Thursday, December 13, 2007

Cool for Political House of Commons Junkies

Just discovered a new tool for the budding activist: mycelium.

Most popular clip last week

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Copyright Law for Who? The Lobbyists and the Charmed

Its that time of year for all to spread good cheer. In Canada, the politicians go on holidays and come back to run their departments and Ministries, tanned fit and rested for that favourite sport: debate and reading of the polls.

Before the holiday fest, it would seem that Canada is going to get an unwanted present thrust on it: the amendment of the Copyright law in this country.

Copyright ... a yawner if ever there was to most yet the blood of life to artists and creators, and their professional publishers.

So goes the thinking of the Lobbyists and the Charmed.

Circa 1988 or even circa 1999, it would be still a yawner. In Web 1.0 days. $500 donated or $1,000 donated might get a phone number to a friendly, thankful ear.

Circa 2007 and the Web 2.0, where anyone can be a publisher or a creator on the Internet, all of sudden we are talking about the life style of millions of Canadians who can also actually use the Web, on motivation.

The Lobbyists and the Charmed don't get that.

Copyright is now a lifestyle issue to millions of young voters, the next generation to be in power.

Do the under 30's get it? I have a strong hunch they do judging from the pictures of the Facebook Fair Copyright for Canada group. Its about to hit 20,000 members in what, a week?

Do the people who rushed into life, missing the Internet now, clueless on Web 1.0 v. Web 2.0, with barely acceptable computer skills v. this group, stand a chance?

Ask Russell over at, a motivated young Canadian with an interest in Open Source software, who makes a living getting solutions to businesses using "free software."

Or ask Michael, a law professor who is tireless in his learning and teaching and who finds pleasure in encourage the same, in Copyright law, with a firm recognition of both the power the law and the rightful balance necessary for fairness in his field. His name must cause grief to those who have incomplete arguments or undisclosed interests.

Oddly, this is good for democracy in 2007. People can get their opinions off their chest and out there. And they will.

People can also gather the facts, and put them out there too. The inconvenient truths like in the chart below, that shows a very bad trend , with a billion dollar deficit likely in 2007 on "only" copyright royalties (not goods that are protected by copyright).

10 seconds of work.

Want to look at who paid what to which politician: Elections Canada has a nice searchable database. When you look at say James Rajotte, the chair of the Chair of the Parliamentary Committee on Industry, you see the Canadian Recording Industry Assoc donation of $500 but you also see the Canadian Association of Broadcasters' donation of $250. The CRIA and the CAB are now at war. The CAB has exposed the foreign associations and interests before and this time around, the gloves will be off.

30 seconds of work.

MSM v. Blogosphere: this time it will be no match.

In fact, this fight will be a test for the power elites, and the political wannabees and their reading of the watching near real-time interactive mass of interested voters, who are fully Web 2.0. The political calculation of doing "the right thing" without consultation, in a minority parliament makes this a most delicious affair, that was to be a drowsy ivory tower affair.