Conservative Minister stalling on renewal of Television Fund bad news for industry

A page on the NDP website includes:

“Today the President of the Treasury Board flatly denied that any of the cheques for the cancelled Oda fundraiser were cashed. The NDP plans to follow up on this matter and find out whether or not the cheques were cashed or cancelled. Given that the Minister has completely frozen out the artistic community in terms of broadcast and copyright issues, we would at least see which lobbyists have her ear,” said Angus.

See it in the Hansard.

Bev Oda, Minister of Canadian Heritage, replies to Copyright related letter.

The following is a letter from Bev Oda, the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Woman, replying to an earlier letter I wrote. This letter is dated November 20, 2006. (Note to techies: This is a signed snail-mail letter, not an e-mail)

Dear Mr. McOrmond:

Thank you for your correspondence of October 11, 2006, co-addressed to Mr. David McGuinty and Mr. James Rajotte, Members of Parliament, regarding copyright reform in Canada. I appreciate your advising me on your views and have carefully noted your comments with respect to this matter.

Oda Funding Controversy May Derail Broadcast and Copyright Policy

Mr Geist's weekly Law Bytes column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) takes stock off the brewing controversy over Canadian Heritage Minister Bev Oda's fundraising activities. With the Hill Times running a lead story on her 2005 fundraiser and persistent questions in the House of Commons, it is becoming apparent that this issue is quickly becoming a liability for the Conservative government.

Charlie Angus, MP for Timmins--James Bay and Heritage Critic for the NDP, has been the person raising the profile of this issue in the House of Commons.

Heritage, Industry ministers stars of fundraiser co-organized by media exec

A Canadian Press article by Jennifer Ditchburn includes:

A broadcasting executive is helping to stage a re-election fundraiser for Heritage Minister Bev Oda, who's reviewing television policy for the Tory government.

Please see an update from Michael Geist.

Acknowledgement from Heritage Ministerial Correspondence Secretariat

The following letter dated October 18 was in response to an earlier letter. All recipients acknowledge receipt.

I am posting this letter as a reminder to Canadians that members of parliament, including Ministers, do receive your letters. Please make sure your MP is well aware of your views. This is the calm before the copyright policy storm and is an ideal time to reach them.

Dear Mr. McOrmond:

I am writing to acknowledge receipt of your correspondence of October 11, 2006, to the Honourable Bev Oda, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women, co-addressed to Mr. David J. McGuinty and Mr. James Rajotte, Members of Parliament, regarding copyright reform in Canada.

Copyright related communications from Heritage Minister and Chair of Industry Committee

Attached is a letter sent to the 3 named MPs. The staff from the offices of Mr. Rajotte, Mr McGuinty's and the Minister of Canadian Heritage have acknowledge receipt.

(Note to staff receiving this message. Please indicate receipt. Thank you.)

Dear James Rajotte, M.P., Chair of Industry-Science-Technology committee,
Ms. Bev Oda, P.C., M.P., Minister of Heritage,
Mr. David J. McGuinty, M.P. for Ottawa South

I received reply letters from both Mr. Rajotte dated September 27 and, through Mr. McGuinty's office, a letter from Ms. Oda. dated July 7.

Canadian Ministers Responses to DRM and Copyright Issues

A Slyck article by Drew Wilson discusses some of the minimal responses people have received from the Ministers reponsible for copyright.

The first known response was back in April. In that response, she was quoted, "The copyright legislation that was introduced by the previous government, once it was tabled, it did die on the order paper, but once it was tabled created a lot of dissension. There were different views on many elements of that bill. Consequently we are working and we will be introducing a new copyright bill that will expedite meeting our international obligations but also making sure that we have a copyright regime and a copyright framework that's appropriate."

Reply letter from Minister of Heritage does not address questions asked.

(Also on p2pnet)

I am posting a text version of a letter that my MP, Mr. David McGuinty, received from Bev Oda's office in response to a question he forwarded from me. It may look familiar to many people, as it seems nearly identical to replies sent to other people. One example is the Appropriation Art coalition which posted a copy of the letter on their website.

The letter from the Minister of Heritage did not address my question. The issue of technical protection measures is not really an issue of copyright at all, but an issue of property rights of owners of technology. This is why we are collecting signatures for the Petition to protect Information Technology property rights, to draw the attention of parliamentarians to this issue.

Telus Joins Call for Fair Use

This Agora VOX article by Michael Geist includes the following quote from a letter from Telus to Heritage Minister Bev Oda:

In order for Canada to continue to foster innovation and play a leading role in the development and usage of world class communications technologies, our copyright system must be flexible enough to adapt in a timely manner to the rapidly changing technical and entertainment environment we now face, while ensuring a proper balance is maintained between the rights of creators and the rights of consumers and other users.

Digital Security Coalition Issues Open Letter Calling for Balanced Copyright

(Covered by p2pnet)

Ottawa, ON – June 22, 2006 – The Digital Security Coalition, an alliance of Canada’s leading technology security companies, has released a joint open letter addressed to Bev Oda, Minister of Canadian Heritage, and Maxime Bernier, Industry Minister, calling on the Canadian government to adopt balanced copyright policies and to reject calls for extreme copyright laws. The open letter was released in response to ongoing lobbying efforts to convince the Canadian government to adopt extreme copyright laws that would make it illegal to circumvent technological measures protecting content, such as software, without the consent of the content copyright owner.

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