One of the unfortunate truisms of the ongoing debate over C-61, the federal government's legislative attempt to reform the Copyright Act to better reflect digital practice and the need for strong creator copyright protection, is that the, ahem, geekier elements of the population are lining up beneath the protest flag of unregulated consumerism being flown by Michael Geist and a number of other freedom fighters against new American imperialism. The intent of these groups, I think, can be summed up by one of the organizing URLs -- KillBillC61.ca
See that's just super extra special geeky because not only is it a call for immediate action to undermine and destroy tabled Canadian legislation (as opposed to debating and amending it), but it side-references the super-hot American actress Uma Thurman. I guess the hidden message there is that if C-61 passes, we will not be allowed to carry films featuring Uma in her yellow motorcycle suit on our iPhones.
Since I've been casually collecting examples of reasoned thinking and opinion around C-61, I thought I should probably show some from folks with a little geek in them, to prove not everyone who has seen the guts of a computer is terrified. This is from a blog run by someone named Xenon, who describes himself in his online profile as an advance scout for the invasion fleet from the planet Neptune that is scheduled to arrive in 2009. I'm just not sure you get geekier than that.
Some thoughts on Bill C-61
Xenon expresses the same kind of confusion I do about the over-the-top misinterpretations of the bill and its implications, and he frankly does a better job of it. Here's a favorite quote in which he chides Catherine Ford of the Calgary Herald for her fear-based and somewhat uninformed opinion piece against the Bill (Copyright Law Would Turn Millions Into Criminals):
a newspaper column by Catherine Ford of the Calgary Herald noted the following:
"There are at least 400 movies and an uncountable number of television shows on about 200 VHS tapes stored in my den. Should the amendment to Canada's copyright law pass without change, I will apparently be branded a thief."
Um.... Catherine, under the current law, you're *already* a thief. Bill C-61 just clarifies some of the murkiness. But unless someone is making copies of their archived programs and selling them, they have little to worry about. The police will be after pirates who go into the illegal-copying business wholesale.
Xenon, representative of our future Neptunian overlords, ends his piece by saying:
It's not the law yet, and there may be changes or amendments before it passes. Until then... get a grip, people.
I welcome his reasonable and logical people.