On August 5'th I received an email that was "From: firstname.lastname@example.org". It had no content, but two file attachments - one HTML and one GIF. Thunderbird warned that it was most likely a scam, given this is a common technique used by spammers to avoid SPAM detection software.
I extracted the file attachments, and I wasn't all that surprised to learn that it was a form letter originating from the Heritage Minister's office. This isn't the most technologically literate Minister or department in Canada, and it was unlikely that ensuring emails wouldn't be confused as SPAM or scams would be something they would know much about.
The GIF image was a scan of a form letter, which reads as follows. Having read it, I think Thunderbird was right to have automatically detected it as a scam.
Dear Mr. McOrmond:
Thank you for writing to me about copyright policy and the private copying regime. I appreciate you taking the time to share your views on these important issues with me.
My colleague, the Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Industry, and I are pleased to inform you that our Government has introduced legislation to modernize the Copyright Act, bringing it up to date with the advances of the digital age.
This legislation will bring Canada in line with international standards and promote home-grown innovation and creativity. It is a fair, balanced and common-sense approach, respecting both the rights of creators and the interests of consumers in a modern marketplace. We are working to secure Canada's place in the digital economy and to promote a more prosperous and competitive country.
The popularity of Web 2.0, social media and new technologies such as MP3 players and digital books have changed the way Canadians create and make use of copyrighted material. This bill recognizes the many new ways in which teachers, students, artists, software companies, consumers, families, copyright owners and many others use technology. It gives creators and copyright owners the tools to protect their work and grow their business models. It also provides clearer rules that will enable all Canadians to fully participate in the digital economy, now and in the future.
Detailed information about the bill is available on-line at http://www.balancedcopyright.gc.ca
With respect to the private copying regime, it applies specifically to compact discs. As technology changes, the levy is not an effective mechanism to compensate copyright creators for possible theft of their work. For that reason, our Government has not included an expansion of the private copying regime to iPods and other devices in our recently proposed amendments to copyright. Instead, we have included strong measures to deter and prevent all forms of piracy in order that creators can be rightly compensated for their work through market mechanisms.
Please accept my best wishes.
The Honourable James Moore, P.C., M.P.