In many of the comments about Bill C-61 on BLOGS all across Canada you can hear people saying that all the parties are the same, and that we need a Canadian Pirate Party. The Pirate Party (Swedish: Piratpartiet) is a political party in Sweden that focus on one issue: reforming of so-called "Intellectual Property" laws such as patent, copyright, trademark and other related laws (also called PCT) to better integrate with a modern technological and participatory society.
There is, however, something exciting happening in one party that warrants a closer look for those who think fair copyright reform is important, and that is the NDP.
See also: Copyright in Canada by Jon Newton which hilights a number of related articles.
A Hill Times article NDP's 'star' candidate Byers sets sights on Vancouver Centre describes how a best-selling author and academic, Michael. Byers, is seeking the nomination in that riding. I decided to do a written interview with Mr. Byers on copyright, included below. It looks like Vancouver Center will be an important riding to watch for those of us interested in copyright.
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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.
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I try to stay non-partisan on this issue. I do not know if the words of Hon. Hedy Fry represent the thinking of the Heritage Committee or the Liberal Party of Canada. I believe it is incumbent on all Canadian citizens to talk to their MPs and ask them if these words reflect their own thinking. I guess I have to reveal my hope that politicians which have such antiquated ideas about the knowledge economy will either retire on their own or otherwise replaced with younger, more experienced politicians.
The members of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage have tabled a report where they make the following statement:
(Note: This is out of date. New committee not yet formed).
Copyright policy is the joint responsibility of the Minister of Canadian Heritage and the Minister of Industry. Two committees of the House of Commons are therefore the key members who are most likely to be studying this topic and related bills.
Members of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage (CHPC)
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.
(Also carried by p2pnet)
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