Saturday, December 8, 2007

And by "sir" I mean... well, never mind.

Hey, internet,
So, longer letter later, but here's the e-mail I just sent to Canadian Minister of Industry (and Calgary MP) Jim Prentice (who is holding a "Fair Copyright" open house today in Calgary, organized on Facebook!):

Dear Sir,

As an Albertan, I very much appreciate your decision to solicit opinions on forthcoming copyright reform from your constitutents today at your "Fair Copyright" open house. Unfortunately, I was not able to make the drive to Calgary, but I hope that you can take a few minutes to read my response to recent developments in Canadian copyright reform.

I am a Canadian who cares about Canada's cultural policy, and I am writing in regard to legislative proposals for "copyright reform." I am also a librarian, and I believe very strongly that Canada's legislation on copyright needs to reflect the rights and needs of users. Following the United States' lead by setting draconian copyright legislation that makes information users into criminals will not benefit the government, the country, or its citizens in the long run. In particular, I do not believe that "digital rights management" (DRM) technologies should stop the public from making lawful uses of their legitimately acquired media. Publishers using DRM push aside the delicate balance between copyright and the rights of the public - a balance set according to an assessment of the public interest by legislators - and replace it with one-sided rules that reflect publishers' economic interests. Technology should not take the place of law in controlling who has access to information, or how information can be used. New copyright reform legislation should not make it illegal to circumvent DRM for lawful purposes.

These concerns are shared by a substantial and growing number of informed Canadian citizens. I hope that you will take them into account when considering any changes to Canadian copyright law. Thanks very much for your time.

I cribbed this letter partly from Online Rights Canada. Jim Prentice's email address is

I almost put in a sentence about End User License Agreements (the dreaded EULA!) but decided I wanted to come off as non-crazy as possible. And did you see how I was polite? Diplomacy!

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