Why I Want to Move to Canada…

Image of canadian HeartNow there are a lot of great people in Canada (particularly in the EdTech realm) but I have a fine time communicating with and learning from them in a distributed manner from the continental 48. It wasn’t until I read that the Canadian police will no longer target individuals who download copyrighted material for personal use in this post on Torrent freak that I have seriously considered applying for citizenship. Would anyone like to sponsor me? I think I could learn to love hockey, and I clean up real good!

Why is it so difficult in this day and age for a US citizen to even begin to fathom a policy of tolerance from its government? These are dark days indeed for the U.S.A.

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6 Responses to Why I Want to Move to Canada…

  1. Kevin says:

    Not sure if you’ve seen the latest, but the House Committee on Education and Labor on Friday introduced legislation to control illegal file sharing in higher education as part of the College Opportunity and Affordability Act of 2007.

    Cnet has the story: http://tinyurl.com/2qy4cc

    As the legislation reads, schools that do not comply will lose ALL student financial aid.

    One thing I’ve read says that this amounts to a $400 million transfer from higher education to the entertainment industry.

    Markup of the final bill is set for Wednesday.

  2. jimgroom says:


    Nice to see that the Democrats are pursuing the important issues like university students file-sharing. We wouldn’t want them to have to think about something as insignificant as the Iraq War or affordable health care now would we. It only re-confirms my complete loathing of the contemporary incarnation of the Democratic party -what a joke they are.

    This is absolutely abhorrent legislation, and how ironic that I was just wondering whether my complete lack of faith in the US Government’s ability to defend the citizen against the capitalist mafia of the RIAA/MPAA was ungrounded. Thanks for putting my doubts to rest.

    So, from what I gather here universities now have to payoff the entertainment industry for their students to use the internet. I can’t think of bigger racket going in the US, save maybe Haliburton.

    Thanks for this painful link, Kevin, I feel a blog post a brewin’ 🙂

  3. Canadians pay a copyright royalty on all blank media; it’s added to the price at the store.

    There have been numerous court cases to the effect that actually putting content on that blank media cannot therefore be illegal.

    File sharing is legal in Canada. Commercial copyright infringement is not. Which is the way it should be.

    p.s. I have welcomed a number of American immigrants to Canada. Always nice to have you. 🙂

  4. jimgroom says:


    Well, if the world’s premier thinker on all things educational technology is crazy enough to sponsor me than I think the naturalization process is gonna be a lay-up. I am purchasing some flannel shirts this evening in preparation for my exegesis. Now to really push my luck, can you get me a job? 🙂

    More seriously (at least about the sponsorship and job stuff), I keep thinking about something you said in your “Understanding Me” post. I have been following closely the draconian practices of the RIAA and the MPAA for a little while ont his blog (on and off) but the recent take downs of private peer-2-peer communities (most recently the death of Oink) seems to mark a different moment. The following quote from your post in many ways gets at the root of the complete distortion of the power and terror unleashed at the hands of the MPAA and RIAA in collusion with various government authorities:

    The ‘ownership’ of a copyright has nothing to do with the content. It has everything to do with the USE of the content by others. That’s why we can avoid questions of what part of the content is actually original, what part is ‘essentially’ owned, and focus instead on how other people use that content. If the other person is attempting to fraudulently misrepresent themselves, then copyright has been violated.

    We used to have pretty clear understanding of this. We used to understand that, while a company couldn’t copy songs and sell them in stores, it was perfectly OK for you and your friends to share songs taped from the radio among yourselves. Somewhere along the line, ‘commercial use’ and ‘personal use’ got confused, as though they were the same thing, because the focus shifted from use to ‘content’ and ‘law’. And that’s when they started suing grandmothers and infants and college students.

    This systematic attempt to re-define the nature of ‘commercial use’ and ‘personal use’ making ‘content’ the issue of legality rather than use beautifully frames the struggle we are faced with currently (at least in the US 🙂 ). The new legislation that is being proposed, which Kevin points out above, completely conflates the distinctions between ‘commerical use’ and ‘personal use.’ The trick is that you remind us, or at least me, something which I continually forget in this historical where you don’t seem to own anything digital that you purchase-there have been traditional distinctions made between these different types (or classes) of use that is being erased–something most folks don’t seem to remember and the infants and college students have never really experienced. I wonder how much of this problem is in some ways a symptom of corporate greed (surprise, surprise) as well as a selectively amnesiatic culture that does anything but encourage the impulse to remember our rights.

    I think the shift you mark here is crucial, and really helps me think through some the the ideas I have been trying to work through in relationship to the blanket vilification of p2p filesharing communities, and in particular bitTorrent (another conflation that needs more light shed on it). But I think this is the beginning of another post, so more soon. Thanks for the comment and please forgive me my overindulgence.

  5. OK, well, I have to look into days of sunlight and the like. But I’m up for the Canadian move too. I figure if I could apply even half the free time I put into politics into say playing folk guitar, I might be pretty awesome at it. And a lot more relaxed.

    As far as the Dems… what a dissapointment. Mukasey, retroactive immunity, etc. The party should be putting the thumbscrews to people like Schumer and Fienstein, but instead they seem to be waving them on.

    It’s funny, I was talking to someone about the structural flaws of our Republic — that with 13 states it kind of worked, but that 50 states makes it unmanageable, and that we would be better off with a regional governement that embraced weak federalism. Something with 8 or 9 regions instead of states, semi-autonomous, etc. Then you would have a large enough region, say the Northeast, where you could implement healthcare in some meaningful way.

    And someone said to me, oh, you mean like Canada?

    Not sure if that’s exactly correct, but I plan to look into it.

    If I got a job in Calgary or Vancouver, I’d definitely give it a whirl at this point. I’d listen to a lot of Dylan albums up there and get overly sentimental and nostalgic, but life is short, and I’m tired of spending so much time fighting with my government.

  6. jimgroom says:


    We could move to Canada and start a band: The Expatriates. Or, conversely, we could start regional insurrections in the US. I think the first would be a bit easier and less overhaed, but I am not ruling out the second. I would just have to get out of the Southern regions of the US before we started the more diligent planning 🙂

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