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
During the Napster wars, Bruce Schneier famously quipped, "Making bits harder to copy is like making water less wet."
For months, the European Parliament has been negotiating over a new copyright rule, with rightsholder organizations demanding that some online services implement censoring filters that prevent anyone from uploading text, sounds or images if they have been claimed by a copyright holder.
John Sulston has died at the age of 75; I worked with him through the Wellcome Sanger institute, where he undertook the Human Genome Project, where a fully sequenced human genome was decoded and published as open-access science that anyone could study and use.
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