Questions to Saint Boniface candidates: Open Source, technology law issues

I sent the following to the candidates in St. Boniface:

An article in indicates that "New Democratic Party’s St. Boniface candidate, Mathieu Allard, is a self-described open source candidate"

I am the host of, and we focus on technology law issues. I am also co-coordinator of Getting Open Source Logic INto Government

While our focus during this election has been on the Bulte scandal in Parkdale High Park, we do have a "Ridings of Interest" page where we are featuring specific candidates/ridings where our issues are in the debate.

Is it possible for the candidates in this riding to answer the following questions, possibly with an introduction that would feature other related policy ideas that you think would interest to constituents in your riding that are part of our community? Please also clarify that what you send is for public publication on our website.

Thank you!

I am a self-employed Internet consultant, independent software author, and someone who considers technology law issues to be the most important issue in determining who I will vote for.

While CIPPIC has asked the parties a few specific questions , my experience has been that there are greater differences between individual people on these issues than between the parties. Each of the parties has individuals that understand the issues well, and some who do not understand to the point of being dangerous to Canadian creativity and innovation.

Please answer CIPPIC's questions, sending me something that I can post onto my BLOG for Saint Boniface for all people in the riding (and all Canadians) to read. If you can send a message to party headquarters requesting that they send party responses to CIPPIC that would also be helpful.

An article appeared in the Toronto Star today that relates to the first question. Please read "Rootkit fiasco shows sterner laws needed" by Michael Geist and let me know if you support legal protection from abuses of technical measures.

Beyond the questions from CIPPIC, there are some specific questions I would like to hear your thoughts on.

* A recent government bill C-60 proposed legal protection for technical measures that claim to be used to protect copyright. Many of these technical measures are indistinguishable from SpyWare and other malware which circumvents the security of personal computers.

Would you support a bill to modernize Canadian law to provide legal protection *from* technical measures used to circumvent computer security, circumvent privacy, circumvent competition, as well as other important public policy?

* Are you aware that so-called "copy protection" will always fail at its claimed purpose? While digital locks can be used to prevent people from accessing content who are not yet customers, they are not capable of stopping a technically literate paying customer from unlocking the content and unlawfully sharing the unlocked content. While "copy protection" is snake-oil in relation to its claimed purpose, it does have many harmful unintended consequences such as the circumvention of privacy, competition, computer security, and other public policy goals.

* Copyright debates are often portrayed as being creators vs. infringers, while the most critical dynamic is creators and audiences vs. intermediaries (or incumbent creators vs. new creators).

Are you aware that the interests of creators and the interests of intermediaries such as recording labels (CRIA), "software manufacturing" industry associations (CAAST) are not only not the same, but quite often incompatible.

This seems to be lost on people like Sarmite Bulte (Liberal Candidate for Parkdale--High Park ) who is a close friend with the incumbent foreign intermediaries (they are hosting a fundraiser for her). She often claims she wants to protect Canadian creators while actively promoting legislation that harms creators by protecting the contradictory interests of the intermediaries. I wish there were a law against buying legislation in the way that these foreign special interest groups are able to buy Ms. Bulte.

Note: I have sent money to the campaign of fellow independent creator (writer, broadcaster and musician) Charlie Angus as I believe it is critical that actual creators are in Parliament to counter the misinformation from the intermediaries.

* Terms such as "theft" and "property" are often used to stifle debate, and to narrow peoples understanding of cultural, content and innovation industries.

A Godwin's law for copyright discussions?

Are you aware of how intangibles like creativity and innovation are entirely different from tangibles, even though both have value and both can be bought and sold?

Are you aware of the full diversity of methods of creation, distribution and funding of creativity and innovation? Are you aware of Peer Production techniques, Free/Libre and Open Source Software, and Creative Commons?

What is FLOSS, peer production, creative commons, etc