American Federation of Musicians Demand NDP Apology For Supporting Balanced Copyright

Yesterday I posted on how security guards outside the Toronto copyright town hall demanded that the Canadian Federation of Students and NDP MP Olivia Chow stop distributing flyers discussing their positions on copyright.  It turns out there is further fallout from the incident.  Chow was distributing a flyer that included NDP MP Charlie Angus' interview with Exclaim! on copyright along with "count on me to speak out against Bill C-61 and anti-circumvention rules. I support stronger fair dealing." The Angus interview includes comments on the need for forward looking laws, the failed DMC, and the need to ways to monetize online activities.

While none of this is new – MPs like Angus and Chow have been saying this for months – it generated an incredible response from Alan Willaert, the Canadian representative of the American Federation of Musicians. Willaert sent the following email to representatives of virtually every major Canadian creator group:

Greetings to all.

I am attaching a flyer that was handed out by Olivia Chow at last night’s Copyright Town Hall meeting at the Royal York in Toronto.  I am sure all of you will find its content equally as disgusting as I did.

In light of the fact that the NDP at its convention in Halifax this month dealt with a resolution identified as 6-21-09 Expanding Party Policy on “Supporting Canadian Creativity”, and showed clear support for “ensuring appropriate copyright protection so that creators are fairly compensated for their intellectual property”, I am shocked that both Chow and Charlie Angus are allowed to openly depart from party policy and directive, obviously just to shamelessly buy votes among young people and academics.

We intend on taking the NDP to task over this, and will accept nothing less than a retraction of Ms Chow’s statements and an apology.

Leaving aside the fact that some of those same creator groups spoke for stronger fair dealing with protection for parody at the town hall, it is incredible that we've reached the point that speaking against C-61 and for fair dealing is viewed by some groups as "disgusting" and requiring a retraction and apology.

Update: Charlie Angus responds to the demand for an apology: "Sorry, dude. . . it ain't happening."

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