Windsor West

Layton announces new NDP shadow cabinet

The NDP has announced a new shadow cabinet. Surprisingly, Bill Siksay (Burnaby-Douglas) has replaced Charlie Angus (Timmins-James Bay) as Heritage critic.

Peggy Nash (Parkdale-High Park) replaces Brian Masse (Windsor West) as primary Industry critic. this means that Ms. Nash will now play a larger roll in Copyright policy, bringing her back to some of the debates which brought her into the house in the first place.

This may also suggest that there will be changes in who sits on the various parliamentary committees.

Counterfeiting and Piracy are theft (NOT!)

As parliament was being recessed for the summer, James Rajotte stood up as the Chair of the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology to table their latest report very embarrassingly titled Counterfeiting and Piracy are theft. See Michael Geist's article Industry Committee Demands a Canadian DMCA.

While I am obviously going to send a copy of my article Jefferson Debate: A Godwin's law for copyright discussions to each member, we clearly have a lot of work ahead of us to educate members of parliament on the basics of these issues. If you are in (or live near) the riding of any of these MPs, please make sure you set up a meeting in their constituency office this summer!

Right to Repair -- Freedom to Tinker -- Cars and Computers?

Brian Masse (NDP -- Windsor West) has tabled a private members Bill C-425 intended to protect the right of automobile owners to gain information and tools needed to repair their own vehicles. I have to ask: will MPs support a similar Freedom to Tinker with Computers? The entire purpose of so-called "Digital Rights Management" (as well as broadcasts flags and "closing the analog hole") is to disallow non-professionals the right to make their own software choices and to be in control of the computing and communications hardware they own.

Steven Harper and Bill Gates helping AIDS victims? Not likely.

(Republished on p2pnet)
In case anyone missed it, Mr. Harper and Mr. Gates had a press conference yesterday where they spoke about funding (Investment?) for HIV/AIDS vaccine research. I doubt anyone in the audience asked whether any of the results of this "research" would be accessible to countries like Africa as a royalty-free generic drug, or whether royalty-free commons-based peer production techniques will be included (allowed?).

Like many other examples of alleged philanthropy, there will be more schemes to transfer taxpayer money into the pockets of Mr. Gates and/or Microsoft.

Yesterday in Question Period, Mr. Brian Masse (NDP's Industry Critic) asked the government a related question.

Letter to the Ontario Minister of Education about software policy.

The following is a letter I wrote to the Ontario Minister of Education, with a copy to my MPP for Ottawa South. (Republished as an article on p2pnet, referenced from,

Dear Hon. Sandra Pupatello, Minister of Education, Minister Responsible for Women’s Issues

Copy to Hon. Dalton McGuinty , Premier, Minister of Research and Innovation, and member for my riding of Ottawa South.

Windsor all-candidates debate

Windsor all-candidates debate
When: January 13, 12 pm – 1pm
Where: University of Windsor CAW commons area
Who: This event is hosted by The University of Windsor Student Alliance (UWSA) and Engineers Without Borders (EWB).

Election 2006: Windsor West

Election 2006: Please add comments to discuss riding specific activities, links to candidate information, etc.

Incumbent information

Windsor West / Windsor-Ouest
MP: Brian Masse (Parliamentary Internet)NDP Shadow Cabinet: Industry, Science and Technology, Auto Policy, Canada Border Services, Customs

Letter to Industry Minister about software patents

May 31, 2005

Dear Hon. David Emerson, Minister of Industry,

I am enclosing an article about Software Patents that describes the worldwide market situation, with specific reference to the special interest lobbying in the European Union. The European Patent Convention (EPC) was signed by its core member states in 1973 and went into force in 1978, when the European Patent Office (EPO) was established on its basis. The EPC specifically excluded "schemes, rules and methods for performing mental acts, playing games or doing business, and programs for computers" (reference 1) from patentability based on very sound public policy reasons. There is now a powerful lobby, including software companies facing major competitive threats from alternative business models, that are seeking to remove these important exclusions.

Letter to Minister of Canadian Heritage about court decision.

Dear Honourable Liza Frulla,

Minister of Canadian Heritage and Minister responsible for the Status of Women.

Two important decisions were made available to Canadians today. In parliament a few hours ago, by the narrowest of margins, the Liberal government survived a non-confidence vote. This morning the Federal Court of Appeal handed down a decision that confirmed that the privacy rights of Canadians would be respected on the Internet.

Your words, as quoted by the media around the Junos, suggest that you had had not read or understood the earlier decision of the Federal Court by the Honourable Mr. Justice von Finckenstein (Citation: 2004 FC 488) that was being appealed. You falsely claimed that Canadian copyright law needed to be changed in order to clarify that unauthorized distribution of music via the Internet was illegal. You falsely claimed that the recording industry did not already have the legal tools to sue. Given this, I am including a copy of the appeal of this decision with the hopes that you will read it, and stop spreading Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) about Canada's copyright act. If Canadians are confused about the legality of unauthorized distribution of music via the Internet, I believe you should accept some personal responsibility for this given your own words have suggested something that simply is not true.

Are the words of the current Minister of Heritage what the Liberals want to go to election with?

The following letter was sent by Russell McOrmond to the Honourable Liza Frulla, Minister of Canadian Heritage, in reply to a letter received. It was also copied to the "discuss" forum.

Dear Honourable Liza Frulla, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Minister responsible for the Status of Women.

I would like to thank Luc Rouleau, Director, Ministerial Correspondence Secretariat, for the reply letter dated April 12, 2005. I made that letter publicly available so more Canadians may read the government response:

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