Letter to James Rajotte about Information Technology property rights

The following letter was sent to James Rajotte, MP for Edmonton Leduc, and current chair of the Industry, Science and Technology Standing Committee.

In previous parliaments you spoke up for the rights of citizens to own tangible property. With digital issues these rights are being eroded, but not in the way that governments are currently being told.

Today I posted an article to the website of CLUE: The Canadian Association for Open Source, titled "Whose hardware is it anyway?".

You tabled signatures for the "Petition for Users' Rights" in the past, and I hope you will also table signatures to the "Petition to protect Information Technology property rights". Unless our property rights are protected, it will not be possible to protect the rights of authors or any other citizen who use information technology.

Petition Signatures tabled by James Rajotte

502 signatures were tabled in the House on April 25, 2006 by Edmonton--Leguc MP James Rajotte.

Mr. James Rajotte (Edmonton—Leduc, CPC): Mr. Speaker, it is my honour today to present a petition on behalf of hundreds of Canadians across the country with respect to the Copyright Act. The petitioners wish to properly recognize the careful balance between the rights of creators and the rights of the public, including viewers, readers and listeners.

The petitioners call upon Parliament to ensure generally that users are recognized as interested parties and are meaningfully consulted while proposed changes are made to the Copyright Act and to ensure, in particular, that any changes at least preserve all existing users' rights.

Covered by: Michael Geist, p2pnet, BoingBoing.

Petition for Users' Rights in Canadian Copyright: 2 years and 2400+ signatures later

Today marks the 2-year anniversary of the launch of the Petition for Users' Rights in Canadian Copyright. Users' Rights includes not only the rights of audiences of creative works of the minds, but also the next generation of creators who always build upon the past.

We have two packages of signatures that are being prepared to be tabled in the new parliament, and we are always looking for more signatures to be tabled by more members of parliament.

502 signatures were dropped off at Edmonton--Leguc MP James Rajotte's parliamentary office on October 27, 2005. His assistant confirmed on April 5 that they have the signatures and had forwarded them to the Private Members office for confirmation, and will hopefully be ready to be tabled in parliament soon.

200 signatures dropped off at Timmins--James Bay MP Charlie Angus' parliamentary office on October 27, 2005.

Looking at some specific results

Here are the preliminary results for the ridings we were watching closely. There are some very positive outcomes for us, especially in the two top ridings we were watching. This is hopefully an indication of a positive future for creators and users of "works of the mind".

General results from the Library of Parliament.

Parkdale--High Park
Peggy Nash wins the election, unseating Hollywood's member of parliament, Sarmite Sam Bulte.

Timmins--James Bay
Independent writer, broadcaster and musician Charlie Angus retains his seat. This is an important win for Canadian independent creators.

Bev Oda, possibly the new Minister of Heritage.

Jeanne-Le Ber
Liza Frulla, past Heritage Minister, looses her seat.

Canada Votes 2006: Ridings of Interest

The following ridings are considered to be of special interest to our community.

Parkdale--High Park
Close race between Peggy Nash and Sarmite Sam Bulte. Ms. Bulte is a close friend of the incumbent foreign intermediaries, and possibility to become the next Heritage Minister if the Liberals form the government. She is seen by our community as one of the greatest threats to Canadian creativity, especially independents and creators using alternative methods of production, distribution and funding. Anyone with ties to this riding should do what they can to support Ms. Nash and ensure that Ms. Bulte does not win her seat.

Timmins--James Bay
Riding of independent writer, broadcaster and musician Charlie Angus. He was also the NDP Heritage critic. It is important that this independent creator, who understands the competitive issues in Copyright, is in the next parliament. He was sent signatures to the Petition for Users Rights which he offered to table for us, but this did not happen before the election was called.

Election 2006: Edmonton--Leduc

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

Incumbent information

Edmonton–Leduc / Edmonton–Leduc
MP: James Rajotte (Parliamentary Internet)
Conservative party critic for Industry.

Letter to Hon. Stephen Harper Re: signatures for Petition for Users' Rights.

The following is the text of a snail-mail letter sent on Friday November 4.

Dear Hon. Stephen Harper,
Leader of the Official Opposition and MP for Calgary Southwest.

I met you on Thursday November 3 when you and Joy Smith met with teachers about Copyright and the needs of educators. While my wife is a teacher, I am a self employed Internet consultant who has offered to do what I can to help this cause. I have been very active in Copyright revision for the last 4 years, starting in the summer of 2001 when this round of reform was launched.

I have been coordinating a copyright related petition called the "Petition for Users' Rights". While users include the educational community, this petition is broader and seeks to protect the rights of authors-in waiting (who build upon and use the works of others), owners of communications technology (Bill C-60 regulates away many property rights), as well as the general public. I am enclosing a blank copy of our petition for you to read.

702 petition signatures accepted to be tabled by members of parliament.

Two packages of signatures for the Petition for Users Rights are now on their way to being tabled. 502 signatures dropped off at Edmonton--Leguc MP James Rajotte's parliamentary office, and 200 signatures dropped off at Timmins--James Bay MP Charlie Angus' parliamentary office. These signatures are brought to the Private Members' Business Office to be verified before they are tabled in the house (This process takes around a month).

Amendments to copyright law could cost universities

A Canadian University Press article by Nadya Bell, Ottawa Bureau Chief (Published in e.Peek, The Manitoban Online) includes:

Conservative industry critic MP James Rajotte said his party believes an educational exemption is necessary.

“Most information that is put up for public consumption should be considered in the public domain,” said Rajotte.

NDP Charlie Angus agreed. The heritage critic said he is concerned that the government will try to rush through the bill.

“I am deeply concerned about a fast track approach on government bills that would basically put toll booths all across the information highway,” said Angus.

Reply from legislative assistant to James Rajotte (Conservative Industry critic)

I received the following reply to a letter I sent to Industry and Heritage critics about the The DMCA (AKA: Lehman report, 1996 WIPO, C-60) vs The Darknet paper.

August 15th, 2005

Dear Mr. McOrmond:

Thank you for your e-mail with the above paper, and for your continuing series of e-mails regarding copyright and digital issues. I have printed a copy of the paper you sent today for Mr. Rajotte. I am sure he will review it at the earliest opportunity.

Michele Austin
Legislative Assistant
The Office of James Rajotte, M.P.

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