Congratulations to Belinda Stronach on her new cabinet position.

The following letter was sent in e-mail to Belinda Stronach.

I wanted to send a quick note to congratulate you on your decision to cross the floor, accept the position as Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, and help avoid an early election. Whatever the slinging between the various parties in the house, I am yet another person that doesn't believe an early election would help.

Unfortunately not having an election might mean that the copyright-related legislation that the Liberal government has been moving towards will be tabled sooner. This proposed legislation tries to put the Internet genie back in the bottle using protectionist policy in favor of legacy old-media companies against new-market/new-media competition. These are policy proposals from the USA, laundered through WIPO, where these policies are highly controversial within the USA and worldwide.

I have written you in the past about copyright issues as the host of We have asked if you would be willing to table petitions for our Petition for Users' Rights in Copyright. This is part of our attempt to get as many MPs as possible informed on copyright issues before this harmful legislation is tabled.

One amusing thing from your site:

It says: "Copyright © 2004 The Conservative Party of Canada -- Newmarket--Aurora Electoral District - Belinda Stronach, M.P."

You will want to ensure that this is some sort of joint copyright which allows you to continue to legally run the site now that you have crossed the floor. I also suspect that this copyright notice isn't correct for a few pages, such as reposting of articles from newspapers where I assume you received permission for republication.

I also believe you need to be careful when you say "All Rights Reserved." on a public website like this that does not have any password or other technological protection measure. Are you intending to suggest that anyone who copies your public pages are infringing your copyright? What about Google which copies and indexes your page to allow people to find your page, or which allows for historical lookup?

Many of us who are active on this area of policy believe that when you put information up on the public "no membership required" part of the Internet that you are in effect authorizing non-commercial verbatim royalty-free copying and distribution. Creative Commons Canada is part of an international organization which offers free license agreements to indicate this with more clarity, and you may wish to look into this and consider it for your website:

Thank you, and best of luck.

Russell McOrmond

305 Southcrest Private,

Ottawa, ON

K1V 2B7

Phone: (613) 733-5836