Matt G. Greenwood (Kamloops - Thompson - Cariboo, Green Party of Canada)

Hi there Russell

First, my sincere apologies for the lateness of my reply. I had meant to get to all of this much sooner, but things being what they are on a small campaign, this is the first "day off" I've had in quite awhile!

I'll try to answer your questions in order. I'd certainly agree to having the answers published, though I recognize that there's little point so late in the game. Again, my apologies.

* There has been a call from people like Michael Geist for candidates and parties to take the "copyright pledge" that states that:

I would take that pledge in a second.

The Copyright Act lists the Minister of Industry as the Minister responsible for the act. The Minister of Heritage, Heritage Committee and Heritage department have been given excessive influence over copyright based on the claim that copyright is a form of cultural policy. If this were true, Heritage would not be directly responsible for specific incumbent (largely foreign) industry association interests being allowed to dominate the debate. Heritage appears unequipped to deal with the economic issues that are brought before them, and have allowed false statistics and faith-based economic ideologies to direct policy. Heritage is also in a conflict of interest, given they fund a small subset of Canadian society that is affected by copyright.

Do you agree that Copyright should be primarily handled by Industry rather than Heritage, and would you be willing to offer a similar pledge to the above listing Industry rather than Heritage?

I'm not sure that handing copyright enforcement over to Industry rather than Heritage will necessarily have much impact if a governing party is ideologically inclined to favor content-producer lobbies over consumers in general. Nevertheless, if the Copyright Act says the Industry ministry is where it should be handled, then that seems the appropriate place to do so.

* 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?

I've re-read this question a few times, and the wording is a bit confusing. I agree that some security measures seem to be getting uncomfortably out of hand. If the second paragraph is asking whether I would support a bill protecting consumers against overzealous anti-piracy measures, then the answer is unquestionably Yes.

Note: one tool I'm appreciating greatly is the EULAlyzer, available at http://www.eularesearchcenter.com/ . Check it out... it's kept me from installing more than one piece of software, once I saw what they were actually demanding.

* Are you aware that so-called "copy protection" will always fail at its claimed purpose?

This seems self-evident. The "analog hole" continues to exist, and any measures I could imagine which would attempt to close THAT would simply be frightening.

* 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 is true. You may or may not be familiar with the term "rent-seeking", but simply put, it refers to resources spent on causing a pure transfer of wealth from one group to another, without actually producing anything to justify it. Lobby groups are, of course, the prime example. Rent seeking is by definition totally unproductive. From the individual perspective, of course, lobbying can be very productive indeed (e.g. spending $10,000 to receive $1M). But from an economic or social perspective, all resources spent on rent-seeking are purely and completely wasted, as resources which could have been used productively were spent, and no new wealth has actually been produced to increase the overall social welfare. Therefore, it ought to be avoided as much as possible. Today, unfortunately, we seem to see things trending in the opposite direction.

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

Echoes of the 1980's and the advent of VCR's...

A Godwin's law for copyright discussions?
http://www.digital-copyright.ca/node/1610

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?

The economic concepts of "non-rivalry", "non-congestion", and "non-exclusion" seem applicable here.

Non-rivalry refers to the fact that an idea, once produced and made available, may be used by anyone without preventing anyone else from making use of the same idea.
Non-congestion refers to the fact that it doesn't matter how many people use an idea, it doesn't become "unusable" beyond a certain point (as an overcrowded beach becomes less desirable to visit).

Non-exclusion is of course the extreme difficulty of preventing the unauthorized spread of the idea to those who have not "paid" for it.

These properties, of course, are the defining features of the economic concept of a "public good", and while I wouldn't go so far as to say that all media and thought belongs in that realm, the parallels are clearly present. Much of the anti-piracy effort in particular seems to be along the lines of throwing spears into the sea in fighting against the non-exclusionary nature of most media.

Are you aware of the full spectrum 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?

I am aware of all of these, and appreciate them greatly.

What is FLOSS, peer production, creative commons, etc
http://flora.ca/floss

I will admit a certain haziness on the precise technical definitions, though I see that there are some very helpful articles at the link you included. Roughly, Free/libre (used in the "freedom/liberty" senses of the words) refers to a lack of restrictions imposed on software users in terms of use of the software, while Open-source focuses on the zero-price and availability of the source-code for study and improvement. Creative Commons is a less-restrictive method of ensuring that content-producers receive credit for their work, without stifiling the re-use of that content in new creative endeavors.

Thank you!

Thank you as well. I hope I've answered your questions appropriately.
Take care, and happy voting!
Matt Greenwood.