CDN Gov’t pays Lobby to Lobby

Michael Geist reports that the Canadian government is giving nearly $400,000 to the Creators’ Rights Alliance (CRA) to produce “research” on on copyright reform. While some of the CRA’s members are small organizations others it also includes organizations that “already employ external lobbyists with millions of dollars budgeted for copyright regulatory hearings and reform.”

Internal correspondence also reveals that the contract was designed to further the department’s own policy objectives. A senior official outlined the rationale behind the proposed contract, stating in an email that once the CRA funding was complete, “we should have streamlined, stable funding to an organization whose structure, purpose and activities suit our own policy needs.”

Those activities were clearly identified in an email to Canadian Heritage from CRA’s co-chair who commented that “the job of taking on the educational sector on copyright reform is clearly a huge and major undertaking,” adding that education was a “well heeled, publicly funded lobby . . . devoted to abolishing creators’ rights on the Internet.”

I don’t even know what to say.

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