[d at DCC] Mr. Angus in the House.
bob at rsmits.ca
Sun Nov 26 12:46:40 EST 2006
On Saturday 25 November 2006 11:09, Russell McOrmond wrote:
> Robert Smits wrote:
> > That's true, because there are always "more important" issues for each of
> > the parties than copyright. The "more important" issues will vary from
> > party to party, and will vary based on how many votes each party thinks
> > it can gain or lose with the particular policy.
> I don't know if it is just me, but how candidates think about
> copyright is an indicator of their general understanding and viewpoints
> towards ongoing and fairly radical changes in the economy. It tells me
> whether they are a hander-on to the old industrial economy
> (neo-luddites?), or whether they are interested in allowing (or even
> encouraging) humanity to move forward.
> I find that if I agree with someone on copyright related things, I am
> far more likely to agree with (or at least respect) their views on other
> policy issues as well as they are at least coming from a compatible
> mindset as to where we are in history.
That's probably true of all of us, that we have a certain set of issues that
are really important to us, and a candidate or party agrees with those views,
then we're more inclined to cut them some slack on other issues.
That doesn't mean, however that we can't talk to or work with those who oppose
many of our views but agree on others. There are a great many cleavages
across party lines on all sorts of issues.
> I also see this debate as incumbents vs. innovators, but far larger
> than just in an economic sense: we are talking about incumbent political
> philosophy vs. futurists.
It's one of the things that motivates me to be interested in politics, simply
because the future in a world where the corporatists and the proprietary
software makers control everything scares the bejeezus out of me.
> > I haven' seen the blog, but I've been reviewing testimony before the
> > Heritage Committee and the way that Danielle Bouvet (Director, Copyright
> > Policy Branch, Department of Canadian Heritage) and the Minister, Bev Oda
> > declined to answer questions on fair use, on DRM, etc make me suspicious.
> Remember that Danielle Bouvet is a bureaucrat with a government
> department, not someone who has party-based partisan views.
Sure, but she reflects the party based view of the current government who's
telling her what issues to bring forward, what things she needs to keep under
wraps, and what the direction of the government is. She's there because the
government and the Minister think she'll do what she is told to. If she
showed any sign of being truly independent se'd be gone in a flash.
> Ms. Oda declining to answer questions is also part of what all
> Ministers have always done. The only reason we haven't seen federal
> Bloc and NDP ministers refusing to answer basic questions is because
> they have not formed the government (and in the case of the Bloc, are
> incapable of ever doing so).
Yes, but we need to examine which questions are answered and which are
stonewalled or evaded to get a sense of where the current government is
heading. It's certainly not at all clear where it's headed, but I don't feel
> > Perhaps not, but it's the very industries that are in favour of most of
> > the stuff we oppose that have been giving her money.
> The same industries have given money to anyone who was likely to
> become the Heritage Minister, so this is also not a partisan issue.
> During the last election they were hedging their bets, with mildly
> different incumbent intermediary groups funding Oda and Bulte.
It may not be a partisan issue in the sense that industry has tried to buy off
both the Liberals and the Tories, but it certainly is a moral issue. Industry
that is being regulated by a minister ought not to be making large donations
to campaigns for those ministers or their parties.
> Mr. Angus is unusually immune to being bought off by these same folks
> because he has personal experience as an independent creator in Canada.
> Most MPs lack that type of experience, and in the case of Oda come
> from a broadcaster (intermediary) perspective. Whenever you hear the
> word "independent" you should always ask, "independent of what"? The
> answer is: independent of the incumbent intermediaries, which is the
> community Oda comes from and who financially support her.
He's also immune because as a party our policy wouldn't allow him to have
accepted those funds.
> I'm an independent creator, and I donated to Mr. Angus's campaign as
> I wanted to ensure that "one of us" made it into the house. It wasn't
> relevant to me which political party he was from. Is that situation all
> that different?
Yes. You're making relatively small donations to a candidate who supports your
views, but you're not going to directly benefit from having Charlie elected.
For a large industry, that makes large donations, having ready access and a
relationship to the Minister that regulates your industry is a direct
> I'm glad it looks bad to the general public to have Ms. Oda receiving
> money from the very people she is mandated to be regulating, but the
> entire Department of Canadian Heritage is in the same form of regulatory
> Heritage Canada funds many arts groups, but these are largely groups
> with the incumbent way of thinking of the creation, distribution and
> funding of creativity. Those who are truly part of new-media using
> zero marginal cost methods of production, distribution and funding tend
> not to receive any of this money from Heritage.
> Heritage is naturally going to be more helpful to those very groups
> that they interact with on a daily basis, and be largely oblivious (or
> consider to be competition, and thus something to stifle) innovators.
Yes, we've already seen how that works.
> The same thing can be said about parts of Industry Canada with the
> telecom industry, but Industry is a much broader department with
> everything from telecommunications regulation to the Competition Bureau,
> ICT branch, e-Commerce Branch, and Consumer Affairs. They even have
> (gasp) economists working for the department, some of who are very
> forward thinking people. This diversity is why the copyright policy
> views we see from Industry Canada seem to themselves be far more
> balanced than what we see coming out of Heritage Canada.
Perhaps, but I'm not all that optimistic about them, either. I haven't seen
many instances of the Department actually going to bat for consumers as
opposed to the industry they're supposed to be regulating, especially over at
the Competetition Bureau, where they've apparently never met a merger they
> >> I'm curious if you watched Even Moglen's talk. Extremely
> >> inspirational on the importance of moving away from marginal-cost based
> >> business models for creativity. It is this broader new-economy
> >> economic, social justice, globalist, etc approach that inspires me to do
> >> the volunteer policy work I do.
> >> http://www.digital-copyright.ca/node/2813
> > No. I've heard of him but that's it.
> Please listen to the talk. It is very inspirational. Even if you
> aren't a supporter of Free Software he puts much of the work we are
> doing here in a larger historical and global context.
I liked what he said a lot. I'm not as sure as he is about the imminent demise
of proprietary software, but that depends on what we (The larger, imperial
we) do about it. I disagree only about the timeframe, not the message.
> FLOSS Weekly 13: Eben Moglen on GPL 3.0
I must admit I hadn't listened to that episode since they started getting
somewhat erratic in when they came out. (I save up a bunch and play them in
the car as I drive around.)
> Mind if we get partisan for a moment? As someone associated with
> the NDP, how do you see the party able to move forward on
> post-industrial economic policy when the party was formed partly with a
> merger with interests of the industrial-era labour movement?
Your question is an interesting one, and deserves a better reply than I can
give "off the cuff". I'll try to respond more fully later today, but let me
point out that the labour movement, too, is evolving, as is the Party's
relationship with it.
Right now I need to run off a thousand newsletters and we've just had about 10
cm of fresh, wet, snow.
Robert Smits, Ladysmith BC Email bob at rsmits.ca
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