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[d@DCC] Using copyright to deal with non-copyright issues... (Burning Man)

From: Russell McOrmond <russell _-at-_ flora.ca>
To: General Copyright Discussions <discuss (at) list.digital-copyright.ca>
Date: Wed, 19 Aug 2009 11:27:33 -0400 (EDT)

   I saw this issue discussed elsewhere, so when I saw it in the Vancouver 
Fair Copyright for Canada list I felt I had to respond.   I'm reposting my 
comments here.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 19 Aug 2009 10:16:17 -0400 (EDT)
From: Russell McOrmond
To: Bill
Cc: Fair Copy ML
Subject: Re: [faircopy] Photo ownership? Another DMCA abuse


   We need to be careful not to confuse an issue with a contract and a copyright 
issue.  This is one of the mistakes that many of the creators with opposing 
views to our own have: they want to have their particular contractual 
relationship documented in the copyright act.  This has the "unintended 
consequence" of disallowing copyright to be used to set up other relationships 
(like what happens with creative commons).

   Most of what we are fighting against turn out to be unintended consequences. 
Just as our strong opposition to DRM has nothing to do with some straw-man not 
wanting creators to get paid (IE: the claimed justification for DRM, which is 
it incapable of achieving), we need to ensure that things we advocate for don't 
have unintended consequences that are more harmful than our intended 
consequences are helpful.


   What Burning Man wants is to protect privacy and what is effectively the 
moral rights of 'subjects' of recordings (audio, video, still).  They don't 
want the event to be exploited for commercial or other gain by outsiders -- 
which ends up discouraging the very type of participation that makes this event 
so exciting.  Burning Man ends up abusing copyright concepts to achieve this 
goal in a country that doesn't adequately respect the concept of privacy. 
Remember that it is Canada's stronger than USA's Privacy legislation, not our 
copyright law already tilted in favor of copyright holders, that was why the 
recording industry lost their discovery case against the 29 alleged music file 
sharers.

   I disagree with the specifics of what Burning Man is doing, even though I 
support their goals.  The problem is that they need screws and a screwdriver, 
and their government has only provided them with hammers and nails.  Given the 
limitations of US law, and the backward direction they seem to continue to head 
(and push others), what is Burning Man supposed to do?

   We need to ensure that in our advocacy that we don't end up disallowing 
hammers (IE: adequately strong copyright law) when instead we should be 
advocating for more screws/screwdrivers (in this case, better protection for 
the rights of subjects of recordings).


Note:  I include a discussion of how photographers benefit from the "exception" 
to copyright where human subjects of their photographs do not have their own 
copyright.  This is different than performers in the case of audio recording 
who have their own copyright.  I'm not advocating for photography subjects to 
get full copyright (which I believe would be disastrous), but to clarify that 
the concept of "same copyright" which photographer lobbiests have been asking 
for is nonsense.

http://www.flora.ca/copyright2009/

On Sun, 16 Aug 2009, Bill wrote:

> Hi folks,
> 
> How can I take advantage of the DMCA to claim ownership of
> your photos?
> 
> http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2009/08/snatching-rights-playa
>
> 	b.
> 
> _______________________________________________
> Discuss mailing list
> http://lists.faircopy.ca/listinfo.cgi/discuss-faircopy.ca
>

-- 
  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://digital-copyright.ca/petition/ict/     http://KillBillC61.ca

  "The government, lobbied by legacy copyright holders and hardware
   manufacturers, can pry control over my camcorder, computer,
   home theatre, or portable media player from my cold dead hands!"
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