Copyright Town Hall security threatened MP, students with ejection for handing out flyers

At last week's Canadian copyright town hall meeting in Toronto — the one where the speaker-roster was overwhelming stacked with representatives from giant entertainment conglomerates — security guards prevented the Canadian Federation of Students from distributing literature by the doors that advocated for more liberal copyright rules. They also stopped a Member of Parliament from one of the opposition parties from distributing flyers.

The Canadian Federation of Students has issued a press release disclosing a disturbing incident just prior to last night's townhall in Toronto. CFS says that students attempted to distribute a flyer outlining the organization's position on fair copyright outside the townhall. The students involved were approached by private security guards who threatened to remove them from the hotel if they continued to do so. The CFS decided to distribute the flyers specifically because of the limited number of speaking slots and the fear that they would not be called upon to speak (they were not). It is hard to understand how distributing relevant materials outside a public, government-run townhall is viewed as grounds for ejection. As the chair of CFS-Ontario notes, "it is ironic that while students are concerned that new legislation may allow copyright owners to lock up information, the government is locking up its own consultations."

Update: NDP MP Olivia Chow reports that she faced the same threats when she tried to distribute documents outlining Charlie Angus' position on copyright.

Why Did Security Guards Stop CFS From Distributing Flyers at the Copyright Town Hall?