Canadian Copyright Consultation Opposed By A Little Known Canadian Lawyer Richard Owens

I want to take another look at Richard Owens ‘Noises Heard: Canada’s Recent Online Copyright Consultation Process.’ Specifically I want to look at one statement, where Richard says ‘For instance, 70% of the total submissions were “form letters” originating from a single little-known group of modchip distributors – the Canadian Coalition for Electronic Rights (CCER) – that had its form letter extensively circulated internationally on BitTorrent- related sites.’

Richard is using the term ‘modchip distributors’ in a perjorative manner. He’s deliberately trying to inflame the discussion, to try and prevent the members of the CCER and those who used the CCER’s form letter from being heard. Now this might be allowed in a court of law, but it is frowned on in the court of public opinion.

Let me re-word his statement:

For instance, 100% of the complaints about the submission process came from a little known group of lawyers.

Just as nasty. After all, most Canadians are quite familiar with the joke about why the Shark didn’t eat the Lawyer. And we have to remember that it’s legal to be a lawyer in Canada, just like it’s legal to manufacture and sell mod chips. I also challenge Richard’s ability to determine that the manufacturing and selling of mod chips is against the interest of Canadians, even if his clients believe that it’s against their interests. Richard is not an economist, so any evaluation he could make on this situation is automatically suspect.

But is his assertion that the membership of the CCER is made up of mod chip distributors true? Let’s look at the membership of the Canadian Coalition for Electronic Rights.

Battlegoat StudiosFrom their ABOUT page – BattleGoat Studios is a Canadian Software Developer committed to developing leading edge “Intelligent Strategy Games” for the PC.  Founded by George Geczy (Lead Programmer) and David Thompson (Lead Designer), the team firmly believes that Strategy Gamers are looking for more sophisticated games that also remain fun to play. BattleGoat insists that their approach to development will always emphasize an accurate, heavily researched environment assuring players an entertaining and immersive gameplay experience.

ConsoleSource.ComFrom their blog – The Wiikey fusion is a brand new mod chip for Nintendo Wii by the Wiikey Team. This revolutionary mod chip will allow you to play your backup ISOs from any SD card or DVD – it should be noted that they also sell a wide variety of other products.

GameStuff.CaConditions of Use – Disclaimer: In many countries it is legal to sell, install, and use modchips in video game consoles for the purpose of playing backups of legally purchased software and homebrew software. However, the legislation in some countries does not allow you to use, distribute, or sell modchips. You, and you, only, are responsible for complying with the law in your country – it should be noted that they also sell a wide variety of other products.

GModz.CaFrom the main page – GMODZ Inc has been in business for the last 9 years serving Canada and USA for mods – they also sell a variety of repair components, which offer less costly options than purchasing OEM parts.

Go Cyber ShopFrom the ABOUT page – GO CYBER SHOP!™, GO CYBER SHOP 2005 LTD. is a premier Canadian online e-tailer in business since 1996. Our main goal is to provide customers with a stress free online shopping experience with the highest quality products at wholesale prices – they do sell mod chips, but also offer sales and service of consoles.

iPhoneAnywhere.CaFrom the main page – We have just completed and posted all new tutorials for both Mac and PC which outline the steps required for unlocking and activating a 1.1.1 iPhone – the company does not sell mod chips, though it does sell hardware which makes unlocking an IPhone possible.

KicK GamingFrom the ABOUT page – Basically we are your #1 source for video game accessories. We have been providing video game accessories to many satisfied customers across the world since 2004. We offer a large variety of gaming accessories, and other related items, at affordable prices – while they do sell ‘mods’ they all appear to be cosmetic, things like LED illuminated fans, not what anyone I’ve meet would consider a ‘mod chip’.

modchip.caFrom the main page – your DUTY FREE modshop since 1998 – that seems pretty conclusive.

MODCHIPCENTRALFrom the main page – Do not pay customs, duties, or import fees on all modchips purchased from us – that seems pretty conclusive.

So what do we have? Five out of Eight members sell mod chips. Selling mod chips is legal in Canada, unlike selling unpasteurized milk, or ungraded eggs. Three out of Eight members don’t sell mod chips. If I was a member of the CCER, I’d have my lawyer send a letter to Richard Owens, the Osgoode Hall Law School, and the Government of Canada complaining about Richard’s article, and threatening legal action unless he makes the appropriate corrections.


Wayne Borean

Wednesday April 28, 2010


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