Posts Tagged ‘michael geist’

Fight Against ACTA Heats Up

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

First, here’s a news report on the growing worldwide outrage over the ACTA treaty which, if implemented, will censor the internet and destroy freedom of speech at the behest of a handful of corporations.

And then there’s a talk given by Prof. Michael Geist which lays out the fight – thus far – against legislation like SOPA, PIPA, TPP and ACTA and what needs to happen to continue defending human rights to communicate freely against corporate corruption of government bodies.

I’ll post links here for you to go to petition sites and info sites and all that crap – when, if you really do give a shit (and you should), all you have to do is Google ACTA or do a search on BoingBoing for ACTA – so you can add your voice to the growing clamour for governments to stop being ignorant rubber stamp toadys of their corporate circle-jerk partners.

When shit like this gets people out on the streets in the middle of winter you know they are fucking angry. And if the cumtwads in suits who fancy themselves the new aristocracy think they’re going to actually get away with this shit they will be SO surprized when the dissent on the streets reaches through the tubes of the interwebz and chokes the bejeezuz out of their scrawny little testicles.

Fuck them.

But also be aware – they will NEVER stop trying. Evar. So we have to constantly be in the mode of kicking those fuckweeds in the gonads – hopefully on a daily basis. It’ll be good exercise for our democratic muscles and probably eternally entertaining to listen to them whine and squeal as we put the boots to them. Yes – it’ll get tiring from time to time but in the end it will be worth it.

So – want to help keep the world free? Make every day “Kick A Corporate Weasel In The Nuts Day”.


Have a nice day.

Theft: A History Of Music

Monday, September 27th, 2010

Cory Doctorow posted this on BoingBoing and I thought I’d share it with you. James Boyle, Jennifer Jenkins and Keith Aoki – the same folks who brought us “Bound By Law” – have another treatise on copyright in comic book form coming out called: “Theft: A History Of Music”.

Here’s a sample page:

theft a history of music

Can’t wait to read the whole thing.

Meanwhile – the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA) is slathering on the brown lipstick for a lobbying trip to Washington where they’ll dance like a self-pleasuring monkey to the lying tunes of the US music industry, conveniently ignoring the actual facts about Canadian copyright law as so deftly explicated by Prof. Michael Geist. I’m so fed up with this bullshit – let’s just toss a nickel in Graham Henderson’s tin cup and kick him down the stairs.


Fuck You James Moore

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore gave a speech on Bill C-32, Canada’s copyright reform bill, where he referred to opponents of the over-reaching proposals as “radical extremists”.

Watch this great annotated video of the speech – produced by Tamara Winegust & Michael Geist – where each of his fatuous, inaccurate and loathsome statements are rebutted by a myriad of voices from across the country who are far from being radical extremists.

And once you’ve had your fill of James Moore’s brown lipstick toadying to the U.S. media lobby, give a call or send a message to your own MP – and to douchebag Moore himself – letting them know you will not tolerate having your legally purchased content held ransom by digital locks. See the UPDATE below for their response to me.

Fuck them. And fuck you, James Moore, for being such a dickweed.

Can you tell I’m in a really foul and venomous mood this morning? Chum bucket arrogant bastards like Moore and his buck-toothed boss always bring out the best in me.

Have a nice day.


UPDATE: Later today I received this auto-response email from the offices of Tony Clement and James Moore with respect to my sending them my views on Bill C-32:

Thank you for your correspondence regarding Bill C-32, An Act to amend the Copyright Act.

This legislation will bring Canada in line with international standards and promote homegrown innovation and creativity. It is a fair, balanced, and common-sense approach, respecting both the rights of creators and the interests of consumers in a modern marketplace. The Government of Canada is working to secure Canada’s place in the digital economy and to promote
a more prosperous and competitive country.

The popularity of Web 2.0, social media, and new technologies such as MP3 players and digital books have changed the way Canadians create and make use of copyrighted material. This bill recognizes the many new ways in which teachers, students, artists, software companies, consumers, families, copyright owners and many others use technology. It gives creators and copyright owners the tools to protect their work and grow their business models. It provides clearer rules that will enable all
Canadians to fully participate in the digital economy, now and in the future.

For more information, please visit


Tony Clement
Minister of Industry

James Moore
Minister of Canadian Heritage
and Official Languages

It is now going to take me weeks to wash all their bullshit out of my computer. You never expect to hear any kind of real discourse from a politician when you send them a letter or an email. What’s galling is the bald deception of these fuckers, adhering to their talking points, reciting the same deliberately misleading, lying and hypocritical garbage they spout in question period, during press conferences and at their much ballyhooed – (and subsequently ignored) – public consultations. I figure if someone is going to act like a thieving prick they’d better own up to it and not pretend they’re doing me a favour.

Yo, Tony – Hey, Jimmy – fuck you.

Electronic Books and the Canadian DMCA

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

I found this great video over Michael Geist’s blog who also links to a post by Sarah Bannerman. Created at the Vancouver Film School it’s an excellent primer about the impact of DRM on electronic books.

terms&conditions from mediamold on Vimeo.

Pass it on.


Canadian DMCA In 6 Weeks

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

The Harper government is, once again, marching in lock-step with the US media lobby and will attempt to pass a copyright reform bill that echoes the worst parts of the failed US DMCA.

They held a public copyright consultation that garnered a lot of attention and a lot of input – which they have promptly ignored.

The consultations were obviously nothing more than an attempt at pacifying an obviously outraged public who howled in reaction to Harper’s blatant kowtowing to US big media lobby lies and deceit.

Combined with the ongoing ACTA negotiations this bill will put Canada on a path of locked down information and corporate controls over your free speech rights. It’s a fucking drag to have to go through all this again but I hope the anger that will erupt from this becomes an election triggering issue that finally provides the shot in those tiny Harper nads that sends him squealing from any position of public influence.

From Michael Geist’s blog:

PMO Issues The Order: Canadian DMCA Within Six Weeks

Months of public debate over the future of Canadian copyright law were quietly decided earlier this week, when sources say the Prime Minister’s Office reached a verdict over the direction of the next copyright bill. The PMO was forced to make the call after Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore and Industry Minister Tony Clement were unable to reach consensus on the broad framework of a new bill. As I reported last week, Moore has argued for a virtual repeat of Bill C-61, with strong digital locks provisions similar to those found in the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act and a rejection of a flexible fair dealing approach. Consistent with earlier comments on the need for a forward-looking, flexible approach, Clement argued for changes from C-61.

With mounting pressure from the U.S. – there have repeated meetings with senior U.S. officials in recent weeks – the PMO sided squarely with Moore’s vision of a U.S.-style copyright law. The detailed provisions will be negotiated over the coming weeks by the respective departments, but they now have their marching orders of completing a bill that will satisfy the U.S. that comes complete with tough anti-circumvention rules and no flexible fair dealing provision.

The bill is not expected until June, but it will have dramatic repurcussions once introduced. First, the bill represents a stunning reversal from the government’s seeming shift away from C-61 and its commitment to a bill based on the national copyright consultation. Instead, the consultation appears to have been little more than theatre, with the PMO and Moore choosing to dismiss public opinion. Second, after adopting distinctly pro-consumer positions on other issues, Moore has abandoned that approach with support for what may become the most anti-consumer copyright bill in Canadian history. Third, the bill will immediately impact the Canadian position at the ACTA and CETA negotiations, where the bill’s provisions on anti-circumvention and ISP liability will effectively become the Canadian delegation position.

For those wondering what can be done, my only answer is to speak out now. Write a paper letter to your Member of Parliament and send copies to the Prime Minister, Moore, Clement and Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff. No stamp is required – be sure to include your home address and send it to the House of Commons, Ottawa, ON, K1A 0A6. Once that is done, join the Facebook group and the Facebook page and be sure to ask others do the same. You may spoken out before, but your voice is needed yet again.

Time to kick this arrogant dead-eyed fuck and his brown-lipstick cronies out of office.

Make a noise. Tell your friends. Shut them down.

I’d like to add the words of Cory Doctorow about this news from his BoingBoing post:

What a goddamned disaster. The Tories have shown — yet again — their utter contempt for public opinion and Canadian culture and small business when these present an inconvenience to more windfall profits for offshore entertainment giants.

Remember: thousands of us responded to the Tory inquiry on copyright law, and overwhelmingly, we said we did not want a US-style copyright disaster at home. Remember: hundreds of thousands of us wrote and called our MPs. Remember: Canadian artists’ coalitions fought against the imposition of a DMCA in Canada. Remember: America’s copyright war has been an absolute trainwreck, with tens of thousands facing lawsuits, competition and innovation eroded by DRM, free speech challenged by copyright takedowns, and no improvements for creators or creativity.

There’s only one thing stupider than being the first country to enact the DMCA, in spite of its obvious shortcomings: enacting the DMCA after the first country has spent a decade showing how rotten and backwards this approach to copyright is.

Amen to that.

Time to get loud and nasty, folks.


When Copyright Goes Bad

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

Found this over on BoingBoing where Cory Doctorow sez:

Ben Cato Clough and Luke Upchurch’s “When Copyright Goes Bad” (from Consumers International) is a great, 15-minute mini-documentary on what copyright can do, what it is doing, and what it needs to stop doing. Appearances by Fred Von Lohmann – Electronic Frontier Foundation; Michael Geist – University of Ottawa Law School; Jim Killock – Open Rights Group; and Hank Shocklee – Co-founder of Public Enemy.

It starts out kinda kitschy but then gets into the meat of the discussion and interviews. Definitely worth watching and sharing.


P.S. I am still recovering from yesterday’s 420 celebrations. I must be getting old.

Lawrence Lessig – America’s Broadband Policy

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

One of a series of four talks just posted by Lawrence Lessig. Here’s how he describes this one:

Talk given at SNW 2010 about three areas of policy — broadband, cybersecurity, and copyright, and about the corruption of the process of policy making affecting each. A mix of my old concerns with one section of the new concerns.

It’s a very good primer on where the U.S. (and consequently Canada and other countries) stands in regards to how the internet is being mishandled. The other talks are equally informative and engaging.

Lessig is to U.S. issues on the internet, copyright law and government corruption as Michael Geist is for Canada. Every time either of them speak out on points of law with respect to how our governments and corporations interact with the extension of our nervous systems (ie. the internet) we should pay heed.


Copyright Consultation Numbers

Friday, April 9th, 2010

Michael Geist has posted the final tally of numbers based on the responses to the infamous Bill C-61, which was intended as copyright reform but which was so obviously an attempt to cram US-style DMCA laws on Canada.

The copyright consultation concluded last fall and it seems worth reminding Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore and Industry Minister Tony Clement what Canadians had to say when they asked for their opinion on copyright reform. It has taken some time to calculate the final numbers as the government conducted a review to ensure that all were properly posted. There were ultimately more than 8,300 submissions – more than any government consultation in recent memory – with the overwhelming majority rejecting Bill C-61 (6138 submissions against, 54 in support), while thousands called for flexible fair dealing and a link between copyright infringement and anti-circumvention rules.

Go read the full post to see how the numbers break down across the full range of concerns raised from the massive number of submissions.

As the UK goes full bat shit crazy with it’s incredibly undemocratic Digital Economy Bill it’s good to see we in Canada have at least a veneer of public input into a process that has been, and continues to be, corrupted by the media industries. As for anyone in the government paying attention to this input I don’t trust those fuckers to ever do the right thing and they should continue to be watched closely and lead by a firm grip on their nuts to ensure they do pay attention to what the citizens of Canada want in any copyright law.


Will Copyright Laws Stifle Creativity?

Sunday, August 30th, 2009

There’s been a lot of bullshit happening in Canada as the Harper government does its best to look pretty whilst wearing the brown lipstick of the U.S. media industry. You can find out more about the pitiful shenanigans of the music industry, blatantly stacking town hall meetings to discuss copyright reform, and the suppression of alternative voices at these so called “open and public discussions”, on other blogs like Michael Geist and Jill Golick or and BoingBoing. I’ve ranted and raved about it before – and doubtless will again – but right now it’s the weekend and I’m lazy and I’m gonna go lie down and read a cheap mystery novel.

In the meantime, here’s a short video of Prof. Lawrence Lessig giving a talk this past February at the New York Public Library (along with Steven Johnson and Shepard Fairey) addressing the very real concerns that our copyright laws are being hijacked by dying media industries to support a failed and archaic business model and in those efforts to stem the inevitable tide of technological and cultural progress they are stealing our voices, stealing our right to speak and hear about our world.

Will copyright laws stifle creativity? If the major media companies are allow to corrupt our elected officils and subvert our democratic processes to assert their right to define what culture is – as in: whatever they sell us and nothing else – then Yes the laws of copyright are a threat to creativity and freedom of speech as well as freedom of thought.

Make noise. Kick these fuckers in the nuts.


P. S. Actually the mystery novel is not cheap, it’s Dashiel Hammett’s classic “The Big Knockover” – in case you were wondering.

What I Did On My Summer Vacation – or – How It Feels To Have The CRTC Fuck You Up The Ass

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

I spent a lovely two weeks in PEI this summer visiting with friends and family. When I returned I discovered that while I was gone the CRTC had made the willfully ignorant and insultingly dirt stupid decision to change the rules in how we are allowed to buy access to the internet in Canada.


“But, Robbo,”, I hear you ask, “What does that have to do with me?”

Here it is in a nutshell from

It means that Bell will be allowed to impose ridiculously low limits on how much you are allowed to download per month and charge you excessive overage fees for it, even if you are using someone else’s Internet service that operates on a Bell line. The motion they filed asks for a 60 gigabyte (GB) per month limit with a fee of $1.125 per gigabyte for overages. 60GB is an incredibly low limit and is unrealistic given the amount of rich content (such as video) that permeates the web today. Even non-enthusiast users can easily exceed that by things as common as frequent YouTube usage and of course, more techie people like myself go higher than that still. Bell already has a fee structure like this in place for their own customers but now wants to extend that to cover all third party Internet providers that are forced to use their lines. For many customers, it could mean their cost for Internet service could more than double and for no extra speed or quality of service.

What makes this bad? For starters, most third party Internet providers don’t buy their bandwidth from Bell, they buy it from other companies and already pay for usage, an average of which is factored into their monthly fees that you pay as a customer. Secondly, Bell has consistently claimed that they need to do this in order to deal with congestion and overcrowding on their network. This has been demonstrated as an outright lie by not only outside analysis but often by Bell’s own submissions to the CRTC. Aside from the fact that bandwidth cost is the lowest it has been in history, their network is simply not as overcrowded as they say and the cost of keeping up with demand is already covered in what they charge people now, as is demonstrated by Bell’s continuing profitability. Bell is essentially using false information to charge us all significantly more for a service that already makes them a tidy profit.

This move is blatantly anti-competitive and Bell’s only motivation for it is that they also provide TV and phone service, both of which are losing numbers to cheaper, more consumer friendly solutions provided online. Severely low limitations like these stifle Canada’s ability to innovate and are quickly taking us from a position as a world leader in Internet penetration to a laughing stock. Other countries around the world are now offered speeds multiple factors higher than what we get here and with much more reasonable download limits, if any at all. Simply put, Bell is trying to control how we use the Internet in order to protect their failing traditional business models. The CRTC (which is staffed largely by former big telecom executives) is complicit in this and is now consistently ruling in Bell’s favour despite all evidence clearly demonstrating their true intentions. This organisation is either incompetent, corrupt or both. Their mandate is to ensure a fair, competitive environment for Canadian consumers and in this, they are an utter failure to us all.

It’s as if the decision was written by the representatives of Bell itself – just as the infamous copyright reform Bill-61 was so obviously written by the U.S. Ambassador and the U.S. media lobby.

We must remember this is consistent behaviour from this current incarnation of the watchdogs of the public airwaves (and other forms of communication) in this country who no longer act as servants of the citizens but as the intentionally ill-informed and weak-kneed mouthpiece of the Harper government and the corporate toads who hold the leashes of our elected representatives.

It’s all part of the same steaming pile of crap as the decisions involving the formation of the New Media Fund – burdening any investment in innovative new forms of online content with required partnerships with the dying business models of broadcast television (an act akin to tossing an anchor to a drowning man) and establishing a board stacked with representatives of the cable industry thereby letting the groaning bloated giants of media retain their role as gatekeepers, jealously guarding their entitled turf by wedging their smug pimpled haunches firmly in the doorway that leads to the future, piling their dung upon the steps for us all to wade through and thereby guaranteeing any growth or success to be had in this country will surely be pissed away in yet another series of meaningless and wasteful gestures. Oh sure, a few good things will come from some of those who have the stomach to swim through that rising fetid tide – the industry itself will stall whilst desperate independent creators will have no alternative but to seek opportunity outside our borders.

It’s the same old sad fucking story.

All this has, without a doubt, occurred under the direction of the Harper government who have made it clear they want the CRTC to take a more lax attitude to regulating the internet – all in the cause of letting the marketplace take its course and to foster increased competition.

From a CBC report:

Criticisms of the CRTC in online message boards and in comments on CBC stories have been building since it was ordered to proceed with a “light regulatory touch” in 2006 by then industry minister Maxime Bernier.

“Canada’s new government has again furthered its ambitious policy agenda for the telecommunications sector by issuing the policy direction to the CRTC,” Bernier said at the time. “Our plan will increase competition in the marketplace, which ultimately will have a positive effect on the consumer who will benefit from greater choices and improved products and services.”


The old media retain control of the purse strings thereby thwarting any threat of competition to their rotted zombie-like economic models. Access to content is now beholden to the pricing schemes of a monopolistic telco who will pursue its own best interests and seek to limit the growth and viability of any alternative carriers.

In October the CRTC will render its decision on Net Neutrality and if, as it now seems very likely, they will once again kowtow to the wishes of the Harper government and effectively give away control of what we are allowed to see and say in our internet to the same dickhead greedy fucks who claim to own the internet.

Keep your hands off my thoughts and words, buddy. You don’t own me.

I’m with McLuhan on this one.

“Once we have surrendered our senses and nervous systems to the private manipulation of those who would try to benefit from taking a lease on our eyes and ears and nerves, we don’t really have any rights left. Leasing our eyes and ears and nerves to commercial interests is like handing over the common speech to a private corporation, or like giving the earth’s atmosphere to a company as a monopoly.”

- Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media, 1964

Now there is a movement afoot to have the CRTC disbanded. You can sign the petition here. I did. I did it even though I know it won’t make a lick of difference. You should sign it too.

“But, Robbo,”, you ask, “Why bother signing if it won’t change anything?”

Think of it as sticking a finger in those dead-eyes of Harper.

A new government, with a decisive, informed and pro-active agenda to keep access to the internet open to true competitive practices is really the only way to get through this. Even then we’ll still be subjected to the same damnable dance of lobbyist monkeys and back room corporate pressure to wrest the choices of the citizens from their grasp and place them firmly in the pockets of the broadcast and telecom industry.

But go ahead and sign – if only to speak up publicly and say: “Yo – yeah you – you with the half-digested wad of my cash sticking out of your poop hole. Yeah you. I’m talkin’ to you. can you hear me? Good. Fuck off.”

Now these are not terribly civilized words to be tossing around on the internet, I know that, but I have never claimed to be a paragon of civilization. If I offend anyone with my vitriol that’s just too fucking bad. I’m a pissed off citizen who also happens to work as an independent in the same industry that is continually being fucked up the arse like some orphaned child in the basement of a Victorian workhouse. I feel I have a right to bitch and complain.

Back in 1993 I was asked to give an address at a gathering of the Alliance For Children & Television. Alan Mirabelli very kindly introduced me as being a vertically integrated individual in reference to my wearing of many hats as writer, producer, director, performer, designer, code monkey, chief cook and bottle washer. Vertically integrated was a hot buzz word of the day applied to major entertainment companies as they took increasingly orgasmic delight in absorbing each other like some corporate version of The Blob.

In my talk I spoke of a very near future where the internet would be more powerful, more pervasive and capable of carrying more content and exchange of ideas than anything we had ever known before. Most of the folks there had barely heard of the internet, let alone the world wide web, and they shook their headsin disbelief and chuckled at my naive optimism. A very few of the folks in the back – you know who you are – nodded, as if to say: “Good, I’m not the only one who sees this happening.” The folks from the CRTC who were in attendance, sitting at the front tables, merely leaned back with scowls on their faces as I pressed home the point that their position would soon become undermined and eventually irrelevant as the power to become a broadcaster moved from the monopolistic uses of the public airwaves to the individual uses of countless members of the public itself. That the internet would replace television and ignore borders. The role of the CRTC as guardians of Canadian culture in media would inexorably and inevitably dissolve away to nothing. The CRTC reps didn’t like being told they would no longer fulfill a necessary function.

I probably didn’t endear myself with anyone in the crowd by finishing my talk with a quote from Hunter S. Thompson’s Generation Of Swine:

The TV business is uglier than most things. It is normally perceived as some kind of cruel and shallow money trench through the heart of the journalism industry, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free and good men die like dogs, for no good reason.

I thought it was funny.

16 years later …

Perhaps this group of willfully ignorant and dismally pliable bureaucrats were listening to my words after all. Perhaps they went ahead and took my advice and found a new relevance for themselves. Perhaps they have moved on and defined a new role for themselves in 21st century.

Corporate Cocksuckers.

Yeah – that’ll look real pretty on a resume.

The hell with civil discourse. We scared their asses when the public outcry rose up over Bill-C61 and saved Canada from inheriting the disastrous DMCA policies of the U.S. Net Neutrality and truly competitive access to the net should and will become an election issue. The parties that side with corporate rule will fall.

Old rules need to change. New rules need to be applied. All of this must be in the service of the needs of the people and not the needs of a few grotesquely self-interested business turds. It’s just a fucking pisser that we have to needlessly claw our way through this steaming deluge of horseshit to get there.

So . . . Sign every petition you can. Join every Facebook group you can. Attend every rally you can. Tell your friends. Tell your family. Tell them again and again. Make them so sick of hearing about it they actually do something to make it stop so that at the very least you’ll finally shut the fuck up about it.

Most importantly – Vote.

Vote the fuckers out who give your power to the corporations.

Vote the fuckers in who will eventually become corrupted themselves but who maybe – just maybe – will be able to effect some change for at least a brief window of time.

They do not own the internet and they do not own culture.

You do.

It is a part of your nervous system.

Don’t let anyone sell, own or control that which belongs to you – that which is you – that which is all of us – together.

Enjoy the rest of the summer.

Fuck them.


P.S. While yer at it, check out – good source of info & news.

P. P. S. That’s it for venomous rants for now. Only happy happy joy joy from now on – until they really piss me off.

AND NOW . . . – just cuz I always like to leave you with something upbeat – here’s Felicia Day and the cast of The Guild in their amazing hit music video Do You Want To Date My Avatar?, which yesterday topped 1 million views on iTunes. That fucking rocks, @feliciaday!

What does any of this have to do the CRTC and Bell and all that crap I was ranting about? Only that merely watching stuff like this is now going to cost you more – for no reason other than Bell wants more of your money and there aint jack shit you can do about it.

Enjoy it while you can.