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Archive for October, 2009

I was chatting with some coworkers today and they told me about a discussion about Evergreen on the AUTOCAT mailing list. I decided to sign up because I had previously considered it and, really, what’s one more mailing list to join and then ignore?

After signing up, I had to laugh when I received the confirmation e-mail in my inbox which stated:

This list is confidential. You should not publicly mention its existence, or forward copies of information  you have obtained from it to third  parties.

Isn’t it time that this notice be removed from the confirmation message? I was able to find the sign-up form with an easy Google search, there’s a Wikipedia page about the list, and there are even archives up on GMane. I think the AUTOCAT has been out of the bag for some time…

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The Copyright Consultation organized by the Government of Canada has come and gone. Last year’s Bill C-61 caused a bit of an uproar, which prompted the government’s new Industry Minister to take a different approach. The result was a public consultation that included a submission process for regular citizens and a series of roundtable talks with a variety of experts.

This has been done before. Back in 2001, a few short years after the DMCA came into effect in the U.S., the Canadian government held a similar consultation and expected the regular handful of lobby groups to weigh in. They were flabbergasted (or so I was told) when they received over 700 responses from average people (including a pretty terrible one from myself which will probably live forever on the Internet). And contrary to the lobbyists’ view, many of those hundreds of public submissions took a very anti-DMCA stance, which complicated matters a little bit.

It’s being said now that this recent consultation process gathered over 8100 submissions, more than ten times the amount from the consultation in 2001. Again, the public is generally anti-DMCA/Bill C-61, but other issues have been brought forward, too, such as abolishing Crown copyright and notice-and-notice versus notice-and-takedown. Overall, the process appears to have been much more constructive.

There are some fantastic submissions, and I especially enjoyed reading Michael Geist’s and Laura J. Murray’s. My own just snuck in on the last day and, after a few weeks of delay, it’s now finally up on the website. Even if my contribution isn’t as detailed as some of the others I’m happy that I managed to participate once more.

(Thanks for to Laura J. Murray and Sam Trosow for writing Canadian Copyright: A Citizen’s Guide, which I used while drafting my submission, and which will remain on my Quick Reference Shelf above my desk until the Copyright Act changes significantly).

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