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Re: [d@DCC] Notes from TIP conference available

From: Russell McOrmond <russell _-at-_>
To: General Copyright Discussions <discuss (at)>
Date: Tue, 15 Feb 2005 11:27:42 -0500 (EST)
References: <a06200777be34102d96a2@[]>

On Sat, 12 Feb 2005, Joe Clark wrote:

> U of T's sixth Technology and Intellectual Property Group conference 
> was held yesterday, and boy, do I got notes.
> <>

  Few comments on your Blogging -- I was there (Sat beside you for the 
first few sessions).

-- Creative Commons:  If not perpetual and irrevocable, then are you not
advocating a situation where you would be inducing infringement?

  Perpetual means in the context of any copyright license "for as long as
the underlying exclusive rights exists" -- meaning that after life+50 a
work is in the public domain no matter what license it was offered in.  

  Note that even one of the lawyers in the 2'nd panel likes to spread FUD
about Free/Libre and Open Source Licenses by suggesting otherwise ( see:  
"The Law and Politics of Open Source" by: Barry B.  Sookman where he not
only suggests the GPL extends beyond the term of copyright, but also
falsely claims that works in the Public Domain do not qualify as
non-copyleft FLOSS )

  Think about the community dynamics-- what would revoking a license from
the general public mean?  It would simply mean that thousands-to-millions
of people would inadvertently be infringing copyright as they build upon
the past (as suggested by the license)  earlier than the expiry of the 
copyright term.

--- Richard Pfohl
  Geist suggested we all read the hansard, and I recommend this as well.  
I wonder if Mr. Pfohl will now claim that the Hansard is wrong, or that it
misquoted him.  I look forward to the audio/video from this and other
conferences going online, and transcripts being created.  Checking his
quotes and how they don't seem to match up would be useful reading for
those who should know better than to trust such an extremist.
  Not being a lawyer, I always laugh when lawyers try to claim that they
just represent their clients -- we had a few claiming that at the
conference *WHILE* they were expressing extremely strong personal
    Mr. Richard Pfohl:  As I mentioned, the peer-to-peer systems are 
    engineered in a way to try to avoid holding the people who engineer 
    them liable. We have to make sure these systems don't slip through the

    People regularly take 1,000, 2,000, or 3,000 songs and offer them on a 
    peer-to-peer service where they can be accessed globally by five 
    million strangers. This is generally what happens on peer-to-peer

    I recommend that if we find out about this and send a notice to the 
    ISP that this is happening, the ISP ought to kick that subscriber off
    the system. They can trace that subscriber and find out who that
    person is.  They can find the equivalent of the actual truck that's
    being used. If you can locate the truck relatively easily, that person
    ought to be kicked off the system, if they're engaging in widespread

Oh and this funny made up number which when real statistics come forward 
he will deny.

    If you look at the statistics, over 90% of the material on these 
    peer-to-peer systems is infringing, and it's killing our industry.

I'm sorry, but I'm finding a hard time telling the difference between the 
out-of-touch words of Mr. Pfohl and the following from Jack Valenti:

    I say to you that the VCR is to the American film producer and the 
    American public as the Boston strangler is to the woman home alone.

  We should giggle at both of these, and move onward giving these words
and those using them the appropriate level of "respect".

-- Neil Leyton

    The person using the 2 vulgar words was David Basskin.  I ran into his 
  extreme rudeness in the beginning of 2003 when we both were in a 
  "talking heads" panel for CBC's The Docket

  While only 20 minutes or so was aired, the taping included Mr. Basskin
accusing me of being a software pirate because I said that I didn't buy
Microsoft Software.  In fact I don't use the software of BSA at all, but
being one of those extremists opposed to free market competition he
doesn't recognize that there are alternatives.

--- While your drinking game was on "illegal downloads", mine was more on 
the question of infringement on the federal court.  I thought lawyers were 
taught the first day about how to liberally use the word "alleged" when 
talking about a case.  Given CRIA did not provide sufficient evidence that 
they owned any of the music being distributed, saying that copyright was 
infringed is simply wrong.  It doesn't matter about a making available 
right or what the private copying regime does for downloading when basic 
ownership was not proven.

  I lump the BMG vs. John/Jane Doe  along the same lines as the SCO case 
against "the world" -- until you prove ownership of something and indicate 
what is being infringed, it isn't a copyright case and there is no 

      When the judge doesn't close the case against you, but writes, "It 
      is astonishing that SCO has not offered any competent evidence to
      create a disputed fact regarding whether IBM has infringed SCO's 
      alleged copyrights through IBM's Linux activities"; and notes that
      there is a "vast disparity between SCO's public accusations and its
      actual evidence--or complete lack thereof," it's not much of 
      a victory.

--- Your "section 80" question to the panel.  I'm glad you brought it up.  
It was what I wrote about in , and which the lawyers
in that TheDocket panel were entirely unaware of (or unwilling to talk
about) -- including Basskin who is part of the CPCC among other things...

--- Bob Young

  I don't know what happened, and even though I am a fan I was
disappointed at his performance.  I have heard him speak in other events
about the DMCA and his feelings on it, but he didn't rise to this very
historical occasion to tell the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister
of the Past (A most honest label than calling Heritage the ministry of
culture) the fact that in her world RedHat could never have existed.

  I tried to draw some of his own words out when I went to the microphone
and asked him to repeat some stories I heard before, including an
explanation of the title for his talk (Copyrights, Patents, and Trademarks
Are Good Things, But, Like Vitamins, Too Much of a Good Thing Can Be Very
Bad for You).  He didn't go for the hard-hitting commentary I was hoping,
and after his "answer" I wished I had been more pointed in the manner in
which I asked the question.

  As to Bulte's suggestion that "experts" get brought to the committee,
the Hansard for that committee indicates that is false.  It is not from
lack of trying on our part.  We were excluded, something I am getting
signs from the opposition parties might be changing.

-- William Fisher

  During his talk I was in the back of the room talking with some (will
not be named) people from one of "the departments".  We were all
whispering snide remarks from time to time.

  The standard stuff about DRM vs. Levies was said, as if the
(methodology, technology and business model neutrality of) voluntary
licensing of an exclusive right is no longer a viable option.  No proof
was offered of this alleged "Crisis in the Entertainment Industry" that
warrants replacing copyright with some alternative regime.

  When I was in the Ottawa bus terminal on Thursday on my way to Toronto I
saw yet another self-serve station at the store in the terminal.  The
reality is that we have self-serve stations at corner stores and grocery
stores (South Keys Loblaws as one example) that we currently trust society
*MORE* with tangibles like food (life-and-death stuff where the motivation
for actual theft is huge) than we do with intangibles (which isn't
legitimately called theft).

  I think this is a telling aspect of this "debate" that the alleged harm
is blown beyond any type of reality.  That the politicians have allowed
the term "copyright infringement" to frighten them into blind submission
like when Canadians hear the phrase "child porn" or an American hears
"terrorist" or (historically) "communist".

  Mr. Fisher also spoke at one point of a plug-in to media players that
would "count"  the number of times a given work was used so that the levy
cold be distributed appropriately.  Would it be a crime for me to never
run this spyware on my FLOSS computer?  If so, then we still have legal
protection for DRM -- and the government imposing spyware and remote
control on our *PERSONAL* communications devices.

  This was typical of the non-technical speakers talking about technical
issues, never bothering to answer the simple "in the real world, how is
this policy objective accomplished" questions.  Disastrous unintended (by
the policy makers) consequences will come from any of these proposals that
are completely void of asking the basic required questions.

  The alleged declining revenue was also there in a useless chart.  Never
are any of these charts indicating the year-to-year revenue of the
cultural industries (art and entertainment combined) ever compared with
the economy as a whole.  I am quite offended by the idea that we should be
trying to maintain year 2000 levels of revenue for the recording industry
given that this was part of a temporary bubble that -- highly linked to
the high-tech bubble -- should be seen as an extreme abnormality and not
the norm.

  Being part of the high-tech sector I always have to laugh at the
economic outsiders from the cultural industries.  Could you imagine any
of the .COM companies going to parliament asking them to subsidize them to
their late 1990's revenue levels?  They would be laughed out of
parliament, just as the recording industry should be.

 Russell McOrmond, Internet Consultant: <> (My BLOG)
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