New Democrats call Moore offside for attacking fair copyright advocates

JUNE 23, 2010

Minister’s description of ‘radical extremists’ shows he’s in need of a time-out

TIMMINS – Speaking at a G20 Chamber of Commerce event, Heritage Minister James Moore inexplicably lashed out at those who have raised concerns with his new copyright bill, C-32. Moore characterised fair copyright advocates as “babyish” and enemies of any copyright reform whatsoever. He called them “radical extremists” who must be “confronted every step of the way until they are defeated.” New Democrat Digital Affairs Critic Charlie Angus (Timmins-James Bay) said Moore’s comments are reminiscent of a war-time call-to-arms and are way out of line.

“Attacking teachers, students, artists and consumers who have legitimate questions about this legislation is ridiculous,” said Angus. “Instead of understanding and appreciating the nuances of balanced copyright, the Minister appearing hyper-defensive and bombastic. I think he needs a time out.”

In his speech to the conference, Moore claimed the government’s attack on consumer rights are necessitated by Canada’s international obligations under the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) treaties. Angus says Moore simply has his facts wrong.

“James Moore shouldn’t hide behind international treaties to excuse the significant stumbling blocks he has put into the bill. All the experts, including those civil servants who drafted the bill, agree that it could be WIPO-compliant without his push for American-style protection for digital locks,” said Angus. “The Tories are pushing this failed agenda that will criminalize perfectly reasonable behaviour and deny educators legal access to works which they should logically have.”

Angus says Moore needs to tone down the rhetoric and get down to the serious business of working with all stakeholders on amendments that will improve the legislation.

“A Minister shouldn’t resort to name calling or start a war with fair-copyright advocates just because he doesn’t like the feedback he’s getting on Twitter,” said Angus. “If Moore spent more time listening to the educators, experts, academics and artists who have serious issues with this bill, maybe his public statements wouldn’t be so out of line with everyday Canadians who simply want balanced legislation.”


For more information please contact:

George Soule, Caucus Press Secretary: 613-850-3448 or

Who are the "radical extremists" James Moore is referring to?

Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore delivered a keynote address at a conference sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce's IP Council today and according to a media report warned against "radical extremists" seeking to oppose Bill C-32.

When Moore claims that critics of C-32 are radical extremists, who is he speaking of?  Who has criticized parts of the bill or called for reforms? A short list of those critical of the digital lock provisions in C-32 would include:

  • Federal Liberals, opposition
  • New Democratic Party, opposition
  • Bloc, opposition
  • Green Party of Canada
  • Canadian Consumer Initiative
  • Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada
  • Canadian Association of University Teachers
  • Canadian Federation of Students
  • Canadian Library Association
  • Business Coalition for Balanced Copyright
  • Retail Council of Canada
  • Canadian Bookseller Association
  • Documentary Organization of Canada

All opposition parties, consumers, universities, teachers, students, business, and many creator groups are all seeking changes to C-32.  Does James Moore really believe that they are all radical extremists?

Has James Moore blocked you on Twitter? James Moore has blocked Russell McOrmond and numerous other people.

Travers: Changing Canada, one backward step at a time

Imagine a country …

  • where Parliament is padlocked twice in 13 months to frustrate the democratic will of the elected majority.
  • that slyly relaxes environmental regulations even as its neighbour reels from a catastrophic oil leak blamed on slack controls.
  • that boasts about prudent financial management while blowing through a $13-billion surplus on the way to a $47-billion deficit.
  • where a political operative puts fork-tongued words in a top general’s mouth.
  • that refuses to fund the same safe abortions to poor women abroad as it provides at home.
  • where the national police commissioner skews a federal election and is never forced to explain.
  • that writes a covert manual on sabotaging Commons committees.
  • dragging its climate change feet as the true north melts.
  • that silences political debate on the sale of a publicly owned, crown jewel corporation.
  • that puts higher priority on building super-prisons than keeping people out of them.
  • where parties that win the most federal seats are dismissed as “losers”.
  • that twists its foreign policy around the interests of another nation.
  • that argues that barricading its largest city promotes tourism.
  • that promises Senate reform only to continue stuffing it with political hacks.
  • that avoids answers about a controversial war by accusing questioners of supporting the enemy.
  • where party apparatchiks decide who in a nominally free press is allowed to ask the Prime Minister questions.
  • where donut shop wisdom is more prized than expert analysis.
  • that builds a fake lake for a tough-times summit.
  • that preaches law and order while killing a long-gun registry police chiefs insist makes citizens safer.
  • where serving the Prime Minister as chief propagandist is job preparation for running a national news network.
  • where charities mute constructive criticism of public policy for fear of losing federal funding.
  • that can spend $1.2 billion for summit security but can’t find the petty cash needed to invest in the status of women.
  • that promises accountability only to impose secrecy.

That country is now this country.

Every example is familiar, all are documented. Only the cumulative effect is surprising.

Conservatives came to power knowing reluctant Canadians could only be shifted to the political right incrementally. That movement is now advancing according to the plan Conservative thinker, strategist and Stephen Harper mentor Tom Flanagan infuriated the Prime Minister by making public.

Imagine that.

Published in The Star as Travers: Changing Canada, one backward step at a time on Saturday June 19, 2010.