CIPPIC replies: Esquimalt--Juan de Fuca Green Party candidate

Received from Dr. Jane Sterk:

;:My answers are found below. I apologize for the delay.

;:/Jane Sterk
;:Green Party Candidate
;:Esquimalt - Juan de Fuca


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

;:Answer: I am of mixed mind on the issue on several fronts. I am not in favour of criminalizing more and more behaviours because I believe this is not the best means for challenging behaviours that might be unacceptable. As well, it leaves us open to what is happening in the States where one of the few growth industries is privately owned and operated prisons with increasing populations because more and more commonly occurring behaviours are being declared crimes.
;:As well, I think that the opposition to file sharing may be simply designed to control more and more profit by the large communications conglomerates who increasingly control access to almost all media. This, in the end, prevents new and promising artists from emerging because the obstacles put in their way are simply too great. There are many cases of large record labels attempting to control the careers of artists they deem to "own". Jennifer Warnes is an example.
;:I am struck too that many of the more independent artists do not worry too much about file sharing and in fact support access to their music as a way of creating a fan base.
;:I also think that the reality of the internet is that file sharing cannot be stopped and I think diverting tax payer dollars to trying to do so would be a misuse of public funds. I would bet the mulitnational corporations who want to stop file sharing will expect government dollars either directly or through regulation to support their efforts. In the end, a few people might be made examples but the behaviour will not be stopped.
;:I think better ways to approach issues of changing norms in society is to have some engaging and ongoing conversation about them. This could be done as an educational project; it could be part of decision-making training in schools; it could be a topic for debate amongst experts and non-experts. Why do we only debate at election time? And why are such conversations so dysfunctional?
;:I also am conscious of the fact that artists should get reasonable compensation for their work.
;:In the end, I guess my answer is no, it should not be made illegal.

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

;:Answer: I have addressed the crinimalizing of more and more behaviours above. In addition, I think the vast majority of Canadians are like me. We follow the rules, we buy our CDs and rent our movies. So again we are left with a small segment of the population versus the large vested interests with most people living law abiding lives. Do we want to create a society run by these two factions? I don't. I also think copyrighting is a process that sometimes acts contrary to the common good. This is currently most evident in the attempts by large multinational corporations to patent DNA - human, animal and plant - for private gain. It is having a devastating effect on diversity which is terribly dangerous.

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?

;:Answer: I am of the opinion that there is common courtesy in asking for permission to use materials in an educational program. Teachers and students should both be aware that someone's time went into creation of the material and that needs to be recognized. Nothing, in truth is "free". Again, for me this is not a behaviour to criminalize but I do not think we can excuse lack of civility. I believe that my ideas can be shared and would make them open to anyone. Others may not and I would advise educators to respect the response they receive.

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?

;:Answer: I think it would be difficult for an ISP to be aware of all of the materials flowing through their service and therefore difficult to police and enforce all copyright infringement potential. At the same time, there should be some standards against which ISPs determine what they will permit.
;:The proliferation of sites of pornography, white supremacy, hate mongering, violence against women and children is of deep concern and reflects the decay in our society. I believe a host can decide to not support those things which are not in the public good.

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?

;:Answer: I don't have a position. I think the energy is directed toward the wrong thing - i.e. simple copyright infringemnent rather than the really bad stuff that is out there.

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

;:Answer: I am a firm believer in open-source software in government operations. The Green Party of Canada designed its platform using open-source software and it was contributed to by members and non-members alike. I don't know how we got to the place where governments have been allowed to privatize information about their activities. Public information should be in the public domain and it should not cost great amounts of time and money to get access to information. I would extend the use of open-source software to all Crown Corporations as well, as well as to all recipients of public funds.

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

;:Answer: I don't know. I think spam is a reflection of what is happening in society - an unwanted intrusion on privacy for no positive intent. I personally take responsibility to reduce the amount of spam I receive with the features offered by my service provider and my browser.

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

;:Answer: I am opposed to National ID cards and would see it as an act of civil disobedience to not get one should they be mandated. I believe they are designed to minimize dissent and to create fear rather than safety.

;:Dr. Jane Sterk