The lobby for US-style copyrights in Canada has gone into overdrive, recruiting a powerful Member of Parliament and turning public forums on copyright into one-sided love-fests for restrictive copyright regimes that criminalize everyday Canadians.
Dan McTeague is the Liberal MP from Pickering-Scarborough East, and he's set to become the successor to Sam Bulte, the MP who lost her job for funding her campaign to get elected and appointed Heritage Minister by lining her pockets with massive donations from the very industries she would have ended up regulating. Reliable sources tell me that he's the guy who pushed for Canada signing onto the WIPO copyright treaty in the committee's anti-counterfeiting report last year, and that any time anyone in committee mentions fair dealing and user rights, he has a complete melt-down and shouts them down.
At a recent copyright panel in Toronto, McTeague essentially read out a list of record industry talking points about Canada's supposed status as a pirate nation, characterizing infringement as theft and refusing to acknowledge user rights; saying that Canada's international reputation had been tarnished by its soft copyright laws (the World Economic Forum says that Canada's copyright system is more advanced than Japan's and the US's). and, incredibly, proposed that we should pass a law making it illegal to use the Internet to "threaten" Members of Parliament with negative publicity if we don't like their political positions.
The supposedly non-partisan Public Policy Forum is holding a major, one-sided IP symposium on Monday. Invited are the U.S. Ambassador to Canada, former head of the Canadian Motion Picture Industry Association, and other big-stick-swingers for American-style copyright disasters. But when copyright lobbyists discovered that noted copyright scholar Howard Knopf would appear on just one of the panels, they went berserk and pushed successfully to have Knopf removed, ensuring that dissenting voices would be minimized on the day.
Timothy writes, “Diego Gómez is a Colombian conservation biologist. When he was a college student, he shared a single research paper online so that others could read and learn from it, just as he did. Diego was criminally prosecuted for copyright infringement, and faced up to 8 years in prison.”
The good people at Fight for the Future established OPERATION COMCASTROTURF to help you figure out if your stolen identity was used to file fake anti-net-neutrality comments with the FCC, but Comcast wants them shut down, and it’s prepared to commit barratry to get its way.
Every Ozimal digirabbit in the venerable virtual world Second Life will starve to death (well, permanent hibernation) this week because a legal threat has shut down their food-server, and the virtual pets are designed so that they can only eat DRM-locked food, so the official food server’s shutdown has doomed them all.
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