Made Worse in Canada (feat. Jim Prentice), with additional commentary

An amazing audio/music mashup (Includes Jim Prentice, Colin Carrie, Charlie Angus, Howard Knopf, David Fewer, etc). Also check out the Jim Prentice Remix.

This is the type of creativity our laws MUST protect! We need a living fair use regime to protect this artist's right to extract these political clips without permission or payment, and we need this artist to be legally protected to fully control the digital tools for their creativity without having any foreign locks that get in their way!

Morning rant...

This is one of the things I find frustrating by the level of debate with many policy makers. They seem to think that the debate is about "creators" on one side, and "consumers" on the other. Much of the opposition to Bill C-61 comes from fellow creators, and some of the blind support of some sort of "crack down" on allegedly bad behaviour comes from people who have thus far largely remained consumers of human creativity and are realistically outside the current debate.

I get asked why I support the 51'st state comic book. It is because it conveys a message I agree with (That this policy direction came out of the USA, specifically the Clinton/Gore National Information Infrastructure task force which saw an increase in citizen participation in culture as a threat), and that it is a message by and for Canadian creators!

This isn't some group of consumers saying they want to access creativity without paying for it, it is an artist that is promoting the views of other artists, as well as other creators and academics, who are fighting for the rights of creators.

Artists may tend to be more sensationalist with their imagery (Uncle Sam Owns You style imagery on the cover) than I might be, but that is the nature of artists compared to computer geeks like me.

In my mind, The 51'st State comic book represents the creators' rights side of the debate, and those organizations using similar sounding names (Creators' Rights Alliance, Creators Copyright Coalition) haven't yet picked sides as they cling to legacy intermediaries (including business model intermediaries like collective societies) as if they will be the only source of revenue for creators in the future. In many cases, these intermediaries are the very organizations putting creators out of work.

We have a labour movement which recognized long ago that "management" (including collective management of copyright) and "labour" (including works of the mind) have different perspectives on important issues. While I don't personally identify with the industrial-era labour movement, some people who do seem to be the first to fall for the trap of blindly trusting "management" when we are talking about knowledge rather than the manufacturing of physical things.

We need to understand the "Made Worse in Canada" aspect of Bill C-61. Canada's current laws are already more tilted in favour of existing copyright holders than US law prior to the changes in 1998 (DMCA, Copyright extension). If we add Bill C-61 which is largely a mildly Canadianized version of the DMCA, we will be in a situation far worse than the USA because the USA has more balance with their living Fair Use regime, lack of crown copyright, and multiple copies for classroom use. In fact, Canadian creators and other citizens would be better off if we simply replaced Canadian law with current US law than pass Bill C-61 on top of Canada's already tilted law.