“Let’s Stand Up to Big Brother”

The Vancouver Province ran a masthead editorial yesterday calling for action against the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. The paper calls on Canadians to "act now before it's too late", noting that:

One of the joys of living in the Internet age is the personal freedom it offers people to enjoy the amazing amount of information now available through everything from computer laptops to cellphones and other electronic devices. But now it seems that freedom is about to end. Ottawa is worried about "pirates" purloining copyright material from artists, inventors and investors. As The Province reported yesterday, the government is secretly negotiating a global pact on copyright infringement that could force Internet service providers to hand over customer information without a court order.

The media interest in ACTA follows the earlier editorials from leading papers such as the National Post on copyright.  Earlier this year, the paper warned that "for Canada to introduce DMCA-style legislation now would do nothing but encourage nuisance lawsuits", adding that:

It would be a shame if full WIPO compliance had to wait while the government reconsidered the implications of a new technological environment and a newly IP-aware public. But it would be a bigger shame if Mr. Prentice needlessly made political enemies of technology consumers and imperiled a Conservative government's electability for the sake of fast action.


  1. I think any Canadian’s right to privacy is more important, and should be protected above and beyond any issue of copyright infringement. The benefits of the internet in research, information and access to free speech outweigh any issues with facilitating copyright infringement.

  2. R. Bassett Jr. says:

    I second the above statement.

    Truly, what’s next? Strip and cavity searches for everyone if we even so much as look out across Lake Ontario toward the USA? More than ever, I’d like to forget that the USA exists – what a bunch of self serving, alarmist fools.

    Perhaps fifteen years ago I would have had a spirited and insightful comment, but at the moment all I can seem to muster is a shaking of my head as I realize that, like all other societies in the history of humanity, ours too will fail. Welcome to the undoing of all that our ancestors fought, bled, suffered, and died to create. Who would have thought it could all be lost by a single generation of people too distracted and diluted to burn the parliament to the ground to make the point that the government can either represent the people or it can not exist. It’s their choice and our duty to hold them to it, after all. Alas, I have no faith in the slightest that today’s Canadians have the balls to take down their government and elect one with brains and foresight enough to tell the USA to take a flying leap.

    Welcome to the end of “freedom” and the beginning of Huxley’s unfortunately accurate vision of the future of humanity. Begin applying jackboot to face…

  3. George Orwell (1984), not Huxley (Brave New World).

    Individual freedoms are vitally important. They’re more important than all this alarmist nonsense on copyright. I make my living selling copyrighted things. I sell software I create. I’m not a “throw away copyright” person. I’m all for fair and reasonable copyright that means I want to be treated like I treat my customers. I treat them well, look after them, help them, and make money from them. There’s no reason at all why movie and music makers cannot do the same thing, have happy customers who are happy to pay for their product. No reason other than sheer greed, that is.

  4. R. Bassett Jr. says:


    “If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.”
    – George Orwell

    A great Huxley Quote is, “Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.” and a wonderful Farley Mowatt quote is, “I never let the facts stand in the way of the truth”.

  5. Windsong says:

    Re: Bassett Jr.
    “More than ever, I’d like to forget that the USA exists – what a bunch of self serving, alarmist fools.”

    Er, yeah, and we all know what a vast reservoir of freedom CANADA is..most famous for “being just north of the USA”.

    Gee, I wonder who Canada would come crying to if she were ever attacked?

  6. Neo-cons
    Sorry, Canadians, but you’re out of luck. Enough of you voted petulantly and emotionally in the last federal election , rather than rationally and logically, so as to allow the wrong powers to seize office. Now you are beginning to see the effects as rocks are turned over and they (and their policies, developed by Washington and the corporate elite), slither out to face the light of day.

    It is clear that Canada now has a federal government that operates in secret and in contempt of the peoples’ interests. How many disturbing things are they up to that the Canadian people do not yet know about?

  7. Urm, USA?
    I find the ACTA stuff deplorable, but I’m not sure how that translates into some anti-american rant.

    Is anyone actually surprised that American lobby groups applied pressure to get laws that favoured them up here? I hope not, because that’s their express intent and purpose.

    What’s galling, horrifying and stomache turning lies on this (northern) side of the border: our polititians didn’t tell them to stick it in their ear.

    The RIA/MPAA and even the US Gov’t owe NOTHING to the Canadian people; railing on them therefore is meaningless. Direct your ire at those who promised to represent this country’s interests: the Canadian gov’t.

  8. A footnote
    In re-readig my above post, I noticed somehting wasn’t quite clear. I’m not trying to imply that Prof. Geist has made the “anti-american rant”, rather I’m directing my comment at previous comments.

    Apologies for any ambiguity.

  9. Thunderduck says:

    Ill Wind
    “Er, yeah, and we all know what a vast reservoir of freedom CANADA is..most famous for “being just north of the USA”.

    Actually, to the educated and enlightened world (so, we can easily see how you missed it), Canada is most famous for being a land of peace, freedom, reason, respect, and compromise. We appreciate that those adjectives aren’t generally found absent negation in your national lexicon, but even in your land the use of a dictionary must be understood by the brighter lights. Go find one and ask them about it.

    “Gee, I wonder who Canada would come crying to if she were ever attacked?”

    We probably wouldn’t turn to a psychotic misanthropic neighbour with a proven track record of using an attack as false cover to go after the wrong group of people, administer collective punishment and rob them of their assets. But maybe that’s just us…

  10. R. Bassett Jr. says:

    “More than ever, I’d like to forget that the USA exists – what a bunch of self serving, alarmist fools.”

    I suppose it’s worth noting that I was refering to the USA as a nation, rather than commenting on the people that live there themselves. “People” are pretty much the same any where one goes.

  11. Re: Ill Wind
    Thunderduck, may I add to the second part of your comment, the only times that the territory that is now Canada has been attacked, the first time it was the British, the remainder of the times it was the Americans (twice). So, if history tells us anything, chances are it would the the US that attacks us (probably for oil or water).

    I get a chuckle out of comments by people like Windsong, since invariably they also claim that the US would be the first out of the blocks to assist a friend. However, they seem to forget, or never knew, 20th century history (WWI began in 1914, the US entered in ’17, WWII began in 1939, the US entered in ’41, and then only after being attacked by Japan).

  12. Anonymous says:

    1812-yankees burned toronto to the ground(((

  13. Anonymous says:

    point is that america is in decline big time; that is mostly becouse ANYWHERE you go in the world you will find strong anti american feelings; well if one person tells you that you are drunk you kick his butt; but if 2 or more tell you the same thing you go to sleep…

    the problem is that the big business and the “residual disidents” keep all americans HOSTAGE. by many means mostly importantly propagandistic ones like “we we fight” or “why they hate us”….just tell the population they are the “best” so they feel good about it…

    the paradox is that globalization promotes borderless “brotherhood”; yet to the american public, this very same people promote FEAR to keep them afraid of some terrorist atacks. it is more and more clear that 9-11 itself is NOT what it was initialy thought as…jusr READ ..AND READ…AND READ MORE. TURN OFF THAT DAMM TELEVISION that is only promoting deliberate confusion!

  14. Anonymous says:

    beeing a patriot means of reinventing the american revolution again; i can not believe i am still running into american posts that do not defend themselves but their government! while this very same government got you convinced that people from caves are out for your blood and you should think of them as barbaric; well the roman “citizens” adopted same fears only for them to come true sooner then later. and this “cave” middle eastern people had the first civilizations and scientific progress long before even europe came out from the “dark ages”. point is people are people everywhere; just that some develop “superiority sindrom” wich leads to ignorance…in america many have lot to loose…things and ideas already long lost in africa,latin america, middle east, asia and even parts of europe…

    the only way america will survive as we know it and loved it, will be if able to reinvent itself; and that has to start with accepting the fact they had a free ride for 100 years or so now when compared to the rest of the world that is more and more exploited for its resources (including those “outsourced” human cheap resources as of past decades). and time to take down this 2 party system, a plutocracy that even plato and socrates would detest. a “royal” class plutocracy as not achieved since roman times.just becouse the senator or congressman or president happens to be american “citizen” it does not mean that they are considering themselves in same inferior class as they defined you, the average “joe”. to them you are only a potential recruit and present only in statistics, ever and over manipulated. your whole voting system is “franchised” need i say more!? and YET have well intentioned americans coming here and defending this very people that create the oppression and confusion you live in.

    and internet is the “last frontier”; the only medium where the american regular person can come, observe and NOTICE the very global trends and ideas that your ruling class is very afraid of you to be able to relate as well as a GLOBAL citizen and not an american one (on paper only). internet is the only medium for much needed “anti-heros”, for those people that tell you the truth in its ugly form including its extremes. internet the only mediu where hollywood has no power of social corruption and good consumer education promoted EVERYWHERE on mainstreem media and its “television”.

  15. Lies
    The tories lie – period. Toss them.

  16. Copyright reform
    The matter is not a ‘political party’ issue, over the years as I’ve written
    to the parties on their stance, the underlying theme was that have an
    agenda to toughen copyright as a signatory to the 1997 WIPO treaties.
    They have absolutely no intention of listening to the electorate, it does
    not matter whether you vote Conservative, Liberal, NDP, or other.
    The only thing that forestalls the inevitable legislation is a minority government.

    Last election that became reality! as both MP Sarmite Bulte and Lisa Frulla
    were soundly skewered in the media for taking CRIA and Recording Industry America campaign funds , or involved in their fundraisers. So in
    some sense its better blogging to remove a Heritage Commitee member, rather than voting at all! I believe the following spring most of the
    major Canadian recording Labels left the CRIA, even popular mainstream
    Canadian artists know they will not be served well by copyright legislation.

    There really is no mechanism for the funds to get to a Canadian artist anyway, (unless they play live) , for example an IPod or blank CD levy sits in a fund, its anyones guess how these levies, taxes , penalties or proposed fees actually help an artist create anything!!!!

    In the ‘philosophical’ sense though, we are largely moving into a
    ‘determinist’ era , any ‘freewill’ thought is not of concern to government.
    They will do what is best for themselves only, after all the Conservatives
    called me to ask how well Stephen Harper is doing (largely so they can
    ascertain how many riding they will win before an election is even called)
    I’m not sure why he needs a pat on the back from me?
    ‘Attaboy’ Stevie! LOL