The Canadian DMCA

The Canadian DMCA Bill was withdrawn today, but only after the whole thing exploded on the web and press first. This time the citizens of Canada just got lucky (although we don’t know how much better the next proposal will be). But I just can’t keep thinking about other countries, that the whole thing won’t get as much press, and the US and lobby groups will force similar laws to them too (the “forcing” is part of trading agreements). Remember, the Canadian DMCA proposal was even worse than the current US one: not even parody was allowed, there was no flexible “fair use” provision.

But as I’ve written on previous blog posts, I am pessimist. While the public might have seen a minor win today, elsewhere, another 50 restrictive laws were passed just today. The world is heading towards a policed, or totalitarian, future. It’s just sad, but I guess it’s a natural cycle, true democracy does not seem to have a life time of more than ~200 years each time.

3 Comments »

Thom Holwerda wrote on December 11th, 2007 at 2:17 AM PST:

Well, America is supposed to be a democracy, right? Just vote for the other guy (or gal) next time.

That’s democracy: you get what you deserve.


Jacob Munoz wrote on December 11th, 2007 at 1:37 PM PST:

I’m about to say something horrible and vile, but it has been brought to my attention by the late great Noam Chomsky that “Democracy” may not be really that important in the big picture. It is LIBERTY that is the vital footing of freedom (the reason we don’t have the “Statue of Democracy” or the “Democracy Bell” or “…the right to life, democracy, and the pursuit of happiness…” – it’s almost irrelevant.

Granted, without democracy (in some form) you can’t objectively determine whether people are happy or simply ‘tamed’, which makes liberty nearly impossible to judge. Liberty for me may not be everyone else’s impression of liberty – which is where democracy comes in. It is this public feedback which puts government in its place – without it we have totalitarianism (even if it’s liberal).

But what if we all (okay, maybe just 99.9% of us) felt like we were free – but we lived in a monarchy (non-constitutional, really really King-y) but under a Good king? This is the prize that most monotheistic religions teach, a kingdom in the afterlife ruled by a good king – the very essence of liberty, but without the bureaucracy (could there be a better heaven?)…

Back here on Earth (not that I think we ever leave..) we don’t agree on what’s free, fair, or just – so democracy doesn’t give you what you deserve. And contrary to what many of my fellow Americans think – most of us CAN be wrong all at the same time. Just ask the Germans… Democracy’s the byproduct of liberty, so instead of worrying about democracy, how about sticking to the fundamental element of happiness, freedom, liberty?

And yes, posting a video of your child dancing to a Prince song without fear of being sued is part of Liberty!


Andrew wrote on December 11th, 2007 at 9:12 PM PST:

Thom, you’re being naive. There is little difference between any of the major candidates and the media, among other things, ensures minor candidates remain minor.


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