Re: Canada faces IP shortfall in the face of piracy: panel

The following letter to the editor was published by ITBusiness.ca

Re: Canada faces IP shortfall in the face of piracy: panel (April 10)

The panel was entirely of proponents of the “software manufacturing” methods of production, distribution and funding. Their proposals were unsurprisingly aimed at benefiting these old-economy models from competition and the transformative changes underway in the software marketplace.

Proposals include making enforcement of legacy business models against competitors cheaper, as well as making copyright “stronger” and “longer,” which only protects the interests of the incumbent copyright holders over the interests of future creators and innovators. The claim is always that they want to “update” copyright laws, but then give a laundry list of proposals which protect only the interests of the status-quo business models (whether used by old companies or by some young “prodigy” -- or is that Microsoft protégé?)

The uninformed comments about the “private copying” regime were amusing, given it is the same model (statutory licensing) which legalized the recording industry, commercial radio and the cable companies.

Russell McOrmond

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Canada faces IP shortfall in the face of piracy

I read the article http://www.itbusiness.ca/it/client/en/Home/News.asp?id=39007&bSearch=True

And I must take issue with a few of the comments in this article. First of all the comment that “If everyone paid for songs off the Internet, for example, competitive pressure would force prices down (from say, 99 cents a song to 25 cents)”. The only songs that are 99 cents are those being sold by the multinational record distribution companies, the independents seem to be able to sell their songs for 25 cents (see www.emusic.com), with no DRM or restrictions of any type. And many of the independent labels are embracing P2P sharing as free advertising.

The other comment I object to is AutoDesk’s claim that “piracy” has hurt their bottom line. I have been in this industry long enough to remember when AutoCAD was a struggling little CAD company in a sea of similar products. At that time AutoCAD was one of the few companies that did not put on any locks on their software (dongles were my favorite). As a result of this, AutoCAD became the most visible product of its type in the world. Therefore I believe that AutoDesk would not be in the position to earn $1 billion/year without “piracy”, and they would do well to remember that fact.