Whether free culture allowing all citizens to fully participate, or centrally owned/communicated/controlled culture, at the root of much of the debates are very different ideas on cultural policy.

Protecting our Canadian Culture ... from Bill C-60.

Dear Prime Minister Paul Martin,
Minister of Canadian Heritage and Minister responsible for Status of Women Liza Frulla,
Minister of Industry David Emerson,
Member for Ottawa-South David McGuinty,

On November 23, 2005, Canada became the first country to ratify the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) International Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. I agree that this is something that Canadians can be proud of.

Top Finland movie online

p2p news / p2pnet: Further proof, if it were needed, of the power of the Net comes from new Number One movie in Finland.

Harry Potter? Nope. Walk the Line, then? Or Chicken Little?

Nope. The movie that's pulling is Star Wreck: In the Pirkinning, a Star Trek spoof. And its popularity is all down to the fact it's available online.

Read full article on p2pnet...

Bill Thompson at WSIS: Preserving the essence of the net

This BBC article by Bill Thompson includes:

The final statement of the Tunis Agenda for the Information Society is as much a framework for control of the ways the net is used as it is a call for "the freedom to seek, receive, impart and use information".

But perhaps, just perhaps, those delegates from open societies will reflect that their experience inside the UN bubble at Tunis parallels the internet's position within the political system generally.

Read more from Bill Thompson...

Saving the Net: How to Keep the Carriers from Flushing the Net Down the Tubes

An essay by Doc Searls starts:

We're hearing tales of two scenarios--one pessimistic, one optimistic--for the future of the Net. If the paranoids are right, the Net's toast. If they're not, it will be because we fought to save it, perhaps in a new way we haven't talked about before. Davids, meet your Goliaths.

CopyNight - Tuesday, November 22

Every fourth Tuesday, fans of free culture gather in cities across North America to talk about the conflicts between freedom and intellectual property regulation. Welcome to this month's CopyNight: Tuesday, November 22, around 7pm.

So far only a few Canadian cities are involved: Toronto and
Montreal. I would be interested to co-host one in Ottawa if there is anyone interested. We may be able to tie this directly into Free Culture campus groups being launched at Carleton University and Ottawa University.

Open source on presidential agenda at WSIS

This tectonic article by Jason Norwood-Young includes:

While the Internet debacle grabbed headlines at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) conference in Tunis, Tunisia yesterday, it was the digital divide that took centre stage in many of the delegates' opening addresses. The way to bridge the divide, say many of the delegates – including South African President Thabo Mbeki – is through open source software.

See also: Highway Africa News Agency: Ouch! 'Intellectual Property Everywhere, All the Time'

November 15 meeting with David McGuinty, MP for Ottawa-South

I set up a meeting with my MP, Mr. McGuinty, earlier this morning. We met in the Lobby which is part of the parliament buildings I had never been to before. It is a room immediately behind where the government-side parliamentarians sit in the House of Commons Chamber.

I wrote up a 1-page (2 sides) summary so that I would have something to hand to him and to reference during conversations. (OpenDocument format, PDF format)

Summary: I started by suggesting that this is an economic policy and competition issue, not a moral, property or "theft" issue. When new communications technology reduced the marginal cost (the cost per additional unit) of the reproduction and distribution of creativity. With techniques such as peer distribution (P2P) this marginal cost is brought near enough to zero to not being worth metering.

The Manitoban: Google Print launches online library

This The Manitoban article by Tessa Vanderhart includes:

“The real question is what needs to happen for Google Print to launch digitization in Canada,” said Michael Geist, a Canada Research Chair in internet and e-commerce law.

“The problem is not that Google Print isn’t accessible to Canadians. The problem is that Google can’t launch a Canadian Google Print focused on Canadian titles because our fair dealing approach would not cover the digitization of the work.”

UNESCO Cultural Treaty On the Rocks, Fearing U.S. Withdrawal

This EMBASSY article by Sarah McGregor includes:

A new international pact to protect creative expression from the threat of globalization is so strongly opposed by the United States that a diplomat in Ottawa fears Washington may withdraw from UNESCO for the second time.

Lessig: Google's Tough Call

This Wired magazine article by Lawrence Lessig includes:

No publisher ever said, "I'll lose money on book sales, but I'll make it up from Internet searches." They therefore intone "grave misgivings" about copyright in order­ to demand a piece of the action­: money. It's an old technique (the Motion Picture Association of America famously tried it against Sony Betamax). But the inspiration is not copyright, it's Tony Soprano­.

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