On Friday afternoon I met with John Degen, Executive Director of the Professional Writers Association of Canada for a very eye-opening meeting. (See also: Anti-copyright: a rebel sell?, and The two branches of the creators' rights movement)
The past submissions to government from PWAC and my own would suggest very different ideas on copyright. We rely on different business models to fund our creativity, and have identified different threats to our creative rights, but have much more that we share than we disagree on.
He has offered to post a more detailed summary of our meeting.
There are some overall principles that we'd like to indicate that we share, and hopefully we can then get buy-in to these shared principles from other members of our respective communities. While John will have better details from his notes, I wanted to post a two that I remember off the top of my head.
- Respect for other authors. We can't come together if we are making proposals that suggest that in order to protect the rights of one creator that the rights of some other creator must be taken away.
- Protect the choices of authors. There is a full spectrum of methods of production, distribution and funding of creativity. Creators should be able to explore these different options for themselves, and not have methods imposed on them. If an author wants to collect royalties per copy, that choice must be respected. If an author wants an up-front lump sum and then have the work freely shareable after (such as my own 95% solution), then that choice must also be respected. Whether an author uses traditional methods of production and distribution, or peer production (open collaborative methods for the production of public goods) and peer distribution (P2P networks), these choices should be respected.