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Business - Written by on Tuesday, December 11, 2007 21:19 - 0 Comments

Denis Hancock
Making a blogging difference

If you live in the U.S., or are one of the many Canadians who would rather eat glass then read the National Post, you might have missed Deidre McCurdy’s interesting article Canadian netroots rise up against the Tory copyright plans.  That would be a shame (and don’t worry, if you are one of those people here’s a CBC article on the same topic to re-balance yourself), because it’s a really interesting read.

The short version of the story goes like this: Canada is currently reviewing a lot of it’s copyright and various other IP protection laws (think DRM), and rumour has it the template we’re looking at is basically the U.S. Digital Millenium Copyright Act. Some would argue this is roughly the equivilant of using Don Cherry’s Coaches Corner style guide as the template for what to wear to work. Oops, sorry for the Canadiana showing up again – I’m basically just trying to say the DCMA is a little over the top, and if I had to choose between burning it and copying it, I’d probably take the former. Eh.

Anyways, it turns out that a few bloggers (Doctorow), lawyers and assorted others were thinking along the same lines, and (here’s where the important lesson comes in)… they not only blogged madly about it and formed facebook groups and what not, about 50 or so actually got off their butts and went down and protested the Industry Minister in person. It seems to have made a difference, if only for a little while.

I like seeing stories like this, because it seems to me that – at times – this Internet / social networking thing has made us all pretty lazy in terms or pushing back against things. Heck, you can get up in the morning, hop on the computer, and have participated in 5 digital protests of some kind and signed 4 petitions before the coffee is ready.

As great as all that is, and however powerful an online list of whoever decides to sign might be, it’s often just a little too easy – and not always the best way to go about doing things. Sometimes a group of 50 or so people that are willing to actually give up a big chunk of their own time can still make a much bigger difference.



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