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Re: [fsfc-discuss] Petition to protect Information Technology property r

From: Russell McOrmond
Subject: Re: [fsfc-discuss] Petition to protect Information Technology property rights (Was: Re: "FSF Canada" )
Date: Sat, 18 Feb 2012 14:14:22 -0500
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux i686; rv:9.0) Gecko/20111229 Thunderbird/9.0

On 12-02-18 12:55 PM, Richard Stallman wrote:
       In order to ensure signatures would be accepted
     we would need to go through the process of getting the new text validated
     through the Private Members Business Office, just as we did with the
     existing petitions.

What's involved in this validation?

We author the final text, and then bring it to an MP staffer who brings an unsigned example to the Private Members Business office. They then get back to us with any potential formatting issues/etc, or just tell us that everything is OK.

This could take a few days, or it could take weeks. There are no guarantees with this process.

When we have signed pages we bring them to an MP, who brings the signed pages to the Private Members Business office for certification. This process is now going to be less uncertain given they already approved the text, and are now just looking at the signatures (minimum of 25 valid, has name and address, etc). The office certifies the petition signatures, and returns them to the MP. The MP can table them in the house of commons at their next opportunity. I've seen this part of the process take from a few days to up to a month.

We have allies in the official opposition NDP caucus, and my own MP in the Liberal party has been very helpful with our petitions. It is also likely we can get in touch with Elizabeth May (The single Green Party MP).

If we get enough signatures we can coordinate multiple MPs standing up and tabling batches of signatures. The more the MP is an ally, the more they are likely to say something beyond the fact that they are simply tabling a petition and say something more. Mr. Charlie Angus once read the entire text of the TPM petition into Hansard.

We've even had the text of the last part of our Petition for Users Rights "sung by a choir" as part of a skit for the Rick Mercer report (Canadian political comedian)

Of course, if there isn't time to do this, we must choose some other

There may not be time if we wanted the petitions to influence the committee process. Even coordinating getting new signatures to the existing ICT petition will be quite tight, so I hope we will all consider doing that as a minimum for the short term.

If a Conservative MP doesn't come forward and push for a pro-technology-ownership amendment at committee stage, then it is likely a done deal for this bill. This will be a very strongly party whipped vote, and no Conservative will be allowed to vote against the bill or in support of any amendment not approved by the Prime Minister's office.

Not to sound defeatist on this bill, but this bill is also only one stage in a larger process. Bad legislation is tabled and even passed every day, and new bills come forward all the time to fix them. Even if this bill passes the house and Senate, is it not like our work is over or we will let things stand.

The Paracopyright (trying to avoid the TPM label) aspect of this bill may also be unconstitutional on jurisdictional grounds given it is not properly the subject matter of federal copyright but provincial contract, property and eCommerce law. The Canadian Constitution sets up clear boundaries as to what each level of government is allowed to do, and a growing number of law scholars believe the Paracopyright parts of this bill contradict those boundaries.

Some references at: http://billc11.ca/faq#constitution

Constitutional Jurisdiction Over Paracopyright Laws
Jeremy F. deBeer

Crowne-Mohammed, E.A. and Rozenszajn, Y., ‘DRM Roll Please: Is Digital Rights Management Legislation Unconstitutional in Canada?’, 2009(2) Journal of Information, Law & Technology (JILT), <http://go.warwick.ac.uk/jilt/2009_2/cmr>

 Russell McOrmond, Internet Consultant: <http://www.flora.ca/>
 Please help us tell the Canadian Parliament to protect our property
 rights as owners of Information Technology. Sign the petition!

 "The government, lobbied by legacy copyright holders and hardware
  manufacturers, can pry my camcorder, computer, home theatre, or
  portable media player from my cold dead hands!" http://c11.ca/own

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