To the Alberta Liquor and Gaming Commission, on behalf of craft beer connoisseurs in Alberta.
It has come to my attention on Monday, November 29th, 2010, that a fax had been sent to liquor stores and media outlets across Alberta, halting the purchase or import of beers with an ABV content greater than 11.9%, due to the risk of binge drinking. We believe that this attempt at alcohol control is highly misguided and should be repealed for reasons discussed below.
As beer is a widely varied drink in terms of market diversity, and styles, more so than most wines and spirits, it isn’t fair to lump beer into any particular legislation that can have far reaching negative effects on beer as a whole. Extreme examples of this would be the style of a light American lager compared to a Belgian dark strong ale. The former being a typical drink for social gatherings and parties, the latter being the typical drink for enjoyment sessions, not unlike those of a fine wine. Read more
While it may be somewhat surprising to me, it probably shouldn’t. Many years ago in the United States, the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) was passed into law. As many people were, I was disappointed with it. It seems though with the proliferation of social media sites like YouTube, we begin to see the DMCA invoked more and more, specifically to protect the rights of copyright holders.
Now, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as the content creators have rights, however, in the United States, there is a provision called Fair Use, which in Canada can essentially be interpreted as the same as Fair Dealings. This seems to be one of the first points of contention when it comes to the DMCA. If not the first, it is high up the list. In summary, according to Wikipedia:
Fair use is a doctrine in United States copyright law that allows limited use of copyrighted material without requiring permission from the rights holders, such as for commentary, criticism, news reporting, research, teaching or scholarship. Read more
It is usually a comparison one sees quite often since now, it has been close to a month now since Deepwater Horizon exploded into the Gulf of Mexico, and the amount of oil leaking from the underwater reservoir is approaching levels not seen since the Exxon Valdez. With the inevitable comparisons between the two events end up coming the inevitable politics to folow.
The politics I’m talking about can be the obvious “who will pay?” politics to figure out the kind of punitive damages that BP will be left with after they cover the cost of cleanup, to Governor Schwarzenegger withdrawing support for offshore drilling off the coast of California. In some cases, and even a more odd case to me is an instance where Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks went back to the 2008 election campaign and bashed Sarah Palin on her “Drill Baby Drill” slogan, although it went a little beyond that. Read more