Pickering - Scarborough East
Gordon Duggan at Appropriation Art has published a comic (PDF) about Canadian Copyright revision. It is a classic battle of good vs. evil of comic proportions where the "Evil Emissaries of American Interests try to suppress the Fantastic Freedom of Expression Fighters".
The cast of characters is somehow familiar.
Evil Emissaries (Or just misinformed?): Harper, Bush, Prentice, Henderson, McTeague, Wilkins, Feinstein / Cronyn, Schwarzenegger, Glickman, Frith, Oda
Fantastic Freedom Fighters: Angus, Doctorow, Geist, Knopf, Murray, Page, McOrmond
I have had a Google Alerts for Dan McTeague for a few months, since I heard he was promoting a form of policy counterfeiting by confusing counterfeiting, commercial copyright piracy, non-commercial illegal sharing, patent, trademark, and other quite different areas of law. Most of the alerts talk about gas prices, and how he believes they should be lower.
This got me to thinking about the parallels between energy policy and copyright policy, and how Mr. McTeague, MP for Pickering-Scarborough East and the Liberal Consumer Affairs Critic, seems to not yet have an adequate understanding of these issues.
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An article by Rafael Ruffolo of ComputerWorld Canada includes an interview of RedHat founder (and Hamilton hometown hero) Bob Young.
"The copyright philosophy behind the U.S. DMCA is that it's illegal to do what software engineers do every day of the week and what they'll have to continue to do in order to build better technology for all companies," Bob Young, spokesperson for the Canadian Software Innovation Alliance (CSIA) and a former founder and CEO at Red Hat Inc., said.
Please see the Government of Canada press release: A Cross-Canada Educational Initiative to Raise Awareness and Combat Product Counterfeiting and Copyright Piracy.
The Canadian Anti-Counterfeiting Network (CACN) is a lobby group with an extremely biased special interest opinion on this area of policy. The entertainment lobby (entertainment software, movies, music) are carrying out a misinformation campaign trying to equate non-profit illegal knowledge sharing by citizens, commercial copyright infringement (piracy) and counterfeiting -- policy areas that are quite distinct, and cannot be rationally merged. Given this, they will be incapable of carrying out an educational roll, as necessary as we all agree this education is.
I wasn't watching the US presidential primaries because I saw it as a race between Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dumb. I have some political ideas that might otherwise slide me to supporting the Democrats, but then I look at the damage done during the Clinton/Gore years to the US domestic and foreign economic policy through the DMCA, Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act, and the two controversial 1996 WIPO treaties (largely US efforts). This isn't all that different than Canada where I have some political ideas that might otherwise convince me to vote Liberal, but then notice that some of the worst ideas on technology law have been promoted by Liberal MPs such as Sheila Copps, Sam Bulte (Lost her seat in the 2006 election), and now Dan McTeague and Hedy Fry.
I then watched a slideshow from Lawrence Lessig titled 20 minutes or so on why I am 4Barack. Lessig said that Obama's technology policies were strong, and that he was going to work to change congress to reduce the influence of special interest group money on the US congress. I quickly blogged about this myself back in February.
Read the rest of this entry on IT World Canada's BLOG »
On May 13'th I sent the following letter to Liberal MP Dan McTeague, Conservative MP Gord Brown, Bloc MP Serge Ménard, NDP MP Charlie Angus, my own MP David McGuinty and to the Hill Times. I expected that I would post the letter when I received a reply, but even though the MPs were in their ridings this last week I received absolutely no reply.
I find it disturbing that there is very little about this special interest caucus being disclosed to the public. Unlike a committee where the membership and minutes are disclosed, this group of MPs have been meeting with lobbiests to get a narrow idea of the issues without any possibility of the Canadian public holding them accountable.
Michael Geist BLOGS about Liberal Dan McTeague's exposing of himself as Canada's proponent of USA DMCA style legislation in Canada. Rafael Ruffolo writes in IT World Canada about the same event.
It is hard to be critical of Industry Minister Jim Prentice as he seems to be unaware of many of the key policy areas in his portfolio (Digital Copyright, Telecom policy, Net Neutrality), while there are Liberals like Mr. McTeague who are aware of and come out as strong opponents to policy protecting competition and consumers.
Pickering - Scarborough East MP Dan Mcteague will be participating in a panel (Free Webcast) with some people who are suggested to be "like minded" people. I am posting this so that voters will take a look at that panel, take a look at other things said by this Liberal MP, and decide whether this person represents the views of Canadians going forward.
- Honourable Dan McTeague, MP, Vice-Chair. Standing Committee on Industry Science & Technology
- Deane Cameron, President, EMI Music
- Leslie Ann Coles, Award Winning Film Producer & Actress
- Giuseppina D'Agostino, Professor, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University.
- Graham Henderson, President, Canadian Recording Industry Association
- Jason J. Kee, Director Policy & Legal Affairs, Entertainment Software Association of Canada (ESAC)
- Duncan McKie, President & CEO, Canadian Independent Record Production Association
- Wendy Noss, Acting Executive Director , Canadian Motion Picture Association
According to an article in the Globe and Mail, at least one MP believes that the Copyright Act should cover health and safety issues :
Liberal MP Dan McTeague, meanwhile, says the government has not done some of the things that could have made a difference for consumers - like introducing a copyright act that would have targeted such products as the counterfeit toothpaste that was found to contain bacteria.
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.