Online Petition against WIPO ratification and "claim and censor" ISP liability...

While an Online petition won't convince parliamentarians like our paper petition will, it it useful to read the petition and sign to become more aware and involved. The author of the petition gives details on his BLOG.

ISP liability, not-so affectionately known as "claim and censor", is included in the Heritage report and the USA's DMCA, but is separate from WIPO ratification.

On the Net: Afraid of the Darknet by James Patrick Kelly

This article talks about the "darknet" and digital rights management (DRM). Its author is science fiction and fantasy author James Patrick Kelly, so should be of interest to fellow literary authors who do not yet properly understand the new media and the real threats. The greatest threats to creators don't come from the darknet (those who are infringing copyright and getting things for free or cheap), but from things like DRM which big-media claims is the right response.

Canadian Heritage Committee - Official Languages Act Complaint

In the Globe and Mail article today about copyright it included the following reference:

Mr. Knopf added that material supporting a more moderate approach was rejected because he had neglected to translate it into French.

We have now received a copy of the complaint.

When I spoke before the Industry Committee it was made clear that anything I wished circulated needed to be brought to the clerk for translation early. In this case the Heritage committee seems to be requiring that the citizen presenting do this translation. This further makes me believe that this Committee is only interested in hearing from well financed lobbiests for the intermediaries, and not the private citizens (creators and audiences) that are the relevant constituencies of copyright.

GlobeAndMail: Ottawa's copyright plans wrongheaded, experts say

This Globe and Mail article by Jack Kapica includes:

Ottawa is about to blunder in cyberspace, lawyers and academics warn.


Mr. Geist blames "an amazing lobby job" by the recording industry, and Mr. Knopf calls it a "travesty and an exercise in hyperbole."

Complaints, questions about US voting procedures undermine America's credibility as a model for the world.

This Straight Goods article by Penney Kome includes:

Take Palm Beach County in Florida, for example. Only 454,427 voters turned out for the election, including absentee voters, but 542,835 ballots were cast for a presidential candidate - a discrepancy of 88,408 extra votes cast for the presidential candidates.

See my reply...

Also an ongoing thread at Sla

Toronto Star: Advancing technology threatens cultural policy

Professor Michael Geist's weekly Toronto Star Law Bytes column examines several recent Canadian legal developments including CRTC hearings on satellite radio and VoIP, a Quebec court decision on satellite television, and copyright reform, arguing that the common thread through the cases how to adapt decades-old Canadian policies to new technological environments. The column argues that although the goals of promoting Canadian cultural products and services may remain unchanged, Canada must now consider whether the tools designed to achieve those goals -- many of which were created in a far different technological environment -- remain appropriate.

The Creative Commons + Creative Canadians: a conversation about new approaches to copyright

Mark Surman of the Commons Group wrote the following:

"The Creative Commons + Creative Canadians: a conversation about new approaches to copyright."

Lately, there has been much talk about new approaches to copyright and licensing, with the Creative Commons, open source and similar concepts offering alternatives to the old 'publisher calls the shots' approach. These new approaches raise many questions. What do these licenses mean for Canadian creators? Can they really help shift the balance for power from publishers to creators? How can they be used to promote the free social uses of our social while at the same time protecting the money we make from commercial uses?

Globe Technology Poll: Voting machines and the US election...

This Globe Technology poll asks:

Considering the problems surrounding new voting technology, do you trust the U.S. election results?

It is telling that even before the average Canadian understands code as a form of law that over 60% do not trust the election results. This gives me some hope.

Free Expression Project: How Do "Cease & Desist" Letters Affect Fair Use?

This October 5, 2004 preliminary report on the free-speech impact of the copyright industry's often threatening letters.

Even based on this small number of examples, we can infer that cease and desist letters sometimes - but not always - have chilling effects on speech that might qualify as fair use. Critical factors in determining whether the recipient of such a letter will comply seem to include awareness that fair use provides a defense; support from the community; and a non-risk-averse temperament.

GlobeTechnology: Canada must ratify WIPO Copyright Treaty, committee says

This article by Jack Kapica is a summary of the agenda of Heritage Committee. There is a unity in this group that is frightening given their interim report shows a lack of understanding of the Internet and new media. There is a huge campaign to educate MPs required if any of the most important aspects of citizen-to-citizen, non-broadcast media is to be preserved.

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