On Poetic Justice and Subsidies

Yet another great post by Copyright laywer Howard Knopf discussing the question of copyright vs. arts programs. He didn't articulate it exactly that way, but this is in reality what is happening: the assumption by many politicians/bureaucrats that if copyright was "stronger" (more tilted in favour of copyright holders) then the arts could be entirely funded by the private sector and would no longer receive government funding. Funding to departments like Heritage could then be redirected to sport, a migration that has already started.

We need Canadians, especially creators lobbying the government for "stronger" copyright, to think more deeply and clearly about this issue. They need to get past their fear of modern communications technology, and recognize that this is not the greatest threat to their interests.

There are many many reasons why direct arts funding to artists is far better for creators and Canadians in general than "stronger" copyright, especially given that the bulk of the benefits of "stronger" copyright have primarily gone to specific intermediaries and not creators.

I want creators to get paid for their valuable contributions to human society, which is one of the reasons I donate so much volunteer time to copyright policy and oppose the current direction articulated by recent Canadian governments. While I became involved to help protect the IT sector from anti-circumvention and other anti-IT-property-rights policy, I've come to learn the harm to artists represented by this policy direction as well.