So maybe my MP is reading my mail...

But I don't think he's getting the message. After a long delay, in answer to the letter I posted here, Mr. Moore sent me this not-quite-as-canned-as-usual response:

Mr. Klassen,

Thank you for writing to me about copyright reform in Canada.  I appreciate you taking the time to share your views with me and have noted your concerns regarding the impact that providing legal protection for technological protection measures (TPMs) may have on different parties. I have read your previous correspondence as well.

Copyright is a marketplace framework law.  Accordingly, copyright owners may decide whether to use TPMs for their content and consumers whether to pay for such content.  Detailed information about Bill C-11 is available online atwww.balancedcopyright.gc.ca.

Our government wants legislation that balances both the rights of creators and the interests of consumers.

Once again, thank you for taking the time to write and share your concerns with me. I appreciate the opportunity to respond.


James Moore, PC MP

Unfortunately, it's still about C-11, that's still bad in so many ways that Michael Geist can't keep silent about it to this day. My reply back to him went as follows.

Mr. Moore,

Thank you for what I perceive to be a much more individual reply than previously. I regret to say that your assurances of the law's balance of the different rights at stake do not convince me. Rights holders (often, from many artists' point of view, rights grabbers, frankly) get far too much consideration and rights of fair use, presumption of innocence of the consumer, and a healthy guardianship of a creative commons that should be allowed to grow with orderly expiry of copyrights are not protected adequately.

The RIAA and MPAA and their member organizations have demonstrated graphically and without any ambiguity their willingness to bully individuals into outrageous and financially devastating settlements, to go on fishing expeditions and to do so when their failing profits are more closely related to the sagging quality of their product than to the results of piracy. This kind of behaviour should not be rewarded in the court (and that sort of thing is gradually being stopped) but even more it should not be protected by law.

Academic studies, time and time again, show that the most widely-shared (by any means) artists are the most successful ones. The most stunning cases of these are the careers of Radiohead, Metallica and even the Canadian, Neil Young, who released the whole Living With War album online -- I listened to it several times that way before buying it myself. So the whining of multi-national bullies, who effectively want the right to pillage Canadian families for the meagre improvement of their American bottom line, should not be brooked.

Is there anything even in the latest incarnation of C-11 that comes at the issues from that angle? I think not. Instead this government is intent on defending the privilege and profit of the few on the backs of the many. Fortunately, the best word describing that is highly parliamentary and I cry it out: "Shame! Shame!" Send me a new bulletin when your policies are more in the defense of the people's interests than they are currently, please, and on this subject, not before.


Arthur N. Klassen

Of course, this doesn't even begin to deal with potential privacy concerns but there are limits if you want to conduct civil discourse even over something as uncivil as C-11. There are just too many things about this bill to complain about them all at once without sounding like your shrieking into the void. If my words are consigned to be redirected to /dev/null (computerese for "the void"), at least they'll be uttered in tones that wouldn't remind any listener of fingernails on blackboards.