Government of Canada Launches National Consultations on a Digital Economy Strategy

Please go to www.digitaleconomy.gc.ca for more details.

While I have not yet read their position paper, I already notice an issue. They have a "What about copyright" page suggesting that Copyright is not part of this consultation. This makes no sense given that "Copyright" is used as an excuse to manipulate technology in ways that form the greatest impact of any policy on the digital economy: non-owner locks on "personal" communications devices, anti-interoperability locks and exclusive rights on interfaces, and inspection and filtering of network communications.

What Canada needs to do is to learn from the mistakes of the USA's National Information Infrastructure process back in 1994, especially those harmful policies derived from The Report of the Working Group on Intellectual Property Rights. While it is true that the Internet causes transformative changes to the marketplace, in 1994 this report only articulated the threats to established business methods and not the benefits to emerging businesses. This is the one-sided thinking that gave rise to much of the most acrimonious technology policy debates for the last decade and a half.