Letter to my MP about Bill C-11

(and to the other members of the committee reviewing C-11)

to James Moore, MP for Port Moody--Westwood--Port Coquitlam

Dear Mr. Moore,

I have little hope that you pay attention to any of my e-mails any more. With a margin of 10s of thousands in every election, you need not pay attention but I implore you to do so. The digital lock provisions in bill C-11 are too high a price to pay in freedoms for any of the good that might be in the bill and it ought to be quashed now.

My government is already culpable trying to gin up support for tighter controls by having the MPAA and RIAA lobby the US to call us a nation of pirates, but you and I know that it is not so and it must be depressing to the agitators that no hysteria has flowed from these attempts.

In fact, it is demonstrable that freely allowing piracy (at least of music) ultimately does more good than harm to both musicians and publishers. Just ask Neil Young how many copies of "Living With War" he sold after freely publishing the whole album on the internet. Just ask Radiohead. And then ask Metallica how much dislike they garnered by siding with the lockdown artists.

We don't need tighter locks, and we don't need to give Multinational bullies more opportunities to pillage Canadian families at many 100s of times the value of any piracy they may have engaged in. This legislation does exactly the opposite of what a government ought to do in this particular vein. A government ought to protect its citizens from bullies but this legislation has the potential to unleash the bullies' unjust wrath against Canadians.

It is a good thing that cries of "Shame! Shame!" fall within parliamentary language, for that is the weakest epithet your government deserves for considering this legislation. Drop the bill. Write something with reasonable protections (at 1000ths of the strength of the current one) for commercial interests but with primary protection for Canadians and for a growing, vibrant public domain. Do not hamper the tinkerers of today when they or their children are sure to become the engineers and innovators of tomorrow.


Arthur N. Klassen


SOPA -- in Canada it's our turn

If you value your digital freedoms and you live in Canada, it's time.

Ireland has already fallen but the rest of Europe is resisting ACTA and even America is taking a second look at it after SOPA and PIPA were stopped in their tracks there. Now it's our turn.

Monday is the beginning of final hearings on Bill C-11 which has in the last stages turned draconian.

Michael Geist's page (click here) tells you what you need to know. I live in James Moore's riding now and so he'll hear from me from both directions -- but I think my e-mail address is on his spam source list. He doesn't reply to me -- that's how a member of parliament rolls in the digital age, I guess. Here's what you should do:

1. Find your MP here (ou ici).

2. Write a polite note expressing your opposition to pre-emptive site blocking, expanded enabler definitions, broad protections for the companies that exploit artists, warrantless subscriber list handovers -- all coupled with a higher iPod tax. And send it individually to the e-mails listed in Michael Geist's page (committee members and ministers) as well as to your own MP.

Just to be sure they get it, write it out on paper, address an envelope and send it to them in Canada WITHOUT A POSTAGE STAMP (for parliamentary mail, that works!) -- but our postal system isn't fast enough to get it to them before Monday's opening.

3. Sign, for instance, the online petition at OpenMedia.ca

4. Do creative things that are outside the control of the corporate gatekeepers of culture.

5. Spread the word, and resist the feeling of impending doom. Keep calm and carry on.