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How do you measure success with a 'copyright' proposal?
From: Russell McOrmond <russell _-at-_ flora.ca>
I realize we are moving our conversation out of areas where we agree (IE: that there is a problem with "legal protection for TPM"), into areas where we may not share ideas. Just to know 'who is who', I'm wondering if people could think about and post their criteria for measuring a policy. My most important areas for measuring a proposal are as follows: 1) are tools under the control of citizens? (communications rights!) I have put the following onto my personal homepage: Any 'hardware assist' for communications, whether it be eye-glasses, VCR's, or personal computers, must be under the control of the citizen and not a third party. Corollary: The "content industries", such as the motion picture and recording industries, are not legitimate stakeholders in the discussion of what features should or should not exist in my personal computer or VCR, any more than they are a legitimate stakeholder in the production of my corrective eye-glasses. If a member of a content industry don't like the technology that exists in a given market sector, be it consumer electronics in the home or personal computers, they can simply not offer their products/services into that market. 2) does it leave room for innovation both in production and distribution of works? Single business models shouldn't be legislated by government, as these markets have always moved faster than governments can. "The dinosaurs must never be given control over evolution.." Incumbent businesses should not have the ability to regulate-away competition or innovative/disruptive technologies or business models. 3) does it obey separation of sectors? (competition policy) At a legislative level (as opposed to unregulated agreements to meet customer demand), producers of 'content' should have no say in the production of 'software'. Producers of 'software' or 'content' should not have a say in the production of 'hardware', and so-on. Competition policy should be strongly enforced, and any legislative ties between sectors (IE: legal protection for TPM/RMI, or any other protection for 'interfaces') should simply be abolished. 4) do I pay for what I get and not pay for what I don't want? This is my problem with the private copying regime (compulsory payment for licensing of content I don't want). It is still the case of an unfair subsidization of one industry, without any customer choice in the matter or ability innovate in alternative ways. In a country that has a hard time adequately managing critical services like education and health care, paying artists this way seems like a non-starter! 5) does it separate commercial transactions from private communications? Many of the problems we see are when certain parts of the content industry try to blur the huge differences between someone commercially exploiting a work without paying the creator, and someone non-commercially communicating/copyright a work and not paying. These are two extremely different things, and must be thought of that way. When someone is making money on the commercialization of a work, the creator should get a fair cut. When there is no money being made in a private act of a citizen (especially in their own home!), the creator should have minimal (or no) control. Most of the alternative proposals I have seen in this discussion so far fall into the compulsory payment system such as an extension to the private copying regime. These are not systems that I can support any more than the status quo since they badly fail criteria 2 and 4 from above. --- Russell McOrmond, Internet Consultant: <http://www.flora.ca/> See http://weblog.flora.ca/ for announcements, activities, and opinions Most recently in Toronto: Copyright or Wrong? http://www.rabble.ca/rumble/ ALERT! ISP Licensing! http://weblog.flora.org/article.php3?story_id=273 -- For (un)subscription information, posting guidelines and links to other related sites please see http://www.digital-copyright.ca
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