File sharing is an asset, not a problem

The Ottawa Citizen (March 18, 2006, pg B7), Vancouver Sun (March 22, 2006, pg A17) and The Windsor Star published an article by Tom Flanagan and Gemma Collins. Mr. Flanagan is a professor and Ms. Collins is a graduate student in the department of political science at the University of Calgary. Mr Flanigan also has close ties with the Conservative party.

The article focused on the differences between Lockean real property and "intellectual property", as well as the confusing (and not well understood/documented) "making available" right included in the 1996 WIPO treaties, mentioned in the 2004 filesharing case (BMG vs Doe), and included in Bill C-60.

The article concludes:

Canada signed the 1997 World Intellectual Property Organization Internet Treaties, but we have not yet ratified them by enacting their provisions into our domestic law. There is still time to draw back from a step that would create a new class of lawbreakers and impose censorship on the Internet, without doing anything to foster genuine cultural vitality.

I wrote to Mr. Flanagan and Ms. Collins, and received replies from both. I also asked Mr. Flanagan if he knew of a Canadian conservative think-tank that might be doing similar work to what was recently published The CATO Institute about the anti-competitive/anti-innovation aspects of DRM.