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June 23, 2010
Michael Geist, Radical Extremist
This is like the Copyfight equivalent of Tom Cruise's infamous Scientology video. Here we have a supposedly even-handed minister in the Candian government (Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore) nearly foaming at the mouth in his extensive effort to warn of the dangers of people who oppose copyright treaties.
It's really not clear what his problem is, except that he seems to think that these "radical extremists" oppose any change in copyright law. Well, um, maybe that's because the changes are bad? You know, just maybe. And really, Minister Moore, we're not talking about people leaving bombs in SUVs in Times Square here. We're talking about academics (like Geist) who have spent a lot of time and effort researching the issues. They may be wrong. You can certainly disagree on the issues and their merits - after all, that's what academic debate is supposed to be about.
But it seems pretty seriously out of bounds for a government minister to be giving speeches painting academics and scholars with the broad brush of "radical extremism". In addition, as Geist points out in his blog entry, the Minister's position is that one should oppose and attack these "extremists" which also seems contrary to how a government ought to act in regard to citizens with differing opinions. We've had too much of the Cartel making war on ordinary people in the past decade; there's absolutely no call for governments to act like that.
(Having just watched the US beat Algeria in the World Cup I was tempted to title this post "James Moore Gets a Red Card" but really the refereeing in that game was so bad I didn't want to be associated with it.)
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