Binks Is Here

Commentary on the World

Here's Mine, Where's Yours?

June 14, 2008

Mr. Gary Schellenberger House of Commons Parliament Buildings Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6

Dear Sir,

The Supreme Court once ruled that intellectual property laws exist in order to serve the people. It’s a shame that the Copyright bill presented on June 12th (with almost no consultation with the Canadians whom the bill is supposed to serve) appears to be more concerned with restricting the freedoms of Canadians than it is with serving them. This law does not take into account the needs of consumers and Canada’s creative community who are exploiting the potential of digital technology. I’m disappointed that this bill adopts an American approach to digital copyright laws, instead of crafting a unique Canadian approach.

Intellectual copyright laws are necessary to create innovation. When I look out at what it happening today in Canada (with our existing laws) I see that innovation is happening. Indeed, even Apple recently announced that it was extending online movie downloading to Canadians. The proposed laws won’t spur innovation, instead we will see a Canadian version of the consumer file-sharing lawsuit strategy that has failed so spectacularly in the United States. Consumers should not be seen as the enemy of business.

Please ensure that this bill really is made for Canadians by allowing all Canadian stakeholders a say in its final contents. That means meaningful consultation in the coming months, and opening up Canada’s copyright policy to more than just the special interests that lobbied behind the scenes for this law. As my MP, I urge you to represent my interests in the copyright debate.

So, put your bitching in a format that counts. Write our MP, the Federal Industry Minister, and the Canadian Heritage Minister.

This site will facilitate the process, and even offers a sample letter (which my own is loosely based upon). If we don’t act now, the Canadian DMCA will become a reality. We’re almost all of voting age now - it’s time to make our voices heard where it COUNTS.

EDIT: There; just finished stuffing the three envelopes. Neat fact: You don’t even need a stamp!

EDIT: Creative Commons License
This letter is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.5 Canada License.