Thanks to MP Carol Hughes for mentioning my name in C-32 debate

The following is a letter I sent this morning. Thanks to Kevin McArthur for letting me know yesterday that my name was mentioned.

Mrs. Carol Hughes, MP for Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing,

Thank you for mentioning my name, and a quote from my clause-by-clause analysis of the bill at:

"All of the comparatively positive aspects of the bill are nullified by the legal protection of technological measures, including by allowing these all too often abused technologies to supersede and effectively replace the rest of the Copyright Act."

I suspect you have also read which offers answers to some of the most common questions raised in the debate. Many of these topics came up in the debate yesterday, and there were many times that members had things to say that I disagreed with in the FAQ.

I wanted you to be aware that I live and work in Ottawa, and can be made available to you to discuss any aspects of the bill, copyright, open source, or technology in general. I have spent much of the last 9 years dedicated to protecting creators rights, even in the face of the greatest threats to creators coming from policies that some other creators are advocating.

While I understand the emotion of fellow creators, and would be upset if my copyright related rights were being infringed, we need to move beyond emotion to evidence based policy making. As one dangerous example, the majority of those discussing technical measures on either side of the debate are doing so without understanding real-world technology. Their positions are formed from an understanding that is far closer to science fiction than science.

In my mind, the top threats to Canadian creators, in this order, are:

  1. Technical Protection Measures, made worse by adding protection to copyright law, allowing unaccountable and non-transparent contractual and/or e-commerce relationships encoded in technology to replace copyright. As I stated in my FAQ, "Most of the statistics used to indicate losses do not differentiate between losses due to infringement and losses due to unintended consequences from misunderstood and misapplied technological measures."

  • Compulsory licensing replacing copyright in areas where a free market would better serve creators and their customers.
  • Commercial for-profit copyright infringement, where someone other than the copyright holders are making money off the backs of copyright holders.
  • (And least, and very distant from the above) Private citizens infringing copyright.
  • Bill C-32 seems to be focused on solving the least of the threats, in part by increasing the worst of the threats. Overall our current strong and relatively modern copyright act protects the interests of creators better than a post C-32 act will.

    Thank you.

    (Full contact information removed)