Ruling in the ‘Warman V Free Dominion’ case – well, in one of the cases, at least…

I have reported on what I saw and heard in court during the hearing itself here.

Richard Warman is an Ottawa lawyer whose hobby appears to be using the legal system to shut up people who hold views he does not like – and the consequences be damned.  He also has frequent-flyer points on using the Human Rights commissions to persecute people he finds ‘annoying’ and many believe that it is at least in part because of the way Mr. Warman used (or, perhaps, abused) the Human Rights Code that the section he used most often, Section 13, got removed.

I suspect that Mr. Warman finds people who stand up to him to be ‘particularly annoying’.

Connie and Mark Fournier run Free Dominion, Canada’s perhaps oldest, certainly largest,  discussion forum with a conservative bend.  They have stood up to Mr. Warman and his hoard of henchmen for years.

The Fourniers have been a favourite target of the serial suer Warman.

The decision has now come down in the latest lawsuit, which will have impact on how copyright laws are interpreted not just in Canada, but to a lesser extent also in other common law countries. And, it is clearly in favour of the Fourniers and freedom of speech!!!

And, it is hitting all the internet high-sites!

From Dr. Michael Geist:

‘The court’s discussion is important for several reasons. First, the finding that several paragraphs do not constitute a substantial part of the work has echoes to the Supreme Court of Canada hearing in December when the court opened the door to questions about some of the copying in schools not rising to the level of substantial copying. Moreover, if this amount of copying is not substantial, it has implications in a wide range of additional cases (including the Access Copyright model licence). Second, the court’s conclusion is critically important to online chat forums, blogs, and other venues where copying several paragraphs from an article is quite common. Given the court’s analysis, such copying appears to be permissible on at least two grounds, including the notion that such postings can be treated as news reporting for fair dealing purposes. 

The third claim involved a link to a photograph posted on the photographer’s site. The court had no trouble concluding that the link was not copyright infringement, rightly noting that the photographer authorized the communication of the work by posting it on his website. This finding should put an end to claims that linking to copyright materials somehow raises potential legal risks. ‘

In other words, 100% in favour of the Fourniers!

And, let’s not forget – this is only one of many lawsuits the Fourniers have faced and are still facing.  They have already set legal precedents in Canada when they stood up for the privacy rights of the users of their forum!!!

The practical implication of this is that they had to represent themselves in this latest court battle.

Connie Fournier, a computer scientist with a formidable mind, had to not only research all the laws and put the case together herself, she had to learn all the ‘tricks of the trade’ on how to do it and how to do it right.  Not an easy task…

Well, she did something right!!!

From TechDirt:

‘All told, this is an excellent decision, and offers further proof that Canada has the very real potential to move copyright law in a positive direction. There are still lots of battles to be fought, but there’s also a genuine emphasis on the rights of users (especially in the courts) that can hopefully be harnessed and nurtured more and more over time.’

From boingboing:

Canadian fed court: linking isn’t copyright infringement, neither is excerpting an article

From Law 360:

‘Ottawa Federal Court Judge Donald J. Rennie ruled against attorney Richard Warman, who along with the National Post Co. had sued Free Dominion website operators Mark and Constance Fournier for having reproduced a speech Warman had written and parts of a newspaper article that had been written about him, and for linking a photograph that was…’

I’m sure there is more….

The full ruling is here.

Non-medical circumcision is outlawed in Germany

Finally, some reason is breaking out in the world!!!

Germany has outlawed childhood circumcision for religious reasons!!!

(Well,  one part of Germany, anyway…but it will affect the country as a whole.)

From The Sun:

‘On Tuesday, the district court ruled circumcision would “irreparably and permanently” harm a boy and performing one for religious purposes “contravenes the interests of the child to decide later on his religious beliefs.”‘

After all, a child is too young to give informed consent to such an invasive surgery.  Male or female, removing bits of their bodies to reduce sexual pleasure later on (and, yes – that is the purpose of religious circumcision:  reducing sexual pleasure to keep the mind on God, not sex) is inexcusable and abusive.

AFP reports:

‘The regional court in Cologne, western Germany, ruled that the “fundamental right of the child to bodily integrity outweighed the fundamental rights of the parents”, a judgement that is expected to set a legal precedent.’

I’ve been using almost exactly these same words to express these same sentiments – for years.  Circumcision, even for boys, is not a trivial matter.

And when it comes to competing rights, it seems reasonable to me to go with the ‘permanent’ versus ‘changeable’ test:  once removed, a body part cannot re-grow.  It can be reconstructed, but once those nerve endings are cut off, they are gone – permanently.  So, that is something a person cannot change.

Other things I consider ‘permanent’ are, among other things, race, physical disability/disfigurement, and to a lesser extent, gender.

Religion – that is changeable.

People change their religions all the time!

This, in my never-humble-opinion, means that when the right to bodily integrity – a ‘permanent’ outweighs the right to religion, which is  variable.  But, that is just my opinion.  It is nice to read that courts in at least some jurisdictions agree with me!

And, even though the ruling was sparked by a case of a botched circumcision on a young Muslim boy, the Jewish community is already crying anti-Semitism….  which just goes to show that all you need to unite the ‘official religionists’ in Jewish and Muslim communities, to get them to work together, is to dangle a secular humanist in front of them!

And yes, I do stress the ‘official’ in the religionists’ description:  because it is the busybodies within their communities who hold power over their fellow co-religionists by interfering in their lives in the name of whatever faith it is they are ‘official religionists’ of!

I suspect that most moderate people, of all faiths, will be relieved by this ruling.  It will be a tool for them to keep their children safe from the imposition of traumatic religious practices which could potentially leave them with serious sexual dysfunction.

From the National Post:

‘The decision caused outrage in Germany’s Jewish community.

The head of the Central Committee of Jews, Dieter Graumann, said the ruling was “an unprecedented and dramatic intervention in the right of religious communities to self-determination.”’

What self-determination!?!?!

Individual humans have the freedom to practice their religion, so long as they do not break the laws of whatever land they are in.

You know, like sacrificing virgins, or chopping body parts off of babies and/or children!

In any country, the same set of laws must apply equally, to each and every individual – or rule of law, which has improved our living conditions and, according to some experts, reduced the amount of violence we experience in our everyday lives to unprecedented low levels, will indeed break down.

A ‘community’ – religious or not – only has self-determination when it is recognized as a nation-state.

And that is how it must remain!

It is individuals – not communities, religious or otherwise – who have rights!

As Asma Jahangir has said (and I am paraphrasing), we must not give special privileges to ‘minority communities’ because the leaders of these ‘minority communities’ will use these privileges to assert their power and to oppress the other members of these communities.  She was speaking of religious minorities in particular…

So, yes – it is about time the practice of childhood non-medical circumcision became not just outlawed, but socially unacceptable.

“Democracy” in the EU – lol

One would laugh, if this were not so tragic!

EU bureaucrats are openly over-ruling the will of its member states!

Some European nation states have already passed national law that make ACTA and ACTA-like monstrosities illegal in their countries.

EU bureaucrats say that’s too bad, they trump any national laws…

And, if the EU courts decide that ACTA is illegal, they’ll find some way to change the laws.

This is a very, very dangerous precedent!

From TechDirt:

‘In other words, De Gucht won’t accept the idea that the European electorate, through their representatives in the European Parliament, might possibly want to reject something they were not allowed to know about until late in the negotiating process, and to which they were unable to provide any meaningful input. In his view, ACTA must be passed, and ACTA will be passed — whatever anyone else thinks about it.’


And don’t forget, the EU is UN’s mini-me.  As at the EU, so in the UN.

We will see this, more and more: bureaucrat-crafted ‘international agreements’ will be forced as laws on member nation states, whether they like it or not.    In the EU and UN both!

Remember, the UN, chock-full of dictators and tyrants, is not big on Western values and civil liberties – and its laws/treaties reflect this.  Even its Universal Declaration of Human Rights states clearly that human rights may only be enjoyed to the degree that local laws deem appropriate!!!

If you think this should not scare you, because you don’t live in the EU – don’t be so sure.  The UN is just using the EU to work out some of the ‘how to’ kinks on its way to regulating humanity into virtual extinction!

Sen. James Inhofe cites LOST anti-ratification letter from “33-star panel”

Not sure what is LOST?

‘Freedom of the Seas’ is lost, that is what…

‘Law of the Sea Treaty’ – LOST – is the set of invasive rules and regulations with which the UN has effectively replaced the ancient concept of ‘freedom of the seas’, which we have lived with for millenia.

Until now, that is.

It is hard to believe the implications of this thing, but if you read the treaty (and I have only read excerpts – it is not an easy read), it is beyond belief that any country would sign on to this lunacy!

In a nutshell, LOST is UN’s declaration that they and only they have full and unquestionable control over the world’s seas and oceans.

Any mining of any natural resources to be done in areas covered by seas – the UN must approve (and automatically owns the technology used in such mining) but also has the right to choose to develop it itself.  Yes – a mining company must present their full plans with projections to the UN which then uses that intelligence to decide to mine itself, to grant the company permission to mine (for a large royalty, of course) or deny it out of hand.

But, it goes far, far beyond that.

In the name of protecting the world seas and oceans, LOST gives the UN unconditional control over waterways that flow into seas and oceans (like, isn’t that almost all of them?).  As such, any development along rivers which might impact on the river (even hundreds of kilometers upstream) – and thus on the water flowing to the ocean – must be approved by the UN.


But, don’t take my word on it – check it out yourself. I could not possibly describe just how invasive LOST is…and, of course, we are going to see it applied incrementally, so that nobody would protest any single little tiny step along the way.

US military has, traditionally, supported LOST because it lets them use what other countries consider ‘internal water passages’ – but don’t really care about its other impacts.  That is so irresponsible as to be criminal negligence, in my never-humble-opinion…

Sorry – I’m rambling.  Here’s the video:

A response to my post ‘Aspergers and Writing’

One of my most popular posts of all times is ‘Aspergers and Writing’, in which I explore some of the difficulties Aspies face when writing and, perhaps, some practical advice on how to improve this difficult-for-most-Aspies skill.

Over the years (yes, years…) since I have written it, it has received a lot of comments which update the post and keep it ‘fresh’.

Here is an example of a ‘conversation’ in the comments which shows how the comments people leave help others and keep the post relevant.

A reader called Riayn left this comment:

I’m an adult with Aspergers and what you have written rings very, very true.

As a child I had enormous problems with handwriting and had to undertake remedial handwriting classes. I never learnt how to form cursive handwriting that is legible. I even have problems signing my name that matches what I have signed on the back of my credit card as I can’t always form the letters properly. However, my printed handwriting, when I concentrate and take my time, is extremely neat.

When it comes to writing, I find there is a disconnect between my brain and the page. I know exactly what I want to say but I just can’t write it down. I blog to improve my writing abilities, but many of my posts sound fantastic in my head but come out completely different & inferior on the page.

I wish I could remove the mental block.

To this comment I replied:

I SO KNOW what you mean. I have found the same thing with my posts…

Though, I have found that if I write it – but not really finish, then I can’t get back into writing from where I stopped. Especially if I have had the chance to bounce the ideas off of someone else – to actually verbally ‘speak’ what it is I am trying to get across in the post.

Then, I find it easier to just start from the beginning again: complete different angle, and so on. The act of trying to write it, then saying it out loud (sometimes getting feedback – my poor family!), and then tackling it from a different angle seems to help me get more of my point across.

I also find it much easier to answer comments: then, it’s more like talking to a person, and it seems easier for me to type the words ‘naturally’ than if I am trying to compose a post. Perhaps that is connected to the fact we, Aspies, tend to be more verbally skilled than and less skilled at writing.

Have you tried recording yourself as you ‘speak’ your post – then transcribing it? I’ve been toying with the idea of, perhaps, doing a few of my blog posts by speaking them, instead of writing them down, just to see. Perhaps.

This exchange had been up in the comments for a while.

Then, a new reader named CD joined the conversation:

‘I’m an aspiring writer who has Asperger Syndrome. This post defines me to a “T”. 

I can spend three hours sitting down in front of a computer, trying to compose a story, with no results. 
Perfectionism is one deterrent. 
Another is over thinking. 
I don’t know what runs through other As minds, but I know my own. I over think things to death. The solution I incorporate is to write endlessly, uncontrollably, for a set time limit. 
For example: I could write “The smoke descended the stairs. Shawn was the only person who saw it. He wanted to warn people….” 
Well not my best but you get the idea. To write this simple sentence I’d begin like this: Smoke, grey, moves, stairs, horror, Shawn sees it, won’t talk, why, wants to…
Anything for an hour, like I said. Then I return a day later and piece the words together like a puzzle, trying to produce coherent meaning. 
My ideas are so insightful. I won’t allow AS to prevent me from expressing them in any damned form I see fit. My goal is to write
‘endlessly and uncontrollably’ until I complete an entire story, then return to fix it up.  After that, the process of general editing, which a normal person without As would’ve already completed, comes into play. 
Though this may be a daunting task, it has worked for me. 
Plus, taking care of your physical health is very important for an AS individual to hone and display his natural god given gifts. Just waking up everyday with AS and dealing with the world, not just writing, drains the persons health. 
Anyway, I hope this long post helped. I’d like a personal email telling me how I helped. If you find the time that is. I don’t check blogs very often. Guess I should get started creating my own blog,huh? 
Well that is another topic in and of itself. I’m rambling now so hope I was of some help.
I hope CD’s advice can help more people – which is why I am highligting it as a post in itself.  Thank you, CD.
And if you have found strategies which work for you, please, share them!!!  We need to try all the ideas we can get!!!

Rifat Said has some dire words about an Islamist President in Egypt

Clearly, his words were spoken before the Muslim Brotherhood candidate was declared the winner of the Egyptian presidential elections.  But, he speaks of Egypt, from Egypt and I think his words will come back to haunt us all – most of all, the Egyptians themselves!

Daniel Hannan: How politicians destroy jobs