This is an archive page. It should not be changed. Rather, it's content should be reflected in more recent documents, e.g. the monopolies on information and information technology FAQ pages. What follows were Answers to Questionnaires 2004 that Green Party supporters assembled during the Canadian federal election, 2004 to help brief candidates:

CIPPIC Questions 2004 (see their summary of answers), and French version.

Music File-sharing: What is your position on the issue of file-sharing in Canada--should it be illegal?

Sharing files is not illegal — reproducing copyrighted materials without permission and distributing them is. File sharing should not be prohibited, as it is simple transmission of information.

The Green Party believes that copyright violators should be punished appropriately under existing law.

Technological Protection of Copyrighted Materials: What is your position on using legislation to prohibit circumvention of TPMs?

The protection of copyrighted material is a legal matter, to be pursued by legal means.

The Green Party believes that the open discussion of copy protection mechanisms (including their mechanism and means to circumvent them) can only result in the creation of better copy protection schemes. Private citizens have the right to own and control devices used for lawful purposes.

Educational Use of Internet Materials: Do you support an amendment to the Copyright Act to allow for the use of freely available materials on the Internet by participants in an educational program?

The Internet is a medium like any other. Regardless of the recording and transmission medium, copyright owners must (if they so desire) be compensated for their work. For materials made available to all on publicly accesible media, the original producer holds copyright. The onus is on the producer to indicate that compensation is required for reproduction of what would otherwise be perceived as free of royalties.

The Green Party will properly fund our educational institutions to allow them to purchase, develop, and produce necessary materials.

In addition, our government will be a full participant in open content projects, like the various GNU Free Documentation License or Creative Commons licensed knowledge bases. Government funding can in some cases be made conditional on the release of research through these "copyleft" licenses.

ISP Liability for copyright infringement: Should ISPs be protected from liability for copyright infringement when others merely transmit copyrighted materials over their facilities, or when others post copyrighted works on websites that the ISP merely hosts? What is your position on the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage's proposed "notice and takedown" scheme requiring ISPs to remove content on the sole basis of alleged copyright infringement?

ISPs provide access to a medium. The content of the medium is the responsibility of the users of the medium. Expecting ISPs to monitor their users (without their express permission, or a police warrant) violates the freedom of speech that is necessary for critical discourse and the proper functioning of a democracy.

The Green Party would protect ISPs from liability, unless it can be shown that the ISP was fully aware of the copyright infringement and did not take appropriate action to dissuade the illegal activities.

The Green Party will not make ISPs liable for content. Should copyrighted material be made available via an ISP, and the ISP is notified of that material, the ISP will be required to request that the customer remove the offending material. If the customer refuses to remove the material within a reasonable period of time, the ISP will be required to reveal the customer's identity so that legal proceedings may commence.

Any uncertainty to the copyright status of the allegedly offending material is an issue to be resolved by the courts. Until the copyright status of the material is determined, the court is to decide whether it should remain available or be removed.

Open Source Software: What is your position on increasing or mandating the use of open source software in government operations?

Closed protocols, systems, and architectures can play host to deleterious behaviour that is virtually impossible to correct. Open standards and architectures are necessary for any long-lived system.

The government must be able to create, customize, and improve its systems without having to rely on a single supplier. Conversely, the public must be able to verify and critique the architectures that are used to store, transmit, and protect sensitive information.

A Green Party government will only acquire systems are built upon open standards and protocols. If such systems are not available, or do not provide sufficient functionality, the value of creating or improving an open source solution will be weighed against the cost of using the equivalent closed system. A closed system will only be used if the vendor agrees to be liable for migrating to an open architecture within a reasonable time period.

Spam: How do you propose to approach the problem of spam?

The Internet is a shared medium, similar to the airwaves or postal service. Intentional pollution of the Internet through improper or malicious use has a negative effect on the public. The problem of spam email is comperable to the problem of unsolicited mail and phonecalls, and should be treated similarly (hopefully under existing legislation).

A Green Party government will engage the international and technical communities to participate in the creation of standards to correct this problem. In addition, Canadian researchers will be encouraged through research grants to create credible solutions to this widespread problem.

The Green Party is aware that the forging of email is identity theft, and should be punished as such.

National ID cards: What is your position on National ID cards?

National identity cards provide a means to track and monitor individual citizens as they go about their private business. No organization should be able to track individuals (without their permission) unless their is evidence of wrongdoing.

The Green Party will not institute any form of national identity cards.

Speaking notes by Green Party member Chris Hubley