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RE: Report from meeting with Heritage Canada, Tuesday March 19.
From: "Chris Brand" <Chris_Brand _-at-_ spectrumsignal.com>
> it gave me the feeling that Heritage "gets it" more than any of us gave them credit > for at the beginning of this process. They aren't active participants in > the Open Source/Free Software movement or similar, but are very well > informed relative to others outside our community that I have have spoken > to on these topics. I got the same impression from the Vancouver meeting. These are the good guys. They have a good understanding of the issues and they are keen to learn more. > - "Making Available" I must admit that I read this part and didn't really understand it. There are some pretty subtle distinctions between some of these rights and I don't speak legalese well enough to distinguish those subtleties. Having said that, I did comment in my submission that I felt that Rights Holders have plenty of rights already (the paper makes the point that "Making Available" may be covered by existing Canadian law, IIRC). I also said at the Vancouver meeting that if the Rights Holders are getting additional rights, what's the balancing benefit for the Public (I have a feeling that we should be using the word "balance" whenever possible). > I do hope that Canada follows more of what the Europeans are doing. To some extent, I agree. Bear in mind that Europe is a strange place - there are European directives that get implemented in National laws. The UK had something very like the DMCA *before* the US did, it just hasn't been used much yet. > - "DMCA protest, ITAR protests, etc" > > It was suggested that we make some of these issues better known at the > meetings. It needs to be understood the damage that some of these > proposals can cause, including how having Canadian law different than that > of the USA can greatly benefit Canada. Very good point. Industry Canada's perspective is very much on how to benefit Canadian industry (of course). If we can make the point that having less draconian IP laws here will result in a flood of software people into Canada, that may help get them more onto our side. > While a number of us in Canada have quietly said the same thing, we need > to do this more publicly. I have not done this yet, but I believe I will > be setting up a "We, the undersigned..." type petition that will list the > programmers that have decided to boycott travel to the USA. I'll sign it. I've told my friends and family why I'm not going to the USA, and I'm happy to tell anyone else who'll listen (personally, it's partly the DMCA and partly their recent changes to how they can treat non-US-citizens, but I don't think that matters if the statement is worded right). > We need to be watching what Industry Canada is doing more closely than > we have in the past. I think this is key. Heritage Canada seem to be "on our side". Industry Canada aren't (yeah, it's not quite that simple, but it's close enough). They're going to be producing a joint report with recommendations. That means that they're going to have to come to consensus or compromise. so the closer we can get Industry Canada to our position, the better. I had a very interesting conversation with one of the Industry Canada people over lunch at the Vancouver meeting. He asked me why I was involved with this process. I told him that I have a 3-year old daughter and that with the way IP law was going, she would have to pay to read each page of her textbooks when she's at University. His reply was "Is that necessarily a bad thing ?". I had to think about that one, because "Of course" clearly wasn't going to cut it. I ended up saying "No, provided she has the choice to buy the book outright instead." With hindsight, I should have added "or borrow it from the library". We really need to understand where Industry Canada is coming from so we can convince them that our position is valid. From their perspective, the Public Domain is worthless because it doesn't make Canadian industry any money, so arguments about how bad it is to deplete it are a waste of time. To them, IP isn't about a bargain to enrich the public domain, it's about being able to make maximum money from your investment in research. Public Libraries just mean fewer sales. We need to find arguments that appeal to this mindset. Education seems like a good starting point - weaker IP laws mean cheaper education, which means a better educated workforce. Competitiveness vs. the USA is another good one. Surely the fact that most of the movie and record industry is in the US can be made into another ? Chris -- For (un)subscription information, posting guidelines and links to other related sites please see http://www.flora.org/dmca/
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