From ACTA to Bill C-32

Psssst… Malcolm, hate to tell you this, but the “loose tie” network told me…
mouse ears on the world: text says ACTA ATTACKS INTERNET
via my wonderful UK Journalist source Glynn Moody dented “#acta: “Companies that benefit from using pirated software products will be exposed to criminal penalties” – http://bit.ly/d4oCdM clear?” on Identi.ca

which gave me American James Love‘s KEI online report of

the USTR’s Talking Points of the United States for TRIPS Council Meeting of October 26, 2010 – Agenda Item P

which led me to the Government of Canada site where it took a little digging before I found

Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) which is in fact only most of the final text:

Negotiating Parties have agreed to release the October 2, 2010 text of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. Some Parties have expressed reservation on specific parts of the text, which are still under discussion. These parts are identified in the text by underlines and italic letters.

So, some bits aren’t in it. It would appear that ACTA has NOT in fact yet been signed by Canada. Of course I could be wrong, being a secret treaty and all, perhaps it’s been signed in secret?

NEWS FLASH:

jamie love tweets:  I was told today there is a new modified #ACTA text, that is different from Oct 2 version, and secret.

ACTA just keeps on ticking….

Meanwhile, I was impressed with all the things you can find on the site (since Usage Based Billing won’t be implemented for a few months yet, Canadians can still afford to search the Internet):

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada : Further Opportunities: Intellectual Property: Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement – Fact Sheet

and… Oh LOOK!… they have this lovely call for public Input on the site as well. Apparently it’s from way back in 2007 when our government was just contemplating entering into the secret ACTA trade agreement. Still looks to me as though the contact info is still good…

Canadian Flags reconfiguted to sell cars

Hey Canada, why not tell them what we think about ACTA?

All parties interested in submitting comments regarding this initiative are invited to do so. Unless otherwise specified, all comments provided in this consultation can be made available to the public.

E-mail: consultations@international.gc.ca

or Fax: 613-944-7981

or postal mail:
Consultations and Liaison Division (BSL)
Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
Lester B. Pearson Building
125 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0G2

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada: Ongoing Consultations: The Government of Canada is seeking the views of Canadians on the proposed Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)

Funny, I never heard about the consultation back then. (And this was of course before it was leaked that the real thrust was the supposed Anti-Piracy bit).

Bill C-32 in Second Reading

Interestingly enough, the ACTA text is not yet finalized, consensus was NOT reached, with no further negotiation planned, yet all the countries are supposed to sign it anyway. Huh?

I guess all the other countries are simply expected to bow down to the USTR position? That would be the same USTR that routinely libels and slanders Canada as a ‘pirate haven’ when the facts show that the United States has far higher rates of both copyright infringement and bootlegging than Canada does, in spite of (or maybe because of?) the more repressive DMCA legislation. At least unless Bill C-32 passes, since the Canadian DMCA would leave Canada with the more repressive copyright legislation, since even the American DMCA doesn’t go so far as to criminalize non-infringing circumvention of DRM. Even under the DMCA Americans are allowed to break the digital locks placed by manufacturers and rights holders on digital devices and media if copyright isn’t being infringed.

Pirate Party of Canada Pirate Ship logo
The Pirate Party of Canada is a legitimate Canadian political party seeking balanced copyright

Speaking of digital “piracy,’ as of course our intrepid Minister of Heritage did the other day in his speech launching the second reading of Bill C-32 in Parliament…

why isn’t the word ‘piracy’ mentioned even once in Bill C-32, the supposed Copyright Modernization Act?

Could it be that if the word ‘piracy were included in the legislation it would then require definition?

Once you assign a legal definition to a word like ‘piracy’ you are stuck with it. If ‘Intellectual Property piracy’ had a legal definition under Canadian law, that would make it much harder to allow the word the flexibility to cover all the diverse aspersions and innuendos that the Honourable Mr. Moore chooses to cast around. By keeping it vague, ‘piracy’ can mean whatever it is you think it means in your own head, without having to rely on anything as pragmatic as facts.

And of course, our Heritage Minister can also rail against piracy to the approbation of law abiding Canadians who don’t realize that he’s talking about format shifting their own legally purchased property and equating that with commercial bootlegging.

The evolution of @mpjamesmoore

First he was the iPod Minister.

Our Minister of Heritage James Moore presented himself as tech savvy with a twitter account and an iPod.

A thought: why not wait and actually *read* the legislation first before you pass judgement?
Tweeting my concerns about the impending copyright legislation got me this Twitter private message.

Seems I was right to be concerned. After holding a Canada wide Copyright Consultation which brought the unprecedented response of more than 8,000 mostly thoughtful submissions from Canadians, it appears that our Heritage Minister James Moore chose to ignore the overwhelming majority of Canadian responses which very clearly expressed a resounding “NO” to digital locks.

The draft legislation introduced into the legislature this year is misleadingly called “Bill C-32 The Copyright Modernization Act” but more accurately known to Canadians as the “Canadian DMCA” because it appears cut and pasted from the American DMCA. Ironically the American DMCA has been tempered over the last twelve years by citizen challenges, so the comparative harshness of the Canadian DMCA will seriously put Canadians at a disadvantage.

Then he was the iPadlock Minister.

Sadly this young politician doesn’t seem to handle opposition very well. He’s been known to use phrases like “radical extremists” about people who don’t share his views. The other thing that is quite disturbing is the fact that although @mpjamesmoore is tweeting as part of his job as our elected Minister of Heritage, he has taken to blocking citizens who disagree with him from “following him” on twitter.

In this private message @mpjamesmoore said Anyone can read my RSS feed @ www.jamesmoore.org If I don't want endless spam and/or lies and/pr smears and/or hate mail, yes, I will block
Tweeting about @mpjamesmoore blocking @russellmcormond I received this private Twitter message.

I was shocked by this second direct message from @james moore because none of the things he alludes to could possibly be attributable to @russellmcOrmond. I only know Russell McOrmond from his words that I’ve read and heard online, and his online presence is eminently reasonable. That @mpjamesmoore would imply such things about citizens in private Twitter messages as disturbing than his “radical extremist” faux pas.

But now he’s apparently the i-can’t-hear-you Minister

The political cartoon my brother posted on his blog The Many Rants of Larry Russwurm: “James Moore gets Cartoond” is quite funny but frighteningly apt.   It would have been my laugh of the day were it not for the fact that Canadians believe we live in a democracy. That’s supposed to mean that our elected representatives are public servants who work for us.

In particular government Ministers are supposed to represent all the citizens of Canada, not just the ones who agree with them.

a horizontal border of red graphic maple leaves

Three Strikes for Industry and Heritage

Last year the Industry Ministry held a public Copyright Consultation, soliciting Canadian input on copyright reform. More than 8,000 Canadians made submissions in last year’s Copyright Consultation, and these submissions overwhelmingly said

“NO”

to Digital Locks, or anything resembling a Canadian DMCA.

Canadian DMCA logo

Strike One

Yet this year the government tabled their draft Bill C-32.  Clearly a Canadian DMCA. .

The outcry against Bill C-32 was loud. A fake grassroots movement was the only voice raised in support.  In spike of the universal opposition the Government forged ahead.

Canadians Count: Save The Census

The Minister of Heritage made intemperate remarks in his attempts to silence opposition.  Much worse, his attempts to suppress these remarks, captured on video and likely to haunt him to the end of his career, triggered an even LOUDER outcry.

The Government launched yet another consultation, The Digital Economy Consultation.  The premature digEcon launch was most likely intended to take the heat of Heritage Minister.

Strike Two

Problem was, mismanagement of the “idea-forum” voting caused its very own Census Long form Scandal again placing the Government under fire.

Canadian Flag Superimposed on American Flag

Strike Three

Industry Minister Tony Clement’s announced intent to review C-32 provisions, not because of Canadian concerns but because of an American DMCA  review has raised the ire of more than one Canadian.

More even than holding a press conference announcing Bill C-32 in the office of an American game manufacturer, this has exposed the absolute fiction of Mr. Clement’s promise of “Made In Canada” copyright reform.

The blue Twitter bird mascot

In Canada, both our Federal Minister of Industry and our Federal Minister of Heritage

@TonyClement_MP @mpjamesmoore

are more easily reached via the American microblogging service Twitter than by conventional means.

Yet neither have any presence on the Canadian micro-blogging service identi.ca

Industry and Heritage. For which country?

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