Burnaby--New Westminster

Bill C-11 house debate day 4

On November 22, 2011 we had the fourth time when the House of Commons debated Bill C-11 (at Second Reading).

I am glad that Ms. Elizabeth May (Saanich—Gulf Islands, GP) included discussion of the constitutional questions raised by Bill C-11.

The problems are in two areas, and I will refer to the first. Briefly, it is constitutional. The constitutional problem is simple to describe. Copyright is clearly an area of federal jurisdiction, whereas property rights are provincial. To the extent that we have intruded into property rights, we have a problem. This has been described in a learned article published by professors Crowne-Mohammed and Rozenszajn, both from the University of Windsor, in the Journal of Information, Law and Technology in which the authors describe the problem this way:

The DRM provisions of Bill C-61 represent a poorly veiled attempt by the Government to strengthen the contractual rights available to copyright owners, in the guise of copyright reform and the implementation of Canada's international obligations.

Let us de-link them. Let us protect the rights and protect copyright reform without acceding to pressure from U.S. interests, which want to have excessively restrictive controls in the form of digital locks. That is setting aside the constitutional issue.

Bill C-11 house debate day 3

On November 14, 2011 we had the third time when the House of Commons debated Bill C-11 (at Second Reading).

The most notable aspect of the debate for me is how the Conservatives are going out of their way to conflate the WIPO Paracopyright provisions (tied to infringing purposes, no restriction on circumvention tools, etc) and the non-WIPO (beyond-WIPO) Paracopyright provisions.

Shadow cabinet

The NDP announced their shadow cabinet last week. Of particular interest on the copyright front are:
Ethics, Access to Information, Privacy & Copyright and Digital Issues - Charlie Angus
Industry - Peter Julian
Trade - Robert Chisholm
Heritage - Tyrone Benskin
Science and Technology - Hélène Leblanc

Full list here.

Rick Mercer Report sings the Petition for Users' Rights

There was a skit this evening on the Rick Mercer Report titled "38th Parliament, First Session transcripts, sung by a choir" that involved a choir singing passages from the hansard (Transcript of things said in the Canadian house of Commons). One of the lines read was of MP Peter Julian tabling the first batch of petitions saying "The petitioners also call upon parliament to ensure that users are recognized as interested parties and are meaningfully consulted about any proposed changes to the copyright act"

I have to wonder -- is there someone involved with the RMR that would consider talking to us about copyright as "preaching to the choir"? Maybe having the petition sung on national television will convince more people to sign.

Looking at some specific results

Here are the preliminary results for the ridings we were watching closely. There are some very positive outcomes for us, especially in the two top ridings we were watching. This is hopefully an indication of a positive future for creators and users of "works of the mind".

General results from the Library of Parliament.


Parkdale--High Park
Peggy Nash wins the election, unseating Hollywood's member of parliament, Sarmite Sam Bulte.

Timmins--James Bay
Independent writer, broadcaster and musician Charlie Angus retains his seat. This is an important win for Canadian independent creators.

Durham
Bev Oda, possibly the new Minister of Heritage.

Jeanne-Le Ber
Liza Frulla, past Heritage Minister, looses her seat.

Another Burnaby-New Westminster all-candidates debate

All Candidates Debate
7502 2nd Street Burnaby
Thursday 19th January 7:30
according to the blog of the Green Party Candidate.

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