Policy

Why no formal submission to Digital Economy consultation?

In an earlier article describing my limited participation in the Digital Economy consultation I indicated that I wouldn't have the time to make a formal submission. This fact was hilighted in a flattering article by Laurel L. Russwurm, who did make a formal submission, so I thought I would write about why I didn't allocate the time.

My participation in the Digital Economy Consultation

The deadline for ideas and submissions on Canada’s digital economy strategy has been extended until midnight, Tuesday, July 13

I don't think I will have the time to make a formal submission. I have instead started to post to the ideas forum. If you agree with these ideas, please vote them up. Please also add comments.

Digital Economy Roundtable - Interim Consensus Submission

The Interim Consensus Submission from those who discussed online and offline about such a submission is now published, and available for endorsement. This is a submission that will be endorsed by many people towards the National Consultations on a Digital Economy Strategy.

I participated (online only), and endorse the submission. There is only one are that I would have used different wording, and that is in "4.3 Balanced copyright". The submission used the language of "A fine balance needs to be struck between the rights of creators/consumers in a wide variety of digital contexts". This could easily be misinterpreted as being similar to when governments talk about a need to strike a balance between the interests of consumers and the rights of the creative community. My experience in the last near decade on this policy has been that the strongest disagreements are between different creators, and that a balance between the interests of different creators is a more important axis to be concerned with in trying to create balanced copyright law.

Update: A video was produced.

Is there a copy left vs copy right?

When I first heard a group outside of the Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS) or Creative Commons movement use the word "CopyLeft", I thought they were simply using the term incorrectly. (See: Independent authors just wanting a little respect... from fellow creators and collective societies from 2006)

In the FLOSS movement it means something similar to ShareAlike with Creative Commons: the license says the copyrighted work can be freely shared (without additional permission/payment) as long as any derivatives are equally shared. The licensing model is not opposed to copyright in any way, and focuses on material rewards in the form of additional creative works rather than royalties.

I continue to hear the term "copy left" used, sometimes by those who consider it a positive term, but more often by people who are trying to use the term in a derogatory manner. In this context the term is not being used to reference to a licensing model, but a political philosophy.

This suggests that the term "copy left" references a liberal creators' rights philosophy, and the "copy right" refers to a conservative creators' rights philosophy. It is only a coincidence that those on the "copy left" also support CopyLeft style licensing.

(Including full article here -- configuration issue at IT World Canada. Read full article on IT World Canada's blog >> )

Supreme Court understands that you don't control what is in your cache

In R. v. Morelli, 2010 SCC 8 the following statement was made on behalf of the majority (McLachlin C.J. and Binnie, Abella and Fish JJ)

[36] On my view of possession, the automatic caching of a file to the hard drive does not, without more, constitute possession. While the cached file might be in a “place” over which the computer user has control, in order to establish possession, it is necessary to satisfy mens rea or fault requirements as well. Thus, it must be shown that the file was knowingly stored and retained through the cache.

The Tyranny of Rights

I will be posting further thoughts later, but wanted people to know that this book is now available online.

In keeping with our policy on copyright, and in consideration of readers in remote areas, the entire text is also available for free download here.

Parliamentary committee investigates repeal of controvercial law.

The Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights (JUST) held meetings today (details of October 5'th meeting) on the possible repeal of section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act. (Study homepage)

I support this repeal, not only because this section of the law has been abused, but because it is a bad idea. What is or is not "hate speech" is largely political and subjective. Laws which can be abused by people who are made uncomfortable by political speech should not be part of Canadian law. I hope the rumours that the repeal is receiving all party support is correct, and we can quickly remove this bad section of the law.

Book Launch: The Tyranny of Rights

This Wednesday, October 7'th, there will be a book launch from 4:30 - 6:30 P.M. at the Parliament Pub, 101 SPARKS ST. (CASH BAR)

Brewster Kneen studied economics and theology, and is (or has been) a farmer, producer, author (Chapters search, Ram's Horn), and director for the Forum on Privatization and the Public Domain.

UK government backs open source

According to a BBC article, "Tom Watson MP, minister for digital engagement, said open source software would be on a level playing field with proprietary software such as Windows.

Minister for Digital engagement? The closest we seem to have is Charlie Angus which is the digital issues critic for the NDP -- nobody in the government or official opposition in Canada seems to be closely following or trying to understand these issues.

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