Geist: “STFU until you see the bill”

May 10th, 2010 by Barry Sookman Leave a reply »

On Friday Prof. Geist again proclaimed that he is receiving private information about what the new copyright bill is going to look like. Moore’s Response: Stop Talking and Wait For My DMCA. From what he has been writing the bill will contain WIPO compliant provisions related to the protection of technological measures. It will also contain new exceptions for users that will permit time shifting, format shifting, and distance learning.

His private sources appear to be telling him not just what is in the bill, but also the government’s confidential strategy as to how it intends to present the bill to the public. Prof. Geist wrote:

Over the past 48 hours, additional sources have come forward to privately confirm the information found in my original post: that Moore has been pushing hard for C-61 as a starting point (particularly with respect to the digital lock provisions) and has flatly rejected a flexible fair dealing approach. Taking Moore’s advice – which amounts to STFU until you see the bill – may buy him some quiet as he tinkers at the edges of time shifting, format shifting, or distance learning provisions to try to sell his bill as pro-consumer, but the foundation of Moore’s Canadian DMCA will remain unchanged.

I repeat the question I asked last week: How does Prof. Geist purport to know all this? It all comes from “unnamed” sources, sources Prof. Geist has refused to disclose, despite being challenged to do so on several occasions. His answer is simply trust me “I’m going to look like a fool, quite frankly, if I’m wrong.”

Frankly, that isn’t good enough. If Prof. Geist wants to incite the public to take up pens and letter writing in protest to something, he should be open and transparent and tell the public who is giving him this private information. He should also disclose why any government insider privy to confidential information about the government’s plans is giving him this information and whether this is being done knowing he intends to make it public and to thereby undermine what appears to be a decision taken by the government.

The irony here is that Prof. Geist is the first to press for openness and transparency when it comes to others.

“Democracy depends upon a fair, accurate, and transparent electoral process with outcomes that can be independently verified.” Casting a Vote Against Internet Voting

“to the full benefits of the 21st Century Market, the Canada-EU trade negotiating process should be as open and transparent as possible” Submissions on Canada-EU Trade Deal: eBay Canada Warns Against Overbroad IP Provisions

“WTO, WIPO, WHO, UNCITRAL, UNIDROIT, UNCTAD, OECD – are all far more open, transparent and inclusive than ACTA” ACTA: Why You Should Still Care

…aks and speculation to learn what their governments are proposing.  All governments should support a more transparent process that begins with full public disclosures of drafts as well as more ro…” Putting Together the ACTA Puzzle: Privacy, P2P Major Targets

“”Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes that last week both placed an important spotlight on open and transparent government” Open Government Moving in Parallel But Opposite Directions

“…to Canadians and interested viewers around the world.  To meet its objective, it committed to be as open, transparent, and accessible as possible, including making the films freely available and …” New Media in Canada: My Appearance Before the Heritage Committee

“These new initiatives herald a dramatic shift in the way governments use the Internet to make themselves more transparent and useful to their citizens” Canada Dragging Its Feet on Open Data Initiatives

“…ent and Canadian Heritage Minister Moore for launching this consultation.  As promised, it has been fair, transparent, and accessible to all Canadians.” The Copyright Consultation: My Submission

“…er solution would be a more flexible fair dealing approach for the benefit of creators, users, and businesses. Transparent policymaking.  The behind-the-scenes work on treaties like ACTA breeds s…” Tell Me Lies

For more information about the Copyright Modernization Act or Bill C-11 or copyright reform, see Change and the Copyright Modernization Act.

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