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[d@DCC] Short summary of Meeting with Bev Oda...

From: Russell McOrmond <russell _-at-_>
To: General Copyright Discussions <discuss (at)>
Date: Sat, 12 Mar 2005 09:10:01 -0500 (EST)

   I met with Bev Oda, Heritage critic for Conservatives from 09:30-10:30 
on Friday (March 12).

Durham (Was: Clarington--Scugog--Uxbridge)

   We started with me doing a "show and tell" with what I brought:

   - Copy of "free culture" (hardcover)

   - Fading Ways Share1 (The least political of the Share samplers --
     Fading Ways is very left-leaning ;-)
   - One of the Creative Commons "Mouse pads"
   - dj nonsense "here's another sample..."
   - Copy of that I hand out.
   - printout of my summary of the Heritage report
   - 2 of the media articles, the press release, backgrounder, and letter
     to the minister from the security companies.

   We started to discuss TPMs with me continuously using the music and 
software CDs as props.  My intention was to go through a summary of 
alternative viewpoints to the interim report.  We stayed on recommendation 
1 - WIPO ratification (largely DRM), and didn't get to discussing the 
other recommendations.

   I used the analogy between "control over technology that can copy" with 
gun control which is a policy that the conservatives are quite clear on.

   I described a gun that had an audio/video interface with a remote 
control on the trigger -- when a hunter wanted to shoot that desire would 
need to be cleared via remote-control with some bureaucrat (private/public 
sector doesn't matter, but I hinted public).

   Essentially the owner of the technology is not the person in control of 
the technology, and there are considerable unintended consequences of 
that. Imagine all these "remote control" guns ending up being able to be 
controlled by terrorists, going off at times not intended by those who the 
"control" was intended to be given to by parliament (IE: the reality of 
DRM given the copyright holder is not and can not be in control).

   While the control over who can copy can not be considered by any 
rational person to be as critical as the control of guns (irrational 
extremists like Graham Henderson in the content industry associations 
aside ;-), I believe the point was made.

P.S.  Don't take this analogy as an indication of my personal political 
views on gun control.  While I believe that communications tools should be 
in the hands of every citizen, and be controlled by the citizen, I don't 
have the same view for guns.

   We got past that fairly well as she seemed to have read all my 
submissions.  The point where she gave the "here is my advice to you" 
(always what I want to hear) came when the comparison of sectors came up 
(IT sector larger than content industries -- tail wagging dog.  David 
Fewer used that at the event as well).

   Her advice was to focus more on that.  Her party has 4 main priorities 
that all policy filters through (my comments in brackets):

   - Security (national security, but that is liked to cyber security)
   - Health   (E-health, privacy of patient records)
   - Economy  (bigger/smaller parts of economy/etc)
   - Jobs     (more/less jobs offered by different parts of the economy)

   She wants numbers to put to these things to present to her caucus and 
then to parliament.

Humor:  I don't know if it would be worth doing a CRIA-style report: 
Calculate revenues/obs lost in the US high tech sector since 1998 when the 
DMCA came into force, derivative losses to economy/etc, decline in the 
stock market, etc.  If CRIA/RIAA can claim that all their lost sales is 
due to P2P file sharing, then the US high tech sector can claim that all 
jobs lost in the USA was due to the DMCA (IE: other aspects of economy can 
be safely ignored as not affecting the sector ;-)

   There are some other more legitimate paths to take talking about 
relating to innovation chill, technologies that would not exist if 
anti-circumvention-style laws existed in the past, etc.

   She is a politician who keeps her own cards to herself well, but I got 
the impression that if we continued down the path that David Fewer/Bob 
Young/etc started with that press release/coalition 
<> that we could get the 
Conservatives on-board. She said that the rest of the MPs rely on her and 
James Rajotte (Industry Critic) for their expertise in this area of 
policy, so if they were on-side the party would be on-side.


   Hope this helps, as it became clear there are different messaging for 
different parties.  The whole new-creators/old-creators stuff didn't work 
with Ms. Oda at all - that didn't talk about jobs as saying "we sacrifice 
these jobs for this larger number of jobs that will exist in the future" 
doesn't work.

   One area where I needed to back off was that she is largely convinced by 
the broadcast industries when they claim to represent the majority of 
"creativity".  I was suggesting that it costs less with modern 
technologies to make movies/etc, but she said that the motion picture 
industry disagrees (that movies cost more now).  I don't know how that 
could be true given you can buy video editing hardware/software these days 
that are low enough for the home/hobbyist budget, but this is what she 
believes.  This meant she wasn't interested in counter-argument such as 
the discussion of that Linux, one of the things threatened by this policy, 
being used heavily by the studios for 3D rendering farms/etc.

   I believe strongly that the high tech sector offers far more to the 
content industries than the content industries offer in return, and that 
if there should be any cross-sector subsidization it should be from 
content industries to high tech/ISP/etc, not the other way around.

  Russell McOrmond, Internet Consultant: <> (My BLOG)
  Sign the Petition Users' Rights!
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