EU court rules linking does not infringe copyright

While most of us would, I hope, consider this common sense, it is nonetheless nice to have the EU courts confirm it.

This is important because the EU has some of the strongest copyright protection laws, which give authors a great deal of control over their published work.

‘The court had to consider whether by providing links Retriever Sverige had taken part in an “act of communication to the public”. Under EU copyright law, authors have the exclusive right to authorise or prohibit any communication to the public of their works.

The court ruled that the law had not been broken because the articles in question were on Goteborgs-Posten’s website and therefore already “freely available”.

In a statement it said: “The owner of a website may, without the authorisation of the copyright holders, redirect internet users, via hyperlinks, to protected works available on a freely accessible basis on another site.” ‘


A link that would take you behind a pay-wall, that is a different thing…

However, this ruling parallels the victory Connie and Mark Fournier of  the now censored Free Dominion had won in Canada’s federal court over Richard Warman, who claimed they had infringed his copyright by linking to an image on his own website.  In this particular case, the judge ruled that Warman had complete editorial control over his image and that linking to it, even should a thumbnail be displayed, did not constitute re-publishing it without permission.

Update on the Dr. Mann vs Mark Steyn lawfare case

It’s been dragging on for a while, with no resolution in sight.

A few people who do not usually follow this debate have recently become aware of it and have asked me what it is all about.  So, for them – and any others of you who are interested – here is a very brief recap of the story so far,

Here is the post that started it all:  Football and Hockey

Here is a humorous intro to Dr. Mann.
Here is what I wrote about it when it first started:  Is Dr. Michael Mann Canuckophobic?
Here is some historical & factual info from Steyn:  The Fraudulent Nobel Laureate
And here is some current commentary:  The Martyrdom of Mark Steyn
And Steyn, in his words:  The One Party State of Climatestan
Hope this helps!
After all, when the pro-government-policy side of a ‘debate’ is the only one permitted to be discussed, we know we have a problem.  And for all those claiming ‘scientific consensus’ – think Galileo…
And never forget that for Galileo’s voice to even be heard, Giordano Bruno had to first be immolated to pave the path!
Let’s hope that Mark Steyn will be remembered as the Galileo, and not the Giordano Bruno, of our generation.

John Stossel – The State Of Our Liberty

Michael Coren & Tarek Fatah – non-Muslim ejected from University’s Muslim preaching course


Who are the ‘moderate Muslims’?

There is a number of questions people have been asking me about Muslims.  I’ve tried to answer some before, but, upon further reflection, there are a few I’d like to re-visit.

Here, I would like to explain why I consider some Muslims to be ‘moderates’ – but not others.

Yes, there are some who do not see the distinction, pointing out that to follow Islam, one would have to skip large bits of the Koran in order to practice a ‘moderate’ version of the faith.  True.  But that is also true of the Bible – Jesus famously claims to bring not peace, but the sword.  And it is not that many generations ago that my paternal grandmothers’ relatives were burned alive by the Jesuits for practicing the ‘wrong’ branch of Christianity.

In other words, it is not the dogma itself that makes a person a ‘moderate’:  rather, it is the bits of the dogma that one takes and ‘owns’ and lives by that makes one a ‘moderate’ or not, regardless of the faith/religion (theistic, atheistic or non-theistic alike)/doctrine/dogma.

When it comes to Islam, I see the divide as being between those Muslims who demand official recognition of Sharia (Islamic jurisprudence) and those who do not.

What is Sharia?

Books have been written on this, but, in short, it is ‘Islamic Law’.  There are 4 main Sunni and 4 main Shia schools of Sharia and they do indeed differ in some minor aspects, but, on those bits that they all agree, the ‘Islamic Law’ is unalterable.

Sharia evolved over several centuries.  Scholars studied the Koran, the sayings of their prophet Muhammed and stories about the life of the prophet Muhammed as told by his companions.  None of these were written during the life of Muhammed himself, but rather when many of his companions began dying off and the rest of the Muslims were afraid that his teachings and traditions would be lost, the ruler at the time had all the companions write down all they remembered, gathered all the materials, weeded through them to pick out the ‘most authentic’, recorded those as the only permitted version and had all the rest burned.  A lot like the role the Council of Nicaea had in writing the Bible.

So, for centuries after the Koran and the Sayings and Traditions of Muhammed were written down, jurists would look to the scriptures themselves to see what the proper sentence should be.  Not all jurists read the same things in these texts, yet, still, over the centuries, a body of jurisprudence had indeed been built up from which some rulings emerged as so common as to constitute laws.  The formal collection of these laws is called Sharia.

While it is still being added to (in the form of fatwas, or pronouncements/rulings of learned clerics on legal questions),the major body of it had been codified at around 1100 CE or so – just as the end of the ‘golden age’ of Islamic science came to its end.  Those two are closely connected, because Sharia is very inimical to any form of inquiry, including the scientific one.

It is important to keep in mind that while Sharia is based on early scholars’ reading of Koran and the life of Muhammad, it is not actually the Koran and Sunna itself.

The way Sharia is implemented in various Islamic countries does vary, even if the cores are common to them all:  the testimony of a woman is worth half that of a man, her inheritance is half that of a man’s, a woman is a perpetual minor in they eyes of the law so any and all of her property is managed for her by her guardian, and this guardian is also the one who enters into legal contracts on her behalf (including marriage:  under Sharia, a woman is herself not a party to her marrige contract, only her guardian and husband have legal standing in the contract),  apostates must be put to death (though one school of thought says female apostates are only to be under house-arrest for life), and so on.

Many Muslims do not like living under Sharia and its harsh rules – or, at least, the way it is imposed on them from the outside.

Thus, they have come to The West in order to practice Islam according to their own understanding and without the straight jacket jurisprudence that is Sharia.  These are people who are happy to follow our secular laws and impose any additional religious rules onto themselves, from the inside, without compulsion from anyone else.

These are the people I consider ‘moderate Muslims’.

As opposed to the Muslims who want to live under Sharia – but to do so in our lands, in The West.

The problems with this desire are numerous – not the least of which is that in order to retain integrity and social cohesion in a land, one set of rules has to apply equally to each and every citizen.  Equality before the law is such a fundamental cornerstone of our society that to have one class of people ruled by a parallel legal system means it has already been destroyed.

Another problem with Sharia is that it is deeply supremacist.  It sees itself as above all mere man-made laws, and wherever there is a conflict between the two, Sharia demands supremacy.  And since only Islamic scholars are permitted to issue Sharia rulings, permitting Sharia in a country effectively takes the application of law from the hands of trained jurists and places it in the hands of Islamic clerics…which could, indeed be problematic, to say the least.

Did I mention that non-Muslims are not permitted to speak at a Sharia court, even to defend themselves – even though Sharia reserves the right to rule over them?

And then there are the moderate Muslims – the ones who immigrated to the West specifically to get away from Sharia…if we permit it in our lands, they will automatically be subject to it, whether legally (as in Indonesia) or through peer pressure (as in the UK).  Do we not owe them equality under our laws, just like every other citizen?

Though I have barely scratched the surface, I do hope I have demonstrated both that Sharia is incompatible with our governance and that we owe it to the moderate Muslims among us to protect them from it.

Which brings me to the other type of Muslim – the ones who demand Sharia in our lands, under the terms of ‘religious accommodation’, necessarily at the expense of our ‘freedom from religion’.

Sharia is the politico/judicial arm of Islam and not theological teachings.

As such, anyone who wishes for any form of Sharia to be implemented (accommodated is the term used, but due to its supremacist nature, in reality, this ‘accommodation’ requires putting Sharia above our own common laws) in The West is calling not just for freedom of religion, but for the imposition of Islamic law.  And not just for themselves, as an act of private worship, but as something to be imposed on the whole of society because Sharia’s laws extend to both Muslims and non-Muslims.

This, by definition, makes them Islamists and not ‘moderate Muslims’.

To recap:  those Muslims who call for Sharia accommodation/implementation in The West are not moderate Muslims, they are Islamist colonists who ought to be called out as such and resisted, if we want our culture of tolerance preserved.





Fundraiser to help re-settle Tibetan refugees

The Canadian government has recognized the difficult situation the Tibetan refugees are in and has permitted a number of them entry to Canada as sponsored refugees.  This means that, unlike other immigrants who are ‘sponsored’ by the government and thus get support from it to help them settle, the sponsors of these Tibetan refugees are the ones responsible for all.

Now, don’t get me wrong – they sponsors are quite happy with that!  And charity delivered directly from those who want to help to those who need the help is always kinder, more human-touch as well as more efficient than any help government would provide!

Yet, the more of us are helping, the more of us will feel great – and the more people will benefit, become happy Canadians, and lend a helping hand in their own turn.  I know, because earlier in my life, when I first escaped the persecution in my native land, I was so grateful for all the help I received from individuals first in Austria, then in Canada that now I am doing well, it makes me very, very happy to lend a helping hand in my turn.

So, please, help if you can – you’ll feel better for it!


Update:  For those for whom the above graphic does not show up (my apologies):

Come celebrate Tibetan New Year

February 21st, 2014, 6:30 – 9:30 pm

First Unitarian Congregation, 30 Cleary Ave., Ottawa

Suggested minimum donation is $30.00

RSVP Jose 613-263-2388,

First mosque planned for Slovakia

A reader sent me some interesting information…

This is very surprising because second perhaps only to Poland, Slovakia is one of the most Catholic nations in Europe.

In fact, the profound depth of the Catholic faith in Slovakia and the historically ingrained animosity towards Catholicism in Czech was one of the many factors in the ‘velvet divorce’ that saw the division of Czechoslovakia into Czech and Slovakia.

Which is why the construction of a mosque in the staunchly Catholic capital of Slovakia is so very surprising.  Emphasis added by me…

Aside:  the information was sent to me in Slovak, so if the translation is inaccurate, the fault lies completely with me.

“The citizen association ‘Islam for Slovakia’, in co-operation with Friends of Islam in Bratislava have purchased real estate for the construction of the first mosque in Slovakia.

The first mosque will be built on Kamennom Square next to the department store.

The construction of architect (?) Radoslav Abdulmesih will commence in May 2014.

Within the grounds of the mosque, there will also be created the first Muslim primary school.  It’s opening is scheduled for the 2015/2016 school year.

The name of the project:  Mosque on Kamenn (Kamennom) Square in Bratislava

Project leader:  Ing. Radoslav ‘Abdulmesíh  (note:  ‘Ing.’ denotes level of education, but not field and is often used as a title)

Lead Builder:  Jozef Nagy

Commencement of building (groundbreaking):  May 2014 (Ašhadu anna Muhammadan rasúlu-l-láh!)

“Good day, we would like to answer the most frequently asked questions which we have received from you.

The groundbreaking celebration will be held on the 3rd of May, 2014.

The grand opening is planned for the 31st of June, 2015, and the school year 2015/16 will see the opening of grade 1 of primary school at our mosque.  In accordance with what we have replied to those who have expressed their interest to us in writing, registration for grade 1 will begin on the 1st of August 2015 and will close on the 16th of August, 2015.

Instruction will follow a bilingual format where the Slovak Language, civics (incl. history and geography) and science shall be taught in Slovak, all other subjects will be taught in Arabic.  Starting in grade 3, an additional foreign language may also be selected, we are yet working on this.

Worship will be, as always, every Friday.

The Muezzin will, of course, fulfill his duties and announce all prayer times.

In the rear of the mosque, there will be a small store with Korans, prayer mats and the like.

The fact that some of you don’t agree with the building of this mosque saddens us, but, as you live in a democratic society, you ought to learn to tolerate other people’s needs, not just your own.

If you have other questions, do not hesitate to contact us.  ” ‘




Communicating Keynes vs. Hayek

On my recent and most excellent trip out West, I talked to a lot of people about all kinds of things.  So much food for thought… and me, a slow thinker!

The upshot of this will be that in the next few weeks, I’ll probably be mulling it over and posting answers to the questions that had been raised.

One of the questions that was thus raised was how to accomplish communicating some core principles to the younger generation.  After all, they ought to learn from our generations’ mistakes!

Which brings me to YouTube:  it is a resource chock full of awesome tools for getting kids interested in learning through fun, catchy videos.

For example, my son became quite the expert on ancient warfare after a video game creator who made games about Roman warfare decided that rather than paying for extra ads, it would be a better marketing idea to pay some established video game reviewers to educate their audience about the Punic Wars.  Brilliant!

Not only did my son watch that series of videos, he got so interested in the story that he went and looked up much, much more quality online material on ancient Roman history.

Isn’t it awesome how free market not only helps everyone involved, but its by-product is a better educate populace?

Which brings me more to the focus of my post – how to teach kids about basics principles of the competing economic theories?  It sounds dull – unless you set them to rap:

And, round two:


Another useful resource that explains that the source of our rights determines their nature, a set of videos that I have posted over the last week, from LOOKandLISTEN.

If you have other good videos, let me know and I’ll feature them!

Ezra Levant & David Harris – Sugar-coating Islamic terrorism

This is quite distressing.

We have seen the purging of essential information from police and military training manuals in the US, but at least up here, in Canada, we have a Prime Minister who is not afraid to say out loud that the greatest threat to Canada’s security is Islamic terrorism.

Yet, we are seeing this same linguistic purging going on in CSIS?!?!?

This is not good, not good at all.

When political correctness trumps public safety, we are all …….’d!

Having said this, I am not surprised.

Over the years, I have interacted with a large number of high level civil servants – and not only do I speak their language, I am very, very familiar with their thought patterns and behaviours.  For example, when Stephen Harper’s Conservative government was firs elected, I heard conversations among the highest echelons of the civil service on how best to circumvent the government’s will, how to intentionally introduce flaws into programs they are ordered by the government to implement so as to make the elected officials look foolish, and so on.  (The mandarins did not know I was not on their team….)

Which is why, whenever someone raises the issue of term limits of elected officials, I suggest that we create term limits for how long an individual may serve in the civil service, regardless of the level.  After all, inexperienced elected officials and VERY experienced apartchicks does not a good governance structure make!

I would recommend capping any individual’s term limit to work for ANY level of the civil service at no more than 12 years…

But, I digress…

This year, for Christmas, I bought my kids each a copy of Sun Tzu’s ‘The Art of War’.

One of the first lessons it teaches is that if you cannot name/define the enemy, you have already lost.

Keep that in mind as you watch this video, which shows that increasingly, our security forces are not permitted to name/define the enemy.

Sad, so sad…



Reason TV’s Nanny of the Month for January 2014