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March 12, 2012

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Group submissions to C-11 committee : CBA submission in context.

A small group of lawyers have publicly disagreed with the submission to the Bill C-32 committee (the predecessor to the current C-11 committee) from the Canadian Bar Association (CBA), an association of approximately 37,000 members that 26 of them are members of. Given the publicity this group has been able to receive, I think it is interesting to look at group submissions in general.

It is not unusual for a subset of the membership of a group who has submitted to these committees to disagree. In fact, that is the norm. This frustrates many people when these associations go into committee and list their membership numbers as if all the members were in agreement with -- or were even made aware of the policy positions of -- the person sitting as witness in committee.

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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 12, 2011

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

Of the 12 members of the C-32 committee, three of them were from the Liberal party of Canada. The primary three were Pablo Rodriguez (Honoré-Mercier), Marc Garneau (Westmount—Ville-Marie), and Hon. Dan McTeague ( Pickering—Scarborough East). Filling in when one of these three members couldn’t attend was Francis Scarpaleggia (Lac-Saint-Louis), Hon. John McCallum (Markham—Unionville), Scott Simms (Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor) and Yasmin Ratansi (Don Valley East).

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April 2, 2011

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Thoughts on C-32 committee members from the Bloc Québécois

Of the 12 members of the C-32 committee, two of them were from the Bloc Québécois. Carole Lavallée (Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert) and Serge Cardin (Sherbrooke) were there at each meeting, with Guy André (Berthier—Maskinong) being on-hand for one meeting just in case there was a vote (He didn't speak that I am aware of).

I believe the questions directed at me when I had an opportunity to speak before the committee were typical of what I heard other meetings.

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March 26, 2011

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Thoughts on C-32 committee members from the NDP

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.

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» Please talk to candidates, not focus on parties.

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.

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March 24, 2011

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Thoughts on C-32 committee meeting 20. Possibly the last meeting?

The 20'th and possibly the last meeting of the Legislative Committee on Bill C-32 had people from the Council of Ministers of Education in the morning, and representatives from Athabasca University and differently abled persons in the afternoon. The focus was on limitations and exceptions to Copyright.

It was mentioned a few times that this was likely the last meeting of this specific committee, with the election seeming inevitable at this point. In the break between the morning and afternoon sessions a few cameras were taken out by committee members, with pictures taken in a very collegial manner. It wasn't the air of the anger one often sees during an election, but of school mates wishing each other well before heading home for the summer.

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March 23, 2011

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Thoughts on C-32 committee meeting 19

Meeting 19 was at 1 Wellington Street, rather than centre block. Gordon Brown (Leeds—Grenville) was back as chair after having been away due to a death in the family. While sending my condolences to him, I also want to send out a "get well soon" to Dan McTeague (Pickering—Scarborough East) who despite having pneumonia was at the meeting and in the house today (participating as much as he could given the situation).

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March 13, 2011

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Updated: Members of Canada's Federal Parliament I have met

I have updated the page listing the MPs I have met with the members of the C-32 legislative committee that were present on March 8'th when I spoke to the committee.

Around the table it was:

Acting chair: Hon. Maxime Bernier (Chair Gordon Brown was away due to a death in his family)

Liberals: Pablo Rodriguez, Marc Garneau, Hon. Dan McTeague

Bloc: Carole Lavallée, Serge Cardin

NDP: Charlie Angus

Witnesses: David Fewer and I

Conservative: Ed Fast, Peter Braid, Dean Del Mastro, Mike Lake

March 11, 2011

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Thoughts on C-32 committee meeting 18

Today had a mixture of witnesses. In the morning there were 4 people representing CMRRA-SODRAC Inc, a collective representing composers and their publishers when dealing with mechanical reproductions. Marian Hebb is with Artists' Legal Advice Services, and author Margaret Atwood was on teleconference from Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

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March 9, 2011

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Thoughts on C-32 committee meeting 17

Today I was invited to speak along with David Fewer from the Samuelson-Glushko Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC). (Transcripts, audio/video and minutes are all online.)

CIPPIC was established at the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law in the fall of 2003, and has offices in the law building at the University. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the law professors, law students and other staff at both the University of Ottawa Technology law and CIPPIC for all the help they have offered me over the years.

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March 8, 2011

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Presenting at Bill C-32 meeting #17

Along with David Fewer from the Samuelson-Glushko Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC), I will be on a panel this morning in front of the Bill C-32 legislative committee.

I included what I will be saying as my opening remarks was included in the introduction section of my brief to the committee.

March 4, 2011

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Thoughts about C-32 committee meeting 15

Thursday was Radio Broadcaster day, with the morning and afternoon sessions being witnesses from the radio broadcasting industry talking about exceptions relating to temporary reproductions for technological purposes and ephemeral recordings exception (Modifications to sections 30.71-30.9).

I don't have any skin in this specific game. I am not a broadcaster, and don't listen to music on radio. I very occasionally listen to CBC news in the morning, and have some radio shows I listen to as MP3's (audio blogs), but I'm not an audience for the type of broadcaster being discussed.

It is also hard to be seen as sympathetic to broadcasters generally. The way the broadcasters are spinning this, including in their "Local TV...err. Radio matters" attack ads, is disgusting and dishonest.

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March 2, 2011

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Thoughts about C-32 committee meeting 15

Today was a music industry day, with the morning session being representatives of the recording industry ("makers of sound recording"), and the afternoon session being music composers and their publishers.

The story in the morning was very familiar: The sky is falling -- look at how bad it is (spin the wheel of alleged misfortune) -- and something must be done. Bill C-32 is "something", so clearly it will stop the sky from falling. It must be passed, and we should stop talking about it.

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February 17, 2011

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» C-32 committee meeting 14 thoughts

The 14'th meeting of the C-32 special legislative committee saw 2 sets of associations from the film distribution sector in the morning, and then 4 sets of associations involved in the film and television production sector. As with previous meetings there was complaints about how the meetings have been organized, given it isn't fair to have the same 1 hour for 2 fairly similar associations as it is for 4 more different associations.

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February 15, 2011

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» C-32 committee meeting 13 thoughts

Most of the witnesses for the 13'th meeting of the C-32 committee had a compatible policy focus. They were representatives from the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, Canadian Association of University Teachers, Campus Stores Canada, Canadian Association of Research Libraries and Canadian Federation of Students. Each represent creators and users of copyrighted works, and some of what are often called "owners" (non-creator copyright holders). As such they had a relatively balanced view compared to some of the other witnesses.

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February 11, 2011

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» C-32 committee meeting 12 thoughts

There were two very different panels for meeting #12. In the morning was two representatives of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA), and in the afternoon was a panel of writers (English and French) and collective society Copibec, Quebec's equivalent of Access Copyright.

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February 9, 2011

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» C-32 committee meeting 11 thoughts

Each of the committee meetings has something interesting to say about it, and meeting #11 was no different. I would recommend that people read the transcripts later, as I will only highlight a few thoughts from each meeting.

Believe it or not, I'm trying hard to keep these committee meeting comments short :-)

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February 4, 2011

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» C-32 committee meeting 10 thoughts

It was a packed house for the first half of Meeting 10 of the C-32 committee. You had some familiar faces as observers who had been past witnesses such as witnesses such as Jason Kee, and you also had people like David Basskin (CMRRA, who I had a chance to debate back in 2003).

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February 2, 2011

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» C-32 committee meeting 9 thoughts

While this was the first meeting of the C-32 special legislative committee in the new year, there wasn't much new in the discussion from the witnesses. The two sets of witnesses don't really like copyright, and they want to replace copyright with something different. While the first article that was written about my participation in this debate was given the headline “The anti-copyright crusader”, I think this fits in better for these witnesses than it does for me.

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