Conservative Party of Canada

Ending the Long-gun Registry #C19, Beginning the computer lockdown #C11

The House of Commons will begin debate on Bill C-19 (Ending the Long-gun Registry Act) later today.

When I spoke in front of the Bill C-32 committee, after discussing how the "technical measures" aspect of the bill will protect non-owner locks on computers, I ended with the following observation:

For no other type of property would this be considered. We would never legally protect non-owner locks to all guns in a country where many are uncomfortable with the mere registration of long guns. We would never legally protect non-owner locks on our homes, alleging it was necessary to protect the insurance industry from fraud. We would never legally protect non-owner locks on our cars, allegedly to ensure that automobiles could never be used as a getaway vehicle.

Conservative Copyright Bill C-11

Digital handcuffs are nasty --
The Canadian government should not allow companies to handcuff Canadians


This page is intended to be a launching point for people to learn about the Copyright Bill C-11 tabled by the Conservative Government on September 29, 2011 (First reading). This is a re-tabling of Bill C-32 which died on the order paper when an election was called.

Thoughts on C-32 committee members from the Conservative Party of Canada.

Of the 12 members of the C-32 committee, six of them were from the Conservative party of Canada. This included chair Gordon Brown (Leeds—Grenville, ON). Three members were there for almost all meetings: Mike Lake (Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont, AB), Dean Del Mastro (Peterborough, ON), and Peter Braid (Kitchener—Waterloo, ON). While the other members included Sylvie Boucher ( Beauport—Limoilou, QC) and Kelly Block (Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, Sask) when the committee was formed, they were substituted with other Conservative members including Ed Fast (Abbotsford, BC) who became very active, Hon. Maxime Bernier (Beauce, QC) who became acting chair at one point, as well as Brent Rathgeber (Edmonton—St. Albert, AB), Daryl Kramp (Prince Edward—Hastings, ON), Hon. Michael D. Chong (Wellington—Halton Hills, ON), Leon Benoit (Vegreville—Wainwright, AB), Mike Wallace (Burlington, ON) and Paul Calandra (Oak Ridges—Markham, ON).

Copyright in the campaign

The fake iPod Tax issue being brought up by the Conservatives isn't the only way that Copyright is showing up in the campaign. Seems that yet another one of their campaign advertisements infringes copyright.

So, as we go after the so-called "wealth destroyers" the Conservatives liked to claim that C-32 targeted, does that include the Conservative Party itself?

This is not a uniquely Conservative issue, as Michael Geist has asked whether Liberal MP Dan McTeague is a repeat Copyright infringer?

The common thread is that some politicians and parties are pushing for copyright to be treated as if it were a "law and order" issue needing immediate attention to stop scofflaws. These same persons seem to often find themselves on the wrong side of these same laws.

Embarrassingly inaccurate campaign website

The Conservative Party has launched an embarrassingly inaccurate campaign website focused on the private copying regime at ipodtax.ca. The reality is quite different given the Conservatives tabled legislation that would have increased the existing levy (which the campaign calls a "tax"). It is the Liberals proposing getting rid of the levy.

While it is true the Conservatives weren't proposing an expansion of the levy to devices, it is inaccurate to suggest they are greater opponents of the music levy than the Liberals.

I'm not sure why the Conservatives continue to highlight a policy area where their primary political opponents -- the Liberals -- have offered a better alternative. I'm not a partisan supporter of either of these parties as anyone reading this blog would know, but it bothers me when such misinformation is abused in a political campaign.

See also: Is the private copying levy a tax?

Discussing campaign finance and TV debate reform

A Winnipeg Free Press article discusses the race in Saanich--Gulf Islands. Candidates in this district include incumbent Hon. Gary Lunn who was previously Minister of Natural Resources, and leader of the Green Party Elizabeth May.

Although May is an opponent of nuclear power, Linda Keen said the Green leader's fair-minded approach makes her a preferable alternative to Gary Lunn, Keen's former boss and May's Conservative opponent in the Vancouver Island riding of Saanich-Gulf Island

While unrelated to technology law or nuclear power, I want to discuss and get feedback from this community on a few questions: Should Ms. May should be included in the television debates? What criteria we should use? What are your thoughts on campaign finance reform?

Technology issues in Budget 2011?

I haven't read Budget 2011, and would like to hear in comments what people think.

I read on Twitter a few times about a mention of Copyright legislation under "Recent Federal Initiatives in Support of Canada’s Digital Economy" where they said, " Modernizing policies to build confidence in e-commerce through the passage of new anti-spam legislation and tabling privacy and copyright legislation" (Page 142 of the paper/PDF version)

While most of the technology community will agree about the benefits from the passed anti-spam legislation, the claims about Bill C-32 will seem absurd for those of us on this side of the technology law debate. As I indicated in my intervention, "legal protection for access controls in copyright law can be abused to circumvent the traditional contours of contract, e-commerce, privacy, trade, and consumer protection and property law".

Conservative Copyright Bill C-32

This page is intended to be a launching point for people to learn about the Copyright Bill C-32 (LegisInfo) tabled by the Conservative Government on June 2, 2010 (First reading).

Throne speech threatens to throw water at the drowning

From the Throne Speech delivered earlier today:

To encourage new ideas and protect the rights of Canadians whose research, development and artistic creativity contribute to Canada’s prosperity, our Government will also strengthen laws governing intellectual property and copyright.

This speech takes as an assumption the very thing politically debated and inadequately studied, which is the link between "stronger" Patent/Copyright law (stronger meaning tilted in favor of incumbent copyright holders) and the encouragement of new ideas, research, development and artistic creativity. The reality is that PCT is to creativity and innovation like water is to humans: too little and you dehydrate and die, too much and you drown and die. We are already drowning and the government has threatened in the throne speech to throw more water at us.

Conservatives to play procedural games with property rights.

According to an article in the Hill Times by Harris Macleod, the Conservative government intends to reintroduce Bill C-6, on consumer product safety, in its original form. Bill C-6 was supported by the opposition parties in a form that eroded property rights and gave too much power to bureaucrats without judicial oversight. This was amended by the Senate to make less bad, but these amendments would be wiped out by the ongoing procedural games from the Conservatives. (See earlier article)

Government House Leader Jay Hill (Prince George-Peace River, B.C.) said of this bill and Bill C-15, "On those two in particular I would be seeking unanimity to proceed with them at an accelerated rate".

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