Clarity would go a long way to calm CopyFight.

The May 17'th issue of the Globe and Mail features an article by John Degen titled Who needs copyright, anyway? He suggests that the panic about copyright from all sides of the debate is false, and talks about his own transition from being one of those fighting the CopyFight to someone who is now releasing his book royalty-free (and DRM-free) on the Internet.

One comment stuck with me in the essay, which is that copyright critics often comment on his BLOG in what seem like attacks. The reason why this is the case should be taken as a compliment by John. He gets the bulk of the commentary not because he is seen as the strongest "enemy" of those who see copyright differently, but because he is one of the few people seen to be on a given "side" of the debate that is willing to have open dialog with the public.

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Fair copyright doesn't mean getting stuff for free

The part that struck me most was this :

For the most part, they just want cultural product to be free - [...] free as in we shouldn't have to pay for it.

I find it amazing that John can say this. Either he hasn't listened to all those comments on his blog, or he's deliberately mis-characterizing the other side of the debate to gain advantage. Either way, this is deplorable.

While there are indeed some people who are here to "get stuff for free", they seem to me to be a very small minority of the people arguing against his position.

John isn't that far off...

I often glance at the "Fair Copyright for Canada" facebook group, and I don't recognize myself in many of the postings.

CBC's search engine just did a small article on Copyright, and one participants comment was to say, "I don't pirate much, but I swear that if this law goes through, the first thing I'm going to do is upload a torrent with every CD and movie released in Canada. Ever."

You may not recognize his summary of what he sees as "the other side" of the debate. Then again, he wouldn't recognize the summary of CCC that you posted to the IT World Canada BLOG.

As someone who often feels like he is sitting in the middle of this debate, I see incorrect characterizations of political opponents from all sides.


Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS) consultant.