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.

Tabling petitions: Copyright Act

Mr Angus tabled two groups of petition signatures on September 23'rd.

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

Mr. Speaker, I am rising today to present two petitions, both of which have to do with the issues of anti-circumvention measures and technological protection measures that are applied to copyrighted works, and the concern of how the implementation of those by corporate entities would interfere with format shifting, particularly for librarians, in the use of works that citizens have paid for, to ensure that when anti-circumvention measures are applied to works, they do not unfairly impede the rights of consumers and creators.

I would like to present these two petitions from people across Ontario who are concerned with the update of the Copyright Act and the need to find a balance among the rights of creators, the rights of educators, the rights of students, and the rights of consumers.

Separating Science from Science Fiction on the Business News Network

Last week I had the opportunity to discuss the new copyright bill on the BNN show Squeezeplay. The other guest was Canadian singer-songwriter Dan Hill, and the hosts were Andrea Mandel-Campbell and Rudyard Griffiths.

It became obvious during the interview that the hosts had the misconception that they had a creator and a consumer, or even a creator and someone who wanted to infringe copyright. At one point Mr. Griffiths even asked me if I were supportive of the rule of law, which threw me for a loop as I hadn't expected that type of bias. What they actually had was two creators with a different level of technical knowledge, and thus a different understanding of the impact on creators of the policy we were being presented in the bill.

Counting petitions: WSIC petition.

I am in the process of organising an MP to table the petition signatures I have collected so far. While counting I noticed a custom petition that I didn't realise I had signatures for.

iPad DRM is a dangerous step backward.

Leave it to the FSF to initiate the only coverage of the iPad that sees it as I see it. (See: The Register)

I received an email from the Defective by Design campaign that started:

"Today, Apple launched a computer that will never belong to its owner. Apple will use Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) to gain total veto power over the applications you use and the media you can view."

They then reference a petition. Not sure how useful a petition to Mr. Jobs that questions his entire business ethic could be, but it does make for a useful educational tool. If you are a Canadian and agree that the owners of technology should be the ones who hold the keys, and not a third party, then sign our Petition to protect Information Technology property rights which is tabled in parliament and can actually have influence.

"Remember C-61" poster: technology property rights defenders!

Along with this PDF I received the following note:

The author of this literary and artistic work exercises his or her moral right to remain anonymous! ;)

It's a riff off the old Reform Party/anti-gun-control campaign from 1996, "Remember Bill C-68 When You Vote"

The irony is not lost on me. Bill C-68: An Act respecting firearms and other weapons created a registry that was an IT boondoggle, but for a true property-rights protecting conservative should be considered a minor issue compared to Bill C-61.

Entertainment Software Association opposes technology property rights

Michael Geist reported that Canadian copyright scholar Howard Knopf squares off against Stevan Mitchell of the Entertainment Software Association on Buisiness News Network's show SqueezePlay. You can read my letter to the show on IT World Canada's BLOG.

Who owns your hardware: you or the manufacturer?

A wireless network in Vancouver has been shut down by a device manufacturer doing an unauthorized (by the owner of the hardware) software change. The details are in an article titled From "happy hacking" to "screw you" - the story of Meraki.

This is a typical example of the types of questions that need to get answered in technology law: if the person acquiring the hardware think they are purchasing the hardware, shouldn't their property rights be protected?

Copyright petitions were filed in December

When I met James Rajotte on October 18, I dropped off signatures to our two petitions. I have been waiting to hear them tabled, but noticed today that they were instead just filed with the Clerk of Petitions on December 10, 2007.

Pursuant to Standing Order 36, petitions certified correct by the Clerk of Petitions were filed as follows:

- by Mr. Rajotte (Edmonton—Leduc), two concerning the Copyright Act (Nos. 392-0187 and 392-0188).

I will be holding onto other signatures I have received given we are very likely heading into a spring election. I want to have some ready to be tabled early in the next session.

National Post position on copyright is opposed to free markets and for more government control

David RD Gratton posts on his BLOG how a National Post article calling opponents to the new anti-Internet copyright bill "Telecom Trotskyites" got the issue entirely backward.

I also just commented on another BLOG whose author who got the issue backward. He thinks that supporters of property rights should support the announced direction of the bill, while those more aware of the issues believe that anyone who supports tangible property rights should have been opposed to the bill.

December issue of the Open Source Business Resource

The December issue of the Open Source Business Resource is now out (PDF)

This issue includes (pp 29-33 in the PDF) my article titled "Protecting Information Technology Property rights". This article, and a letter to the editor, also promote The Canadian Software Innovation Alliance, which has launched a new website.

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