CIPPIC replies: Halton Green Party candidate

;:Frank Marchetti
;:Halton Green Party of Canada Candidate
;:Frank.Marchetti@greenparty.ca
;:http://www.haltongreenparty.com
;:http://www.greenparty.ca

Questions:

Music File-sharing: What is your position on the issue of file-sharing in Canada--should it be illegal?

;:While I will make no claims about expertise on the matter, I do think that there are a lot of complex issues involved. Of course, we do want artists and others to be paid for the results of their labour, but we also do not want to "kill the goose that laid the golden egg." That is to say, the extension of copyright into all elements of human civilization is destroying the free flow of information that has fueled the scientific revolution since the rennaissance. If you go into universities, for example, you will see laboratory after laboratory that is locked and signs that say admittence is not permitted. This is because of copyright and patenting issues. As one biology professor (recipient of many awards for teaching and research excellence) told me "university used to be a meeting of the minds, but now it has become an exercise in autism."

;:What I believe needs to happen is the creation of a new "industry model", one that understands that all music, programs, books, etc, will be distributed over the internet. What this means is that a huge infrastructure of advertisors, retailers, wholesalers, etc, are going to wither away and have to find new ways of making a living. Instead, modern technology will allow consumers and artists to interact directly. Until industry realizes that this is the new "rules of the game", they will be in the situation of King Canut trying to order the tide to not come in. Part of this realization will be the understanding that consumers simply will not pay the same price for a book, music, etc, that they download and print themselves off the internet that they would have to pay if they went to a physical store and made a purchase. And why should they? They have removed almost all the "middle-men" who previously had to do work to get it into their hands.

Technological Protection of Copyrighted Materials: What is your position on using legislation to prohibit circumvention of TPMs?

;:Laws have to accomodate reality. Simply passing laws that cannot be enforced and which go against the tide of history only build contempt for the law amongst the populace. Greens will only support laws governing copyrights if they are enforcable and serve the public interest. Many of the current laws do not work (which the Supreme Court has acknowledged) and I have yet to see anything from industry that looks like they are willing to adapt to the new reality.

Educational Use of Internet Materials: Do you support an amendment to the Copyright Act to allow for the
use of freely available materials on the Internet by participants in an educational program?

;:Context and fine print. This is not the sort of issue that a candidate in an election should be expected to have a detailed answer for. My general intent is outlined above. The specifics that the GPC are committed to are outlined in the quotes from the Platform below. Either way, the details are an issue for the Law Reform and other Parliamentry commissions.

ISP Liability for copyright infringement: Should ISPs be protected from liability for copyright infringement when others merely transmit copyrighted materials over their facilities, or when others post copyrighted works on websites that the ISP merely hosts?

;:The ISP is a conduit, not a publisher. It should not be liable at all for what people do on it. Is the phone company liable for what people say on the telephone?

What is your position on the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage's proposed "notice and takedown" scheme requiring ISPs to remove content on the sole basis of alleged copyright infringement?

;:I do not know the specifics, but if the ISP is a real ISP and not simply a shill for a single user, then it should be immune from prosecution. ISPs are utilities, like the phone company and gas and electric companies.

Open Source Software: What is your position on increasing or mandating the use of open source software in government operations?

;:This is a direct quote from the GPC policy platform.

;:Open Source Software

;:In this era of increasing technology dependence, both in business and in daily life, software has become a vital economic resource. Software applications must be trustworthy, reliable and easy-to-use. The Open Source Movement is emerging as a competitive rival to privately developed and marketed software, producing programs of equal or better reliability and security.

;:The Green Party will:

;:* Require federal agencies to initiate transitions to open source operating systems and productivity software.
;:* Make technology that has been developed at public expense, a publicly owned resource. Software that has been developed at taxpayer expense will be released under an open source license, making it free for all Canadians to use.
;:* Procure only software that stores, loads and transmits information in industry standard formats, for which full technical specifications are available. Procurement of systems that require closed licenses or use vendor-specific formats would be used only if no alternative is available.
;:* Shorten the length of software patents to seven years. The software business cycle is so fast that longer patents only stifle innovation.

Spam: How do you propose to approach the problem of spam?

;:More from the GPC platform:

;:Canadian Spam Laws

;:In Canada, over ten billion junk e-mails are sent every year. The federal government and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission have yet to address this issue. While spam is an international problem, Canada should start becoming part of the solution, rather than part of the problem.

;:The Green Party will create Anti-Spam laws with the following rules:

;:* E-mail marketers will be forced to identify themselves properly.
;:* Marketers must make their pitches honestly.
;:* Marketers must honour any person?s request to be removed from their contact lists.
;:* Marketers must abide by a Canadian "do-not-spam" registry.
;:* CSIS will coordinate with the international law enforcement and security agencies to crack down on the worst spammers.

National ID cards: What is your position on National ID cards?

;:I would approach this issue from a civil liberties point of view. Would they add an unjustified level of government surveillance? Probably not, as current information technology allows both business and government to track individuals using credit cards and other methods. But having said that, this too is an idea that should be carefully worked out through groups like the Law Reform Commission. Ultimately, I suspect that it is more important to consider what we do with the information that the government can already gather than to worry about any new information that can be gathered. In other words, people already have so little potential privacy that concern about new ID cards may be misplaced.