Are Canadian Politicians Finally Recogizing There's More Than One Side To Copyright?

from the that-would-be-nice dept

In each of the past few years, facing tremendous pressure from US entertainment industry interests (backed up with blatant lies about the supposed “situation” in Canada), Canadian politicians have introduced draconian copyright reform designed to benefit those Hollywood interests. Luckily the outcry against such rules has been great, and have stopped such bad legislation from getting anywhere. However, there may actually be hope that this year’s crop of politicians aren’t quite so enamored by the myths Hollywood spread. Michael Geist reports from a recent digital economy conference in Canada where two of the speakers — the Industry Minister and the Heritage Minister seemed to take a much more reasoned view to these issues. Of particular interest was the talk by Heritage Minister James Moore, seen below. It’s only about 5 min long, but the good part starts around 3 minutes:

Here’s a quick transcript:

The average age of a Member of Parliament is 55. And I point that out, only to underline the fact that the average Canadian watches about 26 hours of television a week. Those under the age 25, it’s about 12 hours a week. But they’re consuming more media than ever before. But, they’re consuming it where they want it on their iPhones and on their Blackberries and on their PVRs and on their laptops. And they’re doing it through mechanisms that didn’t exist.

And you’d be surprised the number of Members of Parliament who have never held an iPhone, who couldn’t tell you, functionally, how a Blackberry works and have no idea how these things integrate. And when you ask the average member of Parliament “How do you consume your music?” They’ll say “well, maybe I’ll go out and buy a CD and drop it in the thing or maybe I’ll hear something on the radio on the way” and you say “How do you watch movies” and they’ll say “Well, I’ll go out to the theater when I have the time on a Friday night or maybe rent a DVD at home” and you say “How do you listen to radio or get your news?” and they’ll say “Well, I’ll sit at 6 o’clock after the meal, finish a steak and watch the news, or get the paper in the morning.”

The old way of doing things is over. These things are all now one. And it’s great and it’s never been better and we need to be enthusiastic and embrace these things.

I point out the average age of a member of parliament because don’t assume that those who are making the decisions and who are driving the debate understand all the dynamics that are at play here. Don’t assume that everybody understands the opportunities that are at play here and how great this can be for Canada. Tony is doing his job and I’m going to do my job and be a cheerleader and push this and to fight for the right balance as we go forward. The opportunities are unbelievable and unparalleled in human history.

It’s great to see some politicians at least having a sense of the opportunity, rather than the “threat” posted by new technologies. Hopefully he can back those statements up when the time comes.

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Comments on “Are Canadian Politicians Finally Recogizing There's More Than One Side To Copyright?”

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22 Comments
Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Start there, and trace your way through the 101 links that will generate on your site off that page.

Uh. Nowhere have I claimed that Canadian politicians are “brainwashed” and even if some were in the pocket of the industry, nowhere have I ever said that Moore was.

Nice try, but really, really weak.

But, I guess you’re running out of material now that you’re just outright making stuff up these days.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

“As expected, Canadian politicians have introduced a much stricter anti-camcording bill that will include jail time (two to five years) for those caught camcording. Michael Geist notes that the bill is on the “fast track” and may not even have any debate before being approved. This seems clearly a case of politicians bowing down to corporate interests (even those outside their own country). No, there’s no defense for camcording a movie”

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20070604/article_main.php?sid=20070604/010717

Not brainwashed, but I found this nice reference within minutes.

Mike, if you never used the term brainwashed, I apoligize for that choice of words. But you have made it very clear (even in the opening comments of this post) that Canadian politicians have given in to pressure over and over again.

Honestly, you fire wide and randomly all over the place,it is hard to keep track of who you think is brainwashed, who you think is a lackey, and who you think is in who’s pocket.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Mike, if you never used the term brainwashed, I apoligize for that choice of words. But you have made it very clear (even in the opening comments of this post) that Canadian politicians have given in to pressure over and over again.

Um, they have, as a group, given in to pressure over and over again. That’s why it’s NOTEWORTHY that a few of them seem to be pushing back. That’s the story.

Enrico Suarve says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

It’s OK you’re not crazy – I think most of the rest of us understood it quite easily:

Canadian politicians (as a group) have passed some dumb laws (as have US, UK, French…..) but individually there are signs that some of them ‘get it’

The fact that at least one of them who ‘gets it’ is not just a politican but a minister is heartening indeed – perhaps he might even help repeal the blank CD tax

Apparently you can lead some people to water, but you can’t make ’em think – I blame FOX ‘News’

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

Not really noteworthy – the conservative government in Canada is a minority government that has almost fallen again this spring, for the second or third time in the last 4 years. Each fall leads to another election.

As a result, the politicians are almost constantly in election mode. At this point, an agreement was made not to make the government fall last month (would have led to a mid-summer election that none of them want), but it is likely the government will get dragged down in the fall.

“new technology” and “new ideas” doesn’t mean repealing any of copyright – in fact, in Canada it usually means creating a committee (in this case a pan canadian intergovernmental board) to look at new ideas, come up with framework for those new ideas, and then in the end, to award licenses to exploit those new ideas to the existing monopoly information providers.

Getting it or not getting it really isn’t the point – all the nice words are there to make it sound like something is going on, but nothing really is. Remember, our conversion to HDtv isn’t until 2011!

Anonymous Coward says:

Still don’t trust the Conservatives. These are the people who passed a law that sends someone to jail for 2 YEARS MIN. for taping a movie in the theatre. Whatever your feeling about this is, you certainly can’t argue that this punishment is fitting. In Canada, sex offenders could serve one year, even less in some cases. The NDP is the only party ready to take on the challenges of the digital age. They are the only ones who stand up for consumer rights and what is fair. The Liberals and the Conservatives are dinosaurs.

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