Saturday, December 08, 2007

Prentice Squirms

Tyler Kinch reports from Jim Prentice's little open house, that the Minister is prepared to sneak about and avoid the Conservative promises of accountability and transparency when it come to his impending copyright legislation.

At a holiday open house for his constituents in Calgary, Jim Prentice was bombarded with questions about his copyright bill that he will be tabling in the House of Commons soon. It is rumored that this bill will be a complete sell-out to US Government and Lobbyist demands.

When a member of the press asked who was asking for Canada’s copyright laws to be updated, the minister stated that CEOS had been pressuring him.

He avoided or provided very weak answers to the questions of the over 60 ordinary citizens who came out to ask him questions.

Yeah, I bet CEOs have been pressuring him. Well here's a fucking news flash for Jim Prentice, you don't work for CEOs. You work for us bucko. Last time I checked, a CEO had exactly one vote. Unless of course this is a matter of money talking. Anyone care to chase Mr. Prentice's paper trail, see who's filling his coffers. If Sam Bulte (Lib - Fired) and Bev Oda (Con - Shuffled) are any indication, media money might well be flowing like wine. By my reckoning, Prentice made a tacit admission that the legislation he refuses to detail to the Canadian public, until it is too damned late, has been tailored to meet the demands of a few heavies from the media cartels. Not good enough Jim Prentice, not by a long stretch. Go read the rest of Tyler's report and decide whether you can trust a man that won't even answer the questions of people in his own riding.

Kudos and a big tip of the hat to Tyler Kinch!


Tyler has posted video of Jim Prentice evading question after question at his open house in Calgary. He states blankly that he has consulted with all manner of CEOs and they are pressuring him to write them up some good old corporate welfare legislation. Apparently it is just terribly important that we are being criticized for failing to live up to the WIPO treaty obligations. Funny, I seem to recall that a certain Conservative minority government has had no qualms about scuttling another treaty we signed, despite worldwide criticism by more than just CEOS. If we can take a long beery piss on Kyoto and the environment, I think we might be able to justify telling the CEOs of the media mafia to go take a flying fuck. Their bottom line does not trump the culture, education and heritage of future generations of Canadians.


LuLu said...

Prentice Squirms like the sneaky little corporate worm that he is ... I've shamelessly stolen pacanukeha's letter, made slight variations and sent it off to Mr. Prentice. Let's hope his level of extreme discomfort continues to rise.

kinch said...

Hi, thanks for kudos :)

I've just updated the post, someone posted a video of when Prentice came out into the hallway to talk to the entire group. I've embeded it into the post.

pretty shaved ape said...

excellent! welcome aboard lulu, i'm looking forward to your posts. and tyler thanks for doing the representing part of some representative democracy for us.

kinch said...

Here another posting:

kinch said...

I fixed YouTube.

pretty shaved ape said...

lol well done tyler. the video tyler has posted is a must see!

TTFD said...

Here is my letter I have sent to the politicians customized a wee bit for each depending on affliation etc(Prentice, Harper, Dion, Nash (my MP) Layton)

If Dion is looking for a battle of left vs right, imported US vs Canadian ideologies then this is a perfect flash-point. Called Nash's office as well, had a good conversation with them on this, seems they're on our side. Feel free to use any of it if you'd like.

I wanted to voice my concern over the upcoming legislation being introduced regarding copyright reform. If media reports and speculation that I have read so far is accurate, then I must respectfully conclude that this is a terrible decision for Canada. The importation of a failed and widely criticized American law serves no purpose for Canada. The only people it serves are seemingly foreign business interests and the US ambassador to Canada, since these have been the only two groups consulted on this critical subject.

As a citizen of Canada and voter for the Conservative party in the last federal election I am deeply concerned that we as consumers and private citizens have been left in the cold during the drafting of this reform. The heavy-handed approach of the American DMCA has been shown to favour only a select group of businesses while criminalizing many ordinary people and legitimate businesses. For example, a business who tries to make an after-market product compatible with existing technologies have found themselves on the receiving end of frivolous and anti-competitive lawsuits. The Lexmark case is but one example of many - If I buy media and wish to shift it to another playing device than I should be able to without breaking the law, if I wish to record a show to watch at a later time I should also be able to do this without having to circumvent locks put in to place that are there not protect the artists like the recording and motion picture industries always tout when justifying their draconian, anti-competitive and greed driven motives but to only preserve an out-dated business model. If it were all about the artists and their content, then why are the majority of artistic groups and association highly critical of this move? Well, besides CRIA, who really doesn't represent the wishes of our Canadian artists since most have come out against their stance on this subject.

Some of the unintended consequences of the US DMCA that we intend to mirror here have been absolutely terrible.

The DMCA Chills Free Expression and Scientific Research.*
Experience with section 1201 demonstrates that it is being used to stifle free speech and scientific research. The lawsuit against 2600 magazine, threats against Princeton Professor Edward Felten's team of researchers, and prosecution of Russian programmer Dmitry Sklyarov have chilled the legitimate activities of journalists, publishers, scientists, students, programmers, and members of the public.

The DMCA Jeopardizes Fair Use.*
By banning all acts of circumvention, and all technologies and tools that can be used for circumvention, the DMCA grants to copyright owners the power to unilaterally eliminate the public's fair use rights. Already, the movie industry's use of encryption on DVDs has curtailed consumers' ability to make legitimate, personal-use copies of movies they have purchased.

The DMCA Impedes Competition and Innovation.*
Rather than focusing on pirates, many copyright owners have wielded the DMCA to hinder their legitimate competitors. For example, the DMCA has been used to block aftermarket competition in laser printer toner cartridges, garage door openers, and computer maintenance services. Similarly, Apple invoked the DMCA to chill RealNetworks' efforts to sell music downloads to iPod owners.

The DMCA Interferes with Computer Intrusion Laws.*
Further, the DMCA has been misused as a general-purpose prohibition on computer network access which, unlike most computer intrusion statutes, lacks any financial harm threshold. As a result, a disgruntled employer has used the DMCA against a former contractor for simply connecting to the company's computer system through a VPN.

This reform should be brought to a full consultation process involving normal citizens (2001 is a long time ago, we need another consultation for this reform), Canadian artists, Canadian technology companies, academic associations, the news industry, well the list goes on. It raises my suspicion that this reform would tabled just prior to the Christmas holidays with Minister Prentice refusing to talk to any media outlets or take any questions regarding this beforehand. Then saying he would issue a press release explaining his lack of communication on this subject and then over two weeks later still not issuing any such release.

Another concern regarding this reform, is the lack of any mention about the copying levies we have been paying for years. If you intend to handcuff us and not allow us as Canadian citizens to transfer media that we have paid for, or back up the media we have paid for, then what is the point of these levies?

So in conclusion if my concerns as laid out above are realized, I will have to give my vote to another party in the next federal election, since your promise of a consumer first approach and a transparent government for its citizens will be proven to be nothing but falsehoods.