Give a man a fish, make it illegal to teach fishing.

A few media outlets are reporting on Irish rocker Bono's latest rantings. (See: CBC, New York Times, SlashDot). My SlashDot comment summarises my thinking on his views.

"Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach him to fish and he eats for a lifetime."

You forgot the real issue here, which is that Bono, Gates and similar pseudo-philanthropists are actively involved with making a variety of "teaching" (sharing of knowledge) expensive and/or illegal. This is the core of what Bono is ranting about this time, suggesting the world's governments should go as far as the human rights violations in China to (theoretically -- no proof of "benefit") grant him more money.

Leaked ACTA Internet Provisions: Three Strikes and a Global DMCA

EFF commentary by Gwen Hinze discusses the counterfeit treaty ACTA.

The Internet provisions have nothing to do with addressing counterfeit products, but are all about imposing a set of copyright industry demands on the global Internet, including obligations on ISPs to adopt Three Strikes Internet disconnection policies, and a global expansion of DMCA-style TPM laws.

DMCA-style TPM laws are a direct attack on property rights, and 3-strikes laws are invalid given we already have statutory damages which is "one *PROVEN* strike" laws. 3-strikes is all about punishment without proof, where the punishment doesn't fit the crime (cutting off legs for jaywalking).

The ACTA Internet Chapter: Putting the Pieces Together

The mis-labeled Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (which itself is counterfeit, as politicians have been entirely dishonest about the origins and content of the treaty) has again had parts of its secret contents leaked. Some details are on Michael Geist's blog.

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.

Automobile property rights won't be protected by "Conservatives"

A Globe and Mail article discusses how federal Industry Minister Tony Clement has claimed that a temporary non-binding deal granting Canada's independent garages access to the proprietary software and tools to fix newer-model cars is sufficient to protect the right to repair. He is claiming that that Private Members bill C-273, the Right to Repair bill, is no longer necessary, suggesting that "intellectual property rights" need to be balanced against the rights of automobile owners. Sorry, but unless the automobile owner is manufacturing and distributing new automobiles, there are no legitimate "intellectual property rights" at question.

For a party that alleges to hold protecting property rights as a founding principle, they don't seem to be interested in protecting this right.

Canadian law should be updated to protect us from digital locks

Georgia Straight has been publishing a series of op-eds on copyright. I authored an article on behalf of CLUE that took aim at the article by Danielle Parr from the Entertainment Software Association of Canada.

Pirate Party

The Swedish Pirate Party (Wikipedia) has won one seat (possibly two) in the 2009 European parliamentary elections.

You're a pirate Santa Claus

Jesse Betteridge brings us a reminder of how we have changed. (Sorry for the delay in posting)

For a different take on the future, check out CBC Spark's long interview of Clay Shirky.

Use UN day to reflect on mis-interpretations of Universal Declaration of Human Rights

United Nations Day was proclaimed in 1948 by the United Nations General Assembly. It is held annually on 24 October, the anniversary of the coming into force of the UN Charter on 24 October 1945. 2008 is also the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).

This makes tomorrow an ideal time to reflect on what many consider to be a misinterpretation of the UN UDHR that has lead to many of the technology policy debates today.

Read the rest of this entry »

Patent system seen stifling medical breakthroughs

The Globe and Mail reports on a new McGill study that concludes that intellectual property laws may be stifling innovation and that increased patent protection may hamper future innovation.

Hat tip to Michael Geist.

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