Minister responsible for Canada's DMCA loses nerve, won't defend own bill

Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore made headlines last month when he called opponents of his US-style copyright bill "radical extremists" and urged his supporters to "confront them" at every turn.

Now the Minister is declining requests from his local mainstream press to defend his own bill, which ignores the results of his own public consultation, wherein an overwhelming majority of Canadians were against protecting "digital locks" on ebooks, movies, games, and music: "Moore, who besides being heritage minister is also the Conservative MP for Port Moody-Westwood-Port Coquitlam, refused to comment on Bill C-32."


Canadian copyright bill opens up debate on digital locks (via Michael Geist)

(Image: Soy Sauce Chicken, a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike (2.0) image from fotoosvanrobin's photostream)


  1. Him: “You’re a radical extremist!”
    You: “You’re a chicken!”
    Him: “You’re a jerk!”
    You: “You’re a doodie-head!”
    Him: “I’m tellin’ America on you!”
    You: “Nu-uh!”
    America: “Okay, okay, break it up you two. I’m enacting ACTA.”
    Him: “Ha!”
    You: “No fair!”
    America: “Sometimes, life isn’t fair. Now get in the car, we’ve still got 27 miles to go before we reach China, and if I can’t pay what I owe, we’ll all be frozen in carbonite.”

    1. America: “Okay, okay, break it up you two. I’m enacting ACTA.”

      We’re a sovereign nation.

      I’m trying to decide what offends me more about your little vingette:
      Suggesting that our politics are somehow childish next to the three ring circus to the south (and tell me with a straight face that those guys don’t indulge in pointing and name calling),
      Or that we’re a “minor” nation and America is our daddy.

      1. Aw, don’t be too offended. The comparison came in because of Moore kissing industry butt. And that the ACTA negotiations might invalidate whatever any sovereign nations decide is best for their people. Paternalistically so. Both of these things are rather transparently being initiated by US interests, and would go nowhere if sovereign nations didn’t desperately want to please those US interests.

        You could be offended at the implication that it’s childish. I do stand by that one. When an argument degenerates into name-calling, it has become childish. The salient point about Moore declining to defend it isn’t about his personal courage level. It is that it is, likely, indefensible (and he won’t appear so as to minimize the damage a conversation would create). The point about people opposing the bill isn’t that they are radical anti-copyright extremists. It is that the bill has some serious problems. Name-calling doesn’t do either side any favors.

        The daddy stuff is more a tweak at the minister’s bootlicking and America’s “screw you”ism.

        1. I won’t argue with childish – I just argue with “… and America is the mature one”.

          America is more like a bullying and much bigger child to other children, then somehow “the adult in the room”.

          I don’t think there ARE any political “adults” to co whining to unfortunately.

      2. As a fellow Canadian, let me say it: We are a minor nation. America is our daddy.

        It needn’t be thus – our political classes have the choice of whether to be independent or a US client state. But the choices they have made for years have been to be a client state without a meaningful foreign policy; as the ones who elected them year after year, we share the blame for that.

  2. LOL you sum it up rather well. :p

    Insult the people who joined the Canadian public consultation, deny, then hide.

    I’m sure the ipdad minister will try and brush this off on twitter somehow by saying that media was communist or something.

  3. this comes down to something very simple: this jackoff doesn’t want to be the one that sends us all to an election from a vote of non-confidence.

    When in doubt, be like Wm Lyon Mackenzie King: DO NOTHING.

    He’s the longest serving PM for that very strategy.

  4. Russell McOrmond has pointed out to me that the challenge is now out of Mr. Moore’s purview… the challenge is to make sure your MPs are aware of their constituents’ feelings on this, so that those MPs can discuss the impact of the Bill with the committee members who will be discussing the political ramifications of the Bill… both to the nation and to their individual chances of being re-elected based on their responses to all our voiced concerns.

    If you haven’t yet contacted (assuming you are Canadian) then you should do so immediately. Politicians step much more carefully when they know that people who take the time to write to them (and in my case, blog the correspondence) are watching.

  5. As a one-time poultry producer, I deeply resent your comparing James Moore to the noble chicken.

  6. Clearly my cooked poultry identification skills are poor. I’d assumed it was a dig at the presumed stat e of the bill – a turkey!

  7. Oh, and – our governing party’s politicians behave childishly. They may be a bit better in that regard than the Americans, but when that’s all you can say in their defence, that’s really just damning with faint praise…

  8. So you’re saying I should go to his office on my lunch break & see what he says to me, one of his constituents?

    @ bmcraec et al.

    Are there not certain MP’s who have more ‘clout’ on this than others? For example, I figure that someone in Tony Clement’s riding or Stephen Harper’s riding making a comment to their MP (as a constituent) definitely has more weight on this than someone in, say, Charlie Angus’ riding because we all know the “Conservatives” don’t give a flying fark about opposition party members’ comments since they don’t give half a flying fark about *reality*.

  9. this is not a surprise. the current government has long treated the press with disdain.

  10. So my MP James Rajotte wouldn’t comment on the bill before it was introduced because there wasn’t a bill yet. Now Hon. Moore won’t comment on the bill because there is a bill? When are we supposed to learn more about proposed legislation? Oh, right, after it is passed and there is nothing we can do. errgh

  11. Moore’s silence likely has very little to do with his own cowardice. Permission to speak comes only from the PMO in this Tory government. I find it funny that these guys were elected as ‘parliamentary’ representatives as there is almost no free speech allowed within their ranks. The caucus appears to be one large creature with only one dominant mouth perched on top.

  12. Oh, right…I had forgotten about the Minister’s comments.
    I was wondering why I was being confronted every time I came around a corner.

  13. Re: “Are there not certain MP’s who have more ‘clout’ on this than others?”

    The important thing to remember is that your MP is your gateway to every other MP and Minister. A letter sent directly to an MP or Minister that is not your MP tends to get filtered into “Someone talking about topic X” and used for statistics at best — assuming it is not just deleted as SPAM.

    You need to include your full contact information in any correspondences, especially including your postal code. Staffers pretty much always look up that postal code to filter into constituent/non-constituent before it is read.

    A letter sent to your MP which (s)he then forwards to cabinet ministers and shadow cabinet critics is far more powerful than a letter sent directly.

    The next stage is the committee — and you want to make sure that every MP who forms that committee has heard from constituents and other MPs in their party what people are thinking on this bill. It is the members on this committee that matter the most at this next stage, but your gateway to these people is still your own MP (or an MP from a different party in your neighbourhood).

    And use full sentences/etc — use something like which articulates less-emotional and more logical critiques, rather than the “theft is theft” ranting we hear from the other side. Some emotion is sometimes good, but that doesn’t help make actual amendments to a bill that could quite likely pass.

    And don’t discount the influence of Charlie Angus. He may be NDP, the smallest of the parties with seats in the house, but he’s really the only one in the house that really “gets” what’s in the bill. This isn’t an issue he only recently learned as an MP, but one he learned as a creator (author, composer, musician, broadcaster, etc). Notice that the so-called “creator groups” or astro-turf industry associations who support C-32 don’t ever attack Charlie, given he has far more credibility than they do when it comes to protecting the balance in copyright and the rights of a full spectrum of creators. They won’t want to draw attention to that fact.

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