Canadian MP who shills for the record industry is an enthusiastic pirate

Michael Geist,

Canadian Liberal MP Dan McTeague, who was recently linked to the Canadian Recording Industry Association, has been the most outspoken MP in favor of tough penalties for copyright infringement. Yet it now appears that McTeague may have himself infringed dozens of copyrights on his own website.

Since the introduction of Bill C-32, McTeague has posted dozens of full-text articles from mainstream media organizations on his website, at times without attribution. In addition to the articles, McTeague has also reposted many photographs associated with the articles.

The more likely scenario is that this is a case of repeated copyright infringement under which there would be the possibility of hundreds of thousands of dollars in potential statutory damages. Targeted Canadian mainstream media organizations include the Globe and Mail, Postmedia, Toronto Star, Ottawa Citizen, Canadian Press, CTV, QMI (Sun News), Hill Times, and many local news organizations.

Liberal MP Dan McTeague: Repeat Copyright Infringer?


  1. I don’t know how things work in Canada, but in litigious US this would probably work: one of those news organizations sues McTeague for copyright violation; then, in the future, whenever copyright issues come up people demand McTeague recuse himself since he was personally involved in lawsuits on the issue.

  2. The more someone complains about plagiarism or copyright infringement, the probability that they are themselves guilty of it approaches 1.

    1. I’m suspicious of that logic in general: for example I think probably a certain number of homophobes are secretly gay, but I would be *very* surprised if there were that strong of a correlation. I’m a pacifist, so I tend to speak out very strongly against war and violence, but it would be pretty unreasonable to therefore assume I am secretly guilty of mass murder. It’s a very tempting way to discredit one’s opponent, but I think it easily edges into ad hominem without really adding anything substantive to the discussion.

      I think it’s also problematic in this case specifically, b/c the MP probably doesn’t directly control much of the content on “his” site. At least that would be my guess, but I speak under correction by those who know.

      1. I made no mention of homophobes and pacifists (unless they happen to be copyright maximalists.) And I don’t see why an MP should be excused b/c of a careless employee, when nobody else would be.

        1. Sorry, didn’t mean to imply anything about your views on gay/pacifism/anything else. I just meant to point out that the logic of “if someone complains about X, they must actually do X” is something to be cautious of. The examples I cited were just meant to demonstrate how that logic might fail in other situations, not to associate you with any ideologies. If that’s how it came across, my apologies.

          I’m also not at all defending the hypocrisy. You said the MP complains about copyright violations, and therefore is guilty of them with probability approaching 1. I was just trying to point out that the two might not be so strongly related as you made them out to be.

          I do think the MP should be held responsible for content published under his name, but there’s no need to make sweeping generalizations about *everyone* who complains about copyright infringement.

          1. I think we agree there, but it does seem to hold in certain cases, and this seems to be one of them.

            Note that it’s a matter of probability, not certainty, so there will be outliers.

    2. The more someone identifies a certain behavior, the probability that they maximize its occurrence approaches 1.

    3. Also considering the insane gateway theories about child pornography and child abuse, I wouldn’t be very surprised if the people in favour of Internet censorship were inclined that way.

      I think people in general assume everyone is like them. So, the people who wouldn’t have any problems taking everything (maybe even selling them) without ever considering supporting the author, who would happily be parasitic in case of well-fare, who steal when given a chance, will defend strong copyright, oppose social programs, support police state etc., if they recognize this behaviour to be wrong.

      Of course, copyright makes a lot of money to certain (wrong) people and can be used to silence certain opinions and is used to control the market, so the motivations may also be less psychological.

  3. I think the real test is how this is handled. Will the infringing content be properly credited and/or removed or will this “trigger another federal election” as we’ve been hearing over nearly everything the last few years?

  4. These are the most civil and polite comments I’ve ever seen; the only place I’ve seen comments that even come close is the TED community.

  5. Actually Church’s comment is accurate because the probability of *anyone* is guilty of copyright infringement on this planet approaches 1. There is literally nobody not guilty of it. On the planet. So, yeah.

  6. omg a lying and or (probably and) stupid politician making rules for his lobbyist paymasters and not knowing/caring if he breaks them because he owns the world?

    im shocked i tell you, shocked….

  7. well it semms that articles are now attributed, but this doesn’t fix the whole cloth copying- why click the link when the whole article is right there?

    McTeague quite literally doesn’t know what he’s talking about, and hasn’t thought very carefully about it.

  8. Copy right infringement is very common indeed, especially with internet. I mean, how easy is it to paste and copy? Very often people don’t even realize they are breaking the law. Usually though if you make it extra clear that your work is copyrighted most people would leave it alone and not pirate it.

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