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[d@DCC] Please support Canadian creativity, not harm it through protectionist revisions to the copyright act.

From: Russell McOrmond <russell _-at-_>
To: Rajotte.J (at), Frulla.L (at)
Date: Mon, 29 Nov 2004 14:16:04 -0500 (EST)

Mr. James Rajotte (Edmonton-Leduc, CPC)

Copy to Hon. Liza Frulla (Minister of Canadian Heritage and Minister 
responsible for Status of Women, Lib.)

  I read with interest the Hansard for November 26 where you spoke in
favor of changes to the copyright act that would help artists receive fair
compensation for their work.  As an independent creator of software and
non-software literary works I agree with this goal, but must caution you
that my analysis found that the recommendations of the Heritage committee
will act in opposition to that goal.

  Incumbent intermediaries like the recording industry have convinced you 
that it is copyright infringement by private citizens that is the cause of 
losses in sales.  They have further convinced you that even though 
existing laws are being broken, that changing the laws to make more 
activities illegal will somehow solve that problem.

  If you scrutinize the recording industry numbers and do economic
analysis including data from the rest of the economy you will find that
these suggestions do not hold up.  Not only do I not see credible evidence
to suggest that services like P2P is harmful, but that modern P2P
distribution has acted as cheap advertisement to increase the sales of

  As a creator I obviously do not support copyright infringement.  In
fact, I believe it should be the creator and not any third party that
decides what business model I will exploit the material and moral rights I
have in my work.  I rely on copyright and modern license agreements to
support my chosen business model.

  Unfortunately the Heritage committee report is full of recommendations
that would harm these rights, and destroy my business.  Proposals include
replacing copyright with policy authored by software vendors in legally
protected Digital Rights Management, and/or replacing copyright with a
"right of remuneration" collected by collective societies which are by far
the largest threat to modern competitive business models.  If an adequate
cost/benefits analysis was done on this policy I suspect you would agree
with me that the costs greatly outweigh the theoretical benefits.

  It is important to remember that intermediaries like the Recording
Industry, "software manufacturing" vendors like Microsoft, or Access
Copyright do not represent the interests of creators: they represent a
business model.  Those of us trying to harness and protect modern business
models see these special interests as our competitors and opposition, not
our allies.

  This is not the time to rush to ratify the 1996 treaties. Modern
creators and innovators are working to break through the old-economy
barriers at WIPO to try to get WIPO to fulfill its mandate.  While there
are powerful incumbent monopolies and their allies slowing this work down,
we are likely to see a meeting to discuss open and collaborative models
for the development soon.  There has also been work towards the Geneva
Declaration on the Future of the World Intellectual Property Organization,
including proposals by Argentina and Brazil for the Establishment of a
Development Agenda for WIPO.

  It would be inappropriate to ratify treaties at a time when discussions
are underway that question these treaties, with the possibility that WIPO
will back-out of these regressive protectionist policies and head in a
more forward-looking direction.

  If you wish to meet with me to discuss this area of policy, I am
available in Ottawa at your convenience.

Russell McOrmond
305 Southcrest Private,
Ottawa, ON
K1V 2B7
Phone: (613) 733-5836

Some related links on the Digital Copyright Canada forum I host.

  Mr. James Rajotte and Hon. Liza Frulla speak in support of WIPO treaty
ratification... (reference to Hansard)

  Mr Rajotte may remember me from an Industry committee meeting last year
where I spoke on the related issue of the Satellite TV duopoly.

 Russell McOrmond, Internet Consultant: <> 
 Code is Law: how software code regulates the activities of citizens,
 and acts similar to law.  How do we ensure transparency/accountability?
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