13, 2011

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Embarrassingly inaccurate campaign website

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?

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April 3, 2011

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Discussing campaign finance and TV debate reform

A Winnipeg Free Press article discusses the race in Saanich--Gulf Islands. Candidates in this district include incumbent Hon. Gary Lunn who was previously Minister of Natural Resources, and leader of the Green Party Elizabeth May.

Although May is an opponent of nuclear power, Linda Keen said the Green leader's fair-minded approach makes her a preferable alternative to Gary Lunn, Keen's former boss and May's Conservative opponent in the Vancouver Island riding of Saanich-Gulf Island

While unrelated to technology law or nuclear power, I want to discuss and get feedback from this community on a few questions: Should Ms. May should be included in the television debates? What criteria we should use? What are your thoughts on campaign finance reform?

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March 23, 2011

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Technology issues in Budget 2011?

I haven't read Budget 2011, and would like to hear in comments what people think.

I read on Twitter a few times about a mention of Copyright legislation under "Recent Federal Initiatives in Support of Canada’s Digital Economy" where they said, " Modernizing policies to build confidence in e-commerce through the passage of new anti-spam legislation and tabling privacy and copyright legislation" (Page 142 of the paper/PDF version)

While most of the technology community will agree about the benefits from the passed anti-spam legislation, the claims about Bill C-32 will seem absurd for those of us on this side of the technology law debate. As I indicated in my intervention, "legal protection for access controls in copyright law can be abused to circumvent the traditional contours of contract, e-commerce, privacy, trade, and consumer protection and property law".

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March 3, 2010

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Throne speech threatens to throw water at the drowning

From the Throne Speech delivered earlier today:

To encourage new ideas and protect the rights of Canadians whose research, development and artistic creativity contribute to Canada’s prosperity, our Government will also strengthen laws governing intellectual property and copyright.

This speech takes as an assumption the very thing politically debated and inadequately studied, which is the link between "stronger" Patent/Copyright law (stronger meaning tilted in favor of incumbent copyright holders) and the encouragement of new ideas, research, development and artistic creativity. The reality is that PCT is to creativity and innovation like water is to humans: too little and you dehydrate and die, too much and you drown and die. We are already drowning and the government has threatened in the throne speech to throw more water at us.

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January 25, 2010

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Conservatives to play procedural games with property rights.

According to an article in the Hill Times by Harris Macleod, the Conservative government intends to reintroduce Bill C-6, on consumer product safety, in its original form. Bill C-6 was supported by the opposition parties in a form that eroded property rights and gave too much power to bureaucrats without judicial oversight. This was amended by the Senate to make less bad, but these amendments would be wiped out by the ongoing procedural games from the Conservatives. (See earlier article)

Government House Leader Jay Hill (Prince George-Peace River, B.C.) said of this bill and Bill C-15, "On those two in particular I would be seeking unanimity to proceed with them at an accelerated rate".

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October 1, 2009

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Automobile property rights won't be protected by "Conservatives"

A Globe and Mail article discusses how federal Industry Minister Tony Clement has claimed that a temporary non-binding deal granting Canada's independent garages access to the proprietary software and tools to fix newer-model cars is sufficient to protect the right to repair. He is claiming that that Private Members bill C-273, the Right to Repair bill, is no longer necessary, suggesting that "intellectual property rights" need to be balanced against the rights of automobile owners. Sorry, but unless the automobile owner is manufacturing and distributing new automobiles, there are no legitimate "intellectual property rights" at question.

For a party that alleges to hold protecting property rights as a founding principle, they don't seem to be interested in protecting this right.

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December 4, 2008

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Effect of political turmoil on copyright?

I have been asked a few times what the impact on copyright is of the current political turmoil. The general feeling is that even before the current situation, the economic crisis would already have pushed issues like copyright to the back burner of any party. It has been stated by much better political observers than I am that, even while mentioned in the recent throne speech and in the Conservative party platform, that copyright won't show up any time soon.

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October 8, 2008

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Technology law suggests that conservatives shouldn’t vote Conservative

The Conservative party has released their platform. Various online forums are filled with people who might otherwise vote Conservative, but that are not doing so based on technology law which was tabled in the last parliament and promised to be re-introduced by a re-elected Conservative Government. What I find interesting is that more conservatives are starting to recognize that with this policy the Conservative party is either abandoning some of their founding principles, or admitting that they don't understand a bill they have tabled.

Read the rest of this entry on IT World Canada »

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October 7, 2008

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Conservatives Promise to Re-Introduce Canadian DMCA

Michael Geist was the first to write that the Conservative Party has released its platform and it devotes a half-page to copyright that leaves little doubt that it plans to bring back Bill C-61 and continue to support ACTA.

See also: CBC, ZDNet

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September 23, 2008

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» The Internet Is Exploding ... With Anti-Harper Sentiment

It is interesting to see an article from the Department of Culture, a spoof hosted by artists opposed to various cuts to arts funding, talking about the various artist groups that disagree with the Conservative party on cultural policy.

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September 22, 2008

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Danny Williams launched ABC Website

While I personally disagree with the "anyone but" way of voting, I find the AnythingButConservative.ca website to be interesting as it was launched on September 15 by Danny Williams, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador and Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Newfoundland and Labrador.

I know that I'm the first to remind anyone I'm speaking to that the Progressive Conservative party is different than the current Conservative party with PC organizers and supporters splintering between leaving politics, joining the Liberals, joining the Greens (where they get their recent strength) and joining (not merging with) the Conservatives. That said, I'm surprised to see such a vocal opposition to the Conservatives from a Progressive Conservative.

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August 27, 2008

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» PM cancels Jean's Beijing trip, fuelling election hype

A CBC News article reports that Prime Minister Stephen Harper has asked Gov. Gen. Michaëlle Jean not to attend the Paralympic Games in Beijing, in a move further suggesting he may trigger a federal election.

August 15, 2008

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Tories to axe five more arts and culture programs

An article by James Bradshaw from Friday's Globe and Mail talks about additional cuts to arts programs.

I have to wonder if the Conservatives have been hearing complaints from the creator community about their anti-creator copyright revisions, and decided to give up on this important constituency entirely?

July 26, 2008

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Bill C-61 letter from Pierre Poilievre (Nepean Carleton)

After meeting with Pierre Poilievre, M.P. for Nepean Carleton, a constituent received this very familiar looking letter. If other people have received similar letters, I am curious to hear your stories.


Dear <constituent name>

Thank you for your correspondence on this important issue. Your thoughts and ideas are important to me. I apologize for my delayed response.

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July 15, 2008

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Burnaby-Douglas MP Bill Siksay on Bill C-61

Burnaby-Douglas Link is a monthly publication produced by Hon. MP Bill Siksay's office and is sent to every household in the Burnaby-Douglas riding. On the front cover of Burnaby-Douglas Link's July 2008 issue (png image), MP Siksay discusses in length the negative impacts that Bill C-61 will bring upon Canadians and describes his position on the said bill. The following is a text copy.

Dear Friends,

As I write, Parliament has just recessed for the summer.

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June 11, 2008

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» 51'st State: It's US vs U.S. in the battle for Canadian Sovereignty

Gordon Duggan at Appropriation Art has published a comic (PDF) about Canadian Copyright revision. It is a classic battle of good vs. evil of comic proportions where the "Evil Emissaries of American Interests try to suppress the Fantastic Freedom of Expression Fighters".

The cast of characters is somehow familiar.

Evil Emissaries (Or just misinformed?): Harper, Bush, Prentice, Henderson, McTeague, Wilkins, Feinstein / Cronyn, Schwarzenegger, Glickman, Frith, Oda

Fantastic Freedom Fighters: Angus, Doctorow, Geist, Knopf, Murray, Page, McOrmond

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June 10, 2008

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Did you get any useful replies on Copyright from a Conservative MP?

I recently forwarded a message about Hamilton home-town hero Bob Young speaking out on Copyright to the Hamilton area MPs. I sent 4 letters, and received 1 reply from the 3 NDP MPs suggesting they had forwarded the letter to Charlie Angus, the NDP Spokesperson on Digital Issues.

From a staffer in Conservative MP David Sweet's office I received the common message that he can't comment on a bill that hasn't been tabled yet.

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