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[d@DCC] Fading Ways on the WIPO's "encouraging creativity"

From: Neil Leyton <leyton _-at-_ fadingwaysmusic.com>
To: General Discussion <discuss (at) digital-copyright.ca>
Date: Tue, 20 Apr 2004 17:06:45 -0400
References: <459F05C5CBAB824BB3DD965CC92BBFEA0294E986@swan.spectrumsignal.com>

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                           April 20th 2004

Toronto's Fading Ways Music, in open criticism and protest of the WIPO's 
"World Intellectual Property Day", April 26, 2004, celebrates the 
release of its first "SHARE" sampler.

This CD sampler, "SHARE" Vol. One, is distributed under the Creative 
Commons "Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike" license, that legally 
enables fans to freely share, copy, upload and download without fear of 
legal repercussions.

While the WIPO and the world's major record labels celebrate their IP 
enforcement victories in spreading its unfair, one-sided legislation 
(via the international WIPO treaties)  to nations around the world, 
Fading Ways Records would like to take the opportunity to raise some 
real concerns regarding "Encouraging Creativity" (which is the theme for 
the WIPO's "World Intellectual Property Day" this year).

Citizens of nations around the world that have already ratified the 
WIPO's treaties remain largely uninformed or mis-informed by massive 
music biz PR campaigns that have - for years - misled the public in the 
issues that are at stake.

In particular, we urge the Ministry of Canadian Heritage and the 
Copyright Branch to reconsider its publically-announced plans to 
fast-track legislation this year, 2004, to close what it, and many big 
record companies, consider a "loophole" in the Copyright Act following 
the Federal Court decision. We wish to tell the Citizens and the 
Government of Canada that not all record labels feel the same way on 
this issue.

The tools musicians use to create and distribute music have always been 
subject to abuse by people that want to infringe on the creativity of 
others.  This is nothing new, and is not a justification to aggressively 
regulate these tools, as this regulation will cause far more harm than 
good to present and future creativity. Amidst many other valid arguments 
in its favour, downloading is NOT piracy unless someone rather than the 
artist is profiting from it. Fading Ways Records sees it as a plus: it 
is great promotion for a new artist, and if anything it helps our record 
sales.

Fading Ways Records is not anti-copyright, nor is Creative Commons; but 
instead of supporting sweeping legislation that can viciously aggravate 
the present situation, Creative Commons licenses offer a positive, 
rather than forbidding, solution. Here are some points to consider:

* The Government, and the courts, have said copyright law is about 
balance. The Copyright Act should not be amended at the demand of 
special interests such as big record companies, without a full and open 
hearing of all the issues. The law belongs to all Canadians.

* The various WIPO conventions and treaties, like the USA's DMCA Act, do 
not "encourage creativity" ; instead they are a means to the major IP 
owners' end of over-regulation of IP: in the music industry this means 
outlawing downloading and uploading of songs, which, as a Canadian Judge 
has already commented on, should remain legal in Canada. They are also a 
means to control how and when end users get to access material.

*  Creativity would be much better served by artists allowing each other 
the legal freedom to build on and modify (sample, remix, and generally 
share) each other's work; giving credit where it is due such as Danger 
Mouse's "Grey Album". Big Media's ability to dictate how a piece of 
copyright is experienced or built upon should be reasonably limited, and 
those limitations should be encoded in law - as used to be the case with 
the original intent of copyright laws.

* The homogenization of our music landscape (not just via the unfair 
market share of the majors in North America, as compared to Europe for 
example) via the mainstream media mergers that have left 5 companies 
(Viacom, Disney, AOL/Time Warner, Clear Channel, and News Corp) in 
charge of  85% of our media sources endangers creative diversity as well 
as political diversity, threatning to turn our open market society into 
an essentially "closed" market environment that disallows voices, 
view-points and artwork that is "controversial".

* It's not just the freedom and rights to music downloading and the 
survival of p2p that are threatened; ratification of the WIPO provisions 
concerning Technological Protection Measures and Rights Management 
Information infringes upon the rights of citizens, including the Charter 
of Rights guarantees of freedom of expression.

The Fading Ways Share Sampler, Volume One, feature the following tracks:

Neil Leyton - shake
Jim Clements - so much confetti
Red Orkestra - still waters
Thee Motion - oilslick love cabaret
Aceface - knock me out
The Conscience Pilate - money & alcohol

It can be downloaded for free via a Creative Commons license at Fading 
Ways' brand new UK Street-Team site at:

http://www.rockrevolution.co.uk/download.htm

Fading Ways recording artists Neil Leyton, Jim Clements and Johnny 
Charmer are available for interviews on the topics of Creative Commons, 
downloading, music industry fairness and any other related issues.

Contact Fading Ways Music PR Astrid Bin at 416.537.3796 or 
astrid@punchcardmedia.com.

For more information on Fading Ways Music's CopyLeft licensing: 
www.fadingwaysmusic.com/mission.html

www.fadingways.com
www.creativecommons.org
-30-   

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