Appeared in the Toronto Star on April 23, 2007 as We Mustn't Cave In To Copyright Bullying Appeared in the Ottawa Citizen on April 24, 2007 as U.S. Copyright Report Card More Rhetoric Than Reality This week the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), the U.S. government department […]
Post Tagged with: "bulte"
Yesterday Macleans.ca posted an article on copyright reform that calls attention to the growing public interest in copyright, last year's Bulte fight, and the prospect that Canadian Heritage Minister Oda could face similar opposition if the Conservatives introduce DMCA-like legislation in Canada. The story arose in light of a BoingBoing posting that picked up on a Canadian Press story on "imminent" copyright reform.
While it is great that the article notes the public concern with copyright, I think it actually misses the mark in a couple of respects. First, it argues that consumers "who have grown accustomed to the lax standards currently in place would see further regulation as an infringement on their rights." I don't think that is quite right. Canada does not have lax standards when it comes to copyright. Our laws are compliant with our international obligations and indeed are far more restrictive in certain respects (ie. fair use) than laws found in the United States. The outcry from the public won't happen because they're used to lax laws, but rather because if we're going to get reform, Canadians want the reform to reflect their needs rather than those promoted by the U.S. Trade Representative.
Second, by focusing on the role of bloggers, I think there is a danger of missing the bigger picture.
A resident of Parkdale High Park has passed along a promotional flyer indicating that Sam Bulte is back as she and the Parkdale Federal Liberal Riding Association will be hosting a holiday celebration next Saturday. The return of Ms. Bulte comes as a bit of a surprise, given that two […]
Sam Bulte was briefly back in the political news recently as the Ignatieff campaign announced that they had received her endorsement. The release brought to mind the last election and the fundraising controversy generated by the fundraiser at the Drake Hotel. One of the most important aspects of election accountability and transparency are the Elections Act requirements for filing finance returns: candidates for national elections are required to submit a campaign finance return within 120 days of an election campaign and riding associations are required to submit annual reports by June 30th of the following calendar year.
For those interested in the numbers from The Drake, the information has been a long time in coming. Days before the May 23rd deadline for the election campaign return, Bulte's official agent requested a three-month extension citing lost data and claiming that both the campaign and its bank had lost the records which needed to be reconstructed from microfiche. Bulte's official agent filed the election campaign return days before the extension deadline and it has just been posted online. The Parkdale High Park Liberal riding association 2005 annual return has still not been posted. The riding association was granted a one-month extension in late June after it claimed computer problems. The association has still not filed that information in violation of the Elections Act and could face possible de-certification.
The election return does provide some insight into Bulte's backers, which is relevant both to close the book on the election controversy and to gauge who is willing to provide financial support to MPs that favour DMCA-style copyright reform.
IHT carries an interesting article on the growing political pressure on politicians to adopt a balanced approach to copyright reform It focuses on the situation in Sweden and France, where politicians from many parties are recognizing the political force of thousands of downloaders who incidentally also vote. In Canada, those […]