Petition to protect Information Technology Property Rights

The Petition to protect Information Technology Property Rights seeks to protect your rights as the owner of information technology such as your computer, your home entertainment system, your digital camera, your camcorder, or your portable media players.

Does it Matter Where Your Data Lives?

This is a question that Michael Geist asks in his blog, and I have problems with the focus of this article. The suggestion is that the physical location of where the CPU, RAM and hard disks data is stored on should be our primary concern.

The primary concern should be who controls the software authors who write the software that accesses and manipulates our data. While there are a narrow set of circumstances where geography of the hardware matters, the reality is that we need to be able to trust the vendors who write the software running on computers physically located close to us as much as we do cloud software services.

Bill C-11 in the Senate: what would I say to them?

Bill C-11 started debate at second reading in the Senate on June 20'th, with debate resuming on the 21'st.

While it is unlikely that I will have a chance to speak in front of the Senate committee studying Bill C-11, the following is what I would have liked to say.

International Day Against DRM — May 4, 2012

It is fitting that the GOSLING 10-year anniversary coincides with the International Day Against DRM — May 4, 2012. My focus in GOSLING has been how the government regulates software, including how the government protects or rejects software choice. DRM (Digital "Rights" Management, Digital Restrictions Management, Dishonest Relationship Misinformation) easily represents the greatest threat to the rights of technology owners, including the right of technology owners to make their own software choices.

Bill C-11 focus must be on our rights as technology owners, not creators or users of copyrighted works.

Our community hosts a few petitions to the federal parliament. Our first was the Petition for Users' Rights which we launched in 2004 during a Liberal government, and the second was the Petition to protect Information Technology property rights which was launched in 2006 soon after the Conservative government formed. At the time I thought protecting property rights was a non-brainer for a Conservative government, but it turns out that I was wrong. If we don't focus on our rights and interests as technology owners, this Conservative government will blindly trample our rights without even acknowledging us as legitimate stakeholders.

Eastern and Western censorship: which is worse?

No visit of the Canadian Prime Minister to China would be complete without western media commenting on China's censorship policy. Western governments also engage in censorship, and are willing to go to extreme lengths to enforce that censorship. Some of that censorship has been called for by the corporations who own the western mainstream media that has been critiquing China.

"He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her."

Protecting the property, privacy and other rights of owners: Bill C-19 and Bill C-11

Given all the discussion about how the debate on Bill C-19 ended (Examples: Sheila Dabu Nonato for Postmedia News, Kady O'Malley for CBC) I decided to send Mr Larry Miller (MP for Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound) an email.

I will let fellow technology owners know if I get a reply.

Petitions

We have petitions we are sending to the Canadian parliament. Please print and sign all of them. They are on paper rather than electronic so that they can be tabled in parliament. It is best if you try to get the signed petitions to us so we can coordinate getting them to members of parliament, as signatures have been lost by members of parliament.

These petitions are generic in their wording, and not specific to any bill being tabled.

If you have any questions, please ask.

Canada should not ratify ACTA

I have drafted a new submission to Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada for their ongoing consultation (skip to bottom) on the deceptively named Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). I haven't yet sent it in to the department, but want to generate discussion.

It is available anonymously as a Google Doc as well as a PDF from my webserver.

If you are looking for SOPA/PIPA or C-11 comparisons, please note that ACTA contains beyond-WIPO protection for TPMs and thus includes the harmful effects I discussed in my comparison between Bill C-11 and SOPA/PIPA?.

Hill Times letter: Copyright infringement is not theft, says McOrmond

"Reprinted with permission from The Hill Times, Jan. 30, 2012."

Re: “Digital piracy is theft, Canadian jobs stolen,” (The Hill Times, Jan. 23, p. 11).

People who wish their rights to be respected should not advocate infringing other peoples rights as a solution.

Copyright infringement is not theft. Copyright is a temporary government granted monopoly. While it is true this monopoly can be bought and sold, making it a type of property, infringement doesn’t change possession of what was owned. The closest analogy between copyright infringement and laws relating to tangible property is trespass.

After the SOPA protests, what is our message to returning Canadian politicians?

The protests in the USA over SOPA seem to have got the attention of the US politicians. While I don't think the war against these harmful job-killing legislative proposals are over, it is good to see a few won battles. Canadians federal MPs are returning to the House of Commons on January 30'th, and it is expected that Bill C-11 will go to committee soon. We need to ensure that Canadian MPs don't remain oblivious to the harm contained in these proposals, including the harm to Canadian creators.

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