General Discussion

Most general discussion happen in the Discuss at mailing list, which is publicly archived.

Happy New Year, State of our Rights

I didn't have time to create a more formal blog entry with all the references I like to have, but I did post some year-end thoughts to the general mailing list. This may encourage others to join the list and comment as well.

Electoral systems and copyright: Join Fair Vote Canada!

Our friend Russell McOrmond has previously outlined the electoral success of the Pirate Party in the European Parliament.

A fundamental difference between the electoral system of the European Parliament and Canada's Parliament is the electoral system for the lower house.

Broadband in OECD on the rise

A newly released study from the OECD shows how broadband is increasingly more accessible across the world. (Or, at least, accessed by more people. There is a difference.)


Canada shows that its broadband penetration has almost tripled since 2001. Denmark and the Netherlands top the list among every OECD country.

The study shows data from 2001 to 2006.

Watching the World Cup -- in China

Like many other people in Canada, I've been watching as much World Cup (soccer) as possible. Today, I manage to squeeze in part of a match during the lunch hour and the tail end of the Italy/Ukraine match. Since the games are on during the work day (in my time zone), I've entertained the notion of watching streaming feeds. Another person has made the same decision, choosing to use a set of streams out of China.

This seems like a typical story of trial and tribulation where the author finally resorts to a questionable method when all reasonable attempts to legitimately acquire the content fail.

Do their need to be provisons made for folks to update their personal information.

There was a thread on the local Linux users group about folks keeping their recorded information accessable.

One poster sugested that the modus operandi that they used was to scan every piece of paper that they found of use, and then shread the original. That they had likewise decided to make ogg or MP3 films of their old cassette tapes and throw the tape away, and likewise their old VHS home movies.

Besides the worry about keeping all those bits from bit rot, I can see where that sort of practice might make things easier to find.

BUt I wonder if they are setting themselves up for a copyright hastle? Persumably every paper not only includes the love letters that they get from thir Girl/Boy friends but also the bills that they get from folks like MasterCard and the City of Ottawa asking them to pay for their beer and the transit deficit. It would include newspaper clippings and WIRED magazine. The manual for their 2005 Chevy and their Sony radio, the menu from the Main Street Cafe, and their Kids report card.

Making the world safe for ...

(Via BoingBoing)

Well, that's it, if you're transporting poorly made copies of the latest Hollywood blockbuster, beware!. The MPAA, UK Customs and other usual suspects have recruited two new agents in the War Against Badly Copied DVDs. That's right, just like impoverished third world immigrants smuggling drugs, now DVD smugglers will be found out by Lucky and Flo, the DVD Sniffin' Dynamic Duo. What do they smell? Cellophane? The ink on optical media?

Analogy for educational exemption for Internet access

Think about those newspaper boxes on the sidewalk. They come in two flavours - ones where you have to pay before you can take a paper and ones where you can take a paper without paying.

Now imagine the proposal that everyone should have to pay a "sidewalk tax" which goes to the book publishers to compensate the people who print non-free newspapers and put them in the "please take one for free" newspaper boxes.

Back to basics - what are the proposed changes to copyright law?

I was recently contacted by the student newspaper at the University of Winnipeg who asked me to clarify some issues surrounding the Petition for Users' Rights -- what specifically the proposed changes to Canadian copyright law entail, and how they would impact Canadians. This prompted me to write a Q&A on proposed changes to Canadian copyright law that I could refer others to when they have similar questions.

Seasons Greetings...

I would like to wish everyone the best of the season. As someone who married into the Indian culture I would like to point to the BadMash Holiday cards as my way of wishing you a happy new Yaar.

Penguin Day

Penguin Day Conference in Toronto
The migration begins ... Saturday, November 20th 2004

Penguin Day Toronto links non-profits leaders, activists and socially responsible techies for a day of question-asking, knowledge-sharing and networking about the potential of Free and Open Source Software (F/OSS) for non-profit organizations.

Whether you're looking for software that can change the world or just want to find a way to get rid of all those nasty viruses, Penguin Day will expand your knowledge of how F/OSS applications can help non-profits. It will also provide you with a chance to help refine the vision and vocabulary which are guiding the civil society + free software movement that is emerging all around the world.

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