James Gannon Lies By Omission Yet Again – Star Article Doesn't Disclose His CRIA Connections

Yeah, I’m picking on James. But he just makes it soooooo easy.

Over a month ago, James published an article on the Facebook Balanced Copyright Page titled What kind of consumer of creative works do you consider yourselves to be? which I responded to with my article Lies Of Omission – James Gannon Doesn’t Tell You All The Details where I referenced his connections to the Canadian Recording Industry Association, and provided links to prove it. I have no problems with him working for them, or advocating for them, as long as he is willing to admit what he is doing. That he attempts to hide his connections is troubling. The average citizen is not going to know of them, and in my opinion, by not disclosing the connection he is lying to the public.

Today the Toronto Star published an article by James called Bill C-32, copyright and digital locks. While the title is different, the article is essentially the same as the one published on Facebook over a month ago! In addition to using lies of omission to make his points, he’s lazy too. I wonder if his bosses know that? Curiously he didn’t post the article to his own, mostly dead blog, the one place he could have posted it, and had a reasonable argument for re-use.

You know it’s really strange. We have James, who cries crocodile tears about the re-use culture. But he re-uses things. Yes, he wrote it, and he has the right to do so (even if I do view it as intellectual laziness). But if someone else wants to re-use something, and actually creates something new, aren’t they being more creative than he is?

And then we need to consider another issue. James biography on his blog says:

James Gannon is a lawyer at the firm McCarthy Tétrault in Toronto. The views expressed here are his own.

Are they? We don’t know. But we can do an evaluation.

Blog Entries – August 2010

Maia Davies Speaks Out on Copyright Reform

Independent PC Game Developers Experiment With TPM-Free Releases

Blog Entries – July 2010

Dutch Copyright Law: A Model for Canada?

Jason Robert Brown on sheet music downloading

Blog Entries – June 2010

Moore: “Canada always has been and always will be a trading nation”

Bill C-32 – User Exceptions and Digital Locks

32 Exceptions in Bill C-32

Top 5 Myths About the New Copyright Bill and Digital Locks

At this point you are probably getting the idea. I went back to the start of January 2010, and every article was either about copyrights, patents, or trademarks. I’ll admit that he has an interest in them through his work. However he appears to have no life beyond work. If you look at my articles, I’ve wandered all over the place, covering poetry, copyright, the long gun registry, patents, free software, dogs, law & order, quilting, scams, computers, cell phones, climate change, law, hockey, the 2010 Winter Olympics, blogging, ethics, and a lot of other topics. You can tell my blog, is me, saying what I want, and not paid for by outside interests. In fact that’s one reason that I don’t run ads here. This is me. Like it, or lump it.

Curiously Barry Sookman’s blog is just like James Gannon’s blog. Nothing but articles that appear to be work related. Again, there’s nothing wrong with that, if they admit the connection. But they won’t. I directly asked Barry Sookman if he had any connections with the industry, and he refused to answer. His only problem is that he’s listed as a lobbyist for the CRIA by the Canadian Government. I already knew this of course – but I was curious. Would he admit something that was publicly available? No, he wouldn’t. He won’t even post the connection on his website, which claims:

This site is published by Barry Sookman personally. It is not affiliated with McCarthy Tétrault or any of its clients.

Curious. The only things that Barry writes about, are the things that James writes about. Coincidence? I think not.

But the funniest thing of all, is that both decry free. All of the time. This doesn’t stop them from using the same excellent WordPress blogging software that I use, which curiously enough, is free.

Do I detect hypocrisy here?


Wayne Borean

Friday September 3, 2010


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