This Ain't No Popularity Contest – It's Politics

When I wrote ‘A Call For Disclosure – Who Do The Professionals Represent And Why Are They Hiding The Connection?‘ I knew that I was going to annoy some people. Make that a lot of people. It’s really curious how people will complain that not enough people are politically active, and then scream that democracy is threatened when people do get politically active, and don’t agree with the screamer. SOCAN, the AMA, and several other organizations asked their members to take part in the copyright consultation – but for some reason they don’t think that anyone else should have taken part, which is why Richard Owens was whining.

Yes, my article was a hatchet job. The article I was responding to was a hatchet job, and sometimes like requires like.

What Richard Owens didn’t know when he wrote his article, was that I’ve been planning this article since January. I knew that sooner or later someone would try to come up with a reason to try to ignore the Canadian Copyright Consultation. I was even fairly sure of the form the opposition would take. It was obvious that this coming. It was nicely foreshadowed by Doctor Mihaly Ficsor’s articles that Barry Sookman published. In fact I had considered a preemptive strike, but I decided to wait, because I don’t need a reputation for paranoia. And I’ve been playing chess for over forty years, and I’ve learned that it’s so much easier to win, if you can convince the target that putting their head in the noose is in their best interest. I wasn’t sure who would take the bait, but Richard Owens volunteered. Thank you Richard.

In my opinion Richard is in a Conflict of Interest situation. He didn’t disclose in his article who he was working for. He may claim that his article was his personal opinion, but it reads like it was written by and/or for the MPAA and the RIAA, and in fact I have good reason to believe that he is working for them, or for one of their member companies. There is nothing wrong with representing your clients. What is wrong is not declaring those clients, when the client’s interests are at variance with the interests of the Canadian public.

John Enser of the 1709 Copyright Blog has made a good point. In some cases a non-disclosure agreement may be in place, which may prevent the lawyer from stating who he or she is working for. I suggest that if the lawyer is not able to disclose who their client is, that silence is the honest option.

Ben Challis was a bit upset with me. What Ben didn’t know when he wrote his response at the 1709 Copyright Blog is that the people who I named were picked carefully. Michael Geist was also a bit upset with me, again Michael was picked deliberately. Remember. I’m a chess player. Distraction is an important part of a chess game, and both Ben and Michael were part of the distraction. Jeremy Philips was a good sport about it, thanks for the polite response Jeremy.

The real targets of the article were Richard Owens, Barry Sookman, and James Gannon. Curiously while almost everyone else responded, some more politely than others, none of those three did. I know that two of them were in their office today, and since my emails were sent to their work email addresses, they received them, and decided to ignore them. Or possibly they are discussing their response with their principles. That’s up to them – Barry has my mobile number if he wants to talk, and all three have my email address, and they know where my website is. What they decide to do is up to them.

In Chess terms we are in the mid game, the most exciting part of the game. I wonder what their next moves will be?

Wayne Borean

Wednesday April 21, 2010


4 thoughts on “This Ain't No Popularity Contest – It's Politics

  1. Since I wrote the above, I’ve learned that the Canadian Coalition for Electronic Rights has also written a response. The Coalition was somewhat politer than I was, but echoed many of my points, however while they danced around the issue, they never did call out Richard Owens on one important point – who are the clients he is representing who have an interest in this issue?


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