Double standard on Copyright vs IT Property Rights

In my brief to C-11 committee and in recent presentations I have suggested people compare the attitudes between copyright and technology property rights.  Each of these rights have rightsholders who control various activities relating to their property, and each have people infringing those rights by ignoring that control.

One person who believes copyright should be stronger, but pretty much denies the existence of IT property rights is John Degen.  He appeared before the Senate committee studying C-11 yesterday.  In a few tweets he suggested that as part of the testimony he held up his Kobo and said that he didn't care that the content or tech was locked.

In other words, he chose to waive his right to hold the keys to his property (the Kobo).  He personally didn't feel the need to control what software would be installed on it.

Waiving one's own rights is not uncommon.  In the Copyright context, there are enough copyright holders who want to waive some or all of their copyright that the Creative Commons movement emerged and offers a suite of options.  One of those options is CC0 which is a public domain dedication, which has a public license fallback for jurisdictions which don't easily allow copyright holders to fully waive their copyright.

What is frustrating is that Mr. Degen appears unwilling to acknowledge the difference between individual rights-holders waiving their own rights, and the government or other third parties revoking and/or infringing those rights.   He is quick to excuse those using the "theft" language talking about copyright, but is unwilling to acknowledge that some technology owners consider what he says about technology property rights to be as offensive as he might find those seeking to minimize or abolish copyright.

Mr. Degen is not alone in having an extreme double standard when it comes to protecting the rights and interests of these different rights-holders, but he does serve as a good example of the problem.  I hope people will take this example and call out others with such extreme double standards.  The more we draw attention to this, including and especially with our elected officials and other lawmakers, the faster we will have legislation to fully protect the rights and interests of technology owners.