Russell McOrmond's blog

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.

Green Party C-11 Amendments

On March 30, 2012, Ms. May (MP for Saanich--Gulf Islands, Leader of the green Party) added a few motions to the Notice Paper, Report Stage of Bills.  I will offer my own quick comments on these motions in the hope that they are useful for the ongoing debate.

CIPPIC Acting for Defendant Geolytica in Postal Code Database Copyright Lawsuit

CIPPIC has filed a Statement of Defense on behalf of its client, Geolytica, in response to a lawsuit filed by the Canada Post Corporation in the Federal Court of Canada (File No. T-519-12) claiming that it owns copyright in its database of postal codes and that Geolytica has infringed that copyright by "crowd-sourcing" data for its own database of postal codes mapped to street addresses.

I have been watching this closely as it is linked to the Postal codes by federal ridings file (PCFRF) issue which we have an MP letter for. The electoral district boundary files are already publicly available, and it has been Canada Post's attempt to keep the postal code boundaries proprietary that has been at the root of this problem. Once the geodata for postal codes are properly publicly released, deriving the PCFRF from the two geodata files will be easy.

Crack the Coursepack

Crack the Coursepack is a public legal education project about Canadian copyright law, created in the context of Prof. Tina Piper’s Intellectual & Industrial Property class at the McGill Faculty of Law.

It's not the science, but the fiction.

In the Ottawa GOSLING forum, in response to someone who suggested that opponents to nuclear power didn't care about the science, I wrote the following:

Issues with nuclear power are similar to GMO's. The problem isn't the science, but the inability of our governance structures to manage the complexities and the risks when mismanaged. After watching the C-11 committee hearings my belief in the ability of our governments to make sane decisions about technology is even lower than it was before, and I've always been an opponent of nuclear power and GMO's for governance reasons. The lack of basic science and technology literacy in government is extreme: I think they believe Harry Potter was a documentary.

GMO's = Genetically modified organism

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