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Angus Calls Out Moore on WIPO: Says Fails to Understand Treaty, Makes Mockery of Copyright Balance

NDP MP Charlie Angus has issued a lengthy letter to Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore and Industry Minister Tony Clement that challenges them on the digital lock provisions in Bill C-32.  In a release on the letter, Angus states "the digital lock provisions will subject Canadians to arbitrary limitations on their legal rights of access. The government is trying to create the impression that this unbalanced approach to digital locks is necessary in order to bring Canada into compliance with WIPO and the Berne Convention. Nothing could be further from the truth."  He adds:

"The government is establishing a two-tiered set of rights. Bill C-32 offers rights that consumers will be restricted from exercising. These provisions make a mockery of the claim that the bill is balanced and pro-consumer. Either the government has a faulty understanding of international treaty obligations or is looking to use these existing treaties as a cover to pursue a specific political agenda. The New Democratic Party will challenge any provisions that would lead to unbalanced and arbitrary copyright legislation."

The letter delves into much greater detail on the digital lock issue, discussing how there is flexibility at international law with Angus emphatically stating "I believe the government will be unable to produce evidence that these onerous digital lock provisions are the result of existing treaty obligations."  As result, Angus makes a formal request that the government seek an opinion from WIPO on the issue of exceptions to digital locks.

In a shot at Moore's "radical extremists" comment, Angus notes:

I have taken the steps to reference these works so that you can be reassured that Canadians who raise questions about the unbalanced implementation of digital lock provisions are not pushing "extreme" or "radical" views.  In fact, they are much within the mainstream regarding international implementation of these treateis.  Indeed, if there is a case for any "extreme" behavior in the present debate it would be the decision of the government to use C-32 to pursue an agenda that goes well beyond the norms established by WIPO signatories.

As it stands now, Bill C-32 is a flawed piece of legislation that will face increasing opposition because of its one-sided approach to digital locks.  It is clear that either the government has applied a faulty understanding of international treaty obligations or is looking to use these existing treaties as cover to pursue a specific political agenda.  Either way, the New Democratic Party will challenge provisions that would create a two-tiered set of rights with arbitrary limitations on citizen's use of legally-accessed works. 

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27 Comments

  1. Hear hear!
    Somebody put this man in POWER!

  2. Double Oh 32 says:

    Brass ones
    I like this guy. Is he the only person out of the parliamentary gaggle of American bought amoeba’s who has an iota of what is right and wrong?

  3. Put this man in power?
    Careful what you wish for ๐Ÿ˜‰ The NDP would make a great official opposition, but their are too many far left people in the party. Hopefully Canada will continue with a few more cycles of minority government so that we can have a better balance of power.

  4. Neither minister has been able to articulate a coherent argument in favour of the digital lock issue, it’s very strange that they argue for them but have no-way of communicating their value to Canadians. The closest I’ve seen is the ‘computer game’ cheaters which is just laughable, and even if true, in no-way justify the heavy downsides of the DRM proposals.

  5. @ygjb
    I’m beginning to think an NDP minority would be good. The Liberals and Cons are collectively far enough right-leaning that they’d balance things out nicely.

  6. Bill MacEachern says:

    Time for the NDP?
    Between Liberal corruption and Conservative US-lapdogism, it might be time to actually consider the NDP come next election. They seem to at least give the appearance of having a clue on digital issues.

  7. Smart
    “[…] Angus makes a formal request that the government seek an opinion from WIPO on the issue of exceptions to digital locks.”

    Smart move.

  8. NDP
    As a proponent of an open market and general tendency to the right, I’ll say this much about the NDP & Green : at least they are true to their ideology. It also seems to me that there is a general shift left, globally, especially in light of the big big recession. A greater leftist presence in Ottawa seems likely, perhaps even responsible (in the context of the global community), to me. Mr. Angus is certainly enhancing my perception of the NDP as the voice of reason in Canada.

  9. Chris Brand says:

    Coincidence ?
    So who thinks it’s a coincidence that he’s both the most vocal opponent of the digital lock provisions in C-32 and one of very few MPs who has experience as a professional musician ?

  10. @ygjb
    Careful what you wish for ๐Ÿ˜‰ The NDP would make a great official opposition, but their are too many far left people in the party.

    That depends if you are comparin them to an ideal or to the alternatives available. ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. end user says:

    Nicely said! He just called them retarded corporate lap dogs in the nicest possible way.

    Yes lets hear it from WIPO!

  12. Dohn Joe says:

    Poor Charlie
    He’s a very pro-Canadian politician and is very much in touch with the citizenry. Too bad he’s NDP…it’s like being a star player on a losing team.


  13. You go Charlie!!!

  14. GO MR. ANGUS!!!
    ..although i really gotta say. It’s kinda mean to pick on someone that clearly knows nothing about technology.

    It’s kinda like picking on the slow kid. Seriously who let’s these fools try and make the rules. It’s not your generation anymore, just like these aren’t your toys. It’s…just above your mental scale. Leave the little things like technology to the next generation to understand and go back to your rocker and newspaper.

    case and point ๐Ÿ˜‰

    “Mr. Moore, a self-described technology addict, is already on his second Apple iPad, a technology that only arrived in Canadian stores last month. Apparently, his first model didn’t download at maximum speed, so he’s upgraded to a faster unit.”

    Read more: http://www.nationalpost.com/news/canada/Proposals+more+reasonable+than+revolutionary/3105054/story.html#ixzz0swQhimac

    oh and someone tell him to stop being such a whore to the States. we all know that’s what this is about.

    ๐Ÿ˜‰

  15. Hindgrinder says:

    God Bless Charlie Angus!
    Angus almost makes it worth moving back to Northern Ontario….might even consider it if there were any jobs or a 100mb internet infrastructure in Timmins…

    Keep up the good work Charlie and buy local gold! It’s going to $2000+ in the wake of the US fiat currency collapse.

    HG
    ps – I wrote Mr. Angus once…and he actually replied!

  16. @DC
    …”Leave the little things like technology to the next generation”

    Be careful who you paint with that there brush, youngster! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Some of us are a fair bit older than Moore, or Clement. Yet we still understand the technology and the issues. Some to a depth that the “next generation” cannot, simply because we’ve watched it all develop over time. And we talk.

    I happen to think C-32 is poorly formulated law as well. I see the way society is evolving, and some of the reasons for the issues we have today.

    Don’t leave your grandpa out of the picture yet.

  17. end user says:

    @DC “Mr. Moore, a self-described technology addict, is already on his second Apple iPad, a technology that only arrived in Canadian stores last month. Apparently, his first model didn’t download at maximum speed, so he’s upgraded to a faster unit.”

    So Moore drinks out of the COOL AID stream and he’s considered a technology addict?

    Sheesh I have three laptop and a i7 powered desktop with one of the laptops running my shoutcast source and all running Linux Mint 9. I also rent a dedicated server for my web sites, so I guess I must be a super techno addict which would mean that I’m more qualified then Moore to question this bill.

    I guess Moore’s brain must be like the iPad stuck in single app mode with no chance of multitasking or rational reasoning, only controlled by $$$$$$ signs.

  18. Einstein says:

    @end user
    “I must be a super techno addict which would mean that I’m more qualified then Moore to question this bill.”

    No. You, sir, are a “radical” “extremest” and do not reflect the Canadian view as presented by the chamber of commerce.

  19. Hindgrinder says:

    @Einstein

    Don’t worry aboot them radical extremists… Our Saviors down south are working out the details of “The Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act” so that Barry, I mean Obama can haz a big ole Internet Kill switch. Wonder if he’ll gift one to Harper? Naw…not while we’re on the USTRs’ “Copyright Hitlist”

    http://hsgac.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Files.View&FileStore_id=42926cbe-76fd-4eeb-a08b-d7838a4aae8f

    Pass that Act and you can be sure America will “protect” us from the hordes of radical interweb 3x7R33|/|1575. Yup…that’ll learn’em.

    HG

  20. Nice idea
    By sending a request for clarification to WIPO they would basically be stalling again. That is some thing the government might actually be interested in. They might actually be happy for a chance to punt rather than have to drag this baggage into the next election. By the time an answer comes back it could be some one else’s hot potato to deal with. Mean while they can tell the Americans to back off, their working on it.

  21. Concerned says:

    Thank you Charlie Angus
    Moore may be a ‘technology addict’ but that doesn’t mean he ‘gets it’.

    Its like saying he loves driving so by inference he is in sympathy the concerns its emissions have on the environment.

  22. Some Conservatives need to sit down with a copy of Larry Lessig’s “Remix.” Plainly, they’re not sophisticated enough to understand the arguments of Michael Geist & co. Perhaps a book aimed at a general audience might be comprehensible.

  23. It is great that NDP is supporting the public on this but here is my concern. The Liberals have been mostly quiet on the issue. Ignatieff even last Summer said of this debate as being “very complicated”. And The Bloc is already in support of Quebecor (presumably for campaign contributions) and they want to mimic the French in their legislation. With only NDP standing against this Bill, it is likely to pass if Liberals decide to side with Moore & Co for whatever reason.

    We as the public need to push all the MPs, especially in their home ridings to oppose this bill. Unless most of them oppose it, Bill C-32 may become a law in the Fall.

  24. Sam said:

    It is great that NDP is supporting the public on this but here is my concern. The Liberals have been mostly quiet on the issue. Ignatieff even last Summer said of this debate as being “very complicated”. And The Bloc is already in support of Quebecor (presumably for campaign contributions) and they want to mimic the French in their legislation. With only NDP standing against this Bill, it is likely to pass if Liberals decide to side with Moore & Co for whatever reason.

    We as the public need to push all the MPs, especially in their home ridings to oppose this bill. Unless most of them oppose it, Bill C-32 may become a law in the Fall.

    Exactly.. we all need to get everyone we know to call/write MPs and be damn sure they understand in no uncertain terms what we want and if we do not get it their jobs will be on the line.

  25. kellythedog says:

    OOOOO.. he wrote a letter.
    Well didn’t over 8000 other people write letters as well, and look at what we got out of that.
    I hope he at least got the same form response I received.
    I know it shows some people are trying to do something, but as we have already seen, the current Gov’t seems to have no intention to listen to what we are telling them. Or even allow us to see what they are discussing.
    Canadians won’t know what we had until we loose it.

  26. Charlie Angus…thank you for supporting Freedom of Expression in Canada! We can always count on you. I will be interested in any reply you receive.

  27. radical vs “mainstream view”
    Just because there are “mainstream views” doesn’t mean we should follow them. There are numerous examples of policies that are beneficial to society as a whole that dont reflect mainstream views.