Writing to the government against smuggling SOPA into C-11

... Again! Only in Canada this time, eh! (Image CC-licensed from DonkeyHotey)

I’ve sent the following letter to Heritage Minister Moore and Industry Minister Paradis, with CC to my MP and to NDP digital critic Charlie Angus.

In the process, I’ve learned: that personal letters are more effective than click-and-send form letters; that shorter letters are more effective than longer (e.g. one page maximum); and that typed letters are more effective than handwritten (I forget where I’d picked up the contrary notion, but I appreciate type’s easier on MP staff’s eyes).

Anyway, if you don’t think SOPA has any more of a place in Canada than it did in the USA, tell your MP so, and do it soon.

I am writing to register my objection to the digital lock provisions in Bill C-11, and to strenuously oppose any new “enabler” provisions, based on the disastrously designed SOPA legislation that failed (justly) in the USA, but which entertainment lobbies are now pushing here in Canada.
Aside from the digital lock provisions, Bill C-11 stands to benefit Canadians; however, SOPA-style enabler provisions threaten the very structure of the Internet itself, and would grievously jeopardize Canadian business, national security, and citizens’ rights and freedoms. You have previously committed to passing C-11 unchanged; I urge you to maintain that commitment and refuse any changes to C-11 that would either introduce enabler provisions or further tighten digital lock provisions. Such changes would turn the bill’s existing compromise of the public interest into a downright public menace.
Thank you for considering these concerns.

For more reading on the threat of SOPA in Canada:

“Dear They.” “A Copyright Quickie: Canada is about to pass SOPA’s evil little brother. Politely.” 26 Jan. 2012.

—. “C-11 Form Letter.” 2012.

Geist, Michael. “The Behind-the-Scenes campaign to Bring SOPA to Canada.” 23 Jan. 2012.  


One response to “Writing to the government against smuggling SOPA into C-11

  1. The digital lock provisions will destory R&D in Canada In the software industry, the automation and control systems industry, and in every high-tech manufacturing plant, research and development often requires reverse-engineering existing digital systems in order to modify them or to figure out better ways of interacting with them. That frequently means doing things that will violate the digital lock provisions in this new bill. This work leads to better, faster and more precise machining, new features for software, and a hundred other improvements that enable Canadian companies to compete globally. But if this new bill does not contain exceptions for research and development, it will put an end to our ability to compete in critical sectors of our economy. We will no longer be able to modify the control portion of CNC tools to broaden the ways they can cut metal, we will no longer be able to properly troubleshoot database systems, we will no longer be able to develop prototypes of complex control systems for power plants, oil refineries, or chemical plants. We will no longer be able to reverse-engineer and test new combinations of electronic devices when developing specialized automation systems for manufacturing. This is simply an unintelligent bill that fails to consider the impact on much more critical areas of the economy than those it is designed to protect. Further, by fixating on existing intellectual property, it fails to consider what is needed to create new intellectual property. As a result, it will lead to stagnation in research & development in this country.

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