Last night at an all-candidates meeting, the Canadian Member of Parliament who takes large campaign contributions from the entertainment industry and delivers American-style copyright laws in return was confronted by her constituents, who demanded that she account for her actions.
Sam Bulte is the Liberal MP for Parkdale/High Park, and is running for her third term in office. Her second campaign was funded through extraordinary donations from large publishing, entertainment and pharmaceutical companies, and her second term was marked by US-style copyright extremism in the form of legislative proposals and reports that mirror the worst of America's copyright laws, which have sparked a war between artists and their fans, criminalizing tens of millions of Americans.
Copyright scholar Michael Geist
and his CIPPIC clinic at the University of Ottawa have has formulated a "copyright pledge" in which they call on law-makers who make copyright law to turn away any funding from the entertainment industry, to make it clear that their campaign funding does not influence their work in government.
In this video, shot by AccordionGuy, a geek who lives in her riding (district), Bulte is asked whether she will take the pledge, and she responds with bile, vowing not to allow "Michael Geist and his pro-user zealots, and Electronic Frontier Foundation members" to "intimidate her." Her entire response is an embarassment to her and her party, and it's must-see video for anyone going to the polls in Parkdale/High Park.
Bulte's last seat was carried by fewer than
9,000 3,500 votes. If she won't promise to keep monied special interests out of her politics, then surely 3,500 of my former neighbors in Parkdale/High Park can be persuaded to turn out and vote against her.
Update: Michael Geist has a great post about Bulte's performance. I loved this part about who are the "pro-user zealots" who've decried Bulte's legislative attempts to criminalize the Canadian public: "I suspect that Ms. Bulte thinks she is talking about little more than a few file sharers who want access to music that, depending on your perspective, is either free or paid for by the private copying levy. This is where she is simply wrong. I obviously don't think those concerned with balanced copyright are zealots, but I know that when she uses this characterization, she is calling the nine justices of the Supreme Court of Canada zealots. She is calling Canadian artists such as Jane Siberry, Matthew Good, Barenaked Ladies, Bob Wiseman (formerly of Blue Rodeo), Charlie Angus, and Neil Leyton zealots. She is calling the provincial ministers of education zealots. She is calling publishers such as Irwin Law and the 19 professors who contributed to In the Public Interest zealots. She is calling historians such as Jack Granatstein a zealot. She is calling the thousands of Canadians who have contributed to Creative Commons Canada zealots. She is calling the hundreds of bloggers and thousands of Internet users who have become engaged on this issue zealots. Indeed, judging by the video, she is calling many of her constituents zealots."