December 18, 2008

ACTA Response

The Government of Canada is seeking the views of Canadians on the proposed Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)

Dear Mr. Grajkowski,

Thank you for your email dated December 1, 2008, regarding the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).

For any updates pertaining to the ACTA, as well as future public consultations, I invite you to regularly visit the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada’s Trade and Negotiations page ( We continue to welcome views expressed by interested Canadians.


Consultations and Liaison Division / Direction des consultations et de la liaison Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada / Affaires étrangères et Commerce international Canada

December 16, 2008


As most people know by now copyright law as been pushed back. I am still trying to get meetings but until I have one to talk about I will post at least once a month with what I have been reading in monologue fashion.

One article I read which interested me speculates about the consequences of the political gamesmanship on copyright law.

It is official that the MPAA wants the U.S. to bully us into (most likely) abusive intellectual property trade policy (Read: Copyright legislation). No big surprises there.

Is Canada becoming a digital ghetto? I don't think it is becoming a "digital ghetto". Lets leave the term "digital ghetto" for countries with ISP filters. I purpose we are becoming digitally backwards. Anyone out there have any better terms for our current digital policy?

Hey! Look at that. The RIAA are still bullying people. Disobeying Court Orders? Check. Suing students? Check. Questionable tactics? Check. Forcing abusive laws? Check.

Edit: Interesting news on Tech Dirt and Ars.

The CRTC interests me. First they ruled on the Bell throttling case. I wasn't ecstatic about the ruling but Michael Geist explained it to me. They then make a ruling that makes me quite happy. The new media hearings is going to be a event to watch. I am cautiously optimistic.

Canadian Blank CD Levy To Increase By Another 38%. *sigh*

My friend discussed about this scheme. I didn't think anyone would actually try it but there it is.

I hope I'm not this bad.

Funny how one of my main topics in a meeting is easily covered by a comic and my fear easily covered in another comic.

I am definitely refusing.

I have no lead up to this comic site besides saying I'm a huge fan. I recommend visiting it often.

...And that is it for now. Come back later for more ranting, more links, and more meeting summaries (I hope).

November 28, 2008

ACTA Concerns

The Government of Canada is seeking the views of Canadians on the proposed Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)

Michael Geist does not seem optimistic about the whole thing but I am going to be cup half full. I must admit it is going to be challenging to craft a coherent letter with the information that has been released so far.

The following is the first draft of my letter. Keep in mind I am not a English major. If you see any typos please leave a comment and I shall correct it.

Counterfeiting is a touchy issue and my concerns are with the ordinary Canadian consumer. My fear is that the "effective legal framework" is going to be over reaching and hurt business, artists, and consumers.

Strong intellectual property laws can hurt innovation though frivolous lawsuits and questionable patents. I find this is especially rampant in the tech industry. One quick look at Techdirt shows how intellectual property has been abused so far. My personal favorite is trying to patent the process of patent trolling. What needs to be kept in mind is intellectual property is a form of temporary monopoly enforced by the state with the goal of growing the economy and creating innovation. Having abusive intellectual property laws does not help that goal. I recommend intellectual property laws in moderation.

Any enforcement practice needs to respect peoples privacy. I am strongly against searching laptops at the border because I believe laptops to be a extension of the mind, especially in the business world. People should not be subjected to unwarranted searches under the ACTA.

Criminal enforcement needs to differentiate commercial piracy from non-commercial priracy as well having rules to protect the system from abuse. Without this separation lives can be ruined though expensive and long lasting lawsuits.

The ACTA should not target internet distribution and information technology. Any changes to that area can have far reaching and unpredictable effects which is why exhaustive public consultation is needed before even signing noncommittal treaties.

These are some of my recommendations and hopefully that will be taken into consideration.

Thanks for reading.

November 26, 2008

Mike Lake

Despite my best efforts it looks like I will not be able to get a meeting with Mike Lake at the moment. I hit a hurdle I expected to hit a while ago. At the moment there is no really active members in Fair Copyright for Canada - Edmonton Chapter that I know of in Mike Lake's riding (If someone reading this is one please get in contact with me). I understand the reasoning behind the decision and I respect it. There is really nothing more I can do.

Thumbs up for Jackie at Mike Lake's local office. She has been nothing but kind and helpful. She attempted to talk me into trying yet again to get a meeting with my own MP. Thanks, but no thanks. Maybe when a bill is released I will attempt to meet with her again if only just for fun.

November 2, 2008

How to: Meet a MP

Somehow I have managed to get meetings with a few MPs so I might was well share some of my thoughts on how to get meetings. If anyone knows of a actual how to guide or have additional pointers please post it in the comments.
  • Have some thing in writing and send it in before hand
It is best to have your thoughts in writing and send it in before hand. It organizes your thoughts and it will help prepare the MP for the topic your about to discuss. It is especially important for topics that are very specific or not popular.
  • Make phone calls
It is better to make a request for a meeting by phone call instead of e-mail. I prefer to catch a person and not go to voice mail which means phoning during business hours. I also try and reference the piece of writing I sent in before hand. Remember, the receptionist is your friend so be kind.
  • I believe that (my/every) MP should understand the effects of copyright legislation
This is my favorite line to use because I believe it and it gets passed the "I will pass your concerns onto..." line. As well, being the proactive person you are, you already did pass on your concerns to the person they suggested. Way to go.
  • Be flexible
Seriously, MPs are busy people. If you have to wait 2 months for a meeting that is ok. Just ask the receptionist, your new best friend, when is the best time to phone back for a meeting. MPs set aside time to come back from parliament and meet with their constituents so take advantage of it.
  • When in doubt do your best and be kind
Just the fact you took your time and are polite is usually enough to meet a MP or, at the very least, for the MP to seriously read your letter.

That is what I have figure out so far. Not bad considering I had nothing to go off of in the beginning.

October 30, 2008

Perspective: The new cabinet

Apparently it is new cabinet day today. Hooray!

It looks like Jim Prentice is going to be falling off my radar as he is moved to the Environment. I am going to miss driving down to Calgary and chilling with Fair Copyright for Canada - Calgary Chapter.

The new Minister of Industry is The Honourable Tony Clement. The new Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages is The Honourable James Moore. May they do awesome jobs and consult with Canadians.[1,2,3,4]

October 24, 2008

Scholarly Communication

Despite odds I managed to make it to Michael Geist's presentation. I must admit I was a bit surprised by the turn out. It was nice watching many people diligently taking notes. The presentation was a updated and expanded version of Concordia presentation. If you have not seen it yet I recommend it.

Fair Copyright for Canada- Edmonton Chapter was there in numbers. It was nice seeing familiar as well as new faces. One day I will be awesome at matching names to faces just due to all the practice I have been getting day.

With a bit of added motivation and a revised game plan it looks like more MPs shall be met. Lets see how the 40th Parliament members do.

Edit: Additional link to a more detailed write up on the presentation.

October 14, 2008

Distorted 08' election wrap up

I must admit watching the election was a bit different this year. Traditionally I see names scroll across the screen that mean almost nothing to me. Only the seats and percentage mattered. Not so this year. I met and paid attention to MPs and they became not just names but people.

Thus we arrive at my distorted round up.

Minority government: Yay
Rona Ambrose Elected: Boooooo
James Rajotte Elected: Yay
Laurie Hawn Elected: Yay
Charlie Angus Elected: Cheers!
Hedy Fry Elected: Duly noted.
Linda Duncan Elected: I have mixed feelings on this. It is no secret that I like the NDP but I did enjoy the meeting I had with Rahim Jaffer. He seemed like a pretty good MP. Did the Conservatives stance on copyright loose Rahim Jaffer the race? Either way I have more MPs to meet.

October 7, 2008

Response to the Conservatives '08 platform: Copyright

Taken from the platform

A re-elected Conservative Government led by Stephen Harper will reintroduce federal copyright legislation that strikes the appropriate balance among the rights of musicians, artists, programmers and other creators and brings Canada's intellectual property protection in line with that of other industrialized countries, but also protects consumers who want to access copyright works for their personal use.

We will also introduce tougher laws on counterfeiting and piracy and give our customs and law enforcement services the resources to enforce them. This will protect consumers from phoney and sometimes dangerous products that are passed off as reliable brand-name goods.
I really hope when they say reintroduce they do not mean it will be a carbon copy of Bill C-61. All the MPs I have met with agreed that Bill C-61 has problems. I imagine they will have a hard time telling me a carbon copy of Bill C-61 "strikes the appropriate balance" with my knowledge that they know better.

How do I know my MPs know better? I met with them one at a time, multiple times.

As for the ACTA, I would love to talk more about it but it appears to be a secretive treaty. Yay democracy :-(

I would also like to give a hardy congratulations to the NDP for getting my donation. The tag team of the Conservatives and the NDP turned me from political apathy to donator!

..I have no idea what the next step after donating is but it scares the heck out of me.

September 30, 2008

Eye on Rahim Jaffer

There was a Edmonton Strathcona All Candidates Forum I was unable to attend to. Luckily, Ian wrote all about it. Thanks!

Steve Melenchuk asked what the positions were on dead Bill C-61, which dealt with copyright reform.

Rahim Jaffer: Any reform needs to emphasize balance. This bill was a first crack at this issue and reform attempts are not over.

Linda Duncan: The NDP led the opposition to the bill, exposed data throttling by internet companies and we also need to protect individual artists.

Claudette Roy: Favored protecting IP, but should overhaul the bill
Rahim Jaffer's response is consistent to what was discussed in the meeting I was in. I would also like to emphasize the fact the NDP, specifically Charlie Angus, is my hero when it comes to copyright and technology in general.

Edit: Additional link to Charlie Angus on copyright.

September 19, 2008

Rahim Jaffer

On Friday, September 19, 2008 I met with Rahim Jaffer. This marks the last of the 39th Parliament MPs to meet. Rahim Jaffer is also a copyright MP.

Me, Ian R, a engineer, and a Athabasca University professor joined in on this meeting. The issues facing distance learning was a major issues in this meeting. It was great to have a professor along to make points about Bill C-61 and education issues I would not be able to cover effectively.

Rahim Jaffer made a couple commitments.. provided the make up of parliament is not drastically different after the election.
  • There will be a proper hearing for the next copyright bill
  • He will push for a traveling committee.
I also received more advice on what the next step is, which is quickly becoming tradition in every meeting.

Anyone up for helping writing a summary on the Fair Copyright for Canada - Edmonton Chapter's view on copyright legislation?

The Big Wrap Up

It shocked me how much I care about copyright law. It shocked my friends even more how much I care about copyright law. Although it is really not just about copyright.

I have gone to 8 meetings, 2 open houses, 2 rallies, and 1 round table. That is not even mentioning the pages and pages I wrote on Bill C-61 and I have come to one surprising conclusion...

It is actually pretty easy to get your voice out there if you try. All it takes is one step at a time. If you have sent a form letter then try sending a personal one; If you have sent a personal letter, make a phone call; If you made phone calls, then schedule a meeting. Contrary to popular belief it is not hard to get a meeting... with one notable exception of course.

Oddly enough I know I made a difference which far exceeds my original goal of being able to exclaim "at least a tried."I will probably take a break for a while; after all, I've done my part. *nervously looks around*

September 5, 2008

James Rajotte Meeting

My third meeting with James Rajotte was a bit more casual. Instead of talking about specific problems about Bill C-61 I was able to talk about what I would like to see in a copyright bill. It was a nice change to give ideas on how to deal with piracy instead of exclaiming "your doing it wrong!" I hope he considers my ideas and it gets to who ever drafts and introduces the next copyright bill. I wish him luck on his election because he always gave me respect and listened to my spiels.

One more meeting and I'm done with meeting MPs.

Well, the 39th Parliament MPs anyways.

August 25, 2008

Reply by Rona Ambrose

Dear Mr. Grajkowski,

Thank you for your recent correspondence to our office. If you are not satisfied with the response from Minister Ambrose, I urge you to contact the Minister of Industry directly to obtain more detailed explanations regarding your concerns. The contact information for Minister Prentice is as follows:

Minister of Industry
C.D. Howe Building, East Tower, 11th floor
235 Queen Street
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0H5
(613) 995-9001

Regarding your request for a meeting, we are unable to accommodate a meeting at this time.

This shall hopefully be the last time the name Rona Ambrose crosses my blog. I may never know where Rona Ambrose stands on Bill C-61. I do know where she stands when it comes to my vote.

August 24, 2008

Response to Rona Ambrose

Here is a couple quick notes. No, I do not actually own a Celine Dion CD although I am sure it is very good.

I do not expect to get any kinda of response from Rona Ambrose. If she really cared I would have got a proper response long ago.

I also do not expect a phone call from a scheduling manager. It is just one more "misunderstanding" from the office of The Honourable Rona Ambrose.

I really send this letter so I can exclaim "at least I tried". I also get the added benefit of having more cannon fodder against Rona Ambrose.

I do not claim to be above disliking MPs. Only Rona Ambrose managed to earn my loathing. Not even Jim Prentice earned that.

Without further ado, my letter.

Your response to my letter is very concerning. The response shows the lack of attention paid to my concerns and my fears in general. I would like to take a moment and explain why this response should be a embarrassment to your office. Hopefully, I can look forward to hearing a proper response as well as a phone call from the scheduling manager for a meeting (780) XXX-XXXX.

I would like to make a few quick points about the supposed clarifications. Your letter says Bill C-61 clarifies time shifting but it fails to clarify a key point. The bill fails to clarify how long I can keep my recordings.

Your letter says I can “copy legally acquired music onto other devices”. In the case of my 2002 Celine Dion CD, A New Day Has Come, your statement appears to be murky at best.

The fixed amount of $500 statutory damages appears to be a red herring. Most Canadians would fall under the $20,000 statutory damages per infringement because of the abusive digital lock provisions as well as the simple fact most programs that download files upload as well.

The educator copyright rules are complicated enough it takes copyright lawyers to figure it out. I very much doubt these rules will provide educators with a new way “to deliver course material and lessons” when considering the restrictions these new rules have.

The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) is a secretive treaty without public consultation. I fear the ACTA will be a bias treaty. I plead with you, in the name of democracy, that you help bring the ACTA treaty into the light instead of the cloak and dagger state it is currently in.

I agree that Amendments to Canada's Copyright Act are needed and are long overdue but that is no reason to rush though a bad bill. Time and care needs to be taken to make sure it is done right. I ask that you, Rona Ambrose, meet with me because I believe it is important that all MPs understand the effects Bill C-61 will have, both good and bad.

August 21, 2008

Rona Ambrose

Sometimes I question why I am so hard on Rona Ambrose.. then I remember I am her constituent. In theory she should at least try to see what her constituents think. This is a stark contrast to Laurie Hawn who has no reason to meet with me. I'm just some guy running around proclaiming himself to be Fair Copyright for Canada - Edmonton Chapter founder and yet he met with me as have others.

So, why have I gone off the "Boo Rona Ambrose" deep end again? Let me try to explain.

Here is a quote from James Rajotte's canned letter response to Bill C-61.

"For your information, Bill C-61 is at the second reading stage in the House of Commons. Debate at this level is over the principle of the bill rather than a specific examination of every clause contained in the bill...I support Bill C-61 in principle, but I am ready and willing to listen to your views."

I could go into detail and describe why I like this canned letter response to Bill C-61 but I think it speaks for its self. I have met with James Rajotte and I believe it when he says he is "ready and willing to listen".

Lets take a look at the canned letter Rona Ambrose sent out to me today.

"The bill clarifies that consumers will now be able to record television shows for later viewing (time shifting); copy legally acquired music onto other devices such as MP3 players or cellphones; and make backup copies of legally acquired books, newspapers, videocassettes and photographs onto devices they own (format shifting). Furthermore, the bill has set new limitations on statutory damages, so individuals would be liable for a fixed amount of $500 if they have infringed copyright for private use, provided that the material is not protected by a technological measure (TM or digital lock). Individuals may still be liable for other types of damages or remedies."

It reads like a freaking PR campaign. That letter is so filled with half truths it makes me rage. That is comming for a guy that almost never gets angry.

That quote is the reason why I meet MPs. I have to go around to make sure people understand the actual effects of Bill C-61 and shed full light on the supposed clarifications.

The Rona Ambrose scheduling manager has yet to contact me even though they say he/she would. I would still like a meeting just so she has the opportunity to see what I see in Bill C-61. I doubt it will ever happen though.

I am going to write a reply to that canned letter and post it here but I am unable to do so now due to my shear outrage.

Excuse me as I need to find a box of cute puppies stat.

August 17, 2008

Why do I blog?

So I blogged mainly to show that if you try to get your voice and your opinion herd it will surprise you what effect it will have. I know Kempton Lam was surprised when I decided to drive down to Calgary on a whim. I know I was surprised when it was suggest that I create a Edmonton Chapter for Fair Copyright for Canada.

Every action that people take does not exist in a void; it can inspire, it can motivate, it can change the world. I think that is what Margaret Mead is getting at with the following quote that Kempton Lam often uses.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

Hedy Fry

Something was odd about this meeting from the get go. Why would a Vancouver MP have round tables in multiple cities on Bill C-61?

I knew it was not going to be a casual meeting so I decided to bring my A game. I bought a suit and got all my information as lined up as possible. I know I did my best.

At the round table we had song writers, record companies, art curators, independent radio, and more. Everyone agreed the bill was flawed. The core question was should the bill be amended or killed.

The discussion covered all areas I could think of. I think everyone in that room heard a different take on Bill C-61 that they did not know of before.

Time will tell if that meeting accomplished anything. My eyes are going to be on Hedy Fry to see what she does in the future.

Meetings Round 2

After a second Fair Copyright for Canada - Edmonton Chapter meeting we were off to a couple more meetings. Ian and David both joined me for the next couple meetings.

Laurie Hawn's meeting was first thing in the morning so I arrived early to grab a cup of coffee at the nearest coffee shop. Who else did I see there but Laurie Hawn himself having a cup of coffee. He greeted me and in a subtle manner showed he wanted to relax and enjoy his coffee.

I don't know.. I'm just a fan of those quite moments of understanding. No more explanation was required. I had my cup of coffee and read the paper untill it was time for the meeting.

Laurie Hawn once again listened to our concerns and taught us more on how the committee process worked.

The James Rajotte meeting also went well. It made me happy when I brought up a specific example and James Rajotte was able to say with the utmost honesty he was working on it and described how he was working on it.

The Rona Ambrose second meeting.... was still non-existent. They say the scheduling manager would get in touch with me. I have not seen it yet.

I figured that was it for this round of meetings. I would perhaps try and get a meeting with Rahim Jaffer if I felt motivated enough but otherwise done.

I then opened my inbox one day and saw this subject line 5 times in a row "URGENT!! Bill C-61 Assistance required"

Apparently, once again, I was not done.

August 16, 2008

Jim Prentice - 2008 Stampede Breakfast

So, it came to pass on Saturday, July 5, 2008 I would drive down to Calgary yet again to attempt to meet Jim Prentice during his stamped breakfast(1,2). I did that after a cup of coffee of course.

I noticed those who went to the last rally came to this rally more prepared. There were more signs, more hand outs, more CDs, more t-shirts, and more people. Kempton Lam once again organized it.

This marks the first time I ever met a plain clothes officer. He was friendly enough though.

It took me and my friends working as a cohesive team to position our selves in such a way that Jim Prentice had no choice but to accept the letter we worked on for him. Pam, Jim Prentice's handler, was scarily efficient at blocking all those who wished to speak with him.

To this date I have yet to ever hear of any kind of response to Bill C-61 from Jim Prentice that Canadians deserve. I never used to care about politics and I came out of the stamped breakfast still a activist quietly longing for my political apathy.

Ah Jim Prentice.. Why didn't you consult in the first place? Then we wouldn't be in this mess and I could go back to watching T.V.

Second Laurie Hawn's Town Hall

By this time I got used to town halls. That is not to say it isn't important to go town halls but I was less energetic this time around. Apparently, Bill C-51 and Natural Health Product Regulation is a hot issue. News to me.

A few good things came out of Laurie Hawn's Town Hall. First, we got another meeting with Laurie Hawn since we had an actual bill to poke holes in. Secondly, the idea for action papers was born. If a bill makes it to committee I hear action papers would be a useful layout not to mention it makes it easy to show people line by line how a bill is bad. The following is how a action paper is laid out. All it takes is a few of these papers and you have some great cannon fodder for meetings.

00.(0.0) Start out with a example by quoting a section of the bill you believe needs to be corrected or kept. This section will be the core of the action paper

(b) If you are quoting multiple subsections make sure to indent them to make it more readable to humans.

The first paragraph is the introduction. This is a broad statement about why this section either helps or hurts people. If the section of the quoted bill hurts a group of people specifically like librarians make sure to point it out.

The next paragraph I try and use a example of where the quoted section comes into play

The following paragraphs I explain why the quoted section of the bill needs to be kept, changed, or removed. I try and keep each action paper to a page which means sometimes it is necessary to do action papers based on one subsection.

00.(0.0) I try to end with a reworded quote from a section of the bill fixing the problem you just pointed out. The rewording doesn't have to be "lawyer quality". The main idea of this is to just to get a point across.

August 12, 2008

Bill C-61 - Release day

Before Bill C-61 was tabled everyone had a one day heads up. I contacted whatever media I could come up with to make sure they covered the story. At very least I tried. Apparently while I was at work Joel Gotlib tried to get in touch with me. "When sending e-mails and and making phone calls remember to leave your contact information". Lesson learned. At least Michael Edward picked up my dropped ball.
CFRN news coverage
Vue Weekly

Michael also created the first Fair Copyright for Canada - Edmonton Chapter meeting. A admit I was a bit hesitant about the meeting at first but it turned out great.

The Following is the introduction for my letter in response to Bill C-61:

Bill C-61, An Act to amend the Copyright Act had its first reading on June 12, 2008. Before the bill was released I did everything I could to get my voice heard. I sent e-mails, went to rallies, met with Members of Parliament, and sent in questions to the Minister of Industry, Jim Prentice. The results were less than acceptable. The questions I sent to Jim Prentice went unanswered and Bill C-61 with it's sections dealing with Technological Measures and Rights Management has what I feared despite my efforts to show the harm of such measures. In short, my voice and many others were not heard by those drafting the bill.

Now with the bills release I will do what I have done in the past, only more so which is why you are reading this letter. I will send more e-mails, go to more rallies, meet with more Members of Parliament, and send a new set of questions to Jim Prentice. I do this because the bill as it stands should not be passed. I don't believe it is a made in Canada solution and I don't believe it is fair and balanced. I would like to have a bill I can feel proud of as a Canadian citizen. Bill C-61 is not it.

August 10, 2008


I believe about 4 to 5 of us went to the Laurie Hawn meeting in his office. Laurie Hawn was the first to admit he did not understand the full depth of the technological issues but he was still willing to listen. If Laurie Hawn was my MP I would be happy. His Town Halls should be a example to other MPs.

I then scheduled and went to a meeting for James Rajotte - The Chair of the Parliamentary Committee on Industry. One other joined me for this meeting. We talked about some of my specific fears for bill C-61 as well as other technological issues including Bell Canada which just started making waves. A meeting I was once again satisfied with.

Meeting with my own MP.. Rona Ambrose is apparently a multi-step process. I first had a meeting with Debra Bain the Constituency Office Manager. I guess I passed the screening and Debra said I would get a meeting with Rona Ambrose at some point in the future. After a couple phone calls my turn for a meeting came up.

The Rona Ambrose meeting I think lasted a total of 20min.. the shortest meeting to date. The meeting managed to be cut short on both the front and back end.

During the meeting I asked if they could print me off a copy of Bill C-61 when it is released. They said sure. After Bill C-61 was released I gave them a phone call. Turns out my tax money does not go to paper for constituents... only affords a link in a e-mail.

Also, during the meeting she said I could schedule another meeting. I thought it would be a meeting about C-61 when it gets released. Debra Bain thought it would be a meeting on another subject that needs attention. Either way it did not matter. I was not able to get a meeting with Rona Ambrose on that or any other issues even after some more phone calls.

I made sure all my family and friends knew the trouble I had with Rona Ambrose. I know Rona Ambrose is never going to receive a vote from me. I know she will not get a vote from my family and friends without heavy thought. I also encourage everyone reading this that you do not vote for Rona Ambrose without heavy thought. At least try and schedule a meeting with her first.. so you can find out first hand how hard it is to get her to hear her constituents. She is the kind of MP I feared when I started trying to meet MPs.

August 6, 2008

Laurie Hawn's Open House

I think most of us who went to Laurie Hawn's Open House did not know what to expect. At the very least I had no idea what to expect.

As the Edmonton Chapter patiently sat and waited for our questions to be answered during the moderated question period one lady turned around and remarked something along the lines of "Why haven't you tried to get your voice herd?" I felt the urge to make a massive speech about the kilometers I drove, the letters I wrote, and the group that begun. That one little remark irritated me more than I let on. I chose to instead reply "I assure you I have tried."

Another story of note is when a member of the Athabasca University stood up and made a passionate speech about security research unannounced. People applauded. I was surprised, the majority of the audience was surprised, and I think even Laurie Hawn was surprised. Passion for copyright law? Who knew?

Laurie Hawn gave us a invitation for a sit down meeting at the end of the town hall and we accepted. Luckily, my employer did not mind the unexpected time off. This occasion would mark the first time I ever had a meeting with a Member of Parliament.

July 31, 2008

So it begins part 2

Kempton Lam has said if he did not organize the December 8, 2007 rally someone else would have. I honestly don't think anyone else would have. If there is one thing I have learned is that it that it takes everyone to keep the ball rolling from Michael Geist to the letter writer. Without people being involved in what ever way they can there would be no forward movement. The cause would be lost.

So, I created the Edmonton Chapter because no one else did. I had no plans on what to do with it. I just polished the introduction and slapped a purdy photo on it.

Before I even began to think about what to do with the group Michael Edwards showed up and organized a rally for Laurie Hawn's Town Hall.

"Oh", I thought. "That is what I am supposed to be doing with this group."

July 30, 2008

So it begins

I never used to care about politics. But Jim Prentice managed to do what no other politician was able to do. Turn me into a political activist.

On Saturday, December 8, 2007 I drove down to Calgary for a rally(1,2) being held at Jim Prentice Constituency Office to protest bill C-61. I really did not think much of it. I had the time and the gas for the drive down so why not go?

Bill C-61 got delayed for a time and I figure my job was done. I was now able to respond to those people who constantly complain about politics and smugly reply "why don't you do something about it?"

That was enough for me. I figured I would leave the rest of politics to more capable hands then mine. I did my part.

Then those more capable hands came to me and suggested I created a local Edmonton chapter for Fair Copyright for Canada.

Apparently I was not even close to doing my part.