The following is the letter I sent today to my MP in Ottawa South. Please send letters to ensure your MPs are aware of your views, given committee moved to clause-by-clause on Monday. This is when we will learn what amendments will be tabled by each party, and the debate on whether bill C-11 will become better or worse will start.
Mr McGuinty, my MP in Ottawa South,
As you know I have been following this bill closely. I attended nearly all meetings of the bill C-32 committee (around 36 hours), including March 8, 2011 when I was a witness. I have attended all the meetings of the C-11 committee that had witnesses, which is approximately another 21 hours spent on the hill in committee rooms. I plan to be in committee during the clause-by-clause consideration which starts on Monday, and hope to also attend the Senate committee meetings as well. I have been live tweeting the meetings, and publishing an article summarising my thoughts of each meeting.
The issue that drives me to spend so much time on this area of policy has not been fixed. Technology ownership and technology service providers are still being blamed for copyright infringement.
The technological measures applied to our devices which infringe our property, privacy and other rights are still being legally protected in bill C-11 without these technologies having any connection to copyright law or copyright related activities at all. The Conservative members on the committee appear to still support this indiscriminate infringement of property rights. It baffles me that a party that has protection of property rights as a founding principle would be demonstrating so little respect for the legitimate rights of technology owners.
While the bill does not currently demand communications service providers filter and monitor their customers to block allegedly copyright infringing activities, this is being demanded by some of the same extremists who want to infringe our technology property rights. In other words, they want further amendments to legalise their infringement of our rights -- all based on the unproven theories that this might reduce infringements of their copyright.
My brief to the bill C-11 committee http://c11.ca/brief included discussion of those who infringe, enable infringements and induce infringements of technology property rights. Infringements of these property rights often also lead to infringement of other rights, including privacy rights.
I have been in contact with the Liberal on the committee, MP Hon. Geoff Regan. I was part of a group he and Liberal Senator Hon. Wilfred P. Moore met with at Carleton University last Tuesday. Mr Regan and his legislative assistant have taken notice of my ongoing attendance at committee, and been quite helpful.
My hope is that the Liberal party will push the government to amend the bill to minimise infringements of technology property rights, and to reject amendments which will force communications service providers to set up massive surveillance and filtering technologies. This surveillance and filtering technologies would be at great expense to the providers, and greatly harm the privacy and other rights of Canadians. Please note that I am talking about bill C-11 which could potentially be far more harmful to Canadians online than what bill C-30 could have been.
[I included full address information with postal code and phone number. For best results, you should as well. An email they cant' quickly tell is from a constituent isn't very powerful.]
Note: I am aware of https://petition.liberal.ca/user-rights-trump-digital-locks/ . I signed and promoted the online petition in my twitter feed.
I believe we should remain clear that the only criminal provisions being added to the Copyright Act by Bill C-11 (clause 48 addition to section 42 of the act) are against commercial circumvention, most likely providers of circumvention tools. While this makes the equivalent of a locksmith criminal, services required by technology owners to protect their property, privacy and other rights, the actual circumvention itself by the technology owner is civil in nature. While I agree that technology ownership should not be made illegal, and there should be no criminal provisions in Bill C-11 or the Copyright Act at all, we need to remain careful in our language so that opponents won't be able to discredit our critically important viewpoint.