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RE: Let's Talk about Bill C-11: An Informal Dialogue

The following was sent out to guests of an informal dialog held on March 6, 2012.



Dear Guests and Supporters,

I would like to thank all of you for the lively discussion on Bill C-11, the Copyright Modernization Act. Special thanks go to Hon. MP Geoff Regan, Hon. Senator Wilfred Moore, Tamir Israel and David Fewer (unable to attend) from Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC), and Russell McOrmond from http://c11.ca for accepting our invitation to attend this discussion.

Bill C-11 anti-competitive: McOrmond

After reading two articles in the Wire Report, I sent a letter to the editor which was published in this week's Hill Times.

My letter started with:



I noted with interest the Wire Report article indicating that, "Netflix Inc. says it does not have plans to develop apps that support Research In Motion Ltd.'s (RIM) Blackberry devices or Playbook tablet".

While Netflix may not have the resources to write the software themselves, it is the Conservative Government's Bill C-11 which will disallow any third party from developing their own compatible application.

(Subscribers can read full letter now. I will post full text here later.)

Informal dialog on C-11 at Carleton University

On the evening of March 6, 2012 I attended an informal dialogue about bill C-11 at Oliver’s Pub, Carleton University. It was organized by School of Information Technology Associate Professor Ali Arya, who invited MPs from the C-11 legislative committee, Tamir Israel from the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC), and myself as guests to talk to students and faculty at Carleton. Hon. Geoff Regan, the Liberal MP on the committee, and Liberal Senator Wilfred Moore attended.

An update on bill C-11 : an act to legally protect infringements of technology property rights.

The following is the letter I sent today to my MP in Ottawa South. Please send letters to ensure your MPs are aware of your views, given committee moved to clause-by-clause on Monday. This is when we will learn what amendments will be tabled by each party, and the debate on whether bill C-11 will become better or worse will start.

fear v. education

Meera Nair posted a great article about misinformation on fair dealings.

"It is disappointing to read of the continued distortion of fair dealing through the call to action of The Writers’ Union of Canada and Access Copyright. But I am not surprised; it is much easier to provoke fear than to embark upon the longer journey of educating people."

Pro-infringement lawyers smear Canadian Bar Association (CBA)

By now many will have heard about the campaign by a group of lawyers to smear the Canadian Bar Association (CBA), making allegations about the process that was used to create a submission to government on Bill C-32 (now C-11).

Since he was directly mentioned as part of the smear campaign, Law professor Michael Geist has responded (National Post, his website). How you interpret these events partly come down to a matter of trust, and I believe we should afford far more trust to Mr. Geist clarity than the misdirection from these specific lawyers. (Update: Andrew Bernstein — Chair, CBA Intellectual Property Section responded)

The participants in this smear campaign are lawyers whose customers are increasingly building business models upon infringing other peoples rights (See my brief to C-11 committee). These lawyers, sometimes registered as lobbiests and sometimes claiming to represent themselves, have been working to legalize and legally protect these infringements.

We should offer these lawyers the same level of respect and trust that they might lawyers or executives at organizations like ISOHunt or the Pirate Bay.

Notes: Howard Knopf has provided links to relevant articles and submissions.

C-11 on The Matt Holmes Show (CHML Hamilton)

On the Matt Holmes Show at around 20:00 EST an interview I did with Mr. Holmes will air. We were speaking about the Bill C-11 committee, and some of the fun I've been watching for the past few weeks (and will be in the next few weeks).

I of course spoke about the most controversial thing in the bill (TPMs) and the most controversial thing that some of the more extreme witnesses want added to the bill (ISP liability + secondary liability/"enabler").

We spoke more generally than using the Copyright geek language. We chatted about who gets to decide who drives your car, and about violence in music, movies and video games. Listen to the show to see what that has to do with TPMs and SOPA.

Audio archives of the show are available (Look for March 8 Hour 2). I'm looking for feedback on one of the analogies used.

Bill C-11 legislative committee day 9 thoughts

The ninth meeting of the C-11 special legislative committee was held on March 7, 2012.

They say laws are like sausages, and you should never watch either one being made. This last day of witnesses before committee moves to clause-by-clause consideration on Monday was likely the oddest day so far, but still very interesting to watch.

Bill C-11 legislative committee day 8 thoughts

The eighth meeting of the C-11 special legislative committee was held on March 6, 2012.

The first panel offered similar themes from the Canadian Music Publishers Association (CMPA), the Audio-Visual Licensing Agency Inc (AVLA), and the Société professionnelle des auteurs et des compositeurs du Québec (SPACQ).

CMPA started with the familiar argument on ephemeral recordings, going further to claim that Berne says you can't revoke a right that is currently being monetized.

How long will committe be meeting?

As a reminder, the first meeting minutes has the details, with length of witnesses and clause-by-clause set at that meeting.

Mike Lake moved, — That the Committee begin clause-by-clause consideration of the bill no later than Wednesday, March 14, 2012; that debate be limited to a maximum of five (5) minutes per party, per clause, and five (5) minutes per party per amendment; and that if clause-by-clause consideration is not completed by 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, March 29, 2012, the Chair shall interrupt debate and put the question on all remaining clauses and amendments, as well as all other questions necessary to dispose of this stage of the bill forthwith and successively without further debate and shall report the bill back to the House at the earliest opportunity.

The "no later" than next Wednesday may be an earlier date, but I'll write on that as I find out. In any case, we have a maxim of 4 more days of witnesses.

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