Monday, May 25, 2009

UBC President Stephen Toope and his buddies plagiarized report on "internet piracy"

Do you support filesharing? Well I do, because I consider filesharing "fair use".

Not so much support is coming from UBC President Stephen Toope, oh no, he and his buddies actually don't like files sharers. That's why he teamed up with the Conference Board of Canada, cooked up a plagiarized report originating from the IIPA ("the primary movie, music, and software lobby group in the U.S."), charged tax payers $15,000.00, and simply put it out there.

And when they got caught plagiarizing, they put out another post (costs, who knows?) full with more cooked up disinformation. But Micheal Geist, a Canada Research Chair at the University of Ottawa, struck back.

And so did his readers.

Some comments were made on the sites mentioned, that I'm happy :) to reproduce:

The sweet irony
"How deliciously ironic: they are presenting a plagiarized paper at a conference devoted to Intellectual Property."
Indeed, it's only illegal of course when students do it. When Stephen and his buddies do it, you defend plagiarism to the bitter end.

Sarcasm, I LOVE sarcasm:
"Is it really plagiarism, given that these backgrounders/"studies" exist specifically for the purpose of being lightly rewritten and stuffed into reports? It's intellectually dishonest, morally repugnant, lazy, and self-serving, sure... but let's give them the benefit of the doubt and consider this a collaboration, a partnership, a mutually-beneficial self-serving relationship, rather than plagiarism, which is such an ugly word with that hard "g" and that long "a". Of course, in that case the lobby group's name really should be on the report as co-author, which I daresay would more accurately reflect reality anyway..."
Good point. There's little chance that the US lobby group will be complaining about this type of "file sharing"; that's what the IIPA's report is supposed to be used for. Oh, and what about ripping off governments ($15,000) for "recycling" some repugnantly outdated ideologies; isn't that what governments are for?

Last one:
Who, not how
"Let's not forget the real issue here, Darryl et al. It's not just the fact that they plagiarized another's work (changing someone else's words to sound like your own IS plagiarism). Look at WHO they plagiarized: the IIPA - a giant lobby for American big-business copyright interests.

Even ignoring the fact that the report they plagiarized has been highly discredited, thus destroying the credibility of their own paper, how can they possibly claim to be non-partisan while spouting IIPA garbage in their "own words"?"
Excellent point. Copying IIPA propaganda isn't independent: it's garbage.

You don't know Stephen? Here's an introduction:


This blog post on "the deceitful Conference Board of Canada report on the Digital Economy" (did you note the quotation marks, Mr. Toope?) should not be missed: Good for you, Mark!

Also the (Vancouver) got some nasty comments on publishing the findings of the now exposed board of Toope and his buddies.

Read their great "journalism" here, but find some of the enlightening comments below:
Seth: More BS from the neocons that brought us Bush, Harpo, and now for the third time Gordo. This is such plain flaming disinformation that I'm surprised it can be printed without setting the paper on fire.

These dudes come up with their numbers assuming all p2p or torrent is illegal and then figure out the value assuming every downloader would buy the product he "stole".

The piracy watch list is more neocon protectionist nonsense out the US and has been debunked in numerous studies.
And Mark got it right:
This report turns out to be just an unquestioning repetition, and in some cases an outright plagiarism, of material by US lobby groups. That's right - a "non-partisan" group that wants us to take it seriously on intellectual property, plagiarizes the material for its own report

And so did jeff:
The Conference Board of Canada's Deceptive, Plagiarized Digital Economy Report:
No word from Stephen "Junk-reports" Toope yet.

- Michael Geist is my hero - Stephen Toope? Not so much
- Who will teach Stephen Toope about plagiarism? Bad boy! (pdf)
- In the category "you really can't make this stuff up": Anti File sharing report plagiarized
- My name is Stephen Toope, and I approve this not-so independent report (press release).
- Torrent: Intellectual Property Rights in the Digital Economy - from the Conference Board of Canada

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

CBC ignores fact that FPTP is the main contributor to the disenfranchised-voters phenomena

from the CBC BC website:

Voter turnout in B.C.'s provincial election hit a record low on Tuesday, with only 50 per cent of eligible voters bothering to vote, a full eight percentage points less than the 58 per cent that voted in 2005.


Neufeld told CBC News he'll be looking to find out why only half of eligible voters showed up at the polls.

"We're going to be doing a survey," he said Wednesday. "We did a survey after the 2005 election, and a significant number of people, about 44 per cent, the last time we surveyed them, were simply disengaged with the political process and just didn't have an interest in following politics, being involved and being part of the voting process."

Voter turnout has been dropping for years in B.C. In the 1983 provincial election, 70 per cent of eligible voters cast ballots.

UBC political science professor Fred Cutler said there were other factors at play [...]

"We didn't have people able to separate the two parties easily or separate their leaders," said Cutler.

For instance, the NDP was criticized by many of its traditional environmentalist supporters for wanting to axe the B.C. Liberals' carbon tax, sending a mixed message to voters about where the party stood in the traditional political landscape.

"For a voter who is having that kind of pressure on both sides and can't quite make up his or her mind, it's going to be that little bit harder to get up and make the walk and tick the ballot," said Cutler.
1) CBC ignores fact that FPTP is the main contributor to the disenfranchised-voters phenomena; even the Fraser Institute knows that!

Don't believe it? Check this out:

2) FPTP wasted the majority of votes in the following ridings: Boundary-Similkameen, Burnaby-Deer Lake (52% wasted), Burnaby-Lougheed (51% wasted), Burnaby North (51% wasted), Cariboo-Chilcotin (52% wasted), Cariboo North (51% wasted), and so on, and so on, and so on, and so on.

In all the ridings mentioned above (and many, many more) the majority of voters who casted their ballots wasted their time showing up; their vote had no effect, nada, niente, nix, noppes - what a great voting system the FPTP is.

- CBC: Voters disenfranchised by FPTP but we at the CBC will need a Neufeld to tell us that a survey is needed to explain why people stay home
- Fraser Institute: Let's fix FPTP with a system that's right for us (hint; it's not the most PR friendly STV)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Jonathan Kay on STV: liar

How much disinformation can one spread without lying? Well, it seems to be getting harder for Jonathan Kay, the asswhole writing for the junk paper "The Corporate Ghost".

Lie number one:

The STV system was developed by B.C.'s Citizens' Assembly, "an independent, non-partisan assembly of 160 randomly selected British Columbians [...]
STV has been in use long before BC considered it. Wikipedia knows:
The Single transferable vote (STV) [...] was pioneered in Tasmania, Australia, where it has been in constant use in the Tasmanian House of Assembly since [1906].
Lie number two:
Under STV, the tabulation process requires a computer.
If that was the case, then Tasmanians invented the computer in secret, long before anyone else did: while Tasmania's STV is from 1906, the invention of the first computers that most people know of took place in the 1940s. Way to go Tasmania!

Jonathan Kay's convenient lies
Let's face it, Jonathan Kay is nothing more than mouthpiece for the corporate elite in this country. Corporate Canada doesn't like STV because it would be a lot harder to rig the results under STV to the same extend as it can be done under FPTP.

National Post sucks, sucks, sucks!
The fact that the National Post prints Jonathan Kay's "inaccurate" junk should give you enough reason to avoid this paper like the pest. Not to mention that the NP was one once started by one of Canada's most corrupted business magnate (yes, Conrad Black, and he's is in jail too), and currently owned by one of Canada's biggest bigots on Israel's Apartheid issue.

- I'm Jonathan Kay, and I lie for a living
- We are the National Post: Why WOULD we produce sound journalism when selling our personal biases as media is a) far more profitable and b) a lot more fun?

Last pitch for STV (and why it's clearly more proportional than MMP)

I hope everyone will go out to vote in BC today, especially in favour of STV, because it's the most proportional system available.

Why STV is more proportional than MMP

One major problem with MMP, especially in the way it is used most, is strategic voting.

Under MMP, one makes two votes, one is by the single-winner-method (such as FPTP), the other is for the party.

Especially the FPTP candidate will often be selected strategically (as is currently the case in Canada) to not see one's vote wasted. By definition this vote is NOT a voter's first choice, but the choice the imperfect MMP system forces onto the voter.

It's transferable to beat strategic voting, stupid!
STV does away with strategic voting (this is the main part of the transferable part). One can, with confidence, vote for the person one really wants without being afraid of wasting ones vote by ranking their favourite candidates: their real choice with 1, their strategic choices with 2, 3, and so on. Only in case their favourite does not get elected, their strategic vote kicks in.

The negative effects of strategic voting under MMP are not visible in the Gallagher index, and therefore any claims that STV is less proportional based on the index are false.

Vote for STV

STV is not perfect, no electoral system is. But it's the most proportional electoral system that is compatible with BC's riding based voting system, and, even more important, we can vote for it today.

Now get off your ass, and vote for it!

Monday, May 11, 2009

I want my, I want my, I want my STV

I apologize to my readers: things have gotten too busy over the last few months and I had little time left for simply staying sane...

Vote for STV
Nevertheless, I do hope everyone in BC will go out to vote tomorrow. This time around I couldn't care less about what party you vote for (they both stink); there's little choice and both major parties running stink. But be sure to vote for STV!

STV It is a far more democratic electoral system that I believe ALL Canadians deserve. And why not have electoral reform start in BC?

Macleans supports STV!
Even Macleans is behind it. Read Andrew Coyne's post here, and the latest supporting post by Macleans here.

Who doesn't support STV?
Hell, I don't know, but must be pretty stupid to not support it. Here's a list of endorsements without end:

Need more info?
Still not sure what STV is about? There is lots to learn here (ready to be downloaded).

Now don't let me down......