The time has come to abstain from all future online petitions. The spam is getting ridiculous and, while it's very easy to add a filter, I've stopped myself just to see how the tone of the organization would change if they met any degree of success. So it should come as no surprise that the group in question, OpenMedia.ca, has gone from being a well-intentioned collection of individuals to a group of alarmists who believe The Man is out to get them.
Here is part of the email they've recently circulated:
I don't want to see the big telecommunication companies or the Canadian government dictate how and when people can use the Internet and how much it should cost anymore than a citizen who might be living in that country, but I can't believe how often the tenor of the emails are ratcheted up. It seems like every week there's a new threat to the nation's digital communications platform from Rogers, Telus, Bell, or someone in Stephen Harper's twisted government. While threats certainly come in all shapes and sizes, there is no way these organizations could have some new item on the table each and every week. It's so far beyond fiction that I would classify this line of thinking as fantasy.
Today's topic du jour is the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), where a lot of it has been negotiated in secret with the full details of the law being kept from the very people who stand to lose the most; the citizens. The EFF has a pretty decent summary of the issues laying out what the problems are and what the consequences might be, and the activists at OpenMedia are taking the foundation of the secret contract and running with it. Unfortunately, they're running in the wrong direction and they're going up against lobbyists that are far, far more influential on the nation's lawmakers than the people who (supposedly) put them in power.
If OpenMedia would really like to make a difference, then online campaigns will not be enough. What they need is a bunch of back-benchers in Parliament who are looking to make a name for themselves. Cozy up to some of these less-than-appreciated politicians, take them to lunch, discuss the issues like an adult1. Get them to see things from the other side of the fence. With a coordinated effort there is a greater chance of garnering greater media coverage of the issues. With greater coverage comes greater opportunity for change.
It's not a great solution, and it will take time ... lots of time. But this, I believe, will result in the greatest chance at squashing the endless battles that will undoubtedly go on as the various Canadian copyright groups try their hardest to protect anything and everything Made in Canada at the expense of people's general freedoms.
That said ... time to create yet another email filter.