13 January 2006

Righting Copyright Politics

A little over a week ago, I blogged about how American-style campaign contributions had influenced then-parliamentarian Sarmite (Sam) Bulte, who was chair of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage that essentially took dictation from the content industry and produced a one-sided recommendation for copyright reform. There has been an active response in the blogosphere against this type of influence buying (led by law professor and columnist Michael Geist). Now, there is an extensive grassroots response in the form of Online Rights Canada, "a grassroots organization that promotes the public's interest in technology and information policy. We believe that Canadians should have a voice in copyright law, access to information, freedom from censorship, and other issues that we face in the digital world."

They have launched two petitions, one "calling on politicians to swear off Big Content's lobbying money," and the other, against "Bill C-74, the Modernization of Investigative Techniques Act, would have allowed law enforcement agencies to obtain identifying information about you without a warrant. Even worse, it would have forced communications providers to build surveillance back-doors into the hardware that routes our phone calls, Internet traffic, and more."

What is frightening to me is the thought that both of these petitions came out of actions of the Liberal government; a potential Conservative government would likely do far worse! Here's where to find out more!

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