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[d@DCC] Fading Ways on the WIPO's "encouraging creativity"
From: Neil Leyton <leyton _-at-_ fadingwaysmusic.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 firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on Fading Ways Music's CopyLeft licensing: www.fadingwaysmusic.com/mission.html www.fadingways.com www.creativecommons.org -30- -- For (un)subscription information, posting guidelines and links to other related sites please see http://www.digital-copyright.ca
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