The Golden Age of Protection

On Dec. 14, Sarmite Bulte expressed her interest in helping reform copyright in the digital era. To demonstrate her point, she invokes our apparent past success in providing broadband network access across this country. Appeals to national pride aside, I figure this sentiment exactly demonstrates the problem in Ms. Bulte's reasoning: that progress will come by supporting minority controlling interests.

Digital copyright reform is necessary to provide a foundation for new business models, broaden access and encourage cultural production. Bill C-60 is NOT the gateway to this new Golden Age. The reform that is Bill C-60 is narrowing, not broadening. This bill would have introduced new forms of protection that only align with existing models of distribution, further cementing a single, traditional, perspective on digital copyright.

The celebrated technical protection measures (TPMs) enforced by Bill C-60 have consistently been shown to be detrimental to the artists whose work they control access to. The Sony XCP fiasco is the current poster child for this issue. The infamous CDs that have been publicly outed as carriers of this measure are apparently losing sales.

I would ask Bulte to provide a single concrete example where use of a TPM has positively increased the amount of raw cash in the pockets of a Canadian artist. "Decreased piracy" is not cash. I want to see one (and only one) Canadian artist who can demonstrate that restricting the usefulness of their art has paid off.

Show us the money, Ms. Bulte.