Brent Wood (Peterborough, Green Party of Canada): constituent letter reply

(A reply to a constituent, posted with permission)

Hi Trevor - this is an excellent question. I've been interested in copyright law since I was young. I recall having a 90 minute discussion on this with the University librarian at the the University of Guelph when I was an undergraduate English student. Personally, as a musician, I was schooled in approaches to coypright by my favourite musical artists - in fact, probably the two best American dance bands of the 1970s- the Grateful Dead and Parliament/Funkadelic. The Dead allowed free taping of all their shows, which ended up spreading their fame far and wide and bringing more and more people to the fold, and we now have a nearly-perfect record of their work as a result. George Clinton, leader of P-Funk, saw the drive to collage-music in hiphop and instead of sueing hiphop artists who sampled his sounds and riffs, he put out a CD called "Sample Some of Dis, Sample Some of DAT". Hiphop reworkings of his music have led to a continual popularity for the band since they stopped putting out new material, and their original work is still a consistent seller 30 years later. My favourite art-form is collage - musical, textual and visual. These would not be possible under restricted copying privileges. If we buy a piece of information, we must have the right to manipulate the material in which that information is embodied, even if we do not have the right to reproduce it for the purposes of sale.

Brent Wood
Candidate, Peterborough Green Party of Canada