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Re: [d@DCC] CPCC Levies
From: Russell McOrmond <russell _-at-_ flora.ca>
Darryl Moore wrote: > I would be interested to hear Russell's justification for keeping this levy. As a "convert" on this issue, I'll offer my ideas. In the past I was strongly opposed to any levy system, but have since changed my mind in situations where there is a clear market failure (where I believe all multimedia entertainment are examples, but software, non-fiction educational material and science/health publications are not). http://www.cluecan.ca/policy/copyright - Extended/statutory (compulsory) licenses should only be used in extreme cases of market failure, and never in marketplaces where competition is growing. Royalty-free business models are rapidly growing worldwide in software as well as scientific and educational material. Compulsory licensing is known to be a system that with inaccuracies. The question is always: if not a levy, then what? Is the disease worse than the cure, or is the cure worse? Without some form of a compulsory licensing system, the recording industry, commercial radio and cable television would never have been allowed to exist. Saying that copyright holders should just "simply accept it" was never politically possible, and I think if we were talking about FLOSS developers being told to "simply accept it" about DRM and software patents we might think differently. The copyright holders of the day were saying *NO* to any new uses of their works, and the transactional costs of trying to negotiate pricing between individual copyright holders and and users were too high (Do you pay a few thousand $ to your lawyer to decide if a D.J. needs to pay 2c or 3c each time they try to play a song on the radio?) Which leads us to a table of options where we are forced to decide which is the lesser of the available evils? a) Copyright abolished for private activities (private copies, private communication) b) Copyright abolished for non-commercial activities c) Extended/compulsory licensing for private and/or non-commercial activities (AKA: Levies) d) Lawsuits against children and grandparents for activities many people think aren't harmful, but which require permission and/or payment on a per-transaction basis (AKA: the status-quo) e) Outlawing communications technology that is under the control of anyone not approved by the government as a "professional" (IE: the DRM/Broadcast Flag/Analog Hole debate -- where the major cultural industry associations want to bring us -- note that CRIA isn't a fan of levy systems as they counter their lobbying for DRM) f) Outlaw the activities entirely (IE: recordable CDs, portable media players and personal computers outlawed). Can you think of other options that are possible. I don't think just saying everyone should pay for what they use is possible, given the major copyright holders don't trust their own customers and are unwilling to tolerate any small amount of infringing/uncompensated activity. This fear of their own customers isn't going to just magically go away. Darryl appears to be on the "abolish copyright for private activities" side of this debate. If I believed that this was politically possible, I might support it. After a bump in the market, the market would adjust to business models that weren't negatively impacted by this. Politically I believe it is more likely that we will achieve a 50% reduction in carbon emissions from 1990 levels by 2010 than to believe we will convince the Government of Canada to adopt a Fair Use regime that is expansive enough to exclude all private and/or non-commercial activities from the regulation of copyright. Of the available politically likely options, I see compulsory licensing (levies) as far better than DRM or the outlawing of personal communications technology. We can want other options all we want, but we need to be politically realistic in what we ask for if we are to be paid attention to at all. -- Russell McOrmond, Internet Consultant: <http://www.flora.ca/> Please help us tell the Canadian Parliament to protect our property rights as owners of Information Technology. Sign the petition! http://www.digital-copyright.ca/petition/ict/ "The government, lobbied by legacy copyright holders and hardware manufacturers, can pry my camcorder, computer, home theatre, or portable media player from my cold dead hands!" _______________________________________________ Discuss mailing list Discuss@list.digital-copyright.ca http://list.digital-copyright.ca/mailman/listinfo/discuss
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