Did you get any useful replies on Copyright from a Conservative MP?

I recently forwarded a message about Hamilton home-town hero Bob Young speaking out on Copyright to the Hamilton area MPs. I sent 4 letters, and received 1 reply from the 3 NDP MPs suggesting they had forwarded the letter to Charlie Angus, the NDP Spokesperson on Digital Issues.

From a staffer in Conservative MP David Sweet's office I received the common message that he can't comment on a bill that hasn't been tabled yet. I replied and disputed that the necessary conversation is about two outdated and controversial treaties that we know the text of and that *should* have be tabled and debated, not of any specific implementation legislation.

This morning I read a message from Michael Geist suggesting that the Conservative party via Peter Van Loan will be centralizing their messaging on Copyright. This is exactly what I was worried about: that Conservative MPs would not be free to think about or debate the merits of these anti-Internet treaties or any implementation bill.

The strategy reinforces two points - (i) the government's focus remains on how to communicate the bill, rather than on its substance and (ii) it fully expects a consumer backlash against the bill and is prepping its response.

I am also a bit worried about the NDP. As much as I respect the informed views of Charlie Angus, it is not healthy for any party (even with such a small caucus) to put an important issue like this (a key law that will shape Canadian participation or non-participation in the new economy) on one person.

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David Sweet

I actually was telephoned by Mr. Sweet back in February in response to a letter I sent him on this issue. We spent some time on the telephone, in which he was adamant that any new bill would not alter fair use/dealing in a negative way, that the bill would be "against large-scale copyright infringement". Kept saying how he has kids with iPods and so on. I blogged about it very briefly here: http://dancingsamurai.ca/2008/02/08/quick-update-2/

I'm not sure he 'gets it' that any DMCA-style anti-circumvention legislation would do precisely what he promised it wouldn't do.

I now live in Garth Turner's riding, which initially I was hopeful about considering his Internet presence, but at least I got a reply back from Mr. Sweet. Turner hasn't deigned to respond to either of my communications.

--DancingSamura (http://dancingsamurai.ca/)
... Use tasteful words. You may have to eat them.