Archive for March, 2008

An open letter to the Songwriters Association about its proposed internet tax



You’ve probably been getting a lot of abusive responses from people who are pissed off about being accused of crimes they didn’t commit. I will try to keep this email civil, but I do have some rather pointed questions about issues that you’ve been avoiding both in the initial proposal on your webpage, and in Eddie Schwartz’s piece in The National Post. Please note that this email, and any responses to it, will be posted on my blog at (more…)


SOCAN’s internet tax; Opening the floodgates


The Songwriters Association of Canada has proposed a $5/month internet tax, on ALL CANADIAN INTERNET ACCOUNTS, to punish the vast majority of innocent Canadians for the actions of a small minority. They don’t give a damn what happens, as long as they collect their pound of flesh. However, I care.

The question arises, what’s so special about SOCAN? Nothing really. Why should they get their pound of flesh from innocent Canadian internet users, while other alleged “internet downloading victims” don’t?

There’s no logical answer to that question. Therefore, If SOCAN gets to collect a tax, why shouldn’t the MPAA (movies), the TV networks, e-book publishers, software publishers, etc, etc? Pretty soon, my $29.95/month ADSL account will be subject to anywhere from $50 to $100 or more, per month, to pay off everybody demanding their cut. Do we really want to turn the internet into the preserve of the filthy rich who can afford such an extravegance?

Someone stole my used clunker; that gives me the right to steal your new Cadillac


Two wrongs do not make a right, let alone punishing an innocent 3rd party for someone else’s actions. Yet, the Songwriters Association of Canada seems to think so. As pointed out by the New York Times, major ISPs like Comcast see 50% of their bandwidth use come from only 5% of their customers.

SOCAN proposes to grab $5 per month from ALL CANADIAN INTERNET SUBSCRIBERS, including the innocent 95% who mostly use their accounts to surf the web, and read email, and watch Youtube, etc. Their biggest downloads tend to be legitimate operating system and program security and feature updates. This is not about justice for songwriters, it’s about a bigtime money-grab from innocent law-abiding internet users. (more…)

What is this blog about?


I’ve noticed a worrying trend in Canada where so-called “free-enterprisers” have stopped trying to sell their “services” to willing customers. Rather than spend money on advertising their product/service, they spend money lobbying government to have their product made mandatory. Why restrict your revenue base to merely those people who want and need your product? It’s so much nicer to also be able to collect money from people who don’t want or need your product. Since the free-loading-enterprisers demand to get paid for an unwanted “service”, they’re like squeegee kids. But the’re actually corporate types who wear fancy suits. Thus, I came up with the SKIPS acronym for “Squeegee Kids In Pinstripe Suits”.