Friday, January 20, 2012

Did you know that if you write to your MP they write back?

Dear Adam Dunn:

On behalf of Liberal Leader Bob Rae, I would like to acknowledge receipt of your recent email regarding Bill C-11, the Copyright Modernization Act.

There is no question that Canada’s Copyright regime needs to be modernized. The Liberal Party believes that Canada needs to implement fair and balanced copyright rules. We must modernize our copyright laws to protect the works of our Canadian artistic creators and reach a balance with the needs of consumers.

We believe that Canadian consumers who have legitimately purchased CDs, DVDs or some other product should also have the ability to transfer this legally owned material onto a new format such as an iPod or make a personal backup copy on their computer, so long as they are not doing so for the purposes of sale or transfer to others.

Widespread consultations were held last year and yet the re-introduction of the Copyright Modernization Act makes a mockery of them and is more evidence that Harper Conservatives continue to ignore evidence in favour of their own narrow, ideological beliefs.

Recent disclosures of diplomatic cables show that parts of the Conservative copyright plan were drafted to satisfy industry in the United States rather than the best interests of Canadians. In particular, the digital lock provisions, which so many Canadians oppose, appear to be driven completely by U.S interests.

It appears that Stephen Harper is prepared to use his majority to push this legislation through without any changes. Canadians celebrate the works of our artists but will be deeply disappointed if the Conservatives ram through unbalanced, unCanadian legislation that strips them of their rights as users of copyright.

Thank you for taking the time to write.

Yours sincerely,
Colin McKone
Office of the Liberal Leader

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Another letter

Lately this blog has been entirely angry letters written by a nut (me).

Jan 19, 2012
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A6
Dear Ministers,

I would like to take this opportunity to convey my concerns and suggestions for points of revision and amendment in regards to Bill C-11, The Copyright Modernization Act.  Although Bill C-11 appears to be more flexible than the previous attempts at copyright reform, this Bill is flawed to its core by the inclusion of strict, anti-circumvention provisions.  As a Canadian, I am both concerned and disheartened by how easily my rights are trumped by the overriding and all encompassing protection for digital locks contained in the legislation.

The anti-circumvention provisions included in Bill C-11, unduly equip corporate copyright owners and distributors in the music, movie and video game industries with a powerful set of tools that can be utilized to exercise absolute control over Canadians’ interaction with media and technology and may even undermine Canadians’ constitutional rights.

A solution to Bill C-11‘s contentious core problem and the means to avoid the unintended consequences generated by the broad protection for digital locks is to amend the Bill to permit circumvention for lawful purposes.  Not only is this approach compliant with the WIPO Internet Treaties, but it also provides legal protection for digital locks while maintaining the crucial copyright balance.  I urge this Government to either add an infringing purpose requirement to the prohibition of circumvention or add an exception to the legislation to address circumvention for lawful purposes.

I strongly believe that in addition to linking the prohibition of circumvention to the act of infringement, it is also paramount for consumers to have commercial access to the tools required to facilitate such lawful acts.  It is imperative that the ban on the distribution and marketing of devices or tools that can be used to lawfully circumvent be eliminated by removing paragraph 41.1(c) and any associated references to it or any paragraphs in the Bill that would be rendered irrelevant by this change.

Some have suggested that market forces will decide the fate of digital locks in Canada and that codifying strong protection for such measures in Canadian law is simply good interim policy.  I disagree.  Rather than handing control of Canadians’ digital rights over to corporations, the Government must consider regulating how digital locks are implemented to ensure they are not simply used to deny user rights.  I put forward to this Government that adding a labelling requirement to disclose the use of digital locks on consumer goods be considered.  A requirement as such, would permit Canadian consumers to make informed decisions about the products they purchase and the access and usage rights, or lack thereof, they can expect with the ownership of a given product.

In review, I believe it is in the best interest of Canadian consumers and creators alike to amend Bill C-11 to clearly link the act of circumvention to infringement, remove the all-encompassing ban on circumvention tools and to establish a new TPM labelling provision.

Adam Dunn
 113-415 Jarvis St
CC: The Right Honourable Stephen Harper
CC: The Honourable Christian Paradis Minister of Industry
CC: The Honourable James Moore Minister of Canadian Heritage
CC: The Honourable Geoff Regan
CC: Scott Simms
CC: Charlie Angus 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Another letter to Xtra

I've got my commenting hat on lately and I wrote them another comment today.  My comment was about a column at the back of their magazine condemning a gay company for use testing instead of condoms when making porn, a practice common place in straight porn but for some reason requiring a double standard for gays.  Ironically this double standard is being maintained by gays.

" Cody Cummings, a model who appears in your paper opposite the new Porndoggy column "Sean Cody's flip-flop fucking", recently appeared in a bareback porn movie. The reason it didn't get any press is because it was with a woman. They used the same RNA by PCR test mentioned in the column about Sean Cody but nobody cared. Yet when Sean Cody uses the same test for men who have sex with men, the gay press is in an uproar.

I think right now in 2012 we need to decide as a community if we are going to let this double standard continue. Porn is a fantasy, the actors are adults, and how long is the gay press especially going to keep banging the drum "Women - good, Men - BAD". "

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Letter to Xtra

There's an article and editorial in the current issue of Xtra on the death of the gay book store.  I wrote them the following comment today:

On a recent trip to Vancouver I stopped in at Little Sisters and bought a few books. They had books by local authors that had been signed - something you can't get from an online big box - and I was happy to pay the little extra money.
Conversely I recently attended a book signing event for Glad Day.
I had talked to the owner of Glad Day book store about advertising for the event as I believe two people showed up other than myself. He said that’s the way the book world was now, that no one cared. I asked him how he had advertised the event as I myself hadn’t seen any advertising even though I was looking for it, and I said I wanted to be able to find future events held by the store. He said he had posted a message on their facebook page which held 400 members. I asked if it was in Xtra and he said he was told it was. Now I looked through Xtra looking for it and didn’t find it so I doubt it made it in. I heard about the event from the author himself. Also I checked when I got home and I saw the Glad Day facebook group had only 139 members and the group’s homepage was last updated in June. Unless I was looking at the wrong thing, this site posted news of the reading on a Tuesday, which means someone would have had to check the homepage between that Tuesday and Saturday to find out about the event, even though the last time the page was updated was in June.
The owner said the world was moving too fast and he wasn’t interested in keeping up with it, that he didn’t know how to advertise anymore and was waiting for bankruptcy. All this seemed a sensible solution.
During the actual reading the owner and organizer of the event talked quite loudly to someone beside him, drowning out the author. Why organize an event and then talk all through it?
When you organize events in this way, saying you've given up on trying to keep up with the way the world works, I'm not sure what other result you could be expecting.
One more thing.
How exactly has Glad Day reached out to local authors like Brian Francis who is mentioned in your article?
It could be a win/win with more exposure for the author and his book and more sales and recognition for the store. I don't see that happening here.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Diary of a Gay Love Hustler: Ricky by Donald King ebook MOBI

Rare gay pulp, published by Barclay House in 1970. I could only find 2 mentions of the books actual existence on a Google search, very rare.

Includes 12 pages of ads for other pulp novels at the end.

Book is mainly sex story of "Ricky" and his clients as a hustler. Includes some 70's style melodrama and some trademarks of gay pulp at the time such as the idea that all gay men just want sex and that gays can never be happy, etc.  Still it's a fun time-capsule read.

From the back cover:
He was...
a young stud
trying to make it on his own
stripped down to the last thing he had to sell— himself
...a gay male hustler

Download ebook here.