Canadian Politician Suggests Content Users Are Just Zealots

from the that-doesn't-seem-right dept

We haven't been discussing the controversy in Canada over Parliament Member Sam Bulte's willingness to allow big content industry sponsor a huge fundraiser for her just days before the election. Considering Bulte's earlier stances on copyright (basically exactly what big content companies want) it didn't seem that surprising. However, perhaps that's just the result of American cynicism, since things like that seem pretty much par for the course around here. However, what's been impressive is Bulte's increasingly silly attempt to defend her position that, despite taking a ton of money from the industry, they have no influence with her. With that said, the absolute last thing she should do is highlight how much she doesn't care about individual users' (most of the voters) rights -- but that's exactly what she's doing.

First, in an interview on the radio she claimed that internet users had ample opportunity to share their views on copyright issues -- but law professor Michael Geist (who should be credited for making this a story in the first place) notes that when a group representing users asked to speak at hearings on copyright issues (hearings where representatives from many major content organizations were present) they were abruptly told they were not welcome. However, the latest news shows just how little she cares about the user side of the question. Boing Boing points to a video where Bulte is asked to sign a a Copyright Pledge that says those crafting copyright policy won't take money from interested stakeholders. Her response starts out by insisting she's just protecting the artists (a favorite excuse given by the industry, but often disputed by actual artists). However, then she lets her anger get the better of her, dismissing Michael Geist, the EFF and "pro-user zealots" who are trying to "intimidate" her and "silence" her voice. First of all, no one is trying to silence her at all -- they're just saying she should be fairer to other stakeholders. However, more importantly: pro-user zealots? The people who are actually supporting the content industry by being the consumers of it clearly deserve a seat at the table concerning policies that impact them -- and are being written off as zealots by a politician taking money from the industry side. It doesn't exactly raise the confidence level on her ability to legislate fairly on the issue.


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Jan 2006 @ 6:39am

    Re: Hypocrisy

    Ummm, way to be off subject, but fine. I don't remember people saying they were upset with copyrights limiting access to material. I'm *pretty* sure people are upset when *after* they buy something, the copyright owners still try to control *how* they use the material. Copyrights are fine, but when you start to limit how many copies of a CD i can make (which, I may add, there are perfectly legit and *legal* reasons to make copies of CDs, and not only just one or two copies, but an indefinite amount) or limit where i can listen to music i purchased, that's going too far. Some artists are upset with copyright protection, *not* copyrights. If you treat the consumer as a criminal, no one will purchase the product. The columns i've seen written do *not* oppose that. They oppose restricting the users rights to use what they purchased. So, please, before calling someone pathetic, improve your reading comprehension *just* a little bit so maybe the next time you read an article, you can figure out what it's actually about.

    so, in response to your last question, i'd have to say: you.

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