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[d@DCC] Answers from a private citizen to questions asked in the committee meeting earlier today.
From: Russell McOrmond <russell _-at-_ flora.ca>
(Letter sent a moment ago). Dear Scott Simms, MP for Bonavista-Gander-Grand Falls-Windsor, I was part of the audience today at the meeting of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage. You asked a few interesting questions, and I wanted to offer my own reply. I am a private citizen who is also an independent creator (software and other literary works), ISP, and Internet consultant. I have been trying to speak with MPs involved in copyright revision since the summer of 2001 when that round of copyright consultations started. I have not yet been invited to speak to MPs in this committee, although I have spoken to the Industry committee on related issues. I noticed your concern about media concentration and the problem with Canadian voices trying to be heard via centrally controlled media. While you were discussing this in the context of the broadcast study, you need to also discuss this in the context of the Copyright report. The first recommendation from the recent report was WIPO treaty ratification. These treaties were written largely to benefit incumbent broadcast interests seeking to protect themselves from competition with the Internet. The Internet is not currently a broadcast media at all, but a citizen-to-citizen distributed medium of communication. While there is a claim that Digital Rights Management (DRM - also referred to under the related but not identical term Technological Protection Measure) protects copyright, it is actually a replacement of the public policy of copyright with private policy. This private policy is authored by software vendors, executed on a citizens own communications technology (home computer, VCR, etc), and is a regulation against uses of that communications technology that are not in the private interests of these software vendors. The outsourcing of government policy represented by the WIPO treaties is a greater threat to Canadian creativity and citizen participation than those identified in the broadcast study. This is only one part of one of the recommendations, with there being considerable problems with each of the recommendations in that report. You also mentioned a concern about balance between the interests of the recording industry and citizens. You mentioned that your own child just "clicks a button" and distributes music, without really knowing this is illegal. The Canadian Recording Industry Association would have you believe that there is something stopping them from suing your child. This is not true. CRIA recently launched a discovery case where they tried to get the names of 29 music file sharing users, most likely children, so that they could then sue them. They lost not because there are loopholes in the copyright act as they falsely claim, but because they didn't provide evidence that they owned any of the files that were distributed (uploaded) via these networks. While uploading is illegal, downloading of music is legal in Canada because the recording and music industry asked to make it legal so that they could levy blank media as part of the private copying regime. In no way are CRIA members the victims here. It is important to realize that not all peer-to-peer distribution is unauthorized. Many independent musicians deliberately authorize P2P so that their fans can be extremely inexpensive components of their marketing efforts. While this is claimed to be harmful to CRIA, it is not because of infringement but because of the competition this adoption of alternative business models represents. Please consider meeting with me so that we can discuss these issues more. Thank you! Russell McOrmond 305 Southcrest Private, Ottawa, ON K1V 2B7 Phone: (613) 733-5836 Full contact information at http://www.flora.ca/#contact This letter is licensed under the Canadian Attribution-ShareAlike Creative Commons License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/ca/ -- Russell McOrmond, Internet Consultant: <http://www.flora.ca/> Code is Law: how software code regulates the activities of citizens, and acts similar to law. How do we ensure transparency/accountability? http://www.flora.ca/russell/drafts/code-is-law.html _______________________________________________ Discuss mailing list Discuss@list.digital-copyright.ca http://list.digital-copyright.ca/mailman/listinfo/discuss
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