Saturday, February 4, 2012

So, Prime Minister, should we start calling you Dear Leader?

I hate Bill C-11.

It seems like Harper is trying to muzzle the masses. Stop transgender people from flying? Sure--so what if it goes against section 6. (1) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms ("Every citizen of Canada has the right to enter, remain in and leave Canada."), and is therefore unconstitutional? Annul thousands of gay marriages just because, although gay marriage is legal in Canada, it isn't legal in the partners' countries? Awesome! Make it illegal to rip a CD to your iTunes with the intent of putting it on your iPod or doing other things with it that don't involve piracy? Where's that pen so that I can sign it into law??

That last point is one of the things that Bill C-11 will do. If you want to rip a CD to your computer, even if you bought it legit, you won't be able to, as it will become illegal. Same for PVRing that episode of Masterpiece Theatre because it's on after your bedtime, as PVRs will become illegal. It'll be illegal to record something off of the radio, which means I wouldn't be able to record the Ride of the Valkyries when the Met performs it on the radio (well, I'd probably be able to get away with it this year as that bill isn't law yet--the Met will be performing Die Walküre on April twenty-eighth), even if it's simply so that I can bask in the glory of the French horn section more than once every few seasons.

If Americans thought they had it bad with SOPA and PIPA, they obviously haven't heard of the Copyright Act, which is worse than SOPA.

When I think of Bills C-10 (Omnibus Crime Bill) and C-11 (Copyright Act), I can't help wondering what sort of direction Harper is taking us in--though I know it's the wrong one. If he keeps it up, soon it'll be illegal to have fun (by making it illegal to transfer stuff to my iPod, he is making a certain kind of fun illegal, as portable music makes excising more fun for many people, and it makes doing my homework a lot more fun). It may sound extreme, but the way I see it, turning Canada into the next North Korea wouldn't be too difficult, what with a far-too-tough copyright bill, a far-too-tough crime bill, denying trans people a basic right that's guaranteed under the constitution...

Mom and I spent most of the drive home on Thursday talking politics. Mom's a Liberal, so her views are similar to mine--though she's more centrist than I am (I'm even further left than the NDP). We both hate Harper's guts and can't wait for the next election (see countdown on the right). She asked why Harper would want to pass a law like that. My answer: by passing laws like the Copyright Act and the Omnibus Crime Bill, he's better able to control and shut up the masses. Once you make it so that ordinary Canadians can't criticize you, the laws you pass, etc., then you can do whatever you want. Scary.

I just hope he doesn't take away the right to free speech, which is also guaranteed under the constitution (section 2. (b)). If he does that, then we're screwed--and I wouldn't be able to write stuff like what you just read. I wouldn't put it past him.

I'm opinionated. I have a constitutional right to free speech--and I will use it. Deal with it, Harper!

PS "While there is much we dislike in this bill, there are measures that we can support — for example, provisions that would bring Canada into compliance with the WIPO copyright treaties including the 'making available' right of artists. We also support the move to ensure photographers are given copyright over works their works. We support efforts to extend fair dealing rights for satire and parody." -- Charlie Angus, MP Timmins – James Bay, Official Opposition Critic for Digital Issues and Copyright

A Copyright Quickie: Canada Is About To Pass Sopa's Little Brother. Politely.

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