New Democrats call Moore offside for attacking fair copyright advocates

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JUNE 23, 2010

NEW DEMOCRATS CALL MOORE OFFSIDE FOR ATTACKING FAIR COPYRIGHT ADVOCATES
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.”

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For more information please contact:

George Soule, Caucus Press Secretary: 613-850-3448 or souleg@parl.gc.ca