Further to my last post on the deceitful Conference Board of Canada report on the Digital Economy, here is my letter to the principal perpetrators of that intellectually dishonest tripe:
Ms. Golden, Mr. Toope, Ms. Samarasekera, and Mr. Wilkinson,
I am adding my name and voice to those Canadians who are both outraged and profoundly disappointed that the Conference Board, with the aid of the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation, has chosen to uncritically accept the now largely disproven lobbying positions of the U.S. legacy content industry - primarily the music and film industries that have chosen to defend obsolescent business practices rather than innovate. It is shameful that Canadian business, political, and academic leaders seem to possess neither the fortitude nor the intellectual wherewithal to rebut the disingenuous and fantastical claims of loss and injury from Canadian intellectual property laws. Not only does your report defy honest and appropriate policy development, it is, on its face, intellectually dishonest on many fronts, including shoddy research and outright plagiarism. How two renowned academic leaders like Mr. Toope and Ms. Samarasekera can lend their credibility and endorsement to such a travesty and outright lobbyist opportunism is beyond me.
Dr. Michael Geist of the University of Ottawa details and critiques the report's many shortcomings in this post.
To exacerbate matters, the Conference Board is lending its imprimatur to a one-sided public relations opportunity for the legacy content industry that is occurring this Friday in Toronto. So much for its claim to be "the foremost, independent, not-for-profit applied research organization in Canada. Objective and non-partisan. We do not lobby for specific interests."
The Conference Board has circumvented and damaged the process of reviewing the serious issues of intellectual property laws and innovation in Canada that is being done by honest and thoughtful scholars such as Dr. Geist, among many others. Aided and abetted by the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation, Canada's intellectual birthright is being sold for the proverbial "mess of potage" to commercial interests, primarily located in a foreign country, without hearing the concerns of Canadian producers of innovation, invention, and culture (aside from those few commercial lobbyists who audaciously, arrogantly, and erroneously claim to speak for the rest of us).
Dr. Geist has posed a number of critical questions to each of you on his weblog. I echo the concern of many Canadians when I state, unequivocally, that I am awaiting your public response to the issues he raises.
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education
University of Toronto
Update (29 May 2009): The Conference Board recalls the reports!
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