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.

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.

Protecting IT property rights not a short-term calling

I've been asked over the last decade how my activism will change once Canadian legislation that includes Paracopyright passes. Will my activism be finished, and will I admit "defeat" if a bill abrogates the government's responsibility to protect IT property rights?

TPM provisions should be closely tied to copyright law as suggested in 1996 WIPO treaties

[The following article was first published in the Nov 21, 2001 issue of the Hill Times on page 13]

OTTAWA -- While Bill C-11 has the title of "An Act to amend the Copyright Act," it includes provisions that will impact our usage of modern technology far beyond activities related to copyright. This bill includes policy which fits within traditional copyright law, and parts that are often called Paracopyright which offer legal protection to specific uses of technology. While the copyright parts of the bill are important, it’s the implication of the Paracopyright provisions that are cause for alarm.

Will you explain why DRM is bad?

I was asked on twitter to explain why DRM is bad. Given I have spent more than a decade talking about this topic, you would think there is a simple twitter-length answer: but there isn't.

Will governments protect all property rights from all threats?

While the federal Copyright bill is on the order paper and likely to be tabled Thursday, it is not the only issue currently under discussion where people are concerned about IT property rights. Many people have expressed concern with how newer machines shipped with Microsoft Windows may be unable to boot alternative operating systems. Given the confusion over how the property rights of computer hardware owners are adversely impacted by so-called “Copyright” legislation, discussing this related issue may help clarify.

WIPO Conference Reflects Contrasting Views on Climate Change, Innovation, IP

While the issue that brought me into the copyright debate was IT property rights and into the patent debate was software patents, there are many other ways that PCT's impact other areas of policy I am concerned with.

The International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development has posted an article summarising some of the recent debates at WIPO around PTC and climate change. Some of these discussions are going to mirror the Development Agenda debates in ways that tie together economic development, climate change and government granted monopolies with other geopolitical conflicts.

Who is the Candice Hoeppner for information technology owners?

I have sent a form letter to all Conservative MPs, and a derived letter to all NDP MP's asking the above question.

Thus far I haven't heard anything from Conservative MPs other than some acknowledging receipt.

I have received better response from the Official Opposition NDP. Jack Layton's staffer let me know that "MP Charlie Angus will continue on in his role as critic for digital issues". A few moments ago I received a voice call from Peter Stoffer himself to let me know to contact Charlie. Another MP staffer is looking into setting up an in-person meeting with a newly elected MP.

'Tis the season... to sign better petitions

Mike De Souza blogged about a petition from Bloc Québécois heritage critic Carole Lavallée. While I haven't seen the exact text of the petition, I can speculate that it is against the compromise position on fair dealings (between those like myself who wanted US Fair Use style and those who are opposed to any limitations or exceptions in Copyright), and in favour of an expansion of the failed private copying regime.

IT property rights and the Xbox-Modding case

According to a Wired Magazine article by David Kravets, federal prosecutors have dropped their prosecution of the first case involving the DMCA and Xbox-modding on Thursday, “based on fairness and justice.” This is not to say that the US courts considered what was done to be legal, but that the methods used to investigate were inappropriate.

This case offers me an opportunity to discuss my own history and feelings on the matter.

Tabling petitions: Copyright Act

MP Charlie Angus tabled another batch of petitions relating to the Copyright Act.

Mr. Charlie Angus (Timmins—James Bay, NDP):

Madam Speaker, I have a petition signed by people from across Canada, from Montreal, Calgary, Ottawa and Waterloo, calling on parliamentarians to maintain the balance in the upcoming Copyright Act, the balance between the rights of creators and the general public, the people who are using the cultural products. Specifically, they are concerned about the use of technological protection measures, software that overrides the rights that Parliament will give to citizens to ensure there is a full balance in copyright and to ensure that when we have the Copyright Act come before us that it is done with full consultation and involvement of the general Canadian public.

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