Canadian MP: ripping a CD is like stealing a pair of shoes

Yesterday's Canadian Parliamentary session included a moment of dramatic idiocy, when the Tory Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs Dean Del Mastro climbed to his hind limbs to declare that wanting to rip your CDs to listen to them on your MP3 player was like buying a pair of socks and then stealing a pair of shoes to go with them.

“It’s like going to a clothing store and buying a pair of socks and going back and saying by the way it wasn’t socks that I needed, what i really wanted was shoes. So I’m just going take these, I’m gonna format shift from socks to shoes and I’m not gonna pay anything because it was all for my feet,” he says.

A better analogy: it's like buying a bottle of wine and then demanding to drink the liquid in contains from a glass of your choosing.

This is in the context of Canada's disastrous pending copyright law, Bill C-11, which has even worse digital lock rules than the failed US Digital Millennium Copyright Act, a law that's been in force since 1998, suggesting the Tories haven't learned a thing about technology policy over the course of the entire current century.

Mr Del Mastro is the MP for Peterborough, a city outside of Toronto with a large university population. Students of Trent, this guy is your MP. Remember when Sam Bulte lost her "safe" seat because she wouldn't side with the people instead of off-shore copyright giants?

Idiotic Copyright Comparisons in Canadian Parliament (Thanks, Ben!)


  1. “A better analogy: it’s like buying a bottle of wine and then demanding to drink the liquid in contains from a glass of your choosing.”

    Not a good analogy at all.  Because the “original” wine remains in that bottle for you to repour into your glass of choice again and again, for the entire restaurant.  

          1.  Jesus was actually a Socialist, according to the Bible he wasn’t usually an advocate of violence (the money-changing episode aside) and the New Testament redistribution of property was voluntary. Of course, according to some right-wing sources Communist = Socialist = Nazi so….

          2.  Jesus was actually an advocate of violence against non believers, check out Matthew 10:34 – Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth.
            I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.

    1. Terrible, just terrible. The analogy given is appropriate to the context, yours is both incorrect and ridiculous at once. 

      A good analogy does not violate any physical laws unless the purpose is to highlight that very failing in the statement it analogizes. All bottles of wine to date have a finite volume.

  2. Isn’t it more like buying a pair of trousers and repurpose them – format shift them if you will – to a pair of shorts by crafty use of scissors?

      1. How about it’s like buying a pair of trousers, then adding a zip below the knee so you can switch them as needed? Still got your trousers for evenings at home (CD), can use them on hot days while you’re out jogging (MP3 player).

  3. A better analogy is that ripping a cd is more like buying real yogurt from a place that sells real yogurt strains and using that to culture your own yogurt that is the same in every detail as the stuff you bought. I once bought yogurt from a place in NYC that sold me a 100 year old strain of yogurt and it tasted great! I made my own for close to two years. The difference is the guys who sold it to me were into people doing that, whereas the copyright industry are all basically a bunch of lazy asshats.

    1.  Now, NOW we have a good physical analogy for copying, something that self-reproduces given certain external conditions!

  4. It’s like buying socks and deciding you’re going to use them for sock puppets instead and being told you need to buy sock puppet socks in order to do that.

  5. Sorry Cory, but Peterborough is most certainly not a suburb of Toronto. They’re in the same province, though.

    1. I imagine he knows where it is. I think the definition of suburb will stretch to cover it; there have got to be plenty of Peterborovians who commute to Toronto daily. (ETA: just checked a map. Okay, maybe not so much with the commuting.)

      1. Yeah, this is what I’m saying.  If it was Oshawa or Whitby or something, sure.  But Peterborough is pretty far away to be considered a suburb.

      2.  I checked the map, too. It sure doesn’t look like a suburb(!) but I bet some people DO commute from there to Toronto. Looks like it’s just about an hour away.

        1.  I happen to LIVE in Peterborough.  I am also a consultant doing communications work on promoting various workplace sectors here.

          And I can tell you this: it is in no way, shape, form, or even remote possibility, a suburb of Toronto.  While there are quite a few people who commute to workplaces along the lakeshore (such as Oshawa, or, in the case of my wife, Cobourg), there are relatively few people who regularly commute to Toronto. In fact, very few commute to what would even be considered the suburbs of Toronto.

          Most Torontonians consider Peterborough to be either “in cottage country” or “way the fuck in the middle of nowhere.”

          It is, however, a vibrant small city that has two-post secondary institutions, it’s own (fairly) strong industrial sector, an incredibly rich and diverse music and artistic scene, and a penchant for electing wingnut Conservatives).

          That said, we’re also a bellweather riding.  For the past number (don’t ask me the number, but many) Federal elections, we have elected an MP of the same party that won the Federal election.

          Pop by and see us sometime.  I’ll buy you a beer from one of our local breweries.

          1.  If y’all could give me a heads-up before coming, I’d appreciate it.  It’d be tough to host all of BoingBoing at the same time.  ;)

          2. I’m heading to Toronto in August. Feel like hosting an Aussie for a night? I want to try as much local brew as I can in the few months I’m there. I hear good things about Canadian beer.

            I’ll even bring you a bottle of something good, small and local to Melbourne.

          3.  response to Itsumishi (apparently the “Reply” button gets squished off the screen after too many thread indents): depends on when you’re arriving.  i’m out of town for much of the month (two week canoe trip, and week-long business trip).  but i’m always up for trying beers of the world!

          4. Ha, didn’t expect a positive reply! I’ll be in Toronto from about the end of August through to December or January (depending on funds).

        2. No, Peterborough is definitely NOT a suburb of Toronto and coming from Toronto, Cory should know this. P.S. I am embarrassed that this fat fuck is my MP.

    2. There probably are only a small number of people commuting from Peterborough to Toronto. But it wouldn’t surprise me if there were a significant number of people in Peterborough who commute each day to the outer suburbs of Toronto. So Peterborough would be economically linked to metro Toronto even if it can’t be considered a traditional suburb. Peterborough no doubt developed through most of its history independent of Toronto but  these days the tenticles of Toronto spread pretty far.

      1.  Quite a few do commute from Ptbo to Toronto (I grew up there) despite the 90 minute drive. More commonly the commute is to Bowmanville or Oshawa to catch the GO train into the downtown core.

      1.  please do not tar us all with that foul brush.  i am a proud leaf hater.  and have been for decades.

  6. I am still processing the fact that socks and shoes are different formats of one another.

  7. It’s like buying socks and then not being allowed to use the wool to make a (small) pullover.

    As for knitting needles and knitting patterns – piracy!!

  8. MR DEL MASTRO “Actually, it’s like buying a pair of socks and saying that some days you want to wear them on your feet, and other days you want to use them as gloves. Or as ear-warmers. Or as a cat toy.

    And what you need to understand is that, no, you don’t own those socks. Although we’ve said that all you get is a license to use those socks, it’s actually a bit more specific than that. All you really have is a license to wear the socks. On your feet. If you want to wear them as gloves, or roll them into a ball and let the cat chase them around the room, or use them to stuff your underwear, then we need you to buy another pair of socks.

    Because when you slip your hands into those socks without a license, you’re taking money out of the mouths of hard-working sock manufacturers everywhere. And it’s time this government took a stand against these sock-eared bandits, and said enough is enough, no more cheating honest tradesmen with your extra-sockular activities.

    That should be clear enough for most people to understand. And to the rest of you I say – take those socks off your ears and listen to me.”

    (The Minister for Intergovernmental Affairs resumes his seat. Applause from the government benches).

      1. I meant an actual apple not Apple. I’m making the point that if I buy an orange, then the juice industry can’t say I’m stealing their profits or that only certain oranges are for juice and others are for eating. The criminalization of personal convenience is ridiculous and almost impossible to police. 

  9. This makes my eyes and ears bleed. Will it be illegal for me to remember a song next? To hum it softly to myself? Sweet merciful christ, technology made a lot of businesses obsolete, can we accept it and move on instead of wasting our time and tax dollars trying to enact unenforceable legislation that stifles innovation and makes criminals out of millions of innocent people? I’m a few more news articles like this away from just refusing to buy any non-indie content whatsoever. If my entertainment dollars are spent by people trying to take away my rights, that’s one of the best incentives to pirate right there. 

    1. I’m a few more news articles like this away from just refusing to buy any non-indie content whatsoever.

      Just do it.™

      I arrived there a long time ago and haven’t looked back. I take pride and pleasure in figuring out how to rip DVDs with clever anti-piracy measures. No DVD has beaten me yet.

      This is what you should do: take the money you WOULD’VE spent on a bit of plastic that benefits the creator an almost insignificant amount, and put it in a separate account/under your mattress. At the end of the year figure out which charity(ies) deserve(s) your money and actually make the world a better place. Artist will always create and record/film execs will just have to live with one less beemer.

      I hope some jerks in the industry are reading this. We don’t care about your sob story. Clever pirates will never be caught. Fix your business model or face irrelevance and the unemployment queue, you fucking sad parasites.

    1. The next time I get music that’s only available in physical CD form, I’ll remember that I’m less technologically proficient than your grandmother.

  10. It’s like buying a pair of boots, and then using them not for walking but to kick this buffoon in his lying behind.

  11. The level of discourse in the Canadian House of Commons has lately been beyond ridiculous. Why, just a week or three ago the Prime Minister itself did invoke Hitler, suggesting that historically the opposition party sympathized with and/or supported Hitler and thereby should not be trusted today.

    I’m serious, the leader of a major Western country, or, as he would have it, a major Western economy, did godwin themselves in open, public, Parliamentary debate.

    It didn’t work out, the opposition part in question did not even exist at the time and it’s predecessor did vote to go to war with Hitler, requiring only that it be debated by the representatives of the sons that would die for the decision before making the decision, like a responsible government.

    But it gets better, later in the week, presumably on the order of the Prime Minister of Canada, his own Cabinet members, those second in power only to the PM, did REPEAT the preposterous statement, presumably to allow history to someday credit one of them as first with such a gaffe. But history is recorded differently these days, and the PM was the first to Godwin himself, openly, on the floor of the House of Commons, in Canada.

    Fucking stupid.

  12. This long comment thread of terrible analogies is as useless as a pygmy elephant walking on the back of a bank truck driving backwards at night during the apocalypse. 

      1. *Sigh*

        Must I explain everything? The backwards driving of the truck is like feeling the faint smell of a rose with your fingertips as you climb down Victoria falls with a backpack full of golf balls.

        Which then dovetails with what the MP was saying, as golf balls can easily be slipped into socks, the whole thing painted red and then those socks worn on your genitals.

  13. I hate these Conservative idiots. I mean, I’m pretty conservative, and I respect conservative values, but I specifically hate these Conservatives. It’s like having a parliament full of Joffreys.

    1. Harper and his Cabinet are Reformists, which is a distinct group among the Conservatives, a distinct minority.

      Most Conservatives are Progressive Conservatives who have been sold out. There is growing dissent within that majority toward the Reform leadership. If the opposition parties don’t topple Harper, it’s a fair possibility that the PC will reclaim their party and do that job for the opposition in the next 6-8 years.

      I know stacks of PC people, they are not like the current party leader and his Cabinet, they are rational people.

      1. You know, I’d absolutely love to see four parties again instead of three. Then we could have the NDP minority government I’ve always dreamed of…

        But I don’t think it’s going to happen. It’s like the Republicans in the states. There a plenty of rational conservatives there who would love nothing more than for the evangelical fundamentalist wing of the party to split off into a different party an/or fall into a volcano.

        The problem is they need these people to make up the majority. Or at least that the optics right now. Honestly I don’t think the Conservatives need the Reform party, and I don’t think the Republican party needs the fundamentalists, but it sure looks a lot like they do.

        I think what’s a lot more likely is an NDP/Liberal coalition, or even the NDP and Liberals doing what the Reform and Conservatives did: The NDP “takes over” the liberals, assumes the Liberal mantle, and we go back to having Conservatives and Liberals instead of 4 parties. Except that neither the Conservatives or the Liberals are the centrist parties they were in the past. They are instead more polarised parties with centrist wings.

        I don’t know. Either way, I can’t wait for the Cons to massively lose sometime in the (hopefully) near future.

  14. It seems like Canada is a  constant target for this kind of law. Considering it’s next door to one of the largest content producing countries, you’d expect some  spillover. Given the smaller population and economy, the content companies may feel that it is easier to manipulate the system in Canada and then use their success there as a way of influencing policy in the US and elsewhere. It’s not hard to imagine lobbyist from the RIAA and MPAA pulling out the congress members from their pockets and saying “Look, even Canada thinks this is a good idea, you must approve it here too. You don’t want to fall behind Canada, do you?”

    1. They’ve been targeting Canada for quite a while. We’ve been lucky in that we’ve had minority governments for most of that time. Every time a new copyright bill was introduced, the government ended up falling before it passed. But now the Cons have a majority so they can do whatever they want. And they don’t have to call another election until 2016.

  15. Is he busy doing some important fundraising or is this guy actually so stupid that he would need to be referred to a geologist for evaluation?

  16. Ugh… I’m ashamed this boob is from my hometown. I wish he’d stuck with his family business of schlepping used cars. No lie – former used car salesman.

    1. He looks the part. I’m not surprised at all.

      (Though schlep means to carry something large or difficult to move, e.g. “I’m glad I’m not buddies with Dean Del Mastro because it means I don’t have to schlep him off my property when he eats too many cheeseburgers.)

  17. It’s like buying a CD and ripping it, and I feel so freaking justified and righteous in doing so I can’t even come up with an analogy.

  18. It’s like trying to deliver a speech written by the RIAA and the only copy they give you is badly faded by a crappy copier that’s nearly out of toner.

  19. More accurate: It’s like being able to make replicas of the shoes you’re wearing at no cost and giving them away to the poor who have no shoes.

    1.  ..the poor who will not, ever, be shoe-buyers. Still, that’s a lost sale, right?

  20. It’s not no cost @Shinkuhadoken:disqus , it costs you time. The sock parallel is: Girl buys socks at store. Girl likes socks and darns some that are exact matches so she can keep a set in the car, at the gym, &c. Let’s say these were “copyrighted” socks (i.e., they have a GUCCI trademark on them). It would certainly be illegal to SELL those home made counterfeit GUCCIs, even if she told people, NOT A REAL GUCCI, as she would be profiting from a trademark she didn’t have rights to. But is it illegal to just darn the socks?

    1. Crafty pedantic here: darning is how one fixes holes in socks.  I won’t bore you with the details.  Perhaps you meant knit or crochet instead?

    2. Crafty pedantic here: darning is how one fixes holes in socks.  I won’t bore you with the details.  Perhaps you meant knit or crochet instead?

  21. It’s like buying a pair of socks and then having a little machine that creates a perfect replica of the socks so that you can still enjoy wearing them when you’re nowhere near your sock drawer.

    (Crucial element: You’re only able to enjoy wearing one pair of socks at once. Well you can try wearing more than one pair, but it probably won’t be a very enjoyable experience)

  22. I think his analogy would fit “Buy a CD and steal a CD player” Not “Buy a CD and copy the songs onto your iPod”

    That sock puppet analogy above is probably the best one so far.

  23.  Please, adhere to the latest conventions. ‘Joffrey’ is now, ‘Joffrey, that little shit’. So, to clarify your sentence,
    It’s like having a parliament full of Joffreys, those little shits.

  24. I used to be sad because I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet..

    and then I said,  HEY!  Can I have your shoes??

  25. Yeah, when you have to defend the declining greedy industry then it is “like steeling a pair of shoes”,
    how about when industry RIPS OFF AN ARTIST?? isn’t it like industry punching your mom?

    1. Thank you for that!  I’m a long time fan of Le Vent du Nord, so I’m pleased to learn of another group in the genre.

  26. Those Conservative idiots are the reason why they turned a hardcore federalist (myself) into a fervent supporter of Quebec separation.

    I don’t recognize the country I used to love. The Harper gang are still ahead in polls after all the idiotic things they have done! I can’t understand this at all… Why do people still support them?!

    1. I have a sneaking suspicion (based on poll results in Australia) that they do all political poling in zoos by setting out a grid on the wall of a monkey enclosure and counting how many handfuls of shit are thrown into which grid.

  27. “It’s like me going to a clothing store and buying a pair of dress shoes for a wedding. But now I  want to go hiking. Instead of going back and buying hiking boots, I decide to hike in my dress shoes instead. So I’m not gonna pay anything extra because I used a pair of shoes in a way they weren’t meant to be used. I simply ripped off the hiking boot industry.” 

  28. Ripping a CD is like punching an amputee baby in the face with a studded punk glove while raping Mother Teresa in a church…

    Didn’t you know? Some fat retarded fuck said so.

  29. Cat: “Hey man, tell me something. I’ll give you this squirrel” Dog: “OK. Uh, mix flour, sugar and butter, then cook it. I call it shortbread.” Cat: “Cool! Thanks (gives the dog a squirrel).” (Cat pulls out pen and paper and begins writing the recipe down.) Dog: “Hey man, if you’re going to write that recipe down, you have to give me another squirrel, or I’ll bite your ass.” Cat: “You have got to be fucking kidding me. Fucking dogs, sigh…”

  30. Maybe it is more like buying a swing to hang from a tree branch, and first swinging while facing one direction, then later swinging while facing the other direction. 

    1.  Indeed, but also something that the record companies got a law passed to make illegal . . . we were all criminals making those mixtapes for our girlfriends . . .

  31. I am so sick of these kind of bullshitt propaganda lies and even more sick of these kind of corrupt stupid lobby whores worldwide

  32. honestly, im pretty sure harper uses del mastro when he wants to take a position that he sees that he may have to later abandon, and have a handy sacrificial lamb when the opposition calls for blood

    1. Who still buys CDs? Folks who are waiting for moneyed scenesters to realize that they are more “collectible” than vinyl records. In other words, the very patient audiophile.

  33. As a resident of Peterborough, I hang my head in shame and shake it. I know when I saw the results, my thoughts verged on “WTF is wrong with you people”?

    Though in defense of the muggles who voted for the guy, he is a decent public speaker, so long as you are apathetic as to the actual content. Also Peterborough has a larger retirement community than most. Likely most of the people that voted for him might argue that at least he has a voice (even if its a stupid one) and seems to have some political standing within his party, which legitimately I am not sure you can say for his competition.

    And no Peterborough isn’t remotely a ‘burb of Toronto.

    Personally I am not a fan, and I think it is more of an embarrassment than anything.

  34. Cory, maybe you can weight in on this. I’ve always wondered about this particular problem:

    It’s actually like buying a book written in spanish, and then, using your somewhat awkward, but effective skills at translation, creating an english translation of that book. Now, because you want a permanent copy, you write it out on looseleaf paper, and bind it. So, you trans-coded the original book into a new format, creating a copy in the process.

    I’m pretty sure this violates copyright. And I’m also sure that no one in their right mind would argue that you shouldn’t be able to do this.

    So why do we think it’s a problem if I do the same thing using a google translation script on a digital version of the book?

    And why is it a problem if I use an algorithm to transform one form of music that I own into another?

    Because honestly, I’d make the MP3 by hand if I could :)

  35. Dean Del Mastro also said yesterday that sex has nothing to do with biology.  Just so you know what kind of intellect we are dealing with, here. 

  36. This guy still uses a Sony Discman while he power walks in his socks and sandals.

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