Hollywood's favorite Canadian Member of Parliament lied in a radio interview about her inclusion of the interests of Internet users in her lawmaking efforts.
Canadian copyright scholar Michael Geist reports on a radio program in which Sam Bulte (the Canadian MP who takes campaign finance from multinational entertainment companies and delivers laws that mirror the failed US copyright statutes that entertainment companies paid for there) claimed that the copyright committee she chaired delivered good representation to Internet users.
However, a Freedom-of-Information request filed by Geist reveals that Bulte rejected a proposal to allow members of the Industry Committee (who traditionally advocate on behalf of Internet users) into her hearings:
…Bulte made the startling claim that while artists were not well represented, Internet users have great support coming from Industry Canada. This will be news to Industry Canada and once again does not stand up to scrutiny. Consider the hearings before Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage in the spring 2004 which led to the Bulte report. Bulte chaired that committee and certainly could have ensured that the hearings were balanced. Unfortunately, user groups were scarcely heard from and there was no government ministry there to defend user interests. On the other hand, the copyright industries were out in full force with the music industry and collectives represented by CRIA, SOCAN, ADISQ, CMRRA, and the CPCC among others.
In fact, there is more to this story. According to documents obtained under an Access to Information request, as chair of the committee Ms. Bulte actively opposed the inclusion of an industry perspective in deliberations on copyright before the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage. An email request from a senior Canadian Heritage official days before committee hearings in March 2004 asked whether invitations might be extended to members of the Industry Committee. The terse response says it all:
"The chair of the heritage ctee is not open to the suggestion of inviting industry ctee members."