The protests in the USA over SOPA seem to have got the attention of the US politicians. While I don't think the war against these harmful job-killing legislative proposals are over, it is good to see a few won battles. Canadians federal MPs are returning to the House of Commons on January 30'th, and it is expected that Bill C-11 will go to committee soon. We need to ensure that Canadian MPs don't remain oblivious to the harm contained in these proposals, including the harm to Canadian creators. While there are various avenues to voice our opposition, petition signing may be the most effective for the time spent.
According to Google's archive of gnu.misc.discuss, 1992 was the year I became active in the Free Software movement. While the earliest posting I can find appears to be a naive copyright question about the public domain, other messages from the first few months of 1992 suggest I was already engaged in some of the discussions. With the new year approaching, I wanted to offer some thoughts on one of the conversations that has been constant the last 20 years. I then invite you to offer your own thoughts in CLUE's discuss@ mailing list.
I received a reply from Heritage Minister James Moore dated December 2, 2011. I'm not certain which letter it was in reply to, but it could have been my Who is the Candice Hoeppner for information technology owners? letter I sent to all Conservative MP's back in May/June.
While I am posting the full text of his reply, I wanted to offer a quick response explaining why I think he is wrong on the impacts of the "technological protection measures" aspects of Bill C-11. (See: earlier article for a description of real-world technologies being discussed)
Nestor E. Arellano included an interview with me as policy coordinator for CLUE in his coverage of the patent case between Toronto's i4i and Microsoft.
“It would be very easy for me to wave the open source banner and yell ‘down with Microsoft’ or wrap myself in the Canadian flag and cheer 'yeah for i4i.' But it’s far better to support what’s right than be concerned with who or the brands that are involved,”
If you are itching to discuss technology issues as part of the 2011 federal election, please head over to the Digital Copyright Canada site, hosted by CLUE's policy coordinator. There are per-electoral district blogs where you may find out something interesting happening in your area. Please sign up and have your say!
For New Years eve I thought I would be useful to visit our Copyright-related Policy summary in the context of events in 2010. After a summary I will offer some suggestions of what people should do in the coming year to protect our rights and interests.
The Conservative government tabled a copyright Bill C-32 on June 2 which was debated and then passed at second reading on November 5'th. It was sent to a special legislative committee that held 8 meetings before parliament was adjourned until Monday, January 31, 2011. Being passed at second reading doesn't make it law, and there are many more stages for this bill to follow.
I would like to clarify quotes in two recent CBC articles by Peter Nowak: Copyright bill may spark battle over who owns what and Apple iPad hits Canada amid controversy.
In each it is suggested that I believe that the iPad should be illegal. What I said should be illegal is the application of non-owner locks to technology. I am not concerned with Apples technology, only radical changes to the law that legalize and/or legally protect a form of theft.
By now most Canadians know that Barenaked Ladies lead singer Steven Page has been arrested in New York in relation to alleged cocaine possession.
An interesting observation on news reports about Page's arrest suggest not only a massive smear campaign going on in the media (for instance, he never admitted to using the coke as some reports have asserted), but potentially a nasty motive behind the smear.
Does anyone here know Charlie? Does personal experience here bear out his now-international reputation on the issue? And to what extent is his position backed by his party?
For immediate release: Ottawa, June 16, 2008
Open source group: copyright bill will hurt innovators
Canadian Software Innovation Alliance comes out against Bill C-61
The Canadian Software Innovation Alliance (CSIA), a coalition of Canadian open source businesses and supporters, worries that Bill C-61, 'An Act to Amend the Copyright Act,' introduced by the Conservative government on June 12, threatens the open source business model.
This issue includes (pp 29-33 in the PDF) my article titled "Protecting Information Technology Property rights". This article, and a letter to the editor, also promote The Canadian Software Innovation Alliance, which has launched a new website.
The EMI DRM Announcement - EMI and Apple jointly announced today that EMI will be making virtually its entire music catalog available without DRM. Their plan is to offer a higher priced version without DRM and with higher quality sound. This is obviously an important development - there is lots of DRM-free music available from independent labels, but the addition of the world's third largest music label is a game-changer.
A thank-you to Michael Geist for blogging about a revision of MOPOP.
Thanks to a reader for pointing out the the Canadian Intellectual Property Office is currently reviewing several chapters from its Manual of Patent Office Practice . Chapters subject to review include those covering software patents and biotechnology, matters of interest to the open source and scientific communities. CIPO provides details on submitting comments here.
There is an alphabet soup of acronyms people use when talking about some of the controversies around copyright related issues. While learning the acronyms are hard enough, we also have to deal with the fact that different communities are using the terms in different ways. I have had the opportunity to interact with technical, legal and law making communities and will try to make sense out of a few most often heard acronyms.
Expect to see a lot of Graham Henderson misinformation (lies? Maybe he doesn't understand technology enough to know better) about DRM, and the false claim that there is a need to attack the tangible property rights of Canadians in order to protect the business models of specific copyright holders.
"I've often said, if you've bought it, you're my best friend, knock yourself out," Henderson said of the music his members sell. "You've just bought a valuable piece of property, and you want to be able to use it to the fullest extent you can - without cheating the system."
CLUE presented our copyright policy summary to officials at Heritage Canada on December 1, 2006. The proposals include a support for a living "Fair Use" model, as well as an opposition to laws which protect specific brands of technology rather than protecting creativity.