Canadian government expresses cautious enthusiasm for Internet

A reader writes, "Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore gave a speech this week that appears to suggest a surprising shift in Canadian policy on copyright. Moore talked about the great opportunities presented by the Internet and how many older politicians don't understand these opportunities."

For context, this is the same government that recently tried to ram through a super-restrictive version of the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act, refusing to meet with Canadian artists, filmmakers, academics, librarians or user-rights groups. As Michael Geist says, "Last year's experience with Bill C-61 left thousands of Canadians deeply disappointed with government on copyright policy. Yesterday's remarks signal an important shift with both Clement and Moore clearly committed to more open consultation and to the development of a balanced copyright bill that better reflects the real-world realities of new technologies, innovation, new creators, and the reasonable expectations of Canadian consumers."

The old way of doing things is over. These things are all now one. And it's great. And it's never been better. And we need to be enthusiastic and embrace these things. I point out the average age of a member of parliament because don't assume that those who are making the decisions and who are driving the debate understand all the dynamics that are at play here. Don't assume that everybody understands the opportunities that are at play here and how great this can be for Canada. Tony is doing his job and I'm going to do my job and be a cheerleader and push this and to fight for the right balance as we go forward. The opportunities are unbelievable and unparalleled in human history.

Reflecting on the Digital Economy Conference


  1. If he can walk the talk, then this leaves me cautiously optimistic.

    I always wondered how judges could sit and decide on cases that they know nothing about (emerging technology, medicines, etc). I suppose at least judges have the responsibility to recluse themselves if their knowledge isn’t all that great; but what of politicians?

    55? My mother is almost a decade younger and still has many of the same hangups.

    (full disclosure: contrarily, my mother’s father is much older than that and is beginning his understanding of the internet… but he worked in the 60s-70s as a programmer and data entry manager for IBM and Irving, so his understanding of computational systems isn’t starting from a 0 point)

    I suppose this is where the constituents have to rise up and educate their representatives in the Houses (provincial and federal)… and maybe even their city councilors (or equivalent). They may just not know about things, and will go with ‘the flow’ unless we (yes, WE. All of us) help them along with the tricky bits that we understand and they might not…

    I can’t help but be buoyed up by the optimism in his closing statements. Yes, he knew his audience and conceivably was just playing them… but the possibility that he might actually believe some of that provides more hope than our government has given me since the proactive telecommunications policies in the nineties.

    …off I go to write to my MP and MPP. I too often just write to them to complain. This time it’ll be happier :)

  2. Moore talked about the great opportunities presented by the Internet and how many older politicians don’t understand these opportunities.

    Yeah, if we only gave it a chance this Internet thing could really take off.

  3. As stiff and little-c conservative as Canadian politicians can be, Canadian judges and politicians (even senators!) seem to think they have an obligation to investigate issues brought to their attention, as though they are fulfilling some bizarre kind of public trust!

    This leads to such arcane concepts as debate and universal enforcement, including against law enforcement and VIPs, for the benefit of the average person!

    If Canada is not in the process of becoming an American property, (definitely possible) then our continued SOCIALISM will benefit everybody not hurting others.

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