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Prentice’s Made in Canada Spin

Susan Delacourt of the Toronto Star reports that people have spotted signs around the Industry Canada headquarters sporting the slogan "Made in Canada Copyright Reform." The report suggests that Industry Minister Jim Prentice has dropped the "Putting Consumers First" line that he used at the spectrum auction announcement (consumers are unlikely to be first in the forthcoming bill) and will instead try to sell the Canadian DMCA as a distinctly Canadian approach.  While it is true that the ISP liability provisions will be a Canadian solution, Prentice should be honest about the core anti-circumvention rules that are likely to mirror the DMCA and run counter to the concerns of business, education, and consumer groups.  Those rules are quite clearly "Born in the USA."

27 Comments

  1. Well, now… there’s a surprise.

    *sigh*

  2. Made in California, more like it, thanks to Schwarzennager’s visit.

  3. Dwight Williams says:

    Do Not Want
    I don’t appreciate the spin plans, thanks much.

  4. Traitor to the Canadian People
    Nicely done 99.234.69.64

    “P. E. James Prentice, PC, MP (born July 20, 1956, in South Porcupine, Ontario near Timmins) is a Canadian lawyer and politician. He is a traitor to the Canadian People and hopes to sell of Canada’s copywrite law to struggling American conglomerates.”

    The above quote is from Prentice wikipedia talk page:

    [ link ]

  5. Spin vs Spin?
    The report suggests that Industry Minister Jim Prentice has dropped the “Putting Consumers First” line that he used at the spectrum auction announcement

    You can’t drop what you never had. That is a slogan read off a banner at a spectrum announcement. News flash: copyright law is not spectrum regulation. It’s different.

    Either you’re for spin or you’re not, Michael. Make up your mind.

    (consumers are unlikely to be first in the forthcoming bill)

    Um, good? Copyright law is all about balancing interests — those of creators and consumers of said creations, above others. Rightsholders and other intermediaries, as part of the supporting cast.

    Putting consumers’ interests ahead of those of, say, the folks whose creations are being consumed, has never been what anyone advocates.

    Again, spectrum regulation is not copyright law. I know that point gets in the way of vigorous spinning — much as the reality of overeager interns gets in the reality of conspiracy theorizing about centrally-planned Wikipedia edits.

    But sometimes you have to face facts.

  6. Another point of view
    A global look at copyright from another point if view can be read here, perhaps our minister might benefit from a wider reading list. :)

    cheers
    JJ

    [ link ]

  7. Self-righteous says:

    Not at all surprising. If this blog and Prof Geist had taken even a moderately balanaced and respectful approach to copyright reform, maybe you’d have been taken more seriously. Why should the Conservatives, who clearly none of you were going to vote for anyway, take any notice of the over-the-top drivel that’s been posted here.

  8. I consider myself to be a concerned Canadian when it comes to copyright, and originally started following this blog in order to compare my perspective with other concerned Canadians. As of late, all I seem to be finding on here is meaningless garbage, conspiracy plots, and desperate attempts at spin. The voice of Michael Geist, who I once respected as a prof., will probably never again be taken seriously due to the mindless drivel that seems to fill the columns of this blog recently.

    Why should a government listen to a group that attempts to bash, stir controversy via silliness, and all around takes an immature approach to something as serious as government legislation on an issue such as copyright. Michael Geist holds a “Canada Research Chair”, and is supposed to be a pillar of the “academic” community.

    I will continue my quest for a fair and balanced approach to copyright, but I will be realistic in such an approach, and I won’t allow myself to get caught up in the horrible rumour mill. I will be pursuing this by understanding that consumers are just one side of a two-faced coin. Geist, I am ashamed, an hope that someday you can return to true “academic” writing instead of conspiracy plottng, like that found at a UFO convention.

    In addition, your low-brow attempts to paint the image that the copyright boogyman lives in Jim Prentice, which is both sad and naive. You should know better Prof. Geist! I myself am a professor; albeit in the field of Political Science, and I say that is a truly sad day in Canadian academia, when a man holding a Canada Research Chair is reduced to this.

    I may, however, be completely wrong, and this is perhaps exactly the kind of the thing that you have been trying to do, and I must admit that if that is the case, you have most certainly done your job. Apparently a tarnished name and reputation is the price to pay these days.

    Thank you, and I welcome any and all comments.

  9. No point knocking Prentice yet
    It’s good to see I’m not the only one that has noticed the partisan turn on this blog. Michael is without a doubt an authority on Canadian copyright law, but there is little to be gained by ascribing the worst to Prentice and the Conservatives until we actually see the legislation.

    As someone who is primarily a user, I tend to favour user interests, but I also recognize that a call for balance is just that. Creators and the companies that invest in them have interests too. I will be very surprised if the proposed copyright legislation is a sell out to corporate interests. At the same time, users cannot expect to have free reign over content without compensating creators in some way.

    We can debate what system would be best for Canada, but please lets stop this partisan bashing of the Conservatives without actually seeing what they propose. I suspect we might all be pleasantly surprised, if we can just wait for it.

  10. To Steve:

    That is perhaps the simplist and best explanation of the turn that this blog has taken. I too agree 100% with what you are saying, as the partisanship does nothing but turn a group of serious and concerned citizens into immature and disrespected activists.

    Speculation and rumours is what we have received as of late, and I ask that we stop this practice and wait for the actual legislation (not the once that Prof. Geist’s “sources” are releasing into the rumour mill). It is only then that this blog has a hope of returning back to respectability

  11. Deluded individuals
    Wow, the last 3 posters really are deluded, if they think that after all we have witnessed by Harper’s government so far, that more new, non-transparent, non-publicly debated, police state, U.S. Corporate handheld and catered to laws are not going to come out of this! You guys are so quick to bend over and give up your rights for the benefit of greedy, old boys club, dinosaur modelled industries. Open your eyes, we don’t need more police state type laws, we have enough already! You guys can keep voting for the right wing, christian fundamentalist, typical promise-breaking Conservative Bush lapdogs and I’ll vote NDP, who are the only party fighting for the rights of Canadian citizens instead of U.S. corporations.

  12. Prying-Eyes says:

    Naive Critics
    I find it shocking that you can be so naive.

    It’s called advocacy. The Conservative government has been drafting this copyright bill under the veil of secrecy, completely ignoring the public’s desire for consultation. Especially considering they have promised an open and transparent government – they have been nothing but.

    If no one will actively pursue Jim Prentice’s methods in introducing this bill then he will surely have his way. The criticism puts pressure to make the appropriate changes before the bill is introduced, increasing the opportunity for a balanced copyright bill once it is introduced in the House.

    You can say what you want about partisanship, but the way the Conservative government has handled this bill is wholly inappropriate.

    I congratulate Dr. Geist for standing up for Canadians.

  13. Academic Advocacy
    Responsible academics do not simply sit in their ivory towers and study issues like copyright in the abstract. It is their responsibility to make their work relevant by applying it to the real world. That often means criticizing bad policy, which is what Geist has been doing. His view that copyright has become too strong is widely held by academics of many disciplines, not least economics and law. As an MA student of Communication studying related issues, the professors I have spoken with have been universally critical of the overreach of copyright as it stands.

    Despite the insinuations of some here, it is not partisan to make direct comments about government policy and actions. On the contrary, it is characteristic of partisans that they cannot separate the issue from the party.

    Finally, Prying-Eyes is absolutely correct. We know that lobbyists have been pressuring the government both in private and through the media. It is our government’s duty to consult with the rest of us. They have not done so. It is then our responsibility as citizens to become involved and oblige the government to pay us heed. We cannot simply stand by patiently waiting for the government to present us with a fait accompli. That is the posture not of citizens, but of subjects.

    P.S.: Kyle, I would expect a scholar making such incendiary assertions to make specific claims rather than throwing about wild accusations about “conspiracy plottng [sic], like that found at a UFO convention”.

  14. Self-righteous says:

    Part of an academic’s role, though, is research and critical analysis. Maybe we just aren’t seeing that. What we’ve been getting is uncompromising, often partisan attack on government and some public/private sector developments with no serious review of alternative arguments. This is all fine and well as far as playing to the gallery goes, but it doesn’t get results. The govermnent seems to have concluded that the options that were presented aren’t viable, and there are no votes at risk.

  15. Wow, did we just change the mandate of the Industry Canada Wikipedia “editors” to posting comments on this blog? Feeble attempt… I have absolutely no faith in Prentice delivering anything balanced. I sincerely hope the Cons go down soon and don’t come back for a long time. They blew their chance.

  16. Some interesting posts by trolls above. Were they by any chance posted from an “Industry Canada” ip address?

    Thank-you to Dr. Geist for your outstanding work in bringing the plans of the corrupt and self-serving (neo)conservatives into the light for all Canadians to see.

  17. Smears
    Clearly, this blog is now being actively trolled by hack operatives assigned to muddy the waters on behalf of the foreign copyright cartel that gives Prentice and his neocon allies in Ottawa their orders. I am particularly impressed by their well-rehearsed lie and response-to-reinforce-lie teaming technique and their attempts to conflate bias shown by anti-cartel posts with Dr, Geist\’s opinion. Dr. Geist is a man who dares to speak up about the rights of people, the latter noun representing an abstract, irritating and redundant entity to all neocons.

    Yet the techniques seem all to familiar. Standard neocon strategy entails lies, misdirection, subterfuge and skullduggery and like slugs, they leave unmistakable slime and smears on everything they touch.

  18. Todd Sieling says:

    With the ‘Made in Canada’ slogan and the obsession with calling themselves ‘Canada’s New Government’ for a year into their term, the Conservatives seem to be little more than a marketing department backed up by the force of law. It says a lot about where they come from, and why we haven’t had much governance as much as re-writing of governance in the last couple years.

  19. Vote Conservative !?!?!
    Written by Self-righteous: Why should the Conservatives, who clearly none of you were going to vote for anyway, take any notice of the over-the-top drivel that’s been posted here.

    Well, Self-righteous, I consistently voted Reform/CA. I didn’t vote Conservative in the last election because the Conservative candidate didn’t stand a chance and I really, really didn’t want the Liberals in for another term (ironically, I’m in David Emerson’s riding).

    Well, by various actions, the Conservatives have just about lost me as a supporter. And the government’s position on intellectual property is one of the major reasons for that loss. For example, would a real small ‘c’ conservative government bring in legislation that would criminalize me for playing a DVD on my Linux system, effectively denying me MY property rights? Would a real small ‘c’ conservative government bring in legislation that extends government sanctioned monopolies? I don’t think so, but that’s what seems to be happening here.

    I wanted and expected great things from Stehpen Harper and his government, but what I got was worse than a throw-back to cynical Mulroney-style Conservatism. Obviously I can’t speak for anyone but myself, but, yes, there is at least one person who would have voted Conservative but is almost certainly not going to now.

  20. Poly Sci Prof – Questions
    Kyle:

    I read your comment with interest, and I\’m not sure I\’d agree that the approach take is immature. I share the concerns of the users here about copyright legislation, and I believe that the Minister, in failing to open a dialogue with Canadians on this issue, has failed his portfolio.

    I recognize you don\’t like the approach that is being taken but what would you suggest? As a Poly Sci professor you may have a better ideas as to how to bring the government to the table to discuss copyright with users?

    What would you propose to engineer this to a satisfactory (from a user perspective) conclusion? Further, could you explain why the Government is moving in this direction? I honestly don\’t understand their motivation.

  21. Troll?
    Troll? Deluded? Naive? Hack operatives?

    As the original “pro-user zealot” (look it up) I find such accusations to be highly offensive. Such ad hominem attacks to honestly expressed opinion do little to advance the debate. In fact they are more likely to drive potential allies away from your camp.

    I’m afraid that in most of my discussions with regular people, most have bought into the line that all filesharing is theft. I’ve seen government bureaucrats fall over each other to ingratiate themselves with the gaming industry following a presentation that advocated criminalizing copyright and eliminating our privacy rights so they can hunt down violators.

    This is not going to be an easy battle. Perhaps a little sugar might stand more of a chance in getting what we want than present tactics. How about: “I have every confidence that Jim Prentice will do the right thing for users”?

    As for JasonN, such comments essentially prove my point:

    “…all we have witnessed by Harper’s government so far, that more new, non-transparent, non-publicly debated, police state, U.S. Corporate handheld and catered to laws are not going to come out of this! You guys are so quick to bend over and give up your rights for the benefit of greedy, old boys club, dinosaur modelled industries. Open your eyes, we don’t need more police state type laws, we have enough already! You guys can keep voting for the right wing, christian fundamentalist, typical promise-breaking Conservative Bush lapdogs and I’ll vote NDP, who are the only party fighting for the rights of Canadian citizens instead of U.S. corporations.

    You won’t get very far if you think the NDP is going to help you.

  22. Hello Steve!
    Poor starting point for quoting me there Steve! You changed the meaning of the first sentence to sound opposite to what was originally written.

    As for your, “This is not going to be an easy battle. Perhaps a little sugar might stand more of a chance in getting what we want than present tactics. How about: “I have every confidence that Jim Prentice will do the right thing for users”? – Well Steve, you have just proven my point, yet again!

    I don’t think anyone is going to get very far if we think people like you are going to help! Just don’t forget to wear your kneepads!

  23. JasonN is the one stooping low
    Nice work Jason. More ad hominem attacks.

  24. BTW the way Jason, I was the one who knocked Sam Bulte off her perch.

    [ link ]

    I’ve done more to advance this issue than you’ll ever do.

  25. the lesser of two evils
    Steve since conservatives represent a minority of Canadians I do not understand why you are scandalized that the majority on this forum (like the majority of Canadians) despise them. Furthermore part of that minority voted conservative because they were disappointed with the liberals. To this latter category I suggest next time vote for the lesser of two evils. Politicians are corruptible by nature (the main reason they run is to make money).

  26. Riley August says:

    Spin
    Hey, you came up with that “Made in Canada” spin first. You should sue him for misuse of your spin. ;)

    Honestly at this point I’m not entirely sure WHAT to do aside from prepare the scientific community for war against what is obviously a Luddite act designed to counteract any measure of scientific progress. I have lost all respect for law and government, not that I had much before.

  27. SIGH…
    Made in CANADA! , by an american loyalist ass kisser IMO…