Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Jim Prentice Thought Copyright Meant to Copy it Right. No Wonder He Was So Confused

When as Industry minister, Jim Prentice was trying to defend his Party's new 'Made in the U.S.' copyright legislation, he clearly had no clue.

Wikipedia: Prentice has promised to "put consumers first." claiming in an editorial that "(C-61) allows the recording of webcasts and TV and radio programs to be enjoyed at different times" while ignoring the fact that if the files are protected by digital rights management (DRM) it is illegal to break the DRM to make the recording.

Prentice has been hostile to Canadians who requested to consult with him regarding the issue. Prentice refused to discuss the issue with CBC Radio Canada despite the hundreds of questions that flooded in from concerned Canadians. He also refused to talk to a group of protesters who went to his office to express their concern.

When Harper called an illegal election in September of 2008; to avoid dealing with the alleged fraud case dubbed the "In and Out", Prentice was spared further embarrassment on the issue. However, it's pretty clear the Conservatives simply don't understand what the term 'copyright' means, because they forgot to get permission to use the tape of Michael Ignatieff from a C-Span interview, before airing it everywhere in attack ads.

C-Span didn't sue because it never hurt them personally, though they did verify that no one asked for permission and they really didn't like the way it was used. But this wasn't the first or last time this Party has played fast and loose with prohibited material.

C-SPAN won't sue Tories over Ignatieff footage
By Glen McGregor,
The Ottawa Citizen
May 28, 2009

OTTAWA — An executive with the U.S. public affairs network C-SPAN says that while C-SPAN is not pleased to see its material used in the political advertising, the network is not planning to take any legal action against the Conservatives.

The C-SPAN clip appears in one of the Tories’ “Just visiting” attack ads currently playing on Canadian television. In it, a younger-looking Ignatieff says to camera, “You have to decide what kind of America you want, right? You have to decide. It’s your country, just as much as it is mine.”

The C-SPAN logo appears at the bottom right corner of the screen with the title of its program, Washington Journal. The name of Ignatieff’s 2004 book, The Lesser Evil, is keyed below him.

Collins says he was contacted by a lawyer who said he was representing the Liberals after the ad came out. “He wanted to know if we were aware if our video was being used in this way,” Collins said. “If our rights were being violated, he wanted us to enforce them.”

Collins said the network never gave the Tories permission to use the clip, but doesn’t see any point in pursuing a claim.

The C-SPAN clip plays for about nine seconds in the 30-second spot.

It is unclear if the Tories have secured the legal rights to the hours of other Ignatieff video they have reportedly assembled in apparent anticipation of new election advertising.

On Wednesday in the House of Commons, Prime Minister Stephen Harper alluded to this bank of recordings, saying he hoped Ignatieff stays on as Opposition leader because of “all the tapes I have on him.”

Ignatieff dismissed the comment as “Nixonian.”

The Conservatives have run into copyright problems with their ads in the past.

During the last election, the Liberals complained to CTV about the use of its footage in Conservative ads attacking then-leader St├ęphane Dion. The network asked the Tories to explain if CTV material was used but did not appear to pursue the issue further.

Similar difficulties arose in the campaign when the Tories' website used what appeared to be footage from CBC, CTV and TV Ontario in an online feature that allowed users to create their own Dion ads from the clips. (They had a website on Dion as well? How twisted are these people?)

Also last year, the Tories used the theme song from the TV program The Apprentice in a video about Liberal spending promises. Warner Chappell Music noted that the video used its property, the 1974 track For the Love of Money, by The O’Jays, without permission.

The video was introduced by then-Industry Minister Jim Prentice, who was also responsible for implementing the government’s reforms to copyright law. (ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha). The party later reached a private agreement with the publisher to settle the matter.

So all the tapes in Harper's basement, what's up with that? Does he have an Ignatieff fetish? Does he download them to his Ipod and play them when he's feeling blue? Is his obsession normal? Is he seeing a shrink for this problem? I'm a little concerned and I think Mr. Ignatieff should be as well. He may have a stalker.

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