Ottawa - Vanier

Parliamentary week in review: Nov 13-16

I have done a few weekly reviews of parliament, the previous one being to November 2. Sorry for not keeping up with these as I had intended. Parliament is currently debating a concurrence to committee report from Heritage committee (Broadcasting policy or the telecommunications policy for Canada), which reminded me that I should be posting these summaries. Some very interesting speeches by opposition members, with the Conservative government claiming a discussion of media obstructs/delays their crime bill.

Copyright discussed in Parliament : Oct 23, 2007

You know that a bill is coming when the topic of Copyright is mentioned many times in the Hansard for a single day. This is in addition to the discussion of "Counterfeiting and Piracy" in Question Period.

Hon. Jim Prentice (Minister of Industry, CPC) - in the context of his Debate on Address in Reply of the Speech from the Throne):

US Tech Workers Give It Up to Democrats. What about Canadians?

When reading an eWeek article by Roy Mark talking about political donations to US presidential candidates, I wondered what would be said in Canada. We don't have a separate executive branch, with our prime Minister simply being the leader of the party that receives the most seats, so an apples-to-apples comparison isn't possible.

Liberal shadow cabinet.

Last week the Liberal party announced their new shadow cabinet. Mauril Bélanger (Ottawa Vanier) replaces Tina Keeper (Churchill) as Heritage Critic, while Scott Brison (Kings—Hants) remains Industry Critic.

Meeting with Hon. Mauril Bélanger (MP for Ottawa-Vanier)

I met with Mr. Bélanger on Monday (June 18) for a little over a half hour. I have met and had conversations with Mr. Bélanger since more than a decade ago, so we were already familiar with each other and have a trust of our mutual interest for public policy in the public interest.

Met 3 MPs in one day?

Today was a very interesting day. I had meetings with Mr. Charlie Angus (Timmins -- James Bay, NDP) and Hon. Hedy Fry (Vancouver Center, Liberal). Both meetings went very well, and I will write more details later.

Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage receives Briefing on Copyright

One of the current activities of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage is a Briefing on Copyright, where they have had a few meetings.

Michael Geist has blogged about the Not-So-Straight Talk on Copyright MPs are receiving.

I believe this should also be taken as an oportunity for constituents to write to MPs who are in Heritage and Industry committees prior to a bill being tabled.

Mauril Bélanger discussed in "Let the © Politi©al Games Begin" / WIPO treaty ratification.

On April 7, Howard Knopf wrote "Let the © Politi©al Games Begin" which included discussion of Mauril Bélanger, P.C., M.P., Official Opposition Critic- Canadian Heritage.

Please also see Mr. Knopf's commentary about the throne speech on his Excess Copyright BLOG, and what the sentence indicating that "Significant international treaties will be submitted for votes in Parliament" could mean for WIPO policy implementation.

Even if implementation is delayed, this is good as people become more informed on the actual meaning and implications of the poorly thought out knee-jerk policy from 1996. We should also be rejecting the pressure from the USA on ratification given Canada ratified the Berne convention in 1928 while the USA took until 1989. Given the USA ratified the 1996 WIPO treaties in 1998 I believe it is fair for us to not think we are "late" with the new treaties until 2059.

Letter to Mauril Bélanger, Liberal Heritage Critic

I sent the following letter to Mauril Bélanger, Opposition Critic for Canadian Heritage.

Dear L'hon. Mauril Bélanger,
Member of Parliament for Ottawa-Vanier

I see from a press release I was forwarded that you are the new Heritage Critic for the official opposition. It is unfortunate, but you seem to be promoting a view of copyright revision that will be disastrous to a vast majority of Canadian creators.

Is it possible that we can sit down and talk about these things in the future? The 1996 WIPO treaties, while they may benefit the incumbent non-creator copyright holding intermediaries, it does so by protecting their legacy business models from competition. This competition is from a variety of Creators, where protection of the old way of doing things means massive harm to that majority of creators who are trying to benefit from new ways of doing things.

Mauril Bélanger (Ottawa - Vanier, Liberal Party of Canada)

Dear Mr. McOrmond,

Thank you for your email of January 10, 2006, regarding technology law. I appreciate you enclosing a link to the in-depth survey provided to you by the Liberal party on technology issues. This survey outlines the Liberal party's position on these issues and is your best source of information.

It is worth adding a couple of additional points:

On June 20, 2005, the Ministers of Canadian Heritage and Industry jointly introduced a bill, C-60, to amend the Copyright Act. This Bill did not make it through the legislative process before the opposition forced an early election. The Bill would have made it possible to improve protection for works placed online, and at the same time clarify the responsibilities of internet service providers with respect to the dissemination of works protected by copyright.

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