NDP MP Charlie Angus Responds to Moore’s Attacks

The House of Commons is shut down due to today's earthquake, but I have received a copy of a release from the office of NDP MP Charlie Angus which responds to Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore's attack on fair copyright.  The NDP planned to issue the release today, but cannot due to the office closure.  I was given permission to post the release in its entirety. [update: official release]

JUNE 23, 2010

Minister’s description of ‘radical extremists’ shows he’s in need of a time-out


TIMMINS – Speaking at a G20 Chamber of Commerce event, Heritage Minister James Moore inexplicably lashed out at those who have raised concerns with his new copyright bill, C-32. Moore characterised fair copyright advocates as “babyish” and enemies of any copyright reform whatsoever. He called them “radical extremists” who must be “confronted every step of the way until they are defeated.” New Democrat Digital Affairs Critic Charlie Angus (Timmins-James Bay) said Moore’s comments are reminiscent of a war-time call-to-arms and are way out of line.

“Attacking teachers, students, artists and consumers who have legitimate questions about this legislation is ridiculous,” said Angus. “Instead of understanding and appreciating the nuances of balanced copyright, the Minister is appearing hyper-defensive and bombastic. I think he needs a time out.”

In his speech to the conference, Moore claimed the government’s attack on consumer rights are necessitated by Canada’s international obligations under the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) treaties.  Angus says Moore simply has his facts wrong.

“James Moore shouldn’t hide behind international treaties to excuse the significant stumbling blocks he has put into the bill. All the experts, including those civil servants who drafted the bill, agree that it could be WIPO-compliant without his push for American-style protection for digital locks,” said Angus. “The Tories are pushing this failed agenda that will criminalize perfectly reasonable behaviour and deny educators legal access to works which they should logically have.”

Angus says Moore needs to tone down the rhetoric and get down to the serious business of working with all stakeholders on amendments that will improve the legislation.

“A Minister shouldn’t resort to name calling or start a war with fair-copyright advocates just because he doesn’t like the feedback he’s getting on Twitter,” said Angus.  “If Moore spent more time listening to the educators, experts, academics and artists who have serious issues with this bill, maybe his public statements wouldn’t be so out of line with everyday Canadians who simply want balanced legislation.”


For more information please contact:

George Soule, Caucus Press Secretary: 613-850-3448 or


  1. Angus should watch his step. Next thing you know, someone from CSIS will be on the CBC claiming he’s under control from China…

  2. Charlie, you are a sane voice in a sea of partisan babble

  3. The NDP
    Every day the NDP are looking better and better in my eye…

  4. By the way I am a lifetime conservative, who voted NDP in the last federal election, in great part to the reasonableness of Mr. Angus. I do not agree with all he has to say, but at least he is advocating including all stakeholders. If only more politicians would do the same rather than follow the money (I’m talking to you Mr. Moore).

  5. Not an NDP solution
    The NDP has been unusually quiet in this tailor-made opportunity for defence of civil liberties. Their party depends far too heavily on the largesse of their millionaire socialist friends in the arts to take a contrary position. Margaret Atwood, whom I believe was a staunch supporter of the DMCA, is an excellent example of this.

  6. +10 for Angus in my books!

  7. Again logic eludes them …
    @Jason “The NDP has been unusually quiet in this tailor-made opportunity for defence of civil liberties. Their party depends far too heavily on the largesse of their millionaire socialist friends in the arts to take a contrary position. Margaret Atwood, whom I believe was a staunch supporter of the DMCA, is an excellent example of this.”

    Yet, here is their media critic doing just that … try again Jason.

  8. Angus
    Although Charlie Angus has said and proposed some things I disagree with, he does seem to listen to his critics. For that he has my respect, something which the incumbents are fast losing.

  9. jason = the new james perhaps

  10. housewife
    MPP Angus needs to push for MPP James Moore resignation. Radical extremists is NOT appropriate. When you consider the CR feedback is peaceful exercising of freedom of speech and Moore just compared Canadians exercising a constitutional right to people who fly planes into buildings, he has just challenged the constitutional rights of everyone who has submitted comment to the CR.

    Moore needs to resign. This is completely unacceptable

  11. Where is Tony Clement in all this? Possibly waiting for Mr. Moore to implode so we can move on with meaningful discussion and compromise?

  12. NDP
    Well, we’ve currently got a government practicing managed economics and promoting centralized media control – we may as well elect the party that has actually said such practice is within the scope of their ideology. Personally, I don’t see why Mr. Moore even has a representative role any more. Canadian citizens vocally opposing this bill are “radical extermists”? That should be enough to have him fired from politics, as far as I’m concerned. At least he didn’t use the “T” word (although the difference is semantic at best).
    Mr. Angus, even though I’ve gravitated right this past decade, I’d be happy to have you do the job properly.

  13. Looking briefly at Mr. Moore’s Twitter feed, it seems he has very strong views on the value of the free market. Such a pity that he places no such value on free speech and democracy. To label anyone opposing any aspect of the bill as “radical extremists” and “babyish” is completely anti-democratic and completely unacceptable. If Mr. Moore is set on declaring large portions of the population unfit to comment on the copyright issue, I hope he won’t mind if I consider him unfit to serve as a Member of Parliament for that population.

  14. James Moore must follow Sarmite Bulte!
    Unfortunately, it is harder to kick him out through an election, because Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam is a con riding at least since 2000.

    So, how about passing a law that imposes a $100 per-year special tax on those who are eligible to vote but don’t vote in federal elections? (same may be done at the provincial level).

  15. I think Mr Angus is spot on with his appraisal of Moore’s remarks. The question I have, however, is what is going to be done about it?

  16. Angus should watch his step. Next thing you know, someone from CSIS will be on the CBC claiming he’s under control from China…

    Actually CSIS is obviously correct James Moore is clearly being influenced in his position by a foreign Government – the The United States…

  17. cndcitizen says:

    Wow – US new initiative

    The White House’s vision is perhaps a prelude to the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, which will go before Congress later this year. The bill would make P2P or BitTorrent client development a criminal offense if the distributed software was used for infringement. It also implements an interesting provision called “imminent infringement”, which allows the government to charge people who they think might be about to infringe with a civil offense (for example if you searched “torrent daft punk”). This is among the first official “thought crime” provisions to be proposed by the U.S. government. The bill also makes it a criminal offense to bypass DRM.

  18. Laurel L. Russwurm says:

    Turn back the hands of time for Anti-progress
    @Danux Seems to me the Conservative & Liberal parties are interchangeable as evidenced by the copyright legislation they’ve tabled. The chief point of similarity seems to be allegiance to corporate interests at the cost of citizen/society best interest. I’m no expert but from what I’ve seen it seems to me the NDP has a far better record of representing the people. Of course we’ve never had a federal NDP majority, so who knows.

    Still, it seems to me that Canada has been extraordinarily fortunate in having minority governments throughout these attempts to “reform” copyright. If that were not the case we would alread be suffering under a Canadian DMCA. In the absence of Canadian electoral reform (these folks seem to be a good place to start ) minority government is our best hope. But it only does us good if we continue to speak up for sane copyright.


    Thanks for passing along that information. Turns out my worst fear was right… this is the beginning of shutting down the distribution side of the internet, which will make it impossible for Independent artists/creators to cheaply and efficiently distribute their work, which is the real threat to big media. The “Piracy” fight is just smoke and mirrors to provide an excuse to legislate total control of culture back to the big media companies.

    Wonder if @mpjamesmoore was and @pmharper were aware this was coming down the pike.

    Remember the copycon question about Canada being a world leader? Not being lemmings and following the DMCA et al off a cliff would be a good start.

    Sane balanced copyright would be a good start.

  19. Engineer
    Moore is attacking the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law at the same time that he is using the “radical extremists” card, he’ll backpedal and say that he meant those opposed to any copyright law at all. But TPMs are an all-or-nothing foundation for his vision and the coincidence of these attacks show it. Without those locks the fact lays bare to all that all this bill does is give a bunch of radical business types a back door into our private digital lives. If we all had web sites of our own, instead of just web pages on social networking web sites, then we’d understand what these radical business types are stealing from us.

  20. Moore says only targeting those opposed to any copyright law at all
    Then he says people who say they are supportive except want some changes are really
    opposed to any copyright law at all:

    These people out there who don’t believe in copyright at all. They will say, well Bill C-61, the old copyright legislation, we disagreed with these specific provisions. Well, Bill C-32 we have these specific amendments.
    Don’t fool yourself. These voices that are out there, these people that are out there who pretend to be experts that the media cite all the time. They don’t believe in any copyright reform whatsoever.

  21. […]
    “They don’t believe in any copyright.”

  22. @Boothie
    Yes, of course he’ll backpedal… but he did say that the *ONLY* people who were opposed to this legislation were those radical extremists… which sort of creates a contradiction, don’t you think?

    I have no problem with he laws containing provisions for digital locks that protect copyright holder’s interests, AS LONG AS those provisions do not interfere with perfectly reasonable activities like private use and fair dealing. The number of exemptions to copyright infringement is, while not tiny, still small enough to be manageable, and the same set of exemptions could easily apply to circumventing a digital lock (and it would still satisfy the terms of the WIPO treaty).

  23. crade said:
    “They don’t believe in any copyright.”

    Of course not, they’re just bowing down to their corporate masters, hoping some scraps fall from from the table. It’s these fools CSIS should be investigating for foreign influence and pushing foreign agendas.

    Perhaps I’ll even vote in the next election…Pirate Party, here I come…though I still think you should change your name. 😀

  24. Hindgrinder says:

    @Charlie Angus
    “Sham-Wow Tony”, “Minister for 8-Tracks”, “Muskoka Mad-Hatter”.
    You do your fair share of name calling too….keep up the good work.
    At least CA is entertaining, truly concerned for average Canadians and doesn’t want to treat us all like criminals.

    I never thought I’d be a FAN of a Politician or a Law Professor….
    I gotta say…. MG and CA make me PROUD TO BE A CANADIAN!


    Vote PPCA? Why not step up and run as a candidate?

    HG – Accepting Applications

  25. Order of Canada for Michael!
    You know…once this is all over and the dust settles…I think Professor Geist deserves the order of Canada. (If he wants it, of course, since it’s value has been degraded as of late…)

  26. Exporting Charlie
    It might be nice of our American cousins to experience Charlie Angus as part of their political system. Lets face it, the USA has enough problems with Obama. Besides, sending them Charlie would be a cruel cruel joke.