Copyright related communications from Heritage Minister and Chair of Industry Committee

Attached is a letter sent to the 3 named MPs. The staff from the offices of Mr. Rajotte, Mr McGuinty's and the Minister of Canadian Heritage have acknowledge receipt.



(Note to staff receiving this message. Please indicate receipt. Thank you.)

Dear James Rajotte, M.P., Chair of Industry-Science-Technology committee,
Ms. Bev Oda, P.C., M.P., Minister of Heritage,
Mr. David J. McGuinty, M.P. for Ottawa South

I received reply letters from both Mr. Rajotte dated September 27 and, through Mr. McGuinty's office, a letter from Ms. Oda. dated July 7.

I would like to thank Mr. Rajotte for his letter. It clearly indicated that he read my letter, and is aware of my concerns that upcoming legislation to deal with "copyright" would have considerable harmful impacts on the rights of Information Technology owners. He indicated that there would be a possibility of me being able to comment on this subject, and to appear to testify on it, when legislation comes forward.

Will the new Conservative government be creating a special legislative committee to study this issue? I am very worried that the issue will be sent to Heritage committee. My observations over the years suggest there is more diversity in views between parliamentary committees on this issue than there is between parties. I'm not convinced this issue can be given an adequate hearing if the bill is sent to Heritage committee.

Ms. Oda's letter caused me great concern. On the same date a nearly identical letter was sent to the Appropriation Art coalition, making me worried that Ms. Oda was not taking the views of new creator constituencies seriously. Creators across all types of creativity are divided on these issues, and the historical representatives can no longer claim to fully represent creators.

The letter sent to me indicated she was "aware of the sensitive nature of the issue of technical protection measures". Given there is confusion in this debate around language, I do not know how to interpret this statement. In the technical community the term "technical protection measures" is used to refer to all types of technologies such as cryptography that protects the privacy, integrity and authenticity of information. Technical measures are generic, and can be used to protect the rights of citizens as well as to circumvent the rights of citizens.

My worry is that Canada will enact legislation which will legally protect attacks on the property, privacy and other rights of Canadians who own Information Technology. This is why we are collecting signatures for the Petition to protect Information Technology property rights, to draw the attention of parliamentarians to this issue. Abuses of technical measures are incapable of reducing copyright infringement, but can be used to attack the rights of law abiding citizens.

The fundamental question for me is is: should the rights of the tangible property owners of technology be protected in the law, which includes legally protecting their right to choose the rules (the software) that this hardware will obey. The direction of the previous government's Bill C-60 was to protect various attacks on these property rights, and I am very concerned that the new Conservative government does not adequately understand the property rights implications of so-called "copyright" related changes to the law.

Thank you.

Russell McOrmond
305 Southcrest Private,
[Contact details removed]
http://www.flora.ca/#contact

P.S. I hope each of you received the informational package from GOSLING which included some software CDs and other documents. It is critical that parliamentarians are aware of Free/Libre and Open Source Software as you debate policies which regulate the software sector.

Links:

Petition to protect Information Technology property rights
http://www.digital-copyright.ca/petition/ict/

Copy of letter from James Rajotte
http://www.digital-copyright.ca/node/2706

Copy of letter from Bev Oda
http://www.digital-copyright.ca/node/2714

GOSLING (Getting Open Source Logic INto Governments) MP awareness project
http://www.goslingcommunity.org/mp/

Copyright Board asked to mandate DRM?
http://www.digital-copyright.ca/node/2729