An open letter to Jim Prentice

Dear “Honourable” Jim Prentice,

Allow me to express my sincerest feelings when I say you are responsible for fucking over the Canadian people. This bill you are introducing this morning — likely as I write this very post — is not for the benefit of the Canadian people.

Not one bit.

This is purely to support two things: Archaic business models that have not yet woken up to the new economy, and to the United States government. You are blatantly ignoring the wishes of the informed Canadian public, who (thanks to the grassroots efforts of Michael Geist) have told you that this is a bad idea. You mistakenly believe that it is business that runs this country, and not its citizens.

You claim you wish to find balance between the Canadian people and business. Unless there are 10+ million business involved, Mr. Prentice, I’m rather certain there will be no balance even considered. And when the courts become clogged with incessant and insipid lawsuits rivalling the ridiculousness going on with the RIAA south of the border, we’ll know who to thank.

Be rest assured, there are a lot of people in your constituency who are not happy with you. I hope this is your last hurrah in Ottawa, because I’d be very surprised if you are re-elected after this. You are effectively handcuffing our daily activities for no valid reason. Please explain to me why I am not allowed to put movies I have purchased on my iPod or put them onto my home media server? You can’t.

There is no valid reason … except money of course. I dare not suggest anything further on this matter, since I’m sure it would raise some interesting legal issues. But I truly do wonder what is going through that pin head of yours that thinks this is good for the Canadian people.

And please, let’s remember that this is about people, not companies nor governments. Laws are meant to support day-to-day civil operation of a society, not hamstring it to the point of revolution. Canada stands (as much as it can, knowing full well yesterday’s long-overdue apology for residential schooling) for tolerance, understanding, and balance. Let’s not make another dumb-ass mistake that lingers for a century. The Digital Copyright Millennium Act made one major fallacy — it assumed that it understood the new economy. It clearly hasn’t. Nor do you. As the Minister of Industry, you might want to brush up on that.

Shit like this makes me almost happy to be moving to Costa Rica…

[Update]

I also have to add a link to an excellent article by fellow Twitterite Matthew Ingram, who really nailed some of the key issues with this bill.

[Update Update]

I changed a couple of notes above once I had a chance to read some of Michael Geist’s review of the new act. Overall, I still hold the same level of seething hate for this act (I still think we’re getting royally screwed by big business and American interests), I just wanted to make sure I wasn’t using a fact incorrectly. (Notably, I can copy music to my iPod, but I can’t copy a movie that I purchased to my home media server.)

5 Replies to “An open letter to Jim Prentice”

  1. What I do not understand is why would anyone who is aware of technology and supports fair use, buys an IPod? IPods/ITunes have restrictive measures and business models (DRM and such). They do not even support open source alternative formats such as vorbis ogg.

    We vote every day with our money and people who buy IPods vote and support DRM and other draconian business models.

    IPod and DRM:
    http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070122-8676.html
    http://www.vnunet.com/vnunet/news/2157290/ipod-dominance-worsening-drm
    http://www.rafb.net/cohen/blog/2007/02/16/itunes-and-restrictive-drm/

  2. Dekay, agreed — the iPod is definitely not as open as most (in-the-know) people would like. But that said, I don’t have any issues against Apple for this, because they at least designed and developed a system that actually works. (Microsoft, please take note, integrating with a store through Media Player does not work. At all.)

    Should Apple support vorbis ogg? I’d ask “why not?”, and likely be countered (by/through Apple) some issue surrounding DCMA (and their implementation through FairPlay). Truth is it’s bad business for them.

    My concern isn’t so much about the unit I play my music on, it’s that I want to play it wherever I damn well please.

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