Canada

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USPS rates updated on USPS and Canada Post Rate Cards

Posted by Jim DeLaHunt on 21 Apr 2011 | Tagged as: Canada, USA, robobait

Last January I got around to introducing my handy Canada Post and USPS postage rate quick reference card on this blog. On April 17th, 2011, the United States Postal Service put new, higher postage rates into effect. I’ve revised my rate cards to reflect the new USPS rates.

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Handy Canada and US postal rate quick reference, updated

Posted by Jim DeLaHunt on 21 Jan 2011 | Tagged as: Canada, USA, robobait

Living as I do with one foot in the USA and one foot in Canada, I find myself sending letters from Canada to Canada, Canada to the USA, and sometimes carrying mail with me over the border to mail in the USA to the USA.  I have one pile of Canada Post stamps, and another of US Postal Service stamps. But looking up the various postage rates, with their grams and ounces, was a nuisance. I couldn’t find a single rate card which covered both countries succinctly. And with each service raising its prices about once a year, my improvised rate cards were going out of date every few months.

Nearly two years ago I came up with a handy quick reference to current Canada Post and USPS postage rates for basic letters between the USA and Canada. Last spring it was polished enough that I posted it on my web site. I just now updated it to reflect the Canada Post rate increase which took effect on 17. January. You can find it at http://jdlh.com/en/pr/postage_card.html.

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Birdwatching the 2010 Olympics police

Posted by Jim DeLaHunt on 28 Feb 2010 | Tagged as: Canada, Vancouver, meetings and conferences

Mémphramagog Police shoulder flashAs the cheers still resound outside my apartment, from the street party below, let me report on my own Olympic sport: police-spotting. It’s like bird watching, but for police agencies.

Some 118 different police agencies from across Canada came to the Vancouver area as part of the $900 million 2010 Olympics security effort.  The RCMP sent over 4000 officers from provinces across Canada; various municipal police departments sent some 1700 more.  (20% of Canada’s policing power was at the Olympics.) I figured it would be fun to say hello to a constable from every one of those agencies. I didn’t get to them all, but it was fun trying.

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Copyright, Competition, and Investment

Posted by Jim DeLaHunt on 30 Nov 2009 | Tagged as: Canada, culture, politics

During July-Sept 2009, the Government of Canada held public copyright consultations, with an eye to writing new copyright law. They asked for submissions addressing five topics.  Here’s one of my submissions, on “Competition and Investment“. It’s hard to tell what will become of these consultations. My submission did eventually show up on the official submissions page, but I still want to publish it for the record on my own blog.  I have two more submissions, “Copyright and you (me)” and “Copyright and the test of time“, which I published in recent weeks.

Q: What sorts of copyright changes do you believe would best foster competition and investment in Canada?

A: Three changes:

  1. relinquish Crown Copyright
  2. create legal structures for free culture, and industries based on it
  3. don’t take on the job of defending obsolete business models

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Copyright and the test of time

Posted by Jim DeLaHunt on 31 Oct 2009 | Tagged as: Canada, culture, history, politics

During July-Sept 2009, the Government of Canada held public copyright consultations, with an eye to writing new copyright law. They asked for submissions addressing five topics.  Here’s one of my submissions, on the “test of time“. It’s hard to tell what will become of these consultations, because the government may fall (again) before Parliament gets a chance to pass a new bill. My submission did eventually show up on the official submissions page, but I still want to publish it for the record on my own blog.  I have two more submissions, one on “Copyright and you (me)” which I published last month, and one which I’ll dribble out in the coming days.

Q: Based on Canadian values and interests, how should copyright changes be made in order to withstand the test of time?

A: The largest single dynamic is the change in delivery of cultural works from physical containers (paper books, CD disks, celluloid film) to digital information (ebooks, music files, computer networks).

Physical containers are:

  1. either immediately accessible by humans (books), or accessible via limited machines which did not copy the container.
  2. expensive to duplicate, and expensive to transport. Continue Reading »

Copyright and you (me)

Posted by Jim DeLaHunt on 30 Sep 2009 | Tagged as: Canada, culture, politics

During July-Sept 2009, the Government of Canada held public copyright consultations, with an eye to writing new copyright law. They asked for submissions addressing five topics.  Here’s one of my submissions, on “Copyright and you“. It’s hard to tell what will become of these consultations, because the government may fall (again) before Parliament gets a chance to pass a new bill. My submission may eventually show up on the official submissions page. Until then, here it is, for the record.  I have two more submissions which I’ll dribble out in the coming days.

Q: How do Canada’s copyright laws affect you? How should existing laws be modernized?

A: This topic should not just be about copyright, it should also be about culture. I absorb culture, some of it through copyrighted works, some through public domain or non-copyrighted works. I also create works: essays, blog posts, musical performances, even submissions to government consultations. Thus I am *both* a producer and a consumer.

All culture is built by mixing and innovating based on previous culture. Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty” was based on German folks tales written down a few centuries before.

The purpose of copyright is to strike a balance: to allow a limited right to prevent copying, in exchange for a larger social and cultural good. In today’s Canada, this balance has been greatly distorted, in favour of the publisher and the corporation, against the vast majority of artists, against the public, and against the culture. Digital technology, extra-long copyright terms, and aggressive policies by industry groups mean that publishers have greatly expanded their power to prevent copying. The public interest and the culture are harmed.
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Funny that McCain and Obama didn’t mention Canada or NATO

Posted by Jim DeLaHunt on 27 Sep 2008 | Tagged as: Canada, USA, politics

I don’t really want to start commentary about the US Presidential race, since so many other people are already saying so much. But I do want to mention one thing that struck me, as a resident of Canada.

In last Friday’s debate (Sept 26, 2008) between John McCain and Barack Obama, they talked about the outlook for the war in Afghanistan. They both described it in purely US terms, as if the US was fighting that war alone.

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