Recording Industry Lobbyists Says Politicians Worried About User Rights Are 'Disgusting'?

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

Well, well. Last week there was a "town hall" meeting in Toronto about new copyright laws in Canada, and we'll have a more detailed post on that later. But there is one story that popped up from all of this that deserved a separate discussion. Apparently two Parliament Members, Olivia Chow and Charlie Angus, who have been big supporters of consumers' rights on copyright issues, have been called out by music industry lobbyists for distributing a 'disgusting' flyer. Why? Because that flyer contained an interview with Angus (a former musician in a popular punk band), where he talks about the importance of consumer rights and not following through with a DMCA-style law in Canada. It's hard to read anything in that interview that is "disgusting" -- unless you don't believe consumers have any rights. But that apparently was the position taken by Alan Willaert, the Canadian representative of the American Federation of Musicians, who not only called it disgusting, but also demanded a retraction and an apology.

It doesn't sound like he's going to get it. Charlie Angus is defending himself ably:
I was elected to participate in discussions about public policy. I have never heard of a lobbyist group demand an apology for speaking out about a totally botched piece of legislation like Bill C-61. If they spent less time running e-mail attacks and more time speaking with the various players they might realize that the NDP position has been balanced and consistent from the beginning.

As for a public recanting to satisfy the C-61 lobby ? Sorry, ain't happening.

Filed Under: alan willaert, canada, charlie angus, consumer rights, copyright, olivia chow, politicians
Companies: american federation of musicians

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  1. identicon
    you want a name well for now my name is fred., 31 Aug 2009 @ 1:51pm

    Actually, the document is disgusting in many ways.

    Let's start at the top. Charlie Angus is a member of parliment, a member of the NDP (a socialist party). He is not a student. So for him to be in front of a student group is disgusting in it's own way. If the students want to talk, let them talk, don't stuff words into their mouths.

    The document also beats around the bush on the true core issues, like this:

    "Good public policy must ensure that digital technology protects the legitimate copyright interests of creators (artists, writers, musicians, researchers etc.) but prevents copyright owners from using new technologies to restrict reasonable access to, and use of, information resources."

    It ignores first and foremost that Canada has some of the most liberal and open file sharing rules, basically taxing blank media and telling copyright holders to butt out.

    They also don't degine "reasonable access", however, it would appear their version of reasonable access is the creation of a "creative commons" for information. It's absolute horseshit to think that everything should be shoved off into a creative commons and big finger to the copyright holders.

    Basically, the core issues: Should there be copyright or not, and should people be obliged to abide by the laws?

    If it take a bunch of students and ask them "do you want free music and movies?" I know what sort of answer I would get. Throw in "free beer" and you might not see half of them until spring. It's a tilted landscape.

    Sorry, but asking a socialist about copyright is like asking a Republican't about welfare. if they could find some way to get rid of it, they would, no matter the cost.

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