Thus Prate the Pundit » Social Critique: Conservatives to Ignore the Canadian Copyright Consultation in Favour of DMCA?

The Conservatives still appear to be steering Canada toward a DMCA-like future: one that enslaves our culture to a few controlling (mostly foreign) companies, stifles science and freedom of expression, and anchors Canada’s economy to the digital dark age rather than propelling it toward what could be an incredibly innovative and lucrative future on the ...

Thus Prate the Pundit » Social Critique: First Take on the Public Domain Manifesto

Communia published its Public Domain Manifesto. The manifesto identifies the public domain concept with respect to historical development and more urgently, its relevance to culture today. I think it makes an important statement, in terms of offering a level, common understanding that could be used widely across society, government, and business. Early in the manifesto, ...

Thus Prate the Pundit » Social Critique: Angus Asks for Answers to ACTA Secrets

Charlie Angus (NDP) penned an open letter1 (.doc) (26 January 2010) to Peter Van Loan (Conservative Minister of International Trade) regarding the ongoing secretive ACTA negotiations and Canadian copyright issues. Considering the ACTA negotiations have occurred largely in secret but collide head-on with copyright issues widely discussed over the last few years, it’s reasonable to expect a clear and complete response ...

Thus Prate the Pundit » Social Critique: Secret Copyright Negotiations Disregard Canadian Consultation

Because of recent leaks, the public has learned that the minority Conservative government is engaged in at least two sets of secret negotiations to bring forward new copyright and “intellectual property” regulations without the consent of Canadians. The Conservatives got their first two attempts at copyright change wrong. Later, the government set up a consultation with the Canadian ...

Thus Prate the Pundit » Social Critique: Response to Canadian Copyright Consultation

The government set up public consultations and a web site for discussion and formal submissions of responses to questions concerning copyright reform. The web site posed five questions, which I thought about for a bit and then hastily wrote some responses today. I’ve been away travelling for a while–there’s nothing like last minute writing before ...

Thus Prate the Pundit » Social Critique: Rip Movie

Just saw the film, Rip, last weekend. The movie explores most of the present day struggles with copyright and notions of ownership of “intellectual property.” I thought it was interesting in how it presented a US government decision in the 90s (through interviews with those responsible) to definitively shift its economy from a manufacturing oriented ...

Thus Prate the Pundit » Social Critique: Ephemera and the National Memory

I continue to be concerned with what I once called digital cultural amnesia. Though in reflecting on the word “amnesia” I no longer think it’s the best way to express the problem. Lynne Brindley, chief executive of the British Library, writes about the phenomenon in The Observer. Too many of us suffer from a condition ...

Thus Prate the Pundit » Social Critique: Some Notes on the Canadian Digital Information Strategy Draft

I’ve been reading the draft consultation version of the Canadian Digital Information Strategy. The strategy proposes strengthening content, ensuring its preservation, and maximizing its access and use. These are important for many reasons the report addresses regarding culture; the report also has some anchors in industry, stating that “nations that nurture their digital information assets ...

Thus Prate the Pundit » Social Critique: Copyright Reform and the StatsCan Report

Michael Geist posted about the politics in the debate on copyright reform. The point stems from dissonance between the recent Statistics Canada report and a reform-oriented bill expected to introduce more restrictive copyright policy. The report showed some nice Canadian recording industry profits where similar industries in other parts of the world seemed to be ...

Thus Prate the Pundit » Social Critique: Motivating Anti-IP Activism in Canada

In the scheme of things, few people have the interest (or is it patience?) to delve deeply into the concept of “intellectual property” (IP). I think that is why IP regulation is among the most under-considered issues in public political discourse today. It’s difficult, in the snap of a soundbite, to make an easily understood ...

Thus Prate the Pundit » Social Critique: Terminology Advocates Protect FOSS

Open Source Initiative (OSI) president, Michael Tiemann, discusses adherence to the “open source” definition. I read his article with two interests in mind. First, of someone who feels semantics are important (I’ve always felt the poor argument “it’s only semantics” is little more than an attempt by small-thinkers to belittle what they are unwilling to ...

Thus Prate the Pundit » Social Critique: Dissecting Proprietary Doublespeak–ISC Letter Criticism Part 2

Now to continue what I started yesterday–criticising the letter (PDF) from the Initiative for Software Choice’s (ISC) Hugo Lueders. Why bother criticizing this? Is it of any consequence? I think so, if not because the letter itself may actually influence policy, but rather because this kind of thing is visible to many people and can ...

Thus Prate the Pundit » Social Critique: Dissecting Proprietary Doublespeak–ISC Letter Criticism Part 1

What would we do if George Orwell hadn’t enabled us to come up with doublespeak neologisms? Matthew Broersma of Techworld.com wrote about a “leaked” letter (PDF) from the Initiative for Software Choice (ISC) regarding a UNU-MERIT study on FLOSS in the economy. Broersma describes the ISC as a “Microsoft-funded pressure group” which sounds like an ...