Is There Some Reason That Barry Sookman Refuses To Quote The WIPO Treaty?

In his article Separating copyright fiction from facts about C-32’s TPM provisions, Barry Sookman once again avoids the issue. Curiously, the target of his tirade, Michael Geist also avoids the issue.

As I pointed out earlier this month in my article The TPM Provisions in Bill C-32 Are Not In Compliance With The WIPO Internet Treaties, neither of them seems willing to actually quote the clear wording of the treaty. Mihaly Ficsor, who supposedly was involved in drafting the treaty, never gets around to quoting it either, even when I blasted back at him three times (here, here, and here).

In fact the three of them have a record for inaccuracies that is totally unbelievable. I rather expect that most regular readers have noticed this by now. I don’t like lies of omission. Talking about a treaty, without quoting the treaty is a lie of omission in my eyes.

So why don’t they bother to quote it, or god forbid, link to it?

I really don’t know. I do know that I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t link to their primary source material. The only reason not to quote or link, is because you are trying to hide something. And since the their views are so different (Barry Sookman claims to agree with Mihaly Ficsor, but a close comparison of their writing shows diverging viewpoints), the things they are trying to hide will be different.

Curiously neither Culture Minister Moore, nor Industry Minister Clement have bothered to quote the WIPO Copyright Treaty either. There’s a bare reference to it in Bill C-32:

Whereas those norms are reflected in the World Intellectual Property Organization Copyright Treaty and the World Intellectual Property Organization Performances and Phonograms Treaty, adopted in Geneva in 1996;

Seriously. That’s it.

So what the hell is going on?

We have an industry group which is trying to panic artists into backing this bill, which to me looks to be anti-artist. We have duelling pundits (me included), none of which agree. We have politicians being, well, politicians, introducing a bill which doesn’t address the real issues, and then arguing over who is most in favor of the arts.

But no one can produce a peer reviewed study to prove whether ratifying the WIPO Copyright Treaty is the right thing to do for Canada, or whether Bill C-32 is good for Canadians. And I’m the only person involved in the copyright debate in Canada, who is calling for this.

Canadians, you should be ashamed of your public figures. Every one of them should be calling for an evidence based solution, so that we have an effective and appropriate copyright law. And I’m the only one who is.


Wayne Borean

Thursday November 25, 2010

PS: Note that I posted a comment on Barry’s blog entry. I suspect that as usual, he won’t approve it.


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