Copyright Lobbyist "Disgusted" By Canadian Politicians

Andy Chalk

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Nov 12, 2002
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Copyright Lobbyist "Disgusted" By Canadian Politicians


A representative of the American Federation of Musicians [http://www.afm.org/] is demanding an apology from a Canadian political party after flyers opposing DMCA-style copyright laws were distributed outside a town hall meeting in Toronto.

Olivia Chow, a Canadian Member of Parliament for the New Democratic Party [http://www.ndp.ca/], along with members of the Canadian Federation of Students, ran into some trouble while attempting to distribute flyers at a recent town hall consultation on copyright reform in Toronto. The flyers expressed opposition to the government's proposed Bill C-61, which critics claim will impose DMCA-style copyright restrictions on Canadian citizens, and included an interview with another NDP MP, Charlie Angus, in which he said, "Count on me to speak out against Bill C-61 and anti-circumvention rules. I support stronger fair dealing."

Chow and the students were hassled by security and threatened with ejection from the conference when they attempted to pass out the flyers, which is bad enough in itself, but Alan Willaert of the American Federation of Musicians has decided that a mere attempt to stifle legitimate political discourse doesn't go far enough - he's now demanding that the party retract the statement and issue an apology.

"I am attaching a flyer that was handed out by Olivia Chow at last night's Copyright Town Hall meeting at the Royal York in Toronto. I am sure all of you will find its content equally as disgusting as I did," he said in an email sent to "virtually every major Canadian creator group."

"In light of the fact that the NDP at its convention in Halifax this month dealt with a resolution identified as 6-21-09 Expanding Party Policy on 'Supporting Canadian Creativity', and showed clear support for 'ensuring appropriate copyright protection so that creators are fairly compensated for their intellectual property', I am shocked that both Chow and Charlie Angus are allowed to openly depart from party policy and directive, obviously just to shamelessly buy votes among young people and academics," he continued. "We intend on taking the NDP to task over this, and will accept nothing less than a retraction of Ms Chow's statements and an apology."

It's an astounding demand and by all appearances also grossly ignorant of some very basic facts, foremost among them that Olivia Chow is not just any NDP member: She also happens to be married to Jack Layton, the New Democratic Party leader, which one would think would give her a reasonably clear insight into the party's stance on major issues. Fortunately, Angus, the MP whose interview featured so prominently in the flyer, made it clear that no apology would be forthcoming.

"Seems to me the interview is consistent with what the NDP have always said on this file -- we want artists to be able to benefit from the massive stream of information being traded but we don't want average citizens turned into criminals," he told Boing Boing [http://www.boingboing.net/2009/08/29/american-copyright-l.html].

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

Source: michaelgeist.ca [http://www.michaelgeist.ca/content/view/4334/125/]


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walls of cetepedes

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Jul 12, 2009
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xmetatr0nx said:
Alright kids, lets calm down here. The man does work here after all, i guess he can post whatever he wants.
Would the fact that he is Canadian have anything to do with it?
 

Florion

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Dec 7, 2008
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hansari said:
What does this have to do with video games?
I notice they post lots of things that don't have anything to do with video games. This is probably here because it relates to copyright which for some reason is interesting. Maybe?
 

hansari

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May 31, 2009
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xmetatr0nx said:
Alright kids, lets calm down here. The man does work here after all, i guess he can post whatever he wants.
Its just that I kept reading this article expecting to come upon an explanation on how the video game industry is tied to Bill C-61...

But I just got educated in Canadian politics...

Is it April Fools somewhere?
 

Anton P. Nym

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Sep 18, 2007
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Children, children, children. You just can't absorb the news... it's about changing copyright law to, like, oh, say, impose strict DRM on games and make it harder to release freeware? See the connection now?

And as much as I can't stand the NDP personally, I'm glad they stood their ground; I find this idiot from the American Musicians Association even more objectionable. Don't like hard questions or opposing views? Go home to your "death panel" rabble rousers and softball interviews on Fox, and leave Canadian legislation to Canadians.

-- Steve
 

HobbesMkii

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Jun 7, 2008
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I think it would be hard to say this had nothing to do with videogames, if you understand that the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act was the basis for the MPAA and the RIAA's attacks on the Pirate Bay.

Frankly, I wonder if the AFM would demand apologies from the Pirate Party, if that were a viable political party. Sounds like they know very little.

Frankly, good on the NDP, telling a lobbyist group to go shove it. I also like that a politician said "Sorry dude, it ain't happening." That's so wicked. I wish American politicians had the gumption to even attempt to use slang in press releases. Also, they're protecting consumer rights, as opposed to corporate rights, for once. God, this stupid bi-party system we run in the US, we don't get any arguments in favor of the common man.
 

Amnestic

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Aug 22, 2008
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xmetatr0nx said:
Fat Man Spoon said:
xmetatr0nx said:
Alright kids, lets calm down here. The man does work here after all, i guess he can post whatever he wants.
Would the fact that he is Canadian have anything to do with it?
You know, you may be on to something there fatman, it seems MI6 has some uses after all.
They make a mean pineapple upside-down cake.

Alan Willaert of the American Federation of Musicians
What's this guy doing talking about Canadian politics anyway?

"As for a public recanting to satisfy the C-61 lobby ? Sorry, dude... it ain't happening."
"Sorry, dude" in a press interview? How very...informal \o/ Good that they stuck to their guns and aren't backing down though.
 

samsonguy920

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Mar 24, 2009
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So the article is inappropriate here because a music industry lobbyist made an ass of himself over a debate on copyright reform in Canada? No. I find it quite relevant, as you should, too.
1: More than just people in the US come to this website.
2: copyright reform in Canada will affect more than just the music industry, though it doesn't surprise me that they are getting their lobbyists into taking on threat tactics.
It's no surprise the NDP is having to really fight for this, though they may seek balance, the music industry doesn't want balance. They still got their heads so far up their butt looking for gold they forgot where the money comes from a long time ago. More paying consumers get punished by the music industry than any other industry right now.
 

KSarty

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Aug 5, 2008
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Amnestic said:
Alan Willaert of the American Federation of Musicians
What's this guy doing talking about Canadian politics anyway?
The American Federation of Musicians includes the United States and Canada. Regardless, it is a union so it is absolutely worthless.