chris_brand's blog

My attempt to help the movie industry crack down on piracy

First, a little bit of history.
I was boycotting DVDs and DVD players altogether.
Then my VCR broke down. When my wife and I went to replace it, there was an ex-demo VCR/DVD combo unit that they desperately wanted to get rid of. So we bought that.
My wife has since rented a few DVDs for my daughter to watch, and with christmas coming up, she started looking on eBay for DVDs for my daughter.
(firtunately, my daughter is only five. Although she probably could read this, she's very unlikley to find it and spoil her christmas present).

She won an auction of a Barbie DVD. The seller is apparently a German company and they ship through the Phillipines. She did all her usual checking of feedback, read the listing thoroughly and so forth and was happy (she's a pretty experienced eBayer).

Letter to BC education ministers

I took the letter Wallace sent to the Atlantic Provinces' Education Ministers (with permission), made a few fairly minor changes, and sent it to the BC Education Minsters.
The $7 million was calculated by taking the $12 per FTE and multiplying by 575,642.6265 FTE students (2003 data from
I couldn't find data for the number of BC government FTE employees.

Hon. Shirley Bond

Hon. Tom Christensen

I would like to flag for you several important issues pertaining to copyright and education.

First, the proposed tariffs by Access Copyright, in respect of educational and provincial and territorial government copying of copyright materials:

Writing code compared with writing literature

I came across this quoted in another article, and found it an interesting way of looking at Closed Source.

"The effect of ownership imperatives has caused there to be no
body of software as literature. It is as if all writers had
their own private companies and only people in the Melville
company could read "Moby Dick" and only those in Hemmingway's
could read "The Sun Also Rises". Can you imagine developing a
rich literature under these circumstances ? Under such conditions,
there could be neither a curriculum in literature nor a way
of teaching writing. And we expect people to learn to program

Analogy for the CRIA case

There's a lot of confusion about the CRIA case (formally BMG Canada Inc. and others v. Doe and others 2004 FC 488). As the CRIA is fond of analogies that treat copyrighted works as physical property, I thought I might try one for this case.

Contact details for Peter Julian

He's currently a hard man to get hold of :-)

I got a reply from this email address :

He said that is no longer operative, and the parliamentary email address,, will be active from next week, when he is allowed to move into his parliamentary offices.

I also have a phone number for him - ask me if you need it.

Important MPs

MPs with positions relevant to copyright reform

This page is an attempt to identify the most relevant MPs from
the perspective of copyright reform. If you are a constituent for
one of these MPs, you can help ensure that they are well-educated
on the issues.

Canadian Heritage

Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage (CHPC)

Minister - Hon. Liza Frulla, Jeanne-Le Ber (Quebec)

Toronto Star's "key ridings"

The Tornonto Star considers these to be the key ridings that will incidate the larger trends and patterns :
Key ridings to watch tonight

Reply to questions for candidates from Dana Green

Two separate emails.
First email, dated Thu 24 Jun :
Dear Chris Brand,

Many apologies for not replying to your questions sooner!! I must have across as quite dismissive. Sorry. I had been receiving so many junk emails from companies carrying “Brand name” vitamins and software etc. that I blocked the word “brand” with my spam filter…lesson learned!

Since I have been swamped, I just got to clearing out that “possible spam” folder today, and behold – your emails.

So…Regarding your questions, I must admit that I am not adequately informed on the issue to answer these tonight in this email. I have run across some debate as to the value of copyright versus patent at my workplace, as we often take start-up companies public and see technologies in development stage and inventors keen not to fall prey to slyly devised paperwork. I have heard a colleague of mine state that patents are useless and copyright is valid and yet have no idea why this was stated. I do intend to find information about copyright starting tonight, and I will.

All Candidates Meeting 17 June (Burnaby--New Westminster)

For this election, we only got one all-candidates meeting. Unfortunately, only 5 of the 6 candidates were supposed to be there (Dana Green of the Canadian Heritage Party was not listed) and only 4 of them actually showed up (I didn't catch the reason for Revel Kunz of the Green party not being there).

I arrived while they were still setting up. It soon became clear that the number of chairs that were set out was not going to suffice and people started setting more chairs up. In the end there were about three times as many rows of chairs as were initially set up. I estimated around 150 people attended.

Reply from Revel Kunz

For the record, I did get a reply from Revel Kunz on Thursday, but my email software ate it - I saw the sender and subject but never saw the body of the message. I asked her to resend but haven't heard anything back yet.

(I also complained bitterly to our helpdesk here about anti-spam software that discards messages leaving no way to recover them and backup software that can recover everyone's mailboxes but nothing finer-grained).

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