Archive for Law & Politics

Michael Geist – Copyright Bill’s Fine Print Makes For a Disturbing Read

Michael Geist – Copyright Bill’s Fine Print Makes For a Disturbing Read

Yesterday Industry Minister Jim Prentice and Canadian Heritage Minister Josee Verner delivered what amounts to a stinging rebuke to the Supreme Court’s copyright vision of public interest and balance. After months of internal discussions (though precious little public consultation), the government unveiled its much-anticipated copyright reform bill. Casting aside the concerns of major business, education, and consumer groups, the bill seeks to dramatically tilt Canadian law toward greater enforcement and restrictions on the use of digital content, leading Liberal Industry critic Scott Brison to warn that it could result in a “police state.”

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Shorter POGGE: Bob Rae has no clue.

Peace, order and good government, eh?: WTF?

“Its incomprehensible to me that a document would establish an equivalency between the United States and Iran on the subject of the treatment of prisoners,” said Rae.

See, it is the violently stupid mind in his little head, as exemplified by such a foolish outburst, that led Rae to tarnish the good name of the NDP when he pretended to rule Ontario in the 90’s. See, Bob, the document established an equivalency between the United States and Iran on the subject of the treatment of prisoners only in-so-far as they both fucking torture people, Bob. Which they both do, Bob. Admittedly the Iranians wait before torturing you and raping you to death until you are in their country and our American friends have the courtesy of offering their services on a world-wide basis.

Liberals my ass.

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Impolitical: The embarrassment goes international

Impolitical: The embarrassment goes international

Politicians and academics on Wednesday criticized the late night firing by the Conservative government of the head of Canada’s nuclear regulatory agency as a political attack on independent agencies.

OK, when a US newspaper expends any effort to report on a Canadian issue and actually sees through Bushlite’s spin, then you gots problems.

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Peace, order and good government, eh?: There’s offensive and then there’s really offensive

Peace, order and good government, eh?: There’s offensive and then there’s really offensive

When asked about the list, U.S. Ambassador David Wilkins was indignant. “We ought to be removed … I just think it’s absurd … and quite offensive.”

Awww, pumpkin.

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Tomgram: How Bush Took Us to the Dark Side

Land of the free.

Tomgram: How Bush Took Us to the Dark Side

“After 19 months of imprisonment and torment at the hands of the CIA, the agency released him [in Yemen] with no explanation, just as he had been imprisoned in the first place. He faced no terrorism charges. He was given no lawyer. He saw no judge. He was simply released, his life shattered.”

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Canada’s obligations to the WIPO treaty.

We have not ratified that treaty and therefore have no obligations.

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Letter to the Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister.

Subject: Canadian Copyright Bill AKA CDMCA

Dear Minister Prentice

It is believed that on Tuesday, the 11th of December 2007 you are expected to introduce new copyright legislation without public consultation. I would like to inform you of my sadness that you are letting a great opportunity to lead the Canadian people fall by the wayside. In my work as a scientific researcher I am intimately associated with the use and creation of copyrighted works and patented ideas so I consider myself to be both knowledgeable in the area and directly affected on a daily basis by any new law. The obfuscated process used to create our new copyright law is of great concern to me. It is also a disservice to your stature as a senior politician, to the people of the Calgary riding whom you represent, to Canadians at large, and to Canadian industry – cultural, technical, or otherwise. The anticipated contents of the bill lead me to believe that the benefits of international copyright cartels were considered to the exclusion of many Canadian copyright content generators and Canadian copyright users.

If, as the public suspects, you are intending to introduce, among other things, a Canadian version of the DMCA, you would do well to consider the fate of the original American DMCA: Bruce Lehman, it’s architect, has stated publicly that the results of that have not been those that the crafters of the legislation wished. In addition, 2 of the 4 major international music labels are beginning to abandon the DRM technologies that the DMCA was created to protect.

Does Canada really want to follow in failed footsteps or do we want to follow the lead as described in recent Canadian Supreme Court rulings that speaks to the necessity of balance in any copyright policy? Does Canada really want to create a law designed to aid local talent where this talent has explicitly and vociferously rejected such aid?

Prime Minister Harper in his recent throne speech included copyright reform as being one of the priorities of the Canadian government in the coming year but no public consultation has been carried out on digital technology – the area most likely to be addressed by new legislation – for more than 5 years.

Ordinary Canadians such as myself have many issues that we would like addressed in such legislation. I wonder if fair-use, time-shifting, device-shifting, personal and public archiving, free and open educational use, unhindered academic research, notice-and-notice safe harbour provisions, parody, satire, criticism and library access will be addressed with the care, fairness, and balance that they deserve.

You stated on the 6th of December that you would hold consultation and review of the law after it has passed. How can this be logical or sensible? Given the speed with which mature consideration of such complex issues is undertaken we cannot expect any revisions or changes to the law for many years. Canada and Canadians deserve forethought from their government – this new law puts that at risk.

I would therefore hope that you would respond to the recent outcry over this bill by referring it to a committee where its content and merits will be debated in an open and transparent process so as to benefit all Canadians.


Christopher Beck

Senior Bioinformatician

Genome Quebec and Montreal Heart Institute Pharmacogenomics Centre


CC: The Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Josee Verner, James Rajotte, Thierry St-Cyr

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Copyright might follow U.S. model

Strangely, given their history, the National Post has a somewhat balanced article on the inclusion of copyright in the throne speech. It includes this gem from CRIA president Graham Henderson: “We’re concerned about hackers, the people who attack the business models,” said Mr. Henderson.

I wonder if anyone is going to pick up on that. CRIA wants a law put in place to protect their business model. Sigh. Techdirt has more reading on the whole Felony-Interfernce-Of-A-Business-Model is a not a real crime meme.

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Michael Geist – Here Comes the DMCA

Michael Geist – Here Comes the DMCA

No words of balance, no words of access – simply more protection led by copyright legislation. This suggests – consistent with most speculation – that a DMCA-style bill could be coming to Canada within a matter of weeks.

Can anyone think of any way to let the people in Heritage Canada know that they are wrong about how they are interpreting our WIPO obligations? And that kowtowing to American media interests is contrary to Canadian media interests and this explains why many Canadian artists and labels have disassociated themselves from the CRIA? And that the current system that we have that is showing world record growth in digital media purchases is not symptomatic of a market that needs changing? I had no idea that the MPs on the committee and civil servants in the department were such corporate shills. UN-fricking-believable that they and the privy council have the balls to ruin Canada this way.

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While you weren’t looking, someone was breaking sanctions

It seems that the US government doesn’t learn. The Iran-Contra affair has been repeated. They allowed North Korea to sell arms to Ethiopia breaking an embargo that they themselves helped set up. So clearly, not only do they have no respect for other peoples laws, and no repsect for the constitution, they don’t even care about their own laws and agreements.

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