Russell McOrmond's blog

Senate Study of C-11

The Senate Standing Committee Banking, Trade and Commerce did a study of Bill C-11 on Thursday June 21'st (1 meeting), June 22 (8:00 and 13:00 meetings), and June 26 (9:00, 13:00 and 19:00 meetings).  First meeting had the two Ministers and 3 bureaucrats from the departments of Industry and Heritage, and the 3 bureaucrats (plus one more) were recalled for questions on the last meeting.  There were 44 other witnesses called.

While others were happy as their views were heard, I was quite disappointed.  While I didn't listen to all the testimony yet, I did listen from time to time and looked at the witness list.  The list would have been very familiar from the witnesses in 1997 or in 1988 for those major copyright amendments.

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.

Truck control unconstitutional? What about computer control?

Justice of the Peace Brett Kelly ruled in Welland, Ont. (Central West Region) on Wednesday June 6 that the provincial law requiring large trucks be limited to 105 kilometres an hour is unconstitutional. This is expected to be appealed, and this process will be very informative to those of us concerned about government revoking owner control over other technology such as computers.

Elizabeth May and C-11

Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party, was the focus of attention for the debate at report stage of Bill C-11.  In her speech introducing amendments she spoke about why she introduced 18 amendments to the act.  It was also voting on each of these amendments that was taking the time yesterday during votes, and it was she that eventually "released the hostages" by allowing previous votes to apply to later motions.

Unlike other MPs and other parties, her amendments more closely reflected what Canadians said in consultations.   While there were other issues up for debate, such as educational copyright, the bulk of submissions and participation in the consultations were opposition to legal protection for "technological measures".  Given this, while she also addressed educational copyright, the bulk of her amendments addressed various aspects of technological measures.

Bill C-11 3'rd reading on Monday May 14.

The order paper for Monday May 14 included C-11 3'rd reading "debate".

There were motions to make amendments in the Order paper: Report Stage of Bills. These were from Mr. Bellavance (Richmond—Arthabaska) of the Bloc and Ms. May (Saanich—Gulf Islands) of the Greens, neither of which had party representatives in the committee studying the bill.

There are many more motions from Ms. May than the earlier list I commented on.

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.

Public service workers develop means to save taxpayers $1B

OTTAWA-GATINEAU, May 4 2012 - A flock of geeks that includes workers in both government and the private sector are claiming that the Government of Canada can pull $1 billion a year out of federal IT spending, and at the same time generate more Canadian jobs, and provide better public service.

Participants in GOSLING (Getting Open Source Logic INto Governments) describe themselves as "a voluntary, informal knowledge-sharing community of practice, involving civil servants and other citizens who actively assist the engagement of free/libre open source methods and software solutions in government operations." The GOSLING community refers to the adoption of open source methods within the public sector as "Government Official Open Source Engagement" (GOOSE).

At GOSLING's 10th Anniversary Party at the Parliament Pub on Wellington at Metcalfe on Friday afternoon, they're celebrating the arrival of "Intellectual Resources Canada (IRCan)" to self-sustained full operation after a highly successful money-saving proof-of-concept period assisted for several years by CIO Branch, Treasury Board Secretariat.

Not so special 301 report

The yearly joke from the USTR of their so-called "Special 301 report" came out yesterday. Not surprisingly, they kept Canada on their Priority Watch List in order to keep up their special interest lobbying efforts.

Does this mean Canada is a "piracy haven"? Not in the slightest.

It only means that the USTR continues to echo the unfounded lobbying rhetoric from the IIPA which isn't as interested in promoting the rights and interests of creators and innovators as they are protecting their members from legitimate competition.

Why aren't we protecting the rights of cell phone owners?

I have sent in my comments to the CRTC on the development of a national code for wireless services. My submission is focused on the rights of cell phone owners.

Available as: PDF, Google Doc.

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