Shared Community WiFi Networking Blog From A Toronto Co-op ISP

Friday, January 12, 2007

New copyright laws? This is bad news, and it's important.

This is bad news, and it's important.

Harper's Conservative government is getting ready to whack Canadians with changes to the Copyright Act-- changes that can lock out competition, limit free expression, take money from your pockets and put it in the hands of industry lobby groups, and co-opt your ISP to spy on your Internet connection.

Nearly 10 years ago, the United States got a similar new copyright law that tried to legislate copy-proof bits. It didn't work then, and it doesn't work now, and in between, programmers were jailed, academics silenced, consumers ripped off, and competitors locked out of fair competition in markets from music players to garage door openers.

Computers and the Internet are really great at copying bits of information and sending them anywhere, fast and cheap. Every copyright law that tries to stop all that copying and sending makes computers and the Internet less useful and less valuable. It puts a lock on innovation and creativity, instead propping up the current way of doing things at the expense of people with new ideas, new technologies and new ways of making music, movies, and money.

Right now, Canadians have ‘fair dealing’ rights, which means they are allowed to copy all sorts of things -without any permission- for all sorts of reasons, like reporting the news, for example. This help keeps speech free, encourages technical and innovation, and helps disrupt the monopolies that copyright creates.

There are a lot of people out there, however, that would like to charge you every time you listen to a song, even if you already bought the CD. They would like to make it so you can't play your new DVD on any computer except the ones they say you can. They would REALLY like to make it so Internet providers are forced to act like their own private police, to spy on their subscribers to see if any copying is happening unless these people say so, even if Canadian copyright law already gives you the right to make that copy. This is not an idle threat: they have been pushing for this for years, and have spent millions of dollars lobbying governments, buying off politicians, and getting their spin into the media.

If you like what Wireless Nomad is doing, and you want to keep your Internet provider and your Internet connection from the clutches of the American recording industry, and don't want to have your rights as a citizen and Internet user taken away, let your elected representative or local newspaper editor know! If you feel even more ambitious, and have a few bucks to spare, join
Online Rights Canada
(, the organization created by the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the University of Ottawa to fight for free electronic speech and fair electronic copyright.

The fight for control of our Internet is far from over, and this is a battle we can win. If we all sit by and just watch it happen, though, it's a battle we can easily lose.

LINK to BoingBoing story and other links


Anonymous Anonymous said...


this makes me angry.

bad enough that i gotta pay a tax on every Cd to give the record labels, now they want to tamper with my line, too. that's just going too far.

1:46 p.m., January 12, 2007

Blogger p-roc said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1:07 a.m., January 13, 2007

Blogger p-roc said...

What I'd really like to know is why support, yourself included, are not responding to my support requests. Your paying community, all 100+, and free users are unable to get access through my access point. I don't appreciate the unresponsiveness and the lack of consideration being shown to your community.a

1:08 a.m., January 13, 2007

Blogger Damien said...

well, call or email, then i'll get back to you. you wanted to set up your own WRT, so its up to you. The instructions are rudimentary and the task is complex, so that's the way it goes unless you really know what you are doing.

There's lots going on now, and the self-config WRT is a low-priority option (for now).

Get a ready-config'd WRT from the co-op, it works, no problem.


9:06 p.m., January 13, 2007

Blogger Damien said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9:07 p.m., January 13, 2007

Blogger Damien said...


also, remember offering to trade your WRT for a pre-config'd WN WRT if the self-config went wrong. why didn't you get in touch about that?

seriously, to help everyone learn how to flash a WRT and set up the new OSS firmware is way beyond what we can do as volunteers. it takes steve only 5 minutes to do, but that's 'cause he's done it 200 times.

9:19 p.m., January 13, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know, maybe P-Roc is out of line, but maybe he has a point.

I hope that this long blog post wasn't composed on company time--especially since the wireless is down, again.

I like what you guys do. Honestly. I really want WN to work. But I spend 2 days a week working at home, over my wireless connection. And no, I can't reasonably plug in.

So P-Roc's service questions may be low priority. But are they higher priority than blog posts?

Even if you think his requests aren't high priority--shouldn't keeping the wireless up be?

I don't want to start a fight. I just want to get my work done. I'm tired of working from my daughter's bedroom, where the wired connection is. I want to work from my office. That's what I pay for.

10:06 a.m., January 15, 2007

Blogger Damien said...

1. there is no "company time." We all volunteer during luch breaks and after hours from our day jobs. in fact, steve and I are lending/have lent lots of $$ to the co-op to keep it going, not counting the endless hours (of fun ;-)).

2. i blog, handle calls, deal with the biz stuff, help organize mtgs, etc. but know nothing about fixing Gentoo Linux servers and Javascripts. Wish i did, but i don't. WiFi down is a real pain, but there have been unprecendented problems with the servers, and people are busy fixing them, as quickly as possible, and getting new people to help, also ASAP. thanks to everyone at last wed's mtg to make it happpen!

3. ppl are paying $33 a mth to be a member, not a customer. if you want it to work better, lend a hand! We could sure use the help. that said, the wifi worked well for mths, then blew up horribly-- and is slowly crawling back to full function. NO other ISP is doing this much for any subscriber, and we really want it to work, probably as least as much as you do!

3:58 p.m., January 15, 2007


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