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June 21, 2012

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Bill C-11 in the Senate: what would I say to them?

Bill C-11 started debate at second reading in the Senate on June 20'th, with debate resuming on the 21'st.

While it is unlikely that I will have a chance to speak in front of the Senate committee studying Bill C-11, the following is what I would have liked to say.

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May 4, 2012

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» International Day Against DRM — May 4, 2012

It is fitting that the GOSLING 10-year anniversary coincides with the International Day Against DRM — May 4, 2012. My focus in GOSLING has been how the government regulates software, including how the government protects or rejects software choice. DRM (Digital "Rights" Management, Digital Restrictions Management, Dishonest Relationship Misinformation) easily represents the greatest threat to the rights of technology owners, including the right of technology owners to make their own software choices.

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February 18, 2012

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Bill C-11 focus must be on our rights as technology owners, not creators or users of copyrighted works.

Our community hosts a few petitions to the federal parliament. Our first was the Petition for Users' Rights which we launched in 2004 during a Liberal government, and the second was the Petition to protect Information Technology property rights which was launched in 2006 soon after the Conservative government formed. At the time I thought protecting property rights was a non-brainer for a Conservative government, but it turns out that I was wrong. If we don't focus on our rights and interests as technology owners, this Conservative government will blindly trample our rights without even acknowledging us as legitimate stakeholders.

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February 13, 2012

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Eastern and Western censorship: which is worse?

No visit of the Canadian Prime Minister to China would be complete without western media commenting on China's censorship policy. Western governments also engage in censorship, and are willing to go to extreme lengths to enforce that censorship. Some of that censorship has been called for by the corporations who own the western mainstream media that has been critiquing China.

"He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her."

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February 11, 2012

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Protecting the property, privacy and other rights of owners: Bill C-19 and Bill C-11

Given all the discussion about how the debate on Bill C-19 ended (Examples: Sheila Dabu Nonato for Postmedia News, Kady O'Malley for CBC) I decided to send Mr Larry Miller (MP for Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound) an email.

I will let fellow technology owners know if I get a reply.

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February 8, 2012

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Canada should not ratify ACTA

I have drafted a new submission to Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada for their ongoing consultation (skip to bottom) on the deceptively named Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). I haven't yet sent it in to the department, but want to generate discussion.

It is available anonymously as a Google Doc as well as a PDF from my webserver.

If you are looking for SOPA/PIPA or C-11 comparisons, please note that ACTA contains beyond-WIPO protection for TPMs and thus includes the harmful effects I discussed in my comparison between Bill C-11 and SOPA/PIPA?.

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January 30, 2012

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Hill Times letter: Copyright infringement is not theft, says McOrmond

"Reprinted with permission from The Hill Times, Jan. 30, 2012."

Re: “Digital piracy is theft, Canadian jobs stolen,” (The Hill Times, Jan. 23, p. 11).

People who wish their rights to be respected should not advocate infringing other peoples rights as a solution.

Copyright infringement is not theft. Copyright is a temporary government granted monopoly. While it is true this monopoly can be bought and sold, making it a type of property, infringement doesn’t change possession of what was owned. The closest analogy between copyright infringement and laws relating to tangible property is trespass.

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January 28, 2012

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» After the SOPA protests, what is our message to returning Canadian politicians?

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.

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November 30, 2011

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Protecting IT property rights not a short-term calling

I've been asked over the last decade how my activism will change once Canadian legislation that includes Paracopyright passes. Will my activism be finished, and will I admit "defeat" if a bill abrogates the government's responsibility to protect IT property rights?

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November 29, 2011

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» TPM provisions should be closely tied to copyright law as suggested in 1996 WIPO treaties

[The following article was first published in the Nov 21, 2001 issue of the Hill Times on page 13]

OTTAWA -- While Bill C-11 has the title of "An Act to amend the Copyright Act," it includes provisions that will impact our usage of modern technology far beyond activities related to copyright. This bill includes policy which fits within traditional copyright law, and parts that are often called Paracopyright which offer legal protection to specific uses of technology. While the copyright parts of the bill are important, it’s the implication of the Paracopyright provisions that are cause for alarm.

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October 7, 2011

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Will you explain why DRM is bad?

I was asked on twitter to explain why DRM is bad. Given I have spent more than a decade talking about this topic, you would think there is a simple twitter-length answer: but there isn't.

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September 28, 2011

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Will governments protect all property rights from all threats?

While the federal Copyright bill is on the order paper and likely to be tabled Thursday, it is not the only issue currently under discussion where people are concerned about IT property rights. Many people have expressed concern with how newer machines shipped with Microsoft Windows may be unable to boot alternative operating systems. Given the confusion over how the property rights of computer hardware owners are adversely impacted by so-called “Copyright” legislation, discussing this related issue may help clarify.

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July 14, 2011

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» WIPO Conference Reflects Contrasting Views on Climate Change, Innovation, IP

While the issue that brought me into the copyright debate was IT property rights and into the patent debate was software patents, there are many other ways that PCT's impact other areas of policy I am concerned with.

The International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development has posted an article summarising some of the recent debates at WIPO around PTC and climate change. Some of these discussions are going to mirror the Development Agenda debates in ways that tie together economic development, climate change and government granted monopolies with other geopolitical conflicts.

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June 8, 2011

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Who is the Candice Hoeppner for information technology owners?

I have sent a form letter to all Conservative MPs, and a derived letter to all NDP MP's asking the above question.

Thus far I haven't heard anything from Conservative MPs other than some acknowledging receipt.

I have received better response from the Official Opposition NDP. Jack Layton's staffer let me know that "MP Charlie Angus will continue on in his role as critic for digital issues". A few moments ago I received a voice call from Peter Stoffer himself to let me know to contact Charlie. Another MP staffer is looking into setting up an in-person meeting with a newly elected MP.

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January 1, 2011

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» 'Tis the season... to sign better petitions

Mike De Souza blogged about a petition from Bloc Québécois heritage critic Carole Lavallée. While I haven't seen the exact text of the petition, I can speculate that it is against the compromise position on fair dealings (between those like myself who wanted US Fair Use style and those who are opposed to any limitations or exceptions in Copyright), and in favour of an expansion of the failed private copying regime.

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December 3, 2010

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» IT property rights and the Xbox-Modding case

According to a Wired Magazine article by David Kravets, federal prosecutors have dropped their prosecution of the first case involving the DMCA and Xbox-modding on Thursday, “based on fairness and justice.” This is not to say that the US courts considered what was done to be legal, but that the methods used to investigate were inappropriate.

This case offers me an opportunity to discuss my own history and feelings on the matter.

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October 3, 2010

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Tabling petitions: Copyright Act

MP Charlie Angus tabled another batch of petitions relating to the Copyright Act.

Mr. Charlie Angus (Timmins—James Bay, NDP):

Madam Speaker, I have a petition signed by people from across Canada, from Montreal, Calgary, Ottawa and Waterloo, calling on parliamentarians to maintain the balance in the upcoming Copyright Act, the balance between the rights of creators and the general public, the people who are using the cultural products. Specifically, they are concerned about the use of technological protection measures, software that overrides the rights that Parliament will give to citizens to ensure there is a full balance in copyright and to ensure that when we have the Copyright Act come before us that it is done with full consultation and involvement of the general Canadian public.

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September 27, 2010

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Tabling petitions: Copyright Act

Mr Angus tabled two groups of petition signatures on September 23'rd.

Mr. Charlie Angus (Timmins—James Bay, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, I am rising today to present two petitions, both of which have to do with the issues of anti-circumvention measures and technological protection measures that are applied to copyrighted works, and the concern of how the implementation of those by corporate entities would interfere with format shifting, particularly for librarians, in the use of works that citizens have paid for, to ensure that when anti-circumvention measures are applied to works, they do not unfairly impede the rights of consumers and creators.

I would like to present these two petitions from people across Ontario who are concerned with the update of the Copyright Act and the need to find a balance among the rights of creators, the rights of educators, the rights of students, and the rights of consumers.

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June 8, 2010

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Separating Science from Science Fiction on the Business News Network

Last week I had the opportunity to discuss the new copyright bill on the BNN show Squeezeplay. The other guest was Canadian singer-songwriter Dan Hill, and the hosts were Andrea Mandel-Campbell and Rudyard Griffiths.

It became obvious during the interview that the hosts had the misconception that they had a creator and a consumer, or even a creator and someone who wanted to infringe copyright. At one point Mr. Griffiths even asked me if I were supportive of the rule of law, which threw me for a loop as I hadn't expected that type of bias. What they actually had was two creators with a different level of technical knowledge, and thus a different understanding of the impact on creators of the policy we were being presented in the bill.

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May 17, 2010

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Counting petitions: WSIC petition.

I am in the process of organising an MP to table the petition signatures I have collected so far. While counting I noticed a custom petition that I didn't realise I had signatures for.

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