Hon. Hedy Fry (Vancouver Centre, Liberal) on Copyright and "Intellectual property"

I try to stay non-partisan on this issue. I do not know if the words of Hon. Hedy Fry represent the thinking of the Heritage Committee or the Liberal Party of Canada. I believe it is incumbent on all Canadian citizens to talk to their MPs and ask them if these words reflect their own thinking. I guess I have to reveal my hope that politicians which have such antiquated ideas about the knowledge economy will either retire on their own or otherwise replaced with younger, more experienced politicians.

We may have to watch Vancouver Center in the next election as closely as we did Parkdale - High Park and a different Liberal incumbent in the last election.

From the Heritage committee minutes from February 14, 2008

Hon. Hedy Fry (Vancouver Centre, Lib.):

Yes, thank you, Mr. Chair. I'd like to speak to this motion.

I think we have heard repeatedly on this committee that one of the greatest challenges to copyright is the advent of digital media, and that this in fact seems totally insurmountable and uncontrollable because people are downloading intellectual property of creators and artists on iPods and everything they can. That has left us with a huge copyright vacuum.

I think the way Industry Canada may look at this would be very different from the way Heritage Canada would look at this. I believe the things that concern us at Heritage Canada and this committee here are the issues of pure intellectual property. When someone uses their intellectual property to invent a new piece of technology or widget, patent laws and all of those other things can come into place, because you can see the thing, hold it, feel it, touch it—like the BlackBerry, for instance. When you write a play or a song and someone picks it up on an iPod or on whatever and there's piracy going on and all of those things, that is really harming the creator, the artist. Therefore, I think we need to be at that table. We need to inject this perspective into any discussion on any copyright legislation.

It's most important, especially since we know that the CRTC has given an indication that they don't intend to deal with anything to do with the Broadcasting Act or copyright for the next 10 years. We are already the only one of the industrialized nations that doesn't have a copyright act that deals with these issues.

I'm hoping, and the reason I put in the words “made up of members of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage” is that I feel those of us who are on this committee have heard presentations—we may not be experts—and we understand this issue better than other members or members of any other committee.

I would like to see this accepted. I think it's very important.

I think the truth is that witness lists have been more manipulated towards one narrow way of thinking, and the members of the Heritage committee have been lobbied and mis-informed more "than other members or members of any other committee".

See also an article by Howard Knopf.