Sigh. Just exactly when will governments stop selling out our rights to the corporate sector. I have been among the voices cautioning against the incursions of large media into the copyright arena at the expense of end users. With the ever tightening consolidation of media, entertainment and information companies, the public interest has been lost, hell, abandoned. The new year is going to be a busy time for intellectual property rights advocates as we will be going to battle against the combined weight of the half dozen corporations that have monopolized media distribution and their elected accomplices.
At risk are your rights to fair use, parody and reasonable copying of products you buy from one format to another. At risk are schools and libraries and their ability to share and disseminate knowledge. At risk are Canadian innovators and home grown companies and creators. New copyright legislation is in the pipe and word is that the Conservatives are intent on fast tracking it with a minimum of public input or debate. I will have much more to say on this issue in the near future. In the mean time please take a look at this from Boing Boing's Cory Doctorow, a Canadian science fiction writer and champion of your rights. And while you're at it, you should partake of the expertise of Michael Geist, an Ottawa law professor who has been stalwart in covering these issues and fighting for your benefit.
The online grass roots, in concert with Canadian artists and Canadian labels like Nettwerk have been instrumental in protecting the interests of consumers as well as educators, libraries and other stakeholders in the intellectual property area. Together, we have kept a light on the dark dealings of government serving their corporate masters. We kept the heat on Liberal Sarmita Bulte and helped to see her defeated despite the piles of cash flowing into her campaign from international entertainment and media cartels. We kept the heat on Conservative Bev Oda and exposed her bellying up to the same bar and filling her coffers with money from the lobbyists she was supposed to be regulating. The fight is not over and will be ongoing for some time.
Right now, you have a chance to raise your voice. The government, regardless of party, is supposed to protect our interests. We are the voters, we are Canada and Liberal, Conservative or otherwise, elected officials have been given our national trust and we can not allow them to abuse it. Please pay a visit to CBC's Search Engine and remind Jim Prentice who he actually works for.