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Vol. XXXI, No: 1 September 18 – 24, 2008 - Vol. XXXI, No: 2

Winning isn’t everything Cliches are for losers HANNA MATTNER Olympic News Bureau The Olympic Games fill television screens world wide every year with feats of athleticism, enormous smiles of success, cascades of medals and torrential tears of defeat. We see Canada’s top athletes competing against the cream of the crop as we share the joy of every gleaming medal they bring home. But what about the other athletes who return with nothing, like the ten students from Toronto who competed? What about our Olympic losers? The athletes completely reject that there is such a thing. “I don’t think you’re going to find anyone who comes back feeling [like a loser]” said Clare Rustad, who played on the Canadian soccer team. “It’s such a cliché, but it’s an unbelievable feeling to be there.” Ten students from the University of Toronto competed in events as varied as archery, swimming and trampoline in the Olympics this year. While their medal haul sits at nil, each athlete said the same thing in his own way. To them, it truly is not the winning that counts, but rather the opportunity, the experience and the pride in doing their best on the world stage. “It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and I don’t know if anything can top that,” said freestyle swimmer Luke Hall. “People were very open to meeting other people…The [Olympic] Village was probably the best thing ever”. “When we’re off the field, everyone’s friendly”, added Crispin Duenas, who competed Credit: Effi Vlass in the archery event. “There’s no

C-61: Who foots the Bill? Pt. 2 Who has the rights? MATTHEW POPE Canadian News Bureau This past week, Stephen Harper and the Conservatives finally did something good for copyright law: they called an election. This means that the infamous Bill C-61 has died on the order paper. The immediate threat has been alleviated but make no mistake, the battle is far from over. An election call means that all bills before parliament that have not ratified have to go back to the starting line and be reintroduced when the new parliament is formed. Advocates against Bill C-61, like Michael Geist, are quick to warn that this is nothing more than a stay of execution for public content. With substantial pressure from the International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA), other international copyright alliances and the North American entertainment industry, it won’t be long before a clone of Bill C-61 is read into the House of Commons. The election call does, however, provide some valuable opportunities for those opposed to the bill to make their voices heard. One of the most widespread criticisms from opponents of Bill C-61 has been the

really big rivalry or anything. We have really good camaraderie” Terrence Haynes, a swimmer from Barbados, said “I got to meet many athletes from all over the world, in particular when competition was over. I met Ronaldinho from Brazil, Asafa Powell from Jamaica, Usain Bolt from Jamaica [and] Rafael Nadal from Spain.” The athletes also had plenty to say about how greatly they valued the support they got from home. “It was really nice to have all the support of my friends and people I don’t even know,” said Crispin. “My family was really proud…and my friends were all excited to say they knew someone who was going to the Olympics. My girlfriend would be up at 4 o’clock in the morning watching my scores come up on the internet.” “You can see the cameras, but you can’t see all the people watching TV, just willing you to win,” said Rustad. “My little brother and his friends were up at 2 a.m. drinking Baileys and coffee to stay awake.” “Apparently my Mom didn’t breathe the entire time I was competing”, said Rosie MacLennan, who competed in the trampoline event. But what about the ever important medal tally? Haynes rightly summed up the opinion shared by all our UofT athletes – personal performance mattered far more than the relative rankings that each athlete achieved. “To come to the Olympic Games where there is tremendous pressure and competition and to still do your best is an achievement. So all in all I’m happy with my performance”. lack of public input on it. The bill was drafted and read largely without consulting the people it would directly affect: the general public. Now, with every party campaigning for the upcoming federal elections, politicians will be coming to your door. This is the perfect opportunity to make your voice heard and ask your incumbent MP where they stand on intellectual property law. Dr. Michael Geist is a law professor at the University of Ottawa who holds the Canada Research Chair of Internet and E-commerce Law, and has written extensively on the subject and provides a detailed analysis. Interested parties could find further information at his blog: www. Remember, as per Part 1 of this article (the newspaper Sept. 4) that copyright beginning with the Statute of Anne in England in 1710 was originally conceived as an incentive for people to create, and to contribute to society and culture. In the Gutenberg printing days, publishers were in fact the printers who would buy and own a work outright. Printers refused to pay royalties to writers until the law compelled them to, and it was only after the enactment of the Statute of Anne that the actual creators of literary works get their fair share. Since that time, copyrighted material has come to be known as intellectual property. That word, property, has been emphasized increasingly as the potential revenues from that supposed property increased. Those in favour of legislation like Bill C-61 argue that it is the scope of the media Continued on page 7... itself that has rapidly expanded and that copyright law

2 the newspaper

September 18 – 24, 2008

the inside the table of CONTENTS the inside . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

it’s a free-for-all! Calling all writers, copy editors and artists! Have you ever wanted to work in journalism? Would you like a chance to have you work published?

the newspaper is U of T’s ONLY independent newspaper, distributing across all 3 campuses as well as the surrounding community. This is an open call to all potential contributors. We want writers for politics, current events, sports, finance, arts and more! We are looking for creators to submit flash fiction, prose, poetry, photography, art, comics and anything else that falls out of your head. If you’d prefer to work behind the scene and help to edit and refine a weekly publication with 15,000 copies in circulation, then come see us. One more important thing: We offer free food! Yes! Come to our weekly open staff meeting, beginning THIS Thursday (September 4th) @ 5pm in our office. We will feed your face! Awesomeness! We are on the edge of St. George campus, just north of college on Spadina. We want YOU to write between the lines.

the editorial . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 the news . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1,6 the arts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 the sports . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

NOW WITH 87.9% LESS SUCKAGE! 29.5% of all people surveyed said that the new, improved website for U of T’s only independent newspaper did not cause them to vomit in their soul. Exciting! It’s a website that is always growing, built to specifications and suggestions that you can send to us! Soon you can rant, discuss and get your hate on for all your leastfavourite writers! teh interwebs is Good again.

Come see for yourself.

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ERATA: Last week’s glorious spread of Frosh photographs is entirely thanks to the skilled lense-work of Catalina Gomez.

the newspaper Publisher Matthew Pope

News Editor

Arts Editor

Maria Ionova

Moe Abbas

the newspaper is lonely and needs you. We are nothing without the Awesomeness that our writers bring us. Thank you to everyone who has contributed thus far.

Associate Editors Stephanie Busato, Ari Simha

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Copy Editors Helene Goderis, Tayyaba Jiwani

Contributors Cataline Gomez, Jane Iordakiyeva, Hanna Mattner, Santiago Ortega, Mathiaus Poe, Alex Snider, Suganthan Thivakaran, Effi Vlass

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the newspaper 3

September 18 – 24, 2008


the editorial Letters to the Editor Your newspaper, your letters. We listen. To the Editor,

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I am writing to express the profound offense your September 11 issue caused me. While I do agree that 9/11 has been shamelessly used to manipulate and indoctrinate fear, I feel that completely dismissing it as “gratuitous” material is foolish and insensitive. 9/11 is a particularly touchy subject for me because I grew up only half an hour away from New York City in a school where most of my classmates had parents working in the World Trade Center that day. I do understand that most people weren’t granted the same proximity I was and consequently may not understand my sensitivity. By dismissing the tragedy with such levity you are not only insulting the thousands of people who died that day but you are failing to learn from the event’s educative significance. It is imperative that we all (including Canadians) remember 9/11 because such an incident is universal in that it reminds us of the tragic ramifications of intolerance. By neglecting this important lesson your newspaper is achieving the opposite of its original intention and actually letting the terrorists “win.” I must draw on a quotation by Elie Weisel in which he states, “I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation… silence encourages the tormentors, never the tormented.” Cheers! Sincerely, Sofia Cutler -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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I hate People MATHIAUS POE Opinion Bureau

Walk this way Today I talk about something that affects us all: walking. I am just trying to hypothesize as to why no one seems to be able to walk properly. Almost everyone seems to get out on the sidewalk and swerve all over it like Hulk Hogan’s son with a new car. When you get onto the road, where do you drive? On the road. Correct, give that guy a kick to the teeth. Anyone else? That’s correct, on the right side of the road. And is it not generally accepted (except to the idiots whom I will address in a separate column) that the slower traffic is to keep right? We even have signs on our highways that say this. So why does none of this occur to you when to begin to amble down the sidewalk? Y’all must fail every curbside drunk test a cop gives you, since you seem incapable of walking in a straight fucking line. If you walked into my office the way I see most people walk down the street, I’d physically guide you to the door before telling you to get your bumbling ass out. Here are some simple tips to help to keep your head out of your ass and on the straight and narrow. The Sidewalk is the throughway, not unlike a highway.

Dear Sofia, Thank you for your letter. Your letter is well written and its concerns absolutely valid. Our primary goal here at the newspaper is to get people to think; to react (positively or negatively) and respond critically. We do not disagree with your points; in fact I personally have to say that I would tend to agree with what you say. The ironic truth may be that your letter says things far more poignantly than we ever could have. I assure you that our intent was not to dismiss the events of that day, but to make the point that you initially addressed: that 9-11 is often misused and misrepresented in the media. Furthermore, there is little that a modest publication like the newspaper could hope to add to that event without undermining or insulting the cause. The larger intent was to get people to think and react to it, as you have. I apologize for the pain our satire caused you. In fact, I would like to invite you to write a piece for us on the ways that 9-11 directly affected us, and still does, as a university community here in Toronto. As a community paper, I feel it is crucial to our continued existence to respond to every letter and address every concern equally. Your letter helps to make our newspaper, your newspaper, better. With your permission I will run your letter in our next issue. I look forward to your reply, Matthew Pope - Publisher -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Obey the basic rules of the road like: t Walking slow? No problem. Just keep to the right side so others can pass your lazy ass. t Don’t just stop abruptly. You’re going to get rear-ended, and that’s not pretty. t Obey the signals. If the light says don’t walk, don’t walk. There are advance green lights and you’re going to get hit by someone who IS obeying the signals (for example). t Right side good, left side bad. You drive on the right side, walk on the right side. Invert these directions for the UK and Europe. t Don’t walk side by side if you are more than two. There are other people on the sidewalk that need to get by. This is not a sitcom where we all walk 5 people wide to a soundtrack. Make some room. t Do not hang out of the sidewalk. This has the effect of stopping your car in the middle of the road. You are now an obstacle in a throughway. Stupid monkey, pull the hell over. There are a lot of people on the sidewalk,

Okay, feel free to print my letter, I would be honored. As for writing an especially on campus here at U of T. Try to act like article on the affects of 9/11, I doubt I would be qualified to do so... seeing you have a modicum of intelligence and social as most of my insight into it is pretty anecdotal. awareness. Share the walk. Anyhow I’m very glad we got through to one another. Sofia Cutler



The view and opinions expressed here are barely those of the author and not representative of the newspaper, its parent company Planet Publications or its helpless minions

PICKERING Pickering Town Centre 1355 Kingston Rd. (905) 420-0744 611 Kingston Rd. (905) 831-9557 1899 Brock Rd. (905) 686-6558 RICHMOND HILL Hillcrest Mall 9350 Yonge St., Unit Z2 (905) 770-4433 10 West Pearce St., Bldg. B (905) 731-7318 Times Square Mall 550 Hwy. 7 E., Unit A1 (905) 882-8668 1480 Major Mackenzie Dr. E., Unit C3-3 (905) 737-8737 9196 Yonge St. (905) 764-0310 9737 Yonge St., Unit 211 (905) 770-1010 10720 Yonge St., Unit 102 (905) 884-9558 10755 Leslie St., Unit 5 (416) 221-8111 x2 SCARBOROUGH 1448 Lawrence Ave. E. (416) 757-1666 2555 Victoria Park Ave. (647) 258-0267 2650 Lawrence Ave. E., Unit 2B (416) 755-8977 411 Kennedy Rd. (416) 266-7727 x1 4438 Sheppard Ave. E., Unit 107 (416) 642-8888 1291 Kennedy Rd. (416) 752-9655 3300 Midland Ave., Unit 40 (416) 332-8383 19 Milliken Blvd., Unit U (416) 299-6006 5095 Sheppard Ave. E. (416) 646-2146 Woodside Square 1571 Sandhurst Circle, Unit 502K (416) 609-3200 5661 Steeles Ave. E., Unit 5 (416) 298-8821 1900 Eglinton Ave. East, Unit E5A (416) 266-7727 x3 665 Markham Road, Unit 5 (416) 266-7727 x4 THORNHILL Shops on Steeles 2900 Steeles Ave. E., Unit 38 (905) 482-3866 Promenade Mall 1 Promenade Circle, Unit 180 (905) 482-2733 31 Disera Drive, Unit 140 (905) 882-9777 TORONTO 1854 Danforth Ave. (416) 425-9000 471 Eglinton Ave. W. (416) 485-2757 2400 Bloor St. W. (416) 760-7450 919 Bay St. (416) 657-4400 2266 Eglinton Ave. W. (416) 784-4151 2397 Yonge St. (416) 489-2255 604 Bloor St. W. (416) 533-1656 548 Church St. (416) 644-9094 Dufferin Mall 900 Dufferin St. (416) 588-6668 421 Dundas St. W., Unit G8 (416) 351-0888 1451 Dundas St. W. (416) 588-8989 Dragon City Mall 280 Spadina Ave. (416) 979-8350 939 Eglinton Ave. E., Unit 106 (416) 467-9800 Gerrard Square 1000 Gerrard St. E. (416) 466-8200 662 King Street W. (416) 628-4000 228 Queens Quay W., Unit 3 (416) 971-9700 1821 Queen St. E. (416) 406-2355 2 St. Clair Ave. E. (416) 934-1313 1268 St. Clair Ave. W. (416) 652-2288 1350 St. Clair Ave. W. (416) 651-2000 2200 Yonge St., Unit 104 (416) 322-9079 154 University Ave., Suite 101 (416) 506-0809 9A Yorkville Ave. (416) 921-7559 386 Sheppard Ave. E. (416) 512-0012 525 University Ave. (416) 640-5998 55 Chauncey Ave. (416) 231-5310 272 Danforth Ave. W. (416) 461-1010 UXBRIDGE 11 Brock St. West (905) 862-2100 VAUGHAN 1600 Steeles Ave. W., Unit 30 (905) 695-1061 WHITBY 25 Thickson Rd. N. (905) 433-0701 WILLOWDALE Centerpoint Mall 6236 Yonge St. (416) 512-8800 WOODBRIDGE 5317 Hwy. 7, Unit 2 (905) 266-0003 200 Whitmore Rd., Unit 9 (905) 850-8505

ETOBICOKE Cloverdale Mall (416) 231-5973 Woodbine Centre (416) 798-0229 MARKHAM Markville Mall (905) 940-6510 NEWMARKET Upper Canada Mall (905) 853-1462 OAKVILLE 240 Leighland Ave., Unit 208B (905) 815-8871 OSHAWA Oshawa Centre (905) 571-6663 SCARBOROUGH Scarborough Town Centre (416) 296-9160 TORONTO Toronto Eaton Centre Kiosk (416) 977-7555 Bloor West (647) 426-4737 The Exchange Tower (416) 603-7979 Toronto Eaton Centre (416) 351-1522 Yorkdale Shopping Centre (416) 783-0675 1 Yorkdale Rd., Unit 180 (416) 785-6216 Vaughan Mills 8960 Jane St., Unit 108 (905) 760-8157





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Offer ends November 3, 2008. 1 Offer available exclusively for high-school or post-secondary school students; valid student identification required. Unlimited local calls, text, picture and video messages applicable to the 10 phone numbers designated on the MY10 list. Long distance, text to landline and roaming charges are extra where applicable. MY10 terms of service: Only 10-digit Canadian-based phone numbers are eligible for the MY10 service. Customers’ own Rogers Wireless phone number, voice mail retrieval number and special numbers such as 1-800/1-900 are not accepted. One MY10 update per calendar month is allowed via or Rogers Customer Care or on select phones. No credit applied for numbers entered incorrectly. Excludes premium messages (roaming, international, MSN alerts and promotions). 2 A $6.95 monthly System Access Fee (non-government fee), a monthly 50¢ 911 Emergency Access Fee and a one-time $35 Activation Fee apply in addition to the monthly service fee. Local airtime over the allotted monthly minutes in the plan, long distance and roaming charges and any additional service options selected and applicable taxes are extra and are also billed monthly. Pricing is based on subscription to a 3-year term service agreement. Early cancellation fees apply. † Most reliable network claim refers to call clarity and dropped calls test results as conducted by Rogers and a recognized third-party research company in the majority of urban Canadian centres within the Rogers Wireless GSM footprint, comparing voice services of major wireless providers. TMTrademarks of Rogers Communications Inc. used under license, or of Rogers Wireless. All other brand names and logos are trademarks of their respective owners. © 2008 Rogers Wireless.

the newspaper 5

September 18 – 24, 2008

the sports Red vs. Blue

Varsity footballers approach winning streak STEPHANIE BUSATO Campus Sports Bureau I won’t lie, last year’s Red and Blue Bowl for the Argo Cup was pathetic. Obviously the Blues lost, adding to their losing streak. Every year the Red and Blue Bowl marks a momentous day - the two worst teams in OUA football are brought together to battle on the field for their only win of the season. Except that this year, the Blues ended their 49-game losing streak with a win against Waterloo. I began to think: perhaps we have a chance at beating York. But then, there was another losing streak the Blues had yet to defeat – they have lost the Argo Cup to York for 12 years! The game started with a cloudy sky and the Blues raring to go. Blues QB Hamilton gave an impressive performance of beautifully completed passes, leading to touchdown after touchdown. Stinson and Lomasney are quickly becoming household names (or dorm-room names for the university crowd) for their remarkable talents on the field. My Personal favourites in the game were Lincoln Bryan, Steve Persa, Matthew D’Souza, Willie Sharpe for their sprint tackles and Joshua Jankovics for his delivery of a hilarious

crowd-pleaser with suggestive hand motions. Yet it was Kennedy who rounded out the scoreboard with a fumble recovery for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter, resulting in a Blues lead of 58-7, putting an end to yet another losing streak, and bringing the Argo Cup home to Toronto. Woot woot! Beyond the game, I scanned the crowd this year and truly enjoyed what I saw. The famous hecklers (whom I affectionately refer to as the “in-crowd commentators”), known even to the York crowd, did not disappoint with their phenomenal spirit, energy and enthusiasm. Painted blue, the hecklers came equipped with a stuffed lion in a cage, a megaphone and a rallying cry against York. Yelling slogans like “York lacks talent,” they had the U of T crowd roaring with laughter. Blue spirit was undeniable as the rest of the crowd cheered the players on endlessly. Even when time was running out and the Blues victory became obvious, the crowd remained in the seats cheering until the dying seconds. It was a pleasure to see U of T enjoying and supporting the Blues once again. Credits: Photography by Santiago Ortega. Copyright © 2008

I have attended the Red and Blue Bowl for years, but this was the first time I felt such camaraderie among players and spectators. It helps that the Blues stepped on the field with one win under their belts already, easing some nerves. And the 58-7 victory eased nerves plenty – that’s the highest score the Blues have had since 1971. It looks like they are well on their way to winning my bet! Only nine more wins to go! Go Blues Go!

A full-colour page deserves full-colour content...

What better use of full-colour space than to show the full-colour glory of the Varsity Blues’ 2nd victory in a row? Credits: Photography by Santiago Ortega. Copyright © 2008

Credits: Photography by Santiago Ortega. Copyright © 2008

6 the newspaper

September 18 – 24, 2008

the news the arts The Soup Club Serving up Good Karma

Apocaliptstix put on for good fun MATTHEW POPE

SUGANTHAN THIVAKARAN Community News Bureau At the busy intersection of Spadina and College, there are many students getting a bite to eat or heading home, but these joyful faces stand in stark contrast to the sordid spectacle of those who have nothing to eat and nowhere to go. The link between this particular intersection and the homeless is the popular nightclub El Mocambo, which is transformed into a soup kitchen by day. As a volunteer at the soup kitchen, I have been a part of Serving Charity, which is a notfor-profit organization working to aid the homeless in Toronto and in communities in underdeveloped countries like India and Vietnam. The organization provides a vital service to the city by donating food, water and clothing to the homeless. Between the hours of 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. each night, the organization is out on the streets of Toronto serving the homeless their food, prepared by a team of dedicated volunteers at El Mocambo.

Babes, bands and bad puns

It is amazing that such an organization exists and runs without collecting administrative fees or wages, but the main source of motivation and strength of this organization is found in the owner of the nightclub and founder of Serving Charity, a man known as Abbas. Abbas is a strong believer in his very own moral philosophy: “if you can build a bridge, you have architected the gates for human glory that let the light shine in the most beautiful ways.” A university that is a leader in intellectual thought and research stands idly by as the problem of homelessness continues to grow. One way to start helping is by volunteering with an organization such as Serving Charity who are continuously recruiting talent for the welfare of humanity around the globe. For information about Serving Charity, please visit their website at

Rescue Me-ow

Graphic Novels Bureau The first volume of Apocalipstix, by Ray Fawkes and Cameron Stewart, is a fun, campy tale of hard-rocking babes in a postapocalyptic world where the vast majority of survivors just happen to be rock musicians. While the camp isn’t quite as self-aware as I would’ve hoped, the characters are oddly endearing and the Mad Max-esque world in which they live is well-drawn. The three girls that make up the band, Apocalipstix, are all relatively predicable stereotypes, but the author manages to have them play out without becoming irritable. The book seems to be hiding the fact that it’s marketed to young boys by pretending to market to young girls. While the men and women in the story are all archetypes of some kind, I admit that I did not expect much more from a comic book. I did find it surprisingly appealing that the drummer, a Japanese character named Megumi (my personal favourite), spoke entirely in subtitled Japanese characters. All the women are strong characters without seeming to overcompensate. One of the problems I found with the book was that each chapter just seemed to be a stand-alone story with no real connection to what came before or after. The overarching mission for the band seems to be to make it to California, where it is rumoured there’s still “trees and green”, but that doesn’t quite seem to tie the book together. The biggest mistake that Fawkes and

Stewart make is actually including some of the lyrics to Apocalipstix’s music in the work. They are inescapably lame and take away from the supposedly indomitable playing of the band. In the end, Apocalipstix, Vol. 1 is a fun and fanciful escape that is everything you would expect in a story about three hard-rocking babes kicking ass through a post-apocalyptic world.

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JANE IORDAKIYEVA Feline News Bureau Have you ever wanted an affectionate, furry feline around the house? Have you wanted to help an abused or abandoned animal? The Toronto Cat Rescue is a non-profit volunteer organization that helps abandoned, helpless and sometimes injured cats find a warm and loving home. The organization’s website states, “We see some terribly sad cases, but happily many of them have positive outcomes thanks to all the caring cat lovers who have adopted from us over the years.” The Toronto Cat Rescue does not have a shelter but works through foster homes. The center also provides medical help to cats in need, including neutering and shots at appropriate ages. University of Toronto students have a long and outstanding history of defending animal rights. The U of T Coalition for Animal Rights and the Environment is

OMSAS one of the many university clubs whose members seek to promote humane treatment of animals and support animal shelters among other similar initiatives. The Toronto Cat Rescue encourages everyone who has a desire to help rescued cats to volunteer in either adopting a cat or providing a temporary foster home. If you would like to adopt a cat, the organization’s website has a large list of charming cats in need of a home, along with their pictures. For more information on volunteering or adopting an animal, visit Ontario Medical School Application Service September 15, 2008: Last day to register for online applications October 1, 2008: Application deadline OLSAS Ontario Law School Application Service November 3, 2008: Application deadline – First year May 1, 2009: Application deadline – Upper year

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the newspaper 7

September 18 – 24, 2008 ...continued from page 1 has been expanding proportionately to defend those same rights and interests it always has in other media. The argument has also been made, by opponents of this new wave of legislation, that copyright has been systematically closing in behind the works as they are created to prevent them from ever coming into the public domain. Case in point: the infamous “Mickey Mouse Law”. Every time that Mickey Mouse is about to come into the public sphere, the copyright laws are extended to prevent it. The first Mickey Mouse cartoon was set to enter the public domain in 2003, but a law passed in 1999 now protects the work until at least 2019. Copyright now protects the author’s work for the term of their life plus 95 years. So a work created today, by someone in their 30s, might come into the public sphere around 2150. Companies like Disney have made their fortunes by taking from the public domain without giving anything back. Cinderella, The Little Mermaid and many other fairy tales were firmly in the public domain long before being reanimated. Disney, through a powerful lobby and substantial legal resources, has taken those stories

the end Flash Fiction Stuff that’s written goodly ALEX SNIDER Desert Dogs and Deadly Ducks I have a friend who has a dead animal story for every occasion. They aren’t all sad; some are funny as hell. My favorite is about her uncle who bought four bunnies and a duckling then put the duck in the cage with the bunnies and the duckling pecked out all the bunny eyes. All eight of them. I can’t tell it right, though, she tells it with more background and dramatic pauses and just general pizzazz. I guess that’s what makes it okay for her to tell all these dead animals anecdotes, she’s a storyteller. She’ll start out in a wind-a-bout way, something like:

Bob the Angry Flower

and manipulated copyright law so that they may never come into the public sphere again. Culture is comprised of many things, but it includes the characters, stories and narratives that compose our collective history, both fictional and non-fictional. Many of the above are being systematically copyrighted so that we no longer have the right to use or reproduce them in any form without paying someone. On CBC’s radio show Ideas, host Jim Lebans gives this example: Say you have a box of photos from your Grandmother in a shoebox underneath your bed, and you decide you want to have them blown up. If you take them to any photography processing outlet they will tell you (or, by law, they should) that they can’t touch them without the express written consent of the original photographer. So now you have to track down the original photographer, or the heir to their estate, before you can do anything with your pictures, and often people are finding that the true copyright heirs are simply lost to the sand of time. So the work can’t pass into the public sphere and no one can touch the work without this non-existing consent. So those pictures that you thought were yours really don’t belong

to you. The proverb goes ‘if you’re not mad, then you’re not paying attention’. If none of what you’ve read so far makes you angry, then consider the following scenario: if your child draws a picture of Superman in daycare and you, being a proud parent, scan that picture and post it to your blog or website, you can be sued under the newly proposed legislation of Bill C-61 for infringement. Alternately, say you create a clip reel of news bites set against a musical backdrop, for fun or a class project, and post it anywhere online. You are now liable for a $50,000 fine from any one of the numerous sources you used to create it. The previously held concept of Fair Use is becoming endangered. Writing to your candidates is not a waste of time. If the public were to show real concern it could make copyright law an election issue. Thanks to modern intellectual copyright law, no creation copyrighted since the early 1900’s has EVER come into the public domain. The next while will be decisive on this issue. Will the next generation benefit form our cultural legacy, or gaze at it from behind glass walls?

“My uncle, in Kuwait, decided one day to get his kids a pet…” Or sometimes she’ll just out and ask if she’s told you the one about the murderous duck to pique your interest, before launching into the back story with a heavy “well…”

Gauging her audience, my friend may tell how after Bloody Tuesday, her uncle took the duck to the gulf to let it loose. And how the duck, having never learned to fly ran after him, pathetically flapping it’s wings and quacking so to break your heart and make you forget it’s homicidal tendencies. Her uncle’s heart did break and he did forget (or put from his mind) the homicidal tendencies and he brought the duck back home. Then, this is the part of the story my friend would start the drum roll on the table (usually spilling drinks), bought another duck to keep the evil one company.

Then she’ll tell you how her uncle brought home a desert dog. “Now I don’t know what that means,” she’ll say, “desert dog. Is it a specific breed native to Kuwait? Is it just a mutt he found in a sand dune? Either way the desert dog didn’t work out.” There might be a bit of a discussion as to the exact meaning of desert dog and she’ll allow it before steering the attention back to the story that’s just about to get good. “Anyway, after the ill-advised desert dog fiasco, Byron thought it wise to get the boys several pets, albeit small ones,” (What a great word, albeit!) “So he got a duckling and four baby bunnies…” Since you already know the punch line, I’ll spare you reading the gory details. Just know that they involve her youngest cousin, a three year old, lifting the sheet covering the cage in the morning and being the first witness to the carnage. BY STEPHEN NOTLEY

The story ends with her explaining how when the time came, Byron took both ducks to the gulf and hoped that the new duck would provide incentive for the crazy duck to fly away. “Nope, the new duck flew away immediately and Byron was still stuck with the deadly duckling. I guess it was just a dud.” She’ll then shrug her shoulders, and innocently take a sip of beer while her audience recovers. The homicidal duck story is always a party favourite. Reprinted with permission



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Issue 3 - September 18 2008  

MATTHEW POPE Who has the rights? Vol. XXXI, No: 1 September – , - Vol. XXXI, No: Canadian News Bureau Olympic News Bureau