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, dude....it 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. icon
    Blaise Alleyne (profile), 31 Aug 2009 @ 2:16pm

    Re:

    "In fairness, it should be noted that what was called "disgusting" was not the comments, but the departure from an established party line"


    Thing is, Charlie Angus is the party line on this issue. He's their digital affairs critic, he's the NDP spokesperson on copyright, it's his file. Willaert accused Angus of not "ensuring appropriate copyright protection so that creators are fairly compensated for their intellectual property" -- but I'd bet that resolution has little to do with Willaert's maximalist copyright ideas, and much more to do with the sorts of levies that Angus and the NDP favour.

    Willaert seems to find it "disgusting" that anyone's ideas of how to "support Canadian creativity" might differ from his own. I think he's got some research to do on the NDP party line.

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