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[d@DCC] Delurking Etobicoke School of the Arts Student

From: "Julie Federman" <devilcatz88 _-at-_ hotmail.com>
To: Discuss (at) list.digital-copyright.ca
Cc: devilcatz88 -_at_- hotmail.com
Date: Sat, 18 Dec 2004 15:03:44 -0500

Russell previously spoke about a student "de-lurking" from the discuss list, 
so here I am, de-lurking. My name is Julie Federman, a grade 10 student 
attending the Etobicoke School of the Arts. ESA has a very respected 
reputation. As well as having one of the most incredible high school arts 
programs in Canada (Drama, Visual Arts, Music Theatre, Music, and Dance), it 
is also known for having phenomenal academics. In comparison to many other 
high schools, ESA has a very positive, enjoyable, and comfortable 
atmosphere. Quite a few students at ESA are in some form, involved in 
politics. Generally, my fellow peers are very  artistic, creative,  and some 
are even intellectual (although some students are definitely not the 
brightest crayons in the box). Several students share similar views on this 
issue, now that I have made them aware of it. Many of them realize in their 
case, these changes to the Copyright Act will have a direct effect on their 
futures.

	I came to get involved with this issue when my Civics teacher stated the 
two most dreaded works, Culminating Task. Not decided on a topic to pursue, 
I asked my father, Mark Federman (who is Chief Strategist at the McLuhan 
Program in Culture and Technology at the University of Toronto) if he had 
any ideas. He told me about a recent topic he is following. After he 
summarized the gist of it, I was interested. I began to research, and was 
amazed how much this affected everyone, let alone just certain demographics. 
Certain issues really interested me in particular. The Internet Service 
Provider notice and takedown, which we are all pretty familiar with by now, 
and how this will freeze significant free speech. Also, the effects on 
education  despite spotty education funding, it would be necessary for 
schools to redirect millions of dollars more from budgets to access publicly 
available Internet resources.

My generation, people under twenty, who have not known the world without the 
Internet, cell phones, and other forms of instant communication have come to 
rely on these sorts of technologies to create a new world culture. 
Therefore, restricting access to resources and putting the control of 
culture exclusively in the hands of corporations results in stifling 
creativity and innovation. For example, if it were not for the innovation of 
technology, we would not have the VCR, iPods, MP3 players, DVDs, etc. 
Ironically, many of the proposede changes would prevent many of these 
technology, which is where they are currently gaining most of their success 
and profits from.

I started circulating the petition around school, and I could not believe 
that almost no one was aware of this possible life impacting issue. I have 
been going to primarily many students, friends, and teachers about this 
issue, petition in hand. My general explanation would be something like : 
"Hi, I am circulating this petition for my Civics Culminating Task, 
regarding the changes that are planning to be made to the Canadian Copyright 
Act. This petition is being physically presented to parliament, and is 
basically saying for the opinions and rights of users of media (such as 
music, movies and documents) to be considered before they do make changes. 
This is a very large issue, and the major companies have only been 
considered in this decision so far." If he/she was not moved to sign yet, I 
would answer their questions/concerns and most likely regale them with more 
information including Cory Doctortow's "Hat in the Restaurant" story 
http://www.boingboing.net/2004/11/06/save_canadas_interne.html . I have been 
very successful circulating the petition so far. I have currently collected 
189 signatures. Some of my planned next steps include writing to my federal 
MP, and members of the House committee.

I started this simply as a school project, but now I am perusing this issue 
as something that is vitally important to our future.

Cheers,
Julie Federman


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