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Author Topic: Bill C-10, Canadian censorship.  (Read 6490 times)

Johnny C

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Bill C-10, Canadian censorship.
« on: 04 Mar 2008, 10:18 »

Please understand that I rarely post anything politically motivated on this forum, and that even this to an extent is not politically motivated. Though not a Conservative myself, I genuinely take no umbrage with people who vote for that party. This is also not in fact a post designed to convince you to vote otherwise. Instead, I am bringing some Canadian political news to your attention, but only because I believe it's an issue of poor legislation that manages to transcend party lines.

Perhaps you're aware of it. In summary, the bill contains an amendment to the Income Tax Act that would effectively limit or cut entirely funding for film productions deemed offensive by a closed-doors committee. I spent a good hour putting together a letter to the Prime Minister and CC'd to the Senate committee which is near giving the bill the royal assent it requires to become law, and the letter explains my position far better, though the sign-off is clumsy.

Quote
Prime Minister Harper,

It is with a heavy heart that I write to you today on the subject of Bill C-10. You likely know that the bill contains provisions to amend the Income Tax Act in order to deny funds to films that feature content "against public policy" ("Tories plan to withhold funding for 'offensive' productions," The Globe & Mail, 28 Feb. 2008). As a musician who deals lyrically with issues of gender identity, government policy and economics, among other things, I wonder what precedent this will set for receiving FACTOR grants and other public financing for my work, which has yet to be recorded or published. As a Canadian citizen, I worry even more deeply about the impact this will have on Canada's thriving artistic community and the film industry, as well as the economic results.

The Hollywood Reporter did a story on the bill on Friday. The general tone of the article was one of severe caution. It would be easy to imagine from reading the article, titled "Canadian tax credits: strings attached," that there will be a decrease in Hollywood's business here further than the decrease already caused by our rising dollar. Even at the end of last year, producers were already using the strike as an excuse for coming up north for productions ("Strike shutters 'Bionic,' 'Battlestar' up north," Hollywood Reporter, 16 November 2007). Tax credits are one of the few incentives for productions to film in Canada. Would a film like Brokeback Mountain, not to mention films like David Cronenberg's controversial-yet-acclaimed Crash, be made in Canada today with Bill C-10 in place? I greatly doubt it.

Beyond that, I feel I must express dismay that the bill is set to enforce the views of a select few. Evangelical Charles McVety is claiming a victory in this matter. According to him, there are a "number of Conservative backbench members that do a lot of this work behind the scenes." This work reportedly includes denying tax credits to "films promoting homosexuality, graphic sex or violence" ("Evangelist takes credit for film crackdown," The Globe & Mail, 29 Feb. 2008). What is positively unnerving about Mr. McVety's comments is that, thus far, not a single Conservative member of Parliament, backbench or otherwise, has come forward to deny McVety's claims. His name has been brought up in the House of Commons and published in Canada's foremost national newspaper in connection with the bill, and the silence that this government has met his comments with can only be considered a tacit endorsement of his words.

Since this is an issue of taxpayer money, I'll ask that you consider this. The process for determining whether or not films will be morally objectionable will take place behind closed doors with a select group of people making the final decision. As a voting, tax-paying citizen, I don't feel comfortable with this group of people diverting my tax dollars away from films that I might find morally unobjectionable, and I don't feel comfortable with my tax dollars paying them to do so.

Artist and Canadian,
John Cameron

If you find this issue at all in your interest, if you have any thoughts in favour or opposition of this bill or if you have questions, I ask that you please write to your MP, the Prime Minister (pm [at] pm.gc.ca) or the Senate.
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Scandanavian War Machine

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Re: Bill C-10, Canadian censorship.
« Reply #1 on: 04 Mar 2008, 10:27 »

it's about time something bad happened to canada!

your country is too awesome and needs to be taken down a peg!
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pat101

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Re: Bill C-10, Canadian censorship.
« Reply #2 on: 04 Mar 2008, 10:35 »

I am QUITE angered by this bill espesically when things like "the bill only adresses only the most extreme and gratuitious materal..."  are being used as an excuse. I mean who is making these descesions on what is "gratuitious"? Something tells me my defenition is quite different from some of those in Canadian parliment.

thegreatbuddha

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Re: Bill C-10, Canadian censorship.
« Reply #3 on: 04 Mar 2008, 10:48 »

Point of Confusion: The Bill isn't actually going to prevent one from making content deemed inappropriate, but prevent one from gaining a tax-credit useful in such an endeavor?
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Johnny C

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Re: Bill C-10, Canadian censorship.
« Reply #4 on: 04 Mar 2008, 10:56 »

The tax credit is usually a hefty one. Making it more difficult to obtain based on moral standards is, in effect, a tacit form of censorship.
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thegreatbuddha

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Re: Bill C-10, Canadian censorship.
« Reply #5 on: 04 Mar 2008, 11:09 »

That is underhanded. The fact that it is implied censorship through a withholding of funds rather than explicit censorship just means its all the more likely to be passed as a law. That makes me sad, and I hope the Canadian people as a whole get in a big enough huff over this to stop it from being passed.
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Re: Bill C-10, Canadian censorship.
« Reply #6 on: 04 Mar 2008, 11:24 »

Canada is one of the last places I'd ever have thought to do anything like this. It is a form of censorship and a pretty silly one at that. But in other words, your letter is written rather well and I hope there are a lot of other letters like it that will hopefully bring this bill down.
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tommydski

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Re: Bill C-10, Canadian censorship.
« Reply #7 on: 04 Mar 2008, 11:56 »

It's cute that you guys are pretending to be a real country now.
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jeph

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Re: Bill C-10, Canadian censorship.
« Reply #8 on: 04 Mar 2008, 13:23 »

What I'm wondering is, who benefits by this? I wasn't under the impression that the Canadian government pandered to the hypocritical Christian moral compass like the US did.
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Uber Ritter

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Re: Bill C-10, Canadian censorship.
« Reply #9 on: 04 Mar 2008, 14:06 »

My favorite maps of "The United States of Canada" and "Jesusland" (red/state/blue state 2004 election map) showed a little finger of Jesusland sticking up into the US of C that coincided -exactly- with Alberta.  My grandad, a Dutch Reformed Minister, once took up the call from a congregation in a little southern Albertan town which was populated by the descendants of Dutch immigrants.  And suffice to say I think the culture clash (Popop was from New Jersey) was I think part of the reason he left.  Isn't Harper from Alberta?  But then I'm not Canadian so what do I know?

The UK already has its ban on 'extreme' pornography, so some sort of censorship of 'egregious' material doesn't necessarily require a massive portion of the voting public to be socially conservative Christians.

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jeph

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Re: Bill C-10, Canadian censorship.
« Reply #10 on: 04 Mar 2008, 14:08 »

REMEMBER REMEMBER THE FIFTH OF NOVEMBER


HURRRRBUGAHLGBLUAGGLGBLABUGLAHGLUHAGLBGALGUH ANAL
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Joseph

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Re: Bill C-10, Canadian censorship.
« Reply #11 on: 04 Mar 2008, 14:23 »

The tax credit is usually a hefty one. Making it more difficult to obtain based on moral standards is, in effect, a tacit form of censorship.

Doesn't the bill also not allow funding through the Canadian Council for the Arts towards Canadian material deemed innapropriate?
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Slick

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Re: Bill C-10, Canadian censorship.
« Reply #12 on: 04 Mar 2008, 15:23 »

What I'm wondering is, who benefits by this? I wasn't under the impression that the Canadian government pandered to the hypocritical Christian moral compass like the US did.

The government isn't pandering to those people, the government is those people.
Canadian politics in thirty seconds:
Federally there are:
  • The Liberals
  • The Conservatives
  • The New Democratic Party
  • The Green Party
  • The Bloc Quebecois
First, you only vote for the bloc if you are a Quebec sovereigntist. Then, you are probably either a conservative or a liberal. You may sympathize with the ideology of the leftist NDP, but you'll probably vote Liberal instead because a) the NDP are inexperienced at governing and b) no one thinks they'll win so you'd rather just make sure the Conservatives don't win. You may like the Green party, and they're almost a real party now, but you still will probably vote Liberal because you don't want the Conservatives to win.
Usually there is a Liberal majority or a Liberal minority propped up by the NDP (the latter is my favorite so far). From time to time, though, either a) the Liberals will screw something up, and/or b) people will get tired of them, and then the Conservatives get power (when they're not off fractioning into three or four different Conservative parties.
That's it 'in a nutshell'.

Right now, the Conservatives are in power, and they are pushing their own agenda. Problem is, as I see it, people vote for them because of their fiscal points (not all of which I agree with) and to avoid the corruption that grows up in the old, power-cosy Liberals, and get stuck with their social points.
I do not like the Conservative party. Not much at all.
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KharBevNor

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Re: Bill C-10, Canadian censorship.
« Reply #13 on: 04 Mar 2008, 17:58 »

The UK already has its ban on 'extreme' pornography, so some sort of censorship of 'egregious' material doesn't necessarily require a massive portion of the voting public to be socially conservative Christians.

Fun fact! That's still not actually a law. There's a version of it tacked on to another bill that's still in Lords Committees.

I find the idea ridiculous and dangerous. Censoring the production of material which, at the end of the day, harms absolutely no-one, is bad enough, but criminalising the very possession?
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Johnny C

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Re: Bill C-10, Canadian censorship.
« Reply #14 on: 04 Mar 2008, 19:17 »

Astoundingly enough, the Canadian government actually panders to this guy. I'm not using him as a broad stereotype. They literally cater to the morality of that one dude.
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CEOVanilla

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Re: Bill C-10, Canadian censorship.
« Reply #15 on: 04 Mar 2008, 22:54 »

Wait, this got through the House of Commons? I'd have thought the Bloc, Liberals and NDP would have voted against it.
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Uber Ritter

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Re: Bill C-10, Canadian censorship.
« Reply #16 on: 05 Mar 2008, 05:39 »


Fun fact! That's still not actually a law. There's a version of it tacked on to another bill that's still in Lords Committees.

I find the idea ridiculous and dangerous. Censoring the production of material which, at the end of the day, harms absolutely no-one, is bad enough, but criminalising the very possession?
Ah, I didn't know that.  Shows me up for being an American, I guess.  That's good to hear, at least.
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Re: Bill C-10, Canadian censorship.
« Reply #17 on: 05 Mar 2008, 05:47 »

still in Lords Committees

read: Lords are just sitting around watching porn all day.
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negative creep

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Re: Bill C-10, Canadian censorship.
« Reply #18 on: 05 Mar 2008, 07:42 »

Oh man, I'm really sorry to hear that.
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Mycroft

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Re: Bill C-10, Canadian censorship.
« Reply #19 on: 10 Apr 2008, 17:32 »

My first post, probably not the best way to make an introduction, but the topic caught my eye.

I believe that the entire situation can be summed up as follows:

Refusal to fund does not equal censorship.

The term censorship has a specific meaning, and Bill C-10 does not fit that definition at all.
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Boro_Bandito

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Re: Bill C-10, Canadian censorship.
« Reply #20 on: 10 Apr 2008, 17:36 »

Edited: for immediately feeling like an inadequate response the moment I posted it.


You are a bit of a douchebag. There, that feels better.
« Last Edit: 10 Apr 2008, 17:39 by Boro_Bandito »
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Re: Bill C-10, Canadian censorship.
« Reply #21 on: 10 Apr 2008, 17:42 »

Let us not resort to name calling already.
Mycroft, if you would please elaborate on your stance, that would be fantastic.
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thehollow

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Re: Bill C-10, Canadian censorship.
« Reply #22 on: 10 Apr 2008, 17:46 »

Right now, the Conservatives are in power, and they are pushing their own agenda. Problem is, as I see it, people vote for them because of their fiscal points and get stuck with their social points.

That's a pretty big deal for a good amount of Republicans in the US as well. Old school republicans (small government) such as my dad are completely against universal healthcare and the like, but aren't necessarily religious and don't hate gays and such. Problem is there's not many politicians who can feasibly adopt this platform, because it's not socially conservative enough to get the evangelical vote, and too conservative for the more liberal voters.

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Mycroft

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Re: Bill C-10, Canadian censorship.
« Reply #23 on: 10 Apr 2008, 18:19 »

I should clarify my stance. I am not a great fan of any kind of government subsidy. When I buy music, for example, I buy it based on what I enjoy. I happen to enjoy some Canadian music (Lowest of the Low, Moxy Fruvous, to name a few). But, I disagree with the the current taxpayer obligation to pay for and support Canadian content on the sole basis of supporting Canadian cultural identity.

I will address three main points:

1. Bill C-10 is not stopping filmmakers or artists from making films or music. The purpose of Bill C-10 is to deny public funding to certain content. I will elaborate on this later.

2.The bill itself is not particularly partisan, unlike previously suggested by Slick:

Quote
Right now, the Conservatives are in power, and they are pushing their own agenda.

Both the Liberals and the Conservatives are equally responsible for the bill; the original version of the bill was tabled back in 2003 by former Liberal Heritage Minister Sheila Copps.

3. Finally, if I may quote Mark Steyn:

Quote
It speaks volumes for the complacency of our movie industry that the presumption of government subsidy is so universal that Canada's artists now see it as analogous to freedom itself.

For anyone to claim that they have a right to my money, regardless of the actual content of their production, is a position I cannot agree with.

Now, the fact that the content itself is being evaluated by a closed-doors committee is a Bad Idea, and I completely agree with Johnny C that concerned individuals should do their best to prevent an arrangement such as that from ever seeing the light of day.

My original point, however, was to state that the denial of public funding is not censorship, however difficult the actual process to obtain the tax credit itself may be.


Have you ever put together a grant proposal, out of curiousity? It's not easy, and if you can't justify getting public money then you don't get it. Making this law says "here are things which can never be justified, nope, nuh-uh, no way." That's garbage.

Your own phrasing is key here: "The original version." The Conservatives have mangled it into what is being protested against. The current Heritage Minister amended the bill to include the part where he can veto a production's tax credit.

The Steyn quote is an oversimplification. They're not claiming that at all. They're claiming, among other things, that genuinely artistic films might be struck down because the government considers it risque.

Certainly not, but the establishment of intentionally vague legal conditions relating to content under which such funding will categorically be denied? Sounds like censorship to me.

I fucked around with this post again because it was brought to my attention that it looked really dickish to have his points rebuffed at every turn. It did. Sorry, dude. This post-editing business will be over next Wednesday, too. I just have some classes to finish. -JC


« Last Edit: 11 Apr 2008, 19:28 by Johnny C »
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jhocking

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Re: Bill C-10, Canadian censorship.
« Reply #24 on: 10 Apr 2008, 18:55 »

The Hollywood Reporter did a story on the bill on Friday. The general tone of the article was one of severe caution. It would be easy to imagine from reading the article, titled "Canadian tax credits: strings attached," that there will be a decrease in Hollywood's business here further than the decrease already caused by our rising dollar. Even at the end of last year, producers were already using the strike as an excuse for coming up north for productions ("Strike shutters 'Bionic,' 'Battlestar' up north," Hollywood Reporter, 16 November 2007). Tax credits are one of the few incentives for productions to film in Canada.

Did you already send this letter? This part is confusing to me (wait, does or doesn't Hollywood want to film in Canada?) and I would rewrite it, but if you've already sent it then it's not a big deal.

I missed a "not" in there. -JC
« Last Edit: 10 Apr 2008, 23:44 by Johnny C »
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Social Bacon

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Re: Bill C-10, Canadian censorship.
« Reply #25 on: 10 Apr 2008, 20:27 »

What I'm wondering is, who benefits by this? I wasn't under the impression that the Canadian government pandered to the hypocritical Christian moral compass like the US did.

The government isn't pandering to those people, the government is those people.
Canadian politics in thirty seconds:
Federally there are:
  • The Liberals
  • The Conservatives
  • The New Democratic Party
  • The Green Party
  • The Bloc Quebecois
First, you only vote for the bloc if you are a Quebec sovereigntist. Then, you are probably either a conservative or a liberal. You may sympathize with the ideology of the leftist NDP, but you'll probably vote Liberal instead because a) the NDP are inexperienced at governing and b) no one thinks they'll win so you'd rather just make sure the Conservatives don't win. You may like the Green party, and they're almost a real party now, but you still will probably vote Liberal because you don't want the Conservatives to win.
Usually there is a Liberal majority or a Liberal minority propped up by the NDP (the latter is my favorite so far). From time to time, though, either a) the Liberals will screw something up, and/or b) people will get tired of them, and then the Conservatives get power (when they're not off fractioning into three or four different Conservative parties.
That's it 'in a nutshell'.

Right now, the Conservatives are in power, and they are pushing their own agenda. Problem is, as I see it, people vote for them because of their fiscal points (not all of which I agree with) and to avoid the corruption that grows up in the old, power-cosy Liberals, and get stuck with their social points.
I do not like the Conservative party. Not much at all.
Basically this is the complete and total truth. Also, our form of "democracy" is rather fucked up, better than most, but still fucked. The Conservatives took every seat in Alberta in the last federal election with only about 65% of the Albertan popular vote... Ontario just attempted to initiate a government of proportional representation but the referendum failed because the majority of voters didn't know what it was...

Wait, this got through the House of Commons? I'd have thought the Bloc, Liberals and NDP would have voted against it.
If it did get through the house (I haven't been following so I'm not sure if it has) it will be because Dion has still failed to hit puberty and doesn't have the balls to actually vote on any piece of legislature. I can't believe he chose to abstain from voting on Harper's retarded tax cut. Even right wing economists think his economic policy was a piss poor decision.
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calenlass

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Re: Bill C-10, Canadian censorship.
« Reply #26 on: 11 Apr 2008, 01:04 »

EDIT MY POST TOO, JOHNNY

ME ME ME


MEEEE TOOOOO
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jhocking

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Re: Bill C-10, Canadian censorship.
« Reply #27 on: 12 Apr 2008, 07:33 »

As long as we're talking about outrageous legislation affecting artists, check out this:
http://www.sellyourtvconceptnow.com/orphan.html
(long audio interview, but worth a listen. in particular, he doesn't get into practicalities of what to do about it until the end)

Now the extensions to copyright over the years have been a little over the top, but to completely reverse the entire situation overnight is just crazy talk.

AMERICA FUCK YEAH
« Last Edit: 12 Apr 2008, 07:41 by jhocking »
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ruyi

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Re: Bill C-10, Canadian censorship.
« Reply #28 on: 12 Apr 2008, 09:27 »

Here's another link on that. Pretty ridiculous stuff.

Quote
If the Orphan Works legislation passes, you and I and all creatives will lose virtually all the rights to not only our future work but to everything we've created over the past 34 years, unless we register it with the new, untested and privately run (by the friends and cronies of the U.S. government) registries. Even then, there is no guarantee that someone wishing to steal your personal creations won't successfully call your work an orphan work, and then legally use it for free.
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Slick

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Re: Bill C-10, Canadian censorship.
« Reply #29 on: 12 Apr 2008, 15:22 »

Man, real talk in a real thread that I missed out on!
The only thing I have to say that Johnny didn't get was that I do not think it is a bad thing for tax dollars to go to Canadian cultural works, but still, I would resent someone deciding what should and shouldn't be done with this credit based on their opinions of objectionable while what I consider bad films can get it.

Also, I like how you pointed out liking Moxy Früvous as a Canadian group you like, instead of, say, Broken Social Scene.
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ruyi

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Re: Bill C-10, Canadian censorship.
« Reply #30 on: 12 Apr 2008, 15:41 »

Actually, I'm going to go back on what I (and presumably Joe) just said.

Countering the FUD about the "Orphan Works" copyright bill (that doesn't exist)
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