The Canadian Federation of Students has issued a press release disclosing a disturbing incident just prior to last night's townhall in Toronto. CFS says that students attempted to distribute a flyer outlining the organization's position on fair copyright outside the townhall. The students involved were approached by private security guards who threatened to remove them from the hotel if they continued to do so. The CFS decided to distribute the flyers specifically because of the limited number of speaking slots and the fear that they would not be called upon to speak (they were not). It is hard to understand how distributing relevant materials outside a public, government-run townhall is viewed as grounds for ejection. As the chair of CFS-Ontario notes, "it is ironic that while students are concerned that new legislation may allow copyright owners to lock up information, the government is locking up its own consultations."
Update: NDP MP Olivia Chow reports that she faced the same threats when she tried to distribute documents outlining Charlie Angus' position on copyright.
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