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Archive for January, 2012

Dear Minister Baird;

I am writing to express my concerns over two pieces of legislation that are currently under consideration by the United States Congress, SOPA (H.R. 3261) and PIPA (S. 968).

The conservative principles of limited government and free speech are threatened by this legislation and other laws in the same vein. This legislation would give the American government powers to restrict access to information on the internet tantamount to those enjoyed by China and Iran. Moreover, the restriction of information flow in today’s knowledge economy would give the state a dangerous degree of control over commerce.

My concerns are not restricted to the American situation. Canada has historically worked to establish a copyright and intellectual property regulatory regime relatively harmonious with that of the United States. I worry that if the American government passes this type of legislation, similar laws will be enacted in Canada, to the detriment of the freedom and economic prosperity of our citizenry.

Not only will the legislation not protect intellectual property, but will in fact have the opposite effect. By removing or restricting the market where information is shared one impedes the free sharing of ideas and the cultural and technological evolution of society. There are effective ways to protect the intellectual property rights of individuals and corporations which do not give government such sweeping powers to restrict internet traffic.

I urge you to make known these concerns to your American State Department, and to share these concerns with your Cabinet colleagues.

Regards;

Matthew Naylor

cc. Rt. Hon. Stephen Harper, Prime Minister
cc. Hon. Christian Paradis, Minister of Industry
cc. Hon. Nycole Turmel, Leader of the Opposition
cc. Hon. Bob Rae
cc. Libby Davies, MP*

*She’s my MP.

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