Facebook vs the public record

The latest rumours are that the highly anticipated Copyright Bill, possibly a Canadian DMCA, will be tabled on Wednesday (tomorrow). Given the importance of this bill to defining what roll (if any) that Canada will play in the future knowledge economy (Hint: not the Industrial economy with a new product called "Intellectual Property"), there will be quite a bit of important public discussion about the bill.

One of the tools many people are using is Facebook (See: Fair Copyright for Canada). This is not ideal, however, as the Facebook groups are really only useful for those people who already know that they are interested, and not very useful for longer-term analysis.

When we had a consultation on Copyright in 2001 and 2002, Facebook (and most of the people now involved in the debate, and want to have their voices heard) were not around. Much of the citizen based discussion happened on BLOGS and publicly archived mailing lists such as the ones at Digital Copyright Canada. Having the public archives is important as it allowed academics and policy makers to reference the discussion, something that will not be possible with Facebook. Not only do we host every message posted since the first one on 2 Aug 2001 (Originally called Canada-DMCA Opponents, but this public archive is also mirrored on sites such as archive.org's Wayback engine.

Whether we win the upcoming battle against the old-economy special interests or not, we want to have as much of what we did as part of the public archive. Please ensure that even if you contribute on sites like Facebook that you also post public BLOGS, websites, and publicly archived mailing lists.