Friday, June 25, 2010

Bill C-32 and Radical Extremists

I'd say that of the world's economies, there's more that believe in intellectual property today than ever. There are fewer communists in the world today than there were. There are some new modern-day sort of communists who want to get rid of the incentive for musicians and moviemakers and software makers under various guises. They don't think that those incentives should exist.
Bill Gates-2005
The only people who are opposed to this legislation are really two groups of radical extremists...There are those that pretend to be for copyright reform, but they don't believe in actual copyright reform. There are those that are cited as experts by the media endlessly who are not in favour of copyright reform.
Heritage Minister James Moore-2010

So there you have it, from a Communist, and all that line did was inspire a design and a lot of t-shirts to now being extremists and to be a poseur. I believe, as many do, the Heritage Minister is taking a shot of Professor Michael Geist, the expert on copyright and privacy on the Internet both in Canada and around the globe.

Far from 'selling' the merits of the bill by its merits, the Heritage Minister seems to want to demonize all those who oppose his bill, or at least who make issue with some of the weak spots of the law.

In a must read article, the CBC points out the debate has now turned ugly. It's not those commonists who are making it ugly, but the minister himself. It seems he is not interested in debating the merits of his bill, but to declare all who question and oppose it to be worst then communists, they are extremists, akin to those anarchists who will soon be charging the fences in Toronto. He wants to say that the critics simply hate copyright and wouldn't agree with the bill at all. He makes the point this is the third time for this legislation. Perhaps instead of ripping into the critics he should understand why so many people opposed the other two times.

To call those who draw comments and criticisms of the bill to be those who don't want copyright, or don't get it, well, last time I checked we do live in a democracy and one of the marks of a democracy is the presentation of opposing viewpoints. If a person is simply going to respond to criticism by name calling, that tells us the person is defending a very weak point.

The issue of the bill is simple, on one hand, it protects the rights of fair use, you own the disc, you can make as many copies of the content as you want, so long as it is for private use. It makes possible to post videos on YouTube that contain copyrighted material.

The bone of contention is the fact the bill makes it a crime to possess and use software that could crack any protective lock that may be found on the content. So if you want to practice your right to fair use but the content provider puts a lock, you are out of luck. As many have pointed out, technology trumps rights.

Let's be clear of something, the locks put on CD's, DVD's and Blu-Ray discs don't work. You come up with the code one day, the next somebody in Norway, Finland or some former member nation of the Eastern Bloc will crack it and will post the code the very next day, it will be in the hands of everybody the following day.

As well, all those ripped CD's and DVD's are available through various bit torrents the day after anyways, who needs to crack anything when it's already been done. If this bill and the proponents think it will stop the sharing of content, they are delusional and very sadly mistaken. It does nothing and will do nothing.

So the Heritage Minister is showing that he's not so much tech savvy but rather another lapdog of Big Media. One commentator wrote this:
I @'d him (just once) on Twitter to complain about the C-32 digital locks criminalising kids transferring (legally owned) DVD's to iPods etc. He DM'd me with one word - "ridiculous" - and then blocked me.

He likes to model himself as tech savvy - which to him means tweeting about the latest Apple product he's acquired - but it's bizarre how he's really screwed up his social media usage. Stephen Harper has a reputation for keeping his ministers on a tight leash - I'm sure he's not happy with the way James Moore is handling this situation right now.

I will disagree, James Moore is listening to his master's voice and the voice is that of Big Media.

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