Whether free culture allowing all citizens to fully participate, or centrally owned/communicated/controlled culture, at the root of much of the debates are very different ideas on cultural policy.

Fight might with Right. Your Right. We are all "rights holders"!

Scott G. Elcomb has posted some graphics to try to express a view many of us share: Fight might with Right. Your Right.

This mirrors the theme of our tagline for Digital Copyright Canada which is that "All Canadians are Rights Holders".

The concept is simple, and yet far too many of the participants in the copyright debate from the 1980's seem to not get it.

There is is more than one author in authors' rights: the past author who is a copyright holder and newer authors-in-waiting that have a right to build on the past.

General Conference adopts Convention on the protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions

20-10-2005 7:00 pm The General Conference of UNESCO, meeting in Paris from October 3 to October 21, today approved (148 votes for, two against, four abstentions) the Convention on the protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions, an international normative instrument that will enter into force three months after its ratification by 30 States.

Does the Heritage minister support or oppose cultural diversity and Canadian cultural sovereignty?

I have to admit that this story baffles me. The Financial Times article reporting on the UNESCO cultural diversity treaty is titled "US stands alone over cultural diversity treaty". The claim is that, "A United Nations treaty to protect and promote cultural diversity is likely to be overwhelmingly approved today in the face of lonely opposition from the US, which fears the impact on exports of US films and television programmes."

Canadian Heritage Minister Liza Frulla is quoted as saying it was "a tool to protect our own identities". Is this the same Minister who chose an HMV to launch Bill C-60, a modification to the Canadian copyright act that will only benefit the same US film, television, recoding and "software manufacturing" industry associations that the US is worried that the UNESCO treaty doesn't adequately privilege?

The Adelphi Charter on Creativity, Innovation and Intellectual Property

The Adelphi Charter on Creativity, Innovation and Intellectual Property responds to one of the most profound challenges of the 21st century: How to ensure that everyone has access to ideas and knowledge, and that intellectual property laws do not become too restrictive.

The Charter sets out new principles for copyrights and patents, and calls on governments to apply a new public interest test.

It promotes a new, fair, user-friendly and efficient way of handing out intellectual property rights in the 21st century.

The Charter has been written by an international group of artists, scientists, lawyers, politicians, economists, academics and business experts.

Brewster Kahle: Build the library and the books will come

An article by Becky Hogge in the NewStatesman includes:

Kahle's goal is universal access to all knowledge, and so the Internet Archive aims to make every book ever written available over the web. "The ancient library of Alexandria collected 75 per cent of all the books of all the peoples of the world in 300BC. Our opportunity is to do that again, but then to one-up the ancients by making it available universally. It is technologically within our grasp and it could be one of the greatest achievements of humankind."

Star Wreck - In the Pirkinning

Star Wreck - In the Pirkinning is a parody made by fans of Star Trek® and Babylon 5®, available for free download (or purchase the DVD), and licensed under the Finland Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs-NonCommercial license.

We have great respect for all those who have worked with the series that have inspired us to create this film. Our team consists of a few guys who've all worked for free with this movie over the last 7 years. The movie is made without commercial intentions and is available for free download over the internet. All the material seen on film was produced by the film crew and no aliens or space ships were harmed during the filming.

I am a major fan of science fiction, as well as new technologies (and legal support like Creative Commons) which make such a high quality (yet inexpensive enough to be volunteer) productions possible.

Exposing the extremists in the Canadian copyright debate

As an author in the copyright debate I believe it is important to expose some of the extreme positions that exist, to try to convince Canadians and our government to find a more reasonable middle-ground. We are bombarded by media reports about the "harm" of those who copy or redistribute works in ways that infringe copyright, but I believe the other extreme represents a far greater threat to authors' rights. The other side of the debate we don't see accurately reported are those who want to "maximize" copyright in ways that will only benefit past creators and incumbent (often foreign) corporate copyright holders, and who want to remove freedom of choice from authors and audiences about competing methods of production, distribution and funding of creativity.

Tim O'Reilly: The Trend Spotter

This Wired magazine by Steven Levy about modern publisher Tim O'Reilly includes:

O'Reilly's radar is legendary. It works on country roads and on the information sea. It told him there was a market for consumer-friendly computer manuals and that he could build a great business publishing them. It helped him understand the significance of the World Wide Web before there were browsers to surf it. And it led him to identify and proselytize technologies like peer-to-peer, syndication, and Wi-Fi before most people had even heard of them at all. As a result, "Tim O'Reilly's radar" is kind of a catchphrase in the industry.

Debating copyright at the Council of Federal Libraries (CFL) Annual Fall Seminar.

(Story also published on p2pnet)

On September 14, 2005 I participated in a panel at the Council of Federal Libraries (CFL) Annual Fall Seminar . The day was very informative for me, being a technical person who may spend a lot of time with fellow creative Canadians in the copyright debate, but have not spent a lot of time with librarians.

The debate I participated in was at the end of the day. Steven Cohen from PubSub Concepts Inc. and had spoken earlier in the day about the use of RSS to have conversations over the Internet, and how librarians should be keeping ahead of the curve in knowing what is coming. The other panellist was Virginia Jones, Associate Legal Counsel at Access Copyright. Access Copyright is a collective society which collects royalties (monopoly rents) for a variety of types of works under copyright including commercially published books, magazines, journals and newspapers.

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