[kwlug-disc] Your country needs you (or "Our MP is on the C-32 committee") and the Long Census

Russell McOrmond russellmcormond at gmail.com
Sun Nov 21 13:17:15 EST 2010

On 10-11-21 11:48 AM, Darryl O'Neill wrote:
> My point was that in one case the Tories are claiming that they don't
> want to Criminalize innocent Canadians and in the other they are
> perfectly willing to do it.

   This message must be brought loudly and clearly to Peter Braid, and 
the other Conservative members.

   It requires some explanation to clarify that these are innocent 
Canadians.  Politicians have been lobbied hard and most currently 
believe that the *ONLY* reason one would circumvent a TPM is to infringe 
copyright.  They have also been lobbied to believe that copyright 
infringement, including non-commercial or private infringements, are a 
critically serious issue that must be stopped (at nearly any cost).  In 
other words, they don't believe these are innocent Canadians.

   They are unaware that what access controls do and what copyright 
regulates are separate lists of activities.   They are unaware that a 
"use control" involves software running on hardware, and have never 
given any thought about who owns that hardware  (and thus who should be 
managing any keys to any locks).  They are also unaware that TPMs tend 
to reduce revenues for creators, not increase as most often alleged. 
The ultimate beneficiaries of TPMs are intermediaries like technology 
providers, not creators.

   If you haven't seen it, please look at http://BillC32.ca/petition/ict/

   I created this petition after the 2006 election when the 
Conservatives took power, as I believed that an "IT property rights" 
message was one that would resonate with Conservatives.  The hard part 
has been getting into the door to have that conversation, and to explain 
how these technologies work in the real world and thus how it impacts 
various property rights and various existing provincial and federal laws.

   The other hard part has been to get the petition in front of 
Canadians.  A signature is nice, but getting people to read the petition 
allows them to far better understand the issue and to get involved. 
While the Petition for Users Rights http://BillC32.ca/petition/ has 
received almost 3K signatures, the IT property rights petition has only 
had 371.

(P.S.  The activities of average Canadians we are talking about are 
illegal, but not criminal in nature. While not important to most people, 
these differences matter to lawyers/politicians/etc)

 > My faith in the opposition parties is that
> they are willing to jump on this fact to make an issue out of it just to
> cause problems for the Tories. We still need to send a message to Peter
> Braid but I am not sure if he can talk while Harper is drinking water.

   Here is why I personally believe that looking at this along 
traditional party-lines will get us into deep trouble.   The Liberals 
are an obvious place to start.

They have 3 members in the C-32 committee:  http://BillC32.ca/5249

Marc Garneau (Westmount—Ville-Marie, Liberal)
   - This is their Industry critic, and the views I have heard from him 
are typical of an Industry Committee member.  Industry Committee members 
have tended to bring in witnesses on other bills/issues from a wide span 
of participants in the economy.  Like the Industry Canada bureaucrats, 
they tend to hold a more balanced view on copyright between the 
interests of copyright holders and the right of other participants in 
the economy (including consumers).

Pablo Rodriguez (Honoré-Mercier, Liberal)
   - This is their Heritage critic, and the views I have heard from him 
thus far are typical of a Heritage committee member.  The department of 
Canadian Heritage is partly in the business of funding various arts 
groups and content industry players, and thus has constant interaction 
with them.  The same for the committee.  They can be seen as under a 
form of "regulatory capture" where they hear from and are focused on the 
interests of the content and broadcast industries.  I may disagree with 
someone from Heritage on what is helpful vs. harmful to the interests of 
creators, but that is the focus of their interests.

Dan McTeague (Pickering—Scarborough East, Liberal)
   - While labeled by the Liberals as their Consumer Affairs critic, 
this really only applies to gasoline consumers. He has also been an 
active member of Industry committee.  When it comes to copyright he can 
be seen thus far as the parliamentary representative for the IIPA 
http://www.iipa.com/ (RIAA, BSA, MPAA, etc and "Canadian" rebranding of 
these organizations).  These folks are not concerned with the interests 
of creators, audiences or the wider economy, but only the interests of 
the traditional intermediaries.

   Over the last decade I have observed that the disagreements between 
someone from Heritage and Industry (committees or bureaucrats in 
departments) is greater than the disagreements between a Liberal or a 
Conservative.  The political lines are drawn Industry vs. Heritage, not 
Liberal vs. Conservative vs. Bloc vs. NDP.

   The largest exceptions have been Charlie Angus (NDP) who has been 
Heritage critic at various times and maintains a balanced view, and Dan 
McTeague who has been on Industry committee but has focused on some 
narrow special interests.

Note 1: I've only met some of these folks in person http://flora.ca/mp , 
and have evaluated others based on public speeches/statements/articles/etc.

Note 2:  I believe the Liberals gave away their hand a bit in naming Dan 
McTeague to the committee rather than Justin Trudeau, given how 
different views these two caucus members have on copyright.

  Russell McOrmond, Internet Consultant: <http://www.flora.ca/>
  Please help us tell the Canadian Parliament to protect our property
  rights as owners of Information Technology. Sign the petition!

  "The government, lobbied by legacy copyright holders and hardware
   manufacturers, can pry my camcorder, computer, home theatre, or
   portable media player from my cold dead hands!"

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