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[d@DCC] Letter to NDP critics: Keep eye on the future during Bush visit
From: Russell McOrmond <russell _-at-_ flora.ca>
Dear Charlie Angus (Timmins--James Bay), NDP critic: Agriculture, Canadian Heritage, Brian Masse (Windsor West), NDP critic: Industry, Science and Technology, Auto Policy, Canada Border Services, Customs, Peter Julian (Burnaby--New Westminster), NDP critic: International Trade and Globalization, Persons with Disabilities, Treasury Board, Alexa McDonough (Halifax), NDP critic: Foreign Affairs, Post-Secondary Education, Bev Desjarlais (Churchill), NDP critic: Crown Corporations, Transportation, Canadian Wheat Board, International Development, While many in the NDP will focus their attention the next few days on the Bush visit, it is important that the party not focus all their attention on missile defense. There are other foreign and domestic policy issues which need to be considered, and that touch on the areas that you are critics for. Trade will be an important part of the discussion. While I know that this is politically incorrect to say, I hope you will ensure that the government doesn't trade away our place in the new economy for a few cows and some softwood. Along with arms the United States is also a net exporter of so-called "intellectual property". This will be the next most important issue on their agenda. Canada has a large and growing trade deficit in intangibles, largely monopoly rents from patents and copyrights being sent to the United States. Canada must adopt more modern business models and methodologies to reduce this trade deficit. Not surprisingly, this modernization is being fiercely opposed by the United States. "In an October 15 speech, the Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), Jonathan Dudas, vowed that the U.S. government will `fight' proposals that aim to `fundamentally change the WIPO charter and philosophy' away from its current focus on the promotion of intellectual property." (link below) What the US is talking about is not a change in the charter for WIPO, but a proposed change from the promotion of a single industrial-era business model onto all creativity: have labour work to "manufacture" knowledge which is then owned by "content industries" who sell it to the public on a per-unit basis through use of monopoly rent seeking (royalty) business models. The change from promoting this outdated model is necessary for WIPO to fulfill its charter in a changing world economy. This modernization is also important for the protection of the rights of creators who should not be treated as only labour, and other citizens who should not be treated as only consumers. I am a strong supporter of an alternative known as open collaborative development models. For software you can see this in Free/Libre and Open Source Software (Mozilla Firefox browser, OpenOffice.org office suite, Linux/BSD/Darwin operating systems). For scientific research you can see the movement for Open Access publishing of publicly funded research. For online distribution of works you need to become aware of the Creative Commons movement. I would like to meet with each of you to discuss the opportunities and the opposition. Canada is at a crossroads: It could join the "coalition of the billing" which are those countries that bow to US pressure to outsource their cultural and economic policy to foreign special economic interest groups. Alternatively, Canada can adopt a modern way of looking at development in the knowledge economy and become a world leader. Thank you. Russell McOrmond 305 Southcrest Private, Ottawa, ON K1V 2B7 Phone: (613) 733-5836 http://www.flora.ca/#contact Links: Feedback to StraightGoods: Re: Building a medical Wikipedia http://www.digital-copyright.ca/discuss/4102 Modernization of WIPO http://www.cptech.org/ip/wipo/ U.S. vows to "fight" the Push for WIPO Reform http://www.ip-watch.org/weblog/index.php?p=3D10&res=1024_ff&print=0 Creative Commons http://creativecommons.org/ - US/International http://creativecommons.ca/ - Canadian (New site in-development) Digital Copyright Canada forum http://digital-copyright.ca/ -- Russell McOrmond, Internet Consultant: <http://www.flora.ca/> Code is Law: how software code regulates the activities of citizens, and acts similar to law. How do we ensure transparency/accountability? http://www.flora.ca/russell/drafts/code-is-law.html _______________________________________________ Discuss mailing list Discuss@list.digital-copyright.ca http://list.digital-copyright.ca/mailman/listinfo/discuss
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