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[d@DCC] Further copyright policy suggestions on how to Make Poverty History.

From: Russell McOrmond <russell _-at-_>
To: General Copyright Discussions <discuss (at)>
Cc: CANadian OPENsource Education and Research <discuss -_at_->, James Rajotte - Conservative Industry Critic <Rajotte.J -_at_->, Bev Oda - Conservative Heritage Critic <Oda.B -_at_->, Universal Access Canada <cpi-ua -_at_->, Brian Masse - NDP Industry Critic <Masse.B -_at_->, INDU -_at_-, "Hon. Liza Frulla - Minister of Canadian Heritage" <Frulla.L -_at_->, "Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage -- \"Charlie Angus - NDP Heritage Critic\"" <Angus.C -_at_->, "Hon. David Emerson - Minister of Industry" <Emerson.D -_at_->, chpc -_at_-, Maka Kotto - Bloc critic for Canadian Heritage <Kotto.M -_at_->, =?ISO-8859-1?Q?Paul_Cr=EAte_-_Bloc_Industry_Critic?= <Crete.P -_at_->
Date: Fri, 24 Jun 2005 12:21:39 -0400 (EDT)

(Please circulate)

   I signed up to the campaign at .  The 
interface sends messages to the prime Minister and your own MP, so I sent 
the following which seeks to make the connection between copyright and 
development issues.

FROM: Russell McOrmond
TO: The Right Honourable Paul Martin, Prime Minister of Canada
Carbon Copy: David McGuinty (Ottawa South)
SUBJECT: Further policy suggestions on how to Make Poverty History.

Dear Prime Minister Martin,

I am writing to encourage you to show Canadian leadership and do all you 
can to Make Poverty History during 2005.  I also wanted to suggest 
additional policy directions.  You will have already received many 
thousands of copies of the campaign demands, so I am only including them 
in an appendix.

One of the least fair areas of trade policy are so-called "Trade Related 
Intellectual Property" as promoted by the WTO/TRIPS agreement and the 
World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).  While past treaties have 
sought a balance between competing interests (creators vs. intermediaries 
vs. users, past vs. future creators, developed vs. developing countries), 
recent agreements such as the 1996 WIPO treaties have been entirely 
one-sided.  Bill C-60 is the bill in parliament that is intended to ratify 
these harmful treaties.  Over 1800 Canadians already signing the Petition 
for Users' Rights opposing this policy direction before the bill was 
tabled.  If Bill C-60 passes there will be additional pressure on 
majority-world countries to import similar laws into their own country.

In the early 1990's the logic was that if new tools and media such as 
personal computers and the Internet were to have any content then it would 
need to be hobbled to act more like the highly centralized broadcast and 
other publishing mechanisms of the past.  While this would protect the 
currently successful recording, motion picture and "software 
manufacturing" industries from change, this greatly harms any emerging 

Domestic competitors include the over 95% of Canadian musicians who are 
not signed according to the Canadian Independent Recording Artists 
Association (  Like signed independent musicians they are 
already in a competitive disadvantage against the major labels represented 
by the Canadian Recording Industry Association ( which account for 
more than 95% of all records produced and sold in Canada.  CRIA was a 
major promoter of the WIPO treaties in Canada, and had major influence on 
the text of Bill C-60.

The fastest growing part of the software sector is the part that I 
participate in which produce Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS), 
an alternative to "software manufacturing" produced and promoted by the 
members of the self-called Canadian Alliance Against Software Theft 
(CAAST).  We do not charge per-copy royalties on software, instead using 
open collaborative models such as peer  production, peer distribution 
(including authorized Peer-to-Peer file-sharing) and funding models which 
not only eradicates the incentive for private citizens to infringe 
software copyright, but also provides lower-cost royalty-free software 

Competitors to the old way of doing things include creators from emerging 
economies, the very economies which Make Poverty History is trying to 

Talking about Microsoft, the most successful "software manufacturer", 
Marcelo D'Elia Branco, coordinator of Brazil's Free Software Project, 
stated that "every license for Office plus Windows in Brazil - a country 
in which 22 million people are starving - means we have to export 60 sacks 
of soybeans".  Recent WIPO treaties have provisions to impose specific 
"software manufacturing" vendors on computer users through techniques 
called "technological measures" which tie the ability to legally access 
digitally encoded culture such as electronic books, music and movies to 
the use of specifically branded/licensed software and other technology.

The Minister of Culture for Brazil, Gilberto Gil, is a major promoter of 
emerging alternatives.  As one of Brazil's most famous musicians he 
releases his music under Creative Commons licenses which allow others to 
more freely build upon his work.  Brazil was also a co-sponsor with 
Argentina of the WIPO Development Agenda to try to transform WIPO from 
being tied to the old way things were done to supporting alternatives. 
This is in direct contrast with the policies being promoted by the already 
rich-and-famous northern recording artists and industry which would 
translate to more money being extracted from developing countries in the 
form of "intangibles" such as royalty fees.

Some of the same musicians who will be taking part in the Canadian Live 8 
concert, including Blue Rodeo's Jim Cuddy and Tom Cochrane, were on 
parliament hill a few months ago demanding the immediate ratification of 
WIPO treaties that will greatly harm these emerging competitors including 
those from the poorest countries.

If Canada is to be serious about helping the worlds poor it should not 
only move forward on the proposals from the Make Poverty History campaign, 
but to also join the Friends of Development within WIPO.  This agenda 
should become part of all the work of WIPO, including negotiations to 
abrogate the most harmful articles from the 1996 WIPO treaties.  WIPO must 
not be locked into protecting only the previously successful creation, 
distribution and funding models for creativity, but to embrace emerging 
alternatives which will allow not only the majority of domestic creators 
to adequately compete with the currently rich-and-famous, but to also 
enable developing countries to participate as well.

An  appropriate next step would be for parliament to fully reject Bill 
C-60, and start consultations on how Canada could best join and promote 
the WIPO Development Agenda so that Canada can become part of the solution 
in this area of policy, rather than continuing to be part of the problem. 
Copyright should also be moved away from Heritage which has been too tied 
to the way things were done in the past, ignoring many of the 
recommendations of their own report titled "A Charter for the Cultural 
Citizen Online" and their support for cultural diversity which demands 
support for diversity in methods of production, distribution and funding 
of creativity.


Russell McOrmond
305 Southcrest Private,
Ottawa, ON
K1V 2B7
Phone: (613) 733-5836


The following was the sample letter suggested by Make Poverty History,

FROM: Russell McOrmond joining millions worldwide

TO: The Right Honourable Paul Martin, Prime Minister of Canada

SUBJECT: Make Poverty History


Dear Prime Minister Martin:

We are writing to encourage you to show Canadian leadership and do all you 
can to Make Poverty History during 2005.

The G8 Finance Ministers agreed on immediate 100% cancellation of debts 
for 18 of the poorest countries. While it is an important initial step, we 
urge you to insist that this deal be expanded to include more than 40 
other impoverished countries.

On June 13 the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs tabled its unanimous 
recommendations in the House of Commons, calling for a plan to establish a 
timetable to reach 0.7% of Canada's GNP for foreign aid by 2015 and 
legislation establishing poverty reduction as the priority for Canada's 
aid. We call on you to adopt these recommendations immediately.

We urge you to show your commitment and build on these important measures 
before and during the G8 Meeting on July 6th:

- Announce a binding timetable for Canada to reach the 0.7 aid target by 
2015 and ensure that the aid is focused on the poorest people via 

- Cancel 100% of the debts owed by ALL of the poorest countries and work 
to ensure that countries are free to implement their own national 
development strategies by ending IMF and World Bank Structural Adjustment 

- Deliver Trade Justice


Make Poverty History

  Russell McOrmond, Internet Consultant: <>
  1800+ Canadians oppose Bill C-60 which protects antiquated Recording,
  Motion Picture and "software manufacturing" industries from change...
  Sign the Petition Users' Rights!
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