Timmins--James Bay

Letter to MPs: IP caucus likely headed in wrong direction

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.

Charlie Angus during Question Period on the DMCA

A link to the above video came directly from Charlie with the following text:

Angus challenges Conservative thinking over digital innovation issues in the wake of comments by Conservative Senate Leader Marjorie LaBreton who said she doesn't understand technologies like facebook and she thinks they are dangerous.

He then challenges Jim Prentice over the U.S. arm-twisting to enact a DMCA-style copyright Act. The Conservatives have pledged that all treaties will be debated in the House of Commons before being ratified. Angus challenges Prentice on refusing to bring WIPO into the House prior to any new copyright legislation.

Real-world experience important for politicians and other policy makers/promoters

Reading a press release from Timmins-James Bay MP Charlie Angus, you will see the following:

"Angus is one of the only MPs who has relied on income from copyright royalties from music, book and textbook sales to make a living. He says the New Democratic Party strongly supports fair remuneration for artists but that copyright must be looking forward to the 21st century reality rather than attempting to force consumers back to an obsolete 20th century business model."

It is interesting to note that while federal Members of Parliament come from many walks of life, most of those who are vocal on technology law have very little experience with the relevant technology, or businesses affected by them. Musician and author Charlie Angus stands out as an exception.

Read full article on IT World Canada's BLOG »

Watch out for the DMCA Parade: Angus warns

WATCH OUT FOR THE DMCA PARADE: Angus Warns Lobbyists Setting Groundwork for New Copyright Legislation

With new copyright legislation said to be just weeks away, MP Charlie Angus, the NDP Spokesman on Digital Issues, is advising Canadians to watch out for a carefully orchestrated pageant by the trade lobbyists. Angus predicts that certain politicians and lobbyists will try to drum up fear over Canada’s reluctance to sign on for heavily restrictive, U.S.-style Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) legislation.

Read full release on Mr. Angus' website >>

NDP: Conservatives ‘out to lunch’ on net neutrality

A CBC article by Peter Nowak, a fairly long interview with Charlie Angus on p2pnet and a ComputerWorld Canada by Rafael Ruffolo discusses Charlie Angus' call on the government to properly deal with Bell's Throttling of the services of independent ISPs, as well as network neutrality.

Rafael also interviewed me for this article:

Russell McOrmond, an Internet consultant and head of Digital Copyright Canada, said that Bell’s actions with deep packet inspection is actually violating an existing CRTC regulated service, rather than the principle of net neutrality.

NDP Digital Culture Spokesman Charlie Angus calls on Prentice to deal with net throttling

The following is an article from Charlie Angus' site

2008-04-17

The federal government must lay down transparent ground rules on internet “throttling” to ensure that consumers aren’t gouged and innovation isn’t stifled. This was the message delivered to Industry Minister Jim Prentice in an open letter by NDP Digital Culture Spokesman Charlie Angus. In the letter, Angus challenged Prentice’s claim that the government has no role to play in ensuring net neutrality because the internet is unregulated.

Bell Canada Violates CRTC Decision in Order to Stifle Competition

A Campaign For Democratic Media press release:

Bell uses its privileged access for its own benefit, not consumers
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Vancouver, April 7, 2008: In March, the CRTC upheld a decade-old policy requiring Bell Canada to allow third-party businesses access to facilities, functions, or services where Bell is a monopoly (see Telecom Decision CRTC 2008-17). But as reported and criticized heavily in the media, Bell has begun shaping internet traffic on its network. By throttling the connection between competing Internet service providers and their customers, Bell is violating what should be reasonably understood as a regulatory requirement.

Charlie Angus on "Net Neutrality"

Unfortunately the question didn't separate the "Net neutrality" issue, which isn't yet regulated in Canada, and "competitive access" which only exists in Canada because of regulation. If it were not for regulators requiring competitive access for those companies with the last mile monopolies, we wouldn't have *any* other ISPs or local phone services except those offered by the incumbent phone and cable companies. The non-answer from Minister Prentice is extremely disappointing, and suggested to me he is not adequately watching this critical telecom competition file.

NDP's Charlie Angus on Net Neutrality: Throttling net traffic sets dangerous precedent,

The following is from a posting on CharlieAngus.ca:

NEW RULES ARE NEEDED TO PROTECT NET NEUTRALITY: Throttling net traffic sets dangerous precedent

2008-03-27: The NDP is calling on Industry Minister Jim Prentice to establish clear ground rules to limit the interference of telecommunication giants in consumer’s use of the internet. NDP spokesman for Copyright and Digital Issues, Charlie Angus, made the call following revelations that Bell Canada is throttling the ability of third party internet service providers (ISPs) to offer high bandwidth access to its consumers.

WIPO reality check: NDP offers Prentice a way through copyright morass

On March 10, 2008, Charlie Angus offers further thoughts regarding WIPO obligations.

Last month I provided Minister Jim Prentice with three reasonable steps to get his government out of the sinkhole caused by rushing through with poorly planned copyright legislation.

Step one: live up to the Conservative commitment to bring the WIPO treaty to the House for debate before ratifying it.
Step two: ensure adequate public consultation with the various stakeholders before legislation is introduced.

Step three: ensure that any move towards new copyright legislation is focused on addressing the rapidly shifting realities of technological innovation.

Read his February 6, 2008 article as well.

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