Dec 292005

I lied to a border guard recently for no good reason other than I didn’t want to have to try to explain why I’d driven to Seattle and then turned around and driven back to Vancouver. (“Well, I was supposed to be meeting friends – no, I don’t know where exactly – exit 68, I think, in a Denny’s or Shari’s or some ghetto place like that – no I don’t know where they are currently – they live in Vancouver but they’re from the states – they sent me an email and I didn’t see it before I left so when I finally called I found out they had a personal emergency …” Yadda yadda yadda.)

I knew the border guards would be suspicious that I’d only been across the border for 2.5 hours, but I figured that that true story sounded so flaky that I’d get called in *for sure*. So instead I lied and told the border guard that my Mom had called and that there was a family emergency so I had to turn around and come back to Canada.

Continue reading »

 Posted by at 3:38 pm
Mar 102005

Michael Geist (in the article “Say no to Big Brother plan for Internet” in The Toronto Star) describes the “Lawful Access Initiative” rattling around Ottawa. This is the one about making it easy for the police to eavesdrop on internet traffic, forcing ISPs to store and reveal usage information about their customers (and preventing ISPs from informing their customers when they’ve revealed private data) and allowing monster TelCos to discriminate against technologies like VoIP.

Also in the article is information about MP Sarmite Bulte’s initiative to abide by special restrictions regarding public domain content, by requiring them to apply for extended license. Upshot: even if a work is in the public domain, a school would have to pay fees to use it unless the work gave them explicit permission. sheeesh.

Write letters to these jokers. Dead trees and snail mail is better than email. My letter is attached, but don’t just copy it – write your own. Continue reading »

 Posted by at 8:06 am
Feb 252005

Larry Lessig is calling on people to send the Copyright Office stories about why the “orphaned works” aspect of US copyright law is damaging to creativity.

Orphaned works are copyrighted works where the copyright owner is hard to find. These works are “abandoned” because the people who would like to use the works can’t get the required permission. It’s a shame, not only for the person that would like to use the work, but for the person who made the original work, because usually the only alternative for the work is a descent into obscurity.

“If you have a relevant story, or a perspective that might help the Copyright Office evaluate this issue, I would be grateful if you took just a few minutes to write an email telling them your story. The most valuable submissions will make clear the practical burden the existing system creates.” more

 Posted by at 7:54 am