A Response to MP James Moore’s Attack on ZeroPaid and Other Copyright Observers

We have been looking at copyright reform to great detail for some time now. It has come to our attention that James Moore, one of the ministers in charge of the copyright reform legislation, made a blistering attack against those who read the legislation and talked about specific provisions by, among other things, labeling us as “extremists” who “don’t believe in copyright”

Note: This is an article I wrote that was published elsewhere first. It has been republished here for archival purposes

Earlier, there were unconfirmed reports that minister James Moore called observers of copyright reform “extremists”. After Moore reportedly denied making those accusations, a video has since emerged that confirmed the earlier reports. A partial transcript was subsequently posted.

Moore commented, “There are those that pretend to be for copyright reform. But they don’t believe in actual copyright reform. There are those that are cited as experts by the media endlessly who are not in favour of copyright reform. They favour only weakening legislation, only in gutting tools that would allow those who are actually investing in jobs to have those jobs. I think we give them far too much voice. If you look at the balance, anyone who is truly objective, looks at this legislation will realize that everyone has a little water in their wine with this legislation because it requires that kind of balance.”

If you observe after where the transcript ended, Moore also says, “those people who don’t believe in copyright, they will say, ‘well, Bill C-61, the old copyright legislation, we disagree with these specific provisions. Bill C-32, we have these specific ammendments. Never- don’t fool yourself. Those people out there, those specific voices […] they don’t believe in any copyright reform whatsoever.”

There are numerous sources that talk generally about specific provisions, but we have been the only source that has provided such a huge amount of research that we cite specific provisions, pulling specific quotes from the copyright reform legislation – both C-32 (Our latest posting on it) and Bill C-61 (one part of that series) – and discussing them as Moore alluded to.

It’s pretty sad at how quickly Moores tone changes. When there were earlier reports about this legislation circulated, many had a few criticisms towards the government. Moore lashed out at one of those critics arguing that people should wait for the legislation before passing judgment. The legislation was since tabled and we’ve been reading the legislation much to what Moore had wanted at the time. Now, Moore turns around and lashes out at people like us for reading the legislation and passing judgment accordingly by labeling us “radical extremists”. What does Moore want anyway? Either we should or shouldn’t read the legislation.

Additionally, Moore suggested that us “extremists” are not “those who are actually investing in jobs to have those jobs”. I, for one, am a Canadian artist. I have been personally invested in music for over 5 years. I create music in Canada which is of great benefit to the Canadian economy. Although I suppose people like Canadian artists don’t matter in this debate so long as a bunch of foreign corporate interests have their way with copyright. What was it you boss once said regarding the last copyright reform legislation? Oh yeah! “we don’t care what you do, as long as the U.S. is satisfied”. Do you oppose Canadian artists and observers of copyright?

Let’s be blunt though Moore, if you think that we are all about simply finding flaws and reasons to oppose this legislation, learn how to read. Specifically, look at our most recent addition that actually praises some of the things you put in it. We are about reading through this legislation whether good or bad (in our opinion). I explicitly stated time and time again that I am not a legal expert, but merely a concerned Canadian citizen reading through this legislation and discussing specific provisions. In addition to that, you say that we are purely against any copyright reform legislation. If our previous comments weren’t enough, let us repeat ourselves by stating very plainly and directly that copyright laws need to be updated. However, a number of provisions in previous legislation was so poorly written, we’d be better off without the legislation entirely. I, along with many other Canadians who participated in the consultation, are asking for, among other things, a more flexible fair dealing that allows creativity in Canada to thrive. You are most certainly free to say that we are deliberately misguiding Canadians all the while misguiding Canadians yourself by making these wild and false accusations, but I think Canadian’s will judge you accordingly.

Let’s go one step further, you will not bully people like myself. I will not be silenced by your thinly veiled insults or veiled threats. Since it makes you so upset that we even discuss Canadian copyright, we will continue to do so because we believe in free speech. You are certainly free to try and stop me, but you’ll have to go through 2 (b) of the Canadian Charter to do it.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.

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