I booked a room at the Intercontinental
Hotel in Montreal through Hotwire a couple of days ago. When I
arrived at the hotel the receptionist asked me for a $250 deposit
for incidentals. Next morning, without my permission (sure, okay,
it's likely buried in the small print) they charged my card an
additional $200. I subsequently learned that this was because I'd
booked a couple of massages at their spa. When I checked out they
charged me for the massages and told me that I should see the $450
back on my card in 2-3 business days.
Of course, this scam earns the hotel
money at my expense. A tiny expense, but, when combined with all of
the other visitors' tiny expenses, not tiny. This scam is
similar to the one operated by the oil companies when they
insist that you punch in the amount you think you'll need to spend
filling your tank at their pumps. It's your money and time they're
stealing. Peanuts per person, big coconuts together.
Where's the government on this? The same
place government is on poor banking services, the highest mobile
phone rates in the world, and sky-high dairy prices. Nowhere.
Canadian governments have abandoned Canadian consumers. Valets to
the rich and big business they are; to an alarming degree.
Which brings us to copyright
Cravenly hidden in an omnibus Budget
Bill (a tactic Trudeau swore he'd never use), Bill C-32 received
royal assent on December 31, 2022. It extends copyright protection
in Canada for writers and other creators from fifty to seventy
years after they die. How does this benefit the public? It doesn't.
Not at all. Does it provide added incentive for these authors to
create and innovate? None. Does it help readers and researchers and
teachers? No, it does the opposite.
the Trudeau government to extend copyright with one
pathetic argument: that it brings Canada into compliance with other
jurisdictions. Greed won out in other words. Now, no new works will
come into the public domain in Canada for another twenty years. How
does this affect books and readers, writers and publishers? I
ask Michael Geist. He's a law professor at
the University of Ottawa where he holds the Canada Research Chair
in Internet and E-commerce Law and is a member of the Centre for
Law, Technology and Society. He has obtained a Bachelor of Laws
(LL.B.) degree from Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto, Master of
Laws (LL.M.) degrees from Cambridge University in the UK and
Columbia Law School in New York, and a Doctorate in Law (J.S.D.)
from Columbia Law School - so he should know.