By: Obert Madondo
Veteran B.C. newspaper satirist Dan Murphy engaged in a little good old-fashioned Canadian political satire when he created a fake $90,000 bill starring scandal-plagued Sen. Mike Duffy. The Bank of Canada wants us to believe a serious crime has been committed here, according to Times Colonist.
The video below explains the satirical bill’s key ingredients: fake high-tech security features, bacon scent, a singing and burping Duffy and a winking hologram of Nigel Wright, PM Stephen Harper’s former chief of staff.
How does the Bank of Canada respond? It dispatched a threatening email to Artizans, Murphy’s syndicate, ordering the organization to immediately nuke the cartoon. Because “reproduction of bank note images is protected by the Criminal Code and the Copyright Act” and “the reproduction tarnishes or diminishes the importance of currency to Canadians.”
Strangely, s. 29 of the Copyright Act states that “Fair dealing for the purpose of research, private study, education, parody or satire does not infringe copyright.” And that: “Fair dealing for the purpose of criticism or review does not infringe copyright if the following are mentioned.”
The Bank of Canada’s authoritarian action isn’t about the Criminal Code. Neither is it about an infringement on copyright. It’s about thought control. We aren’t supposed to criticize a Harper-appointed corrupt senator. And the PM’s former chief of staff who tried to shield the corruption from public scrutiny.
Unacceptable. Because this is how things work in a dictatorship. And because we should never give up our right to comment on current issues. To criticize politicians and others in power. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees our right to freedom of expression.
That’s the message from Artizans. They nuked the cartoon after receiving the bank’s threat. Then they defiantly restored it. Artizans has also asked the Bank of Canada specify how the cartoon violates the Copyright Act.