Don’t trust the government

Are you scared? You should be. The resident rocket scientists in our government are ready to sign on to a program in conjunction with our increasingly paranoid southern friends to permit border crossing authorities to search your iPod or MP3 player for “stolen content” If you’ve ever ripped a personally owned CD or film to your personal entertainment device, you could find yourself facing a fine, seizure of your kit and consumption of your time and energy. I first learned about this in the National Post at

Here’s yet another example where the lobbyists of the MPAA and the RIAA are influencing decisions made by people who don’t understand the digital world.

It’s like the major ISPs doing packet shaping (read that to be content filtering) on your internet connection. It’s happening, despite the denials. The big target is Bit Torrent. Did you know that if you use Bit Torrent your ISP may provide your information to law enforcement because you could be a criminal? Is it conceivable that one could use Bit Torrent for a legitimate purpose? Absolutely. As a voice for open source software, BT is one of the preeminent ways that insanely great software gets distributed at no cost. By design.

As a business leader why should you care? Because you have people who travel. You download software and training materials and videos because it costs less than physical media and provides a level of immediacy that is unprecedented. You do business in Canada where the Canadian people have paid and continue to pay a high price for freedom that is quietly and slowly being eroded by people who don’t have clue one about the reality that they are in fact eliminating freedoms and the ability for our country to be agile in the face of foreign pressures where there are governments that don’t care about copyright, or intellectual property, that encourage theft and piracy. As a business leader it’s to your advantage to get in the way of these would-be Luddites whose brute incompetence threatens us all.

Benjamin Franklin said “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” Don’t write me about quoting an American patriot. Speak up for Canada because your freedom is being stolen from you right now.

Until next time, well here’s where I usually bid you peace. I’m not feeling very peaceful right now.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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