by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
canada, copyright, jim prentice

Jim Prentice Wishes People Wouldn't Be So Specific In Their Questions Over Canadian Copyright Law

from the wouldn't-life-be-better-if-we-were-all-vague-in-our-criticisms? dept

It would be mildly amusing to watch how Canadian politician Jim Prentice was squirming away from any serious discussion around his new copyright bill, if it weren't such a serious issue. After Prentice was forced to delay the bill originally planned for late last year, he promised to consult with all parties before coming out with a better bill. He did not. Instead, he just kept waiting, making minor changes, and then announced the bill at a time where he hoped it wouldn't garner that much attention. However, it has received plenty of attention from people asking a bunch of questions, and Prentice's response has hardly been compelling. If anything, he's made it abundantly clear that he doesn't want to actually discuss the specifics.

Michael Geist discusses the various tactics Prentice has used to avoid actually dealing with the massive shortcomings of the bill, including hanging up on radio interviewers and now saying that he won't answer the questions being raised until it's debated in Parliamentary committee. But, perhaps the most ridiculous of all is that Prentice's chief of staff is complaining that the complaints and questions about the bill are "too specific." Apparently, they were hoping for vague questions that could be brushed off with vague answers. Unfortunately, an awful lot of people (not, apparently, including Prentice) understand the terrible impact this bill would have and would like him to respond to those concerns. Prentice, apparently, doesn't like that line of "specific" questions and will hide behind the Parliamentary committee (and his ability to hang up) rather than answer them.

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  1. identicon
    John Wilson, 10 Jul 2008 @ 9:59am

    Re: Did he even write the legislation?

    "I wouldn't be surprised if this bill was ghost-written. It would certainly explain why he's unwilling to answer specific questions about it: he may truly not understand the specifics."

    If you read it you'll find that it grants things to lobby groups like the RIAA and MPAA and their Canadian branch plant groups "rights" they're still fighting for in the United States.

    Including criminalization of copyright violation and trying to establish reverse onus in those cases. Never mind the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that reverse onus is a constitutional violation going back to Magna Carta and therefore invalid.

    In short, it tries to do things which are unwise, at the very least to unconstitutional at worst.

    The long and the short of it all is that Prentice doesn't want to talk about it or want us to talk about it.

    Nor, I suspect does he want it in committee either because of the coverage that will most definitely get and he can't just hang up the phone on a committee.

    The Senate won't be overly friendly, either, and that's a good thing.

    (Mark this because I have very few good things to say of that chamber of sleepy cronies.)

    Voting the Tories out won't change much because the Grits are just as bad.

    The federal NDP would have to get its collective head out of the clouds and stop mourning the loss of Stalinism. Not to mention the rampant paternalism of their upper class and upper middle class notions that it knows better than the poor and working class about what the less "fortunate" actually need.

    So the only option we have as Canadian citizens is to raise utter hell and make sure this piece of crap dies on the order paper as it so richly deserves.



    (For readers outside of Canada Tories = Conservative Party and Grits = Liberal Party.)

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