Copyright (royalty) Collective Societies

While copyright royalty Collective Societies often claim to represent creator and non-creator copyright holders, they are simply administrative bodies for one narrow business model option. Some of the most well known (and controversial) Canadian collectives include Access Copyright (previously CANCOPY), Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN), and Canadian Private Copying Collective (CPCC).

Captain Copyright

The following is the contents of the Captain Copyright website. I hope that in the interests of getting the word out, and archiving their response (in case the site closes in the future), they won't mind that I republish what they wrote in its entirety.

Captain Copyright R.I.P.

Today the Captain Copyright website has announced that Captain Copyright has been permanently shelved.

They have come to the realization that copyright issues are divisive and therefore "the current climate around copyright issues will not allow a project like this one to be successful."

Ailing music biz set to relax digital restrictions

A Billboard article starts with:

LOS ANGELES (Billboard) - The anti-digital rights management (DRM) bandwagon is getting more crowded by the day. Even some major-label executives are pushing for the right to sell digital downloads as unprotected MP3s.

When reported by p2pnet it was linked to the various lawsuits.

I guess I see these issues as entirely different. The fight against DRM is against attacks on the property rights of the average citizen. Citizens rightly believe they are purchasing media and should be able to play what they legally acquired on the hardware of their choice. They further believe they own the hardware and should not have software and other features dictated by third parties like copyright holders. I believe that DRM is morally wrong (as an attack against property rights it is a form of 'theft'), and should not only not be legally protected, it should be outlawed entirely.

CMRRA-SODRAC and SpiralFrog Conclude Online License Agreement for Canada

I see the the press release from CMRRA-SODRAC and SpiralFrog on royalties for songwriters and music publishers for this type of online music service as part of a good trend.

I hope to see more collective licensing of more music (and movies and television), hopefully where we will eventually see blanked licensing on everything from commercial download services (of a variety of business models) to P2P and non-commercial mash-ups (including background soundtracks in amateur YouTube videos). Suggesting that non-commercial entities should contact an industry lawyer to get individual permission to do these things is as unworkable going forward as the comical (if it weren't happening in real life) lawsuits against music fans from the incumbent major recording labels.

Press release: FSF announces support for the Free Ryzom campaign with a pledge of $60,000.

A Press Release from the Free Software Foundation talks about a project to purchase and then release under the GNU General Public License a MMORPG (massively multiplayer online roleplaying game) engine.

In the past I have always thought of games as being "interactive movies" and having an economic analysis closer to that of movies than other software. While I believe that operating systems, office suites and communications software (browsers, email, etc) lend themselves to peer production (I see no future to royalty-based software in this space), I thought differently about games.

We need to protect the music industry from the legacy recording industry!

(Republished by p2pnet, MP3newswire)
Most Canadians are confused about the music industry and how different parts exist that seem to be battling each other for music related money. The largest division is between the composers/authors/publishers of the underlying music and the recording industry (labels, etc).

We are moving into a time when the recording industry may no longer have much of a purpose, with much of their roll being replaced by cheaper methods of recording and distributing recorded music, more fair promotional methods that don't leave the majority of musicians poor in order to prop up superstars, and a wider variety of business models available to artists. The recording industry is fighting back against this modernizing trend, trying to replace some of the money they are loosing in this market modernization by taking it from the music publishing arm which has seen growth with new media.

SOCAN tells the Air Canada Centre to pay up..

A Toronto Star article by Rick Westhead discusses a lawsuit launched by The Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN) against Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd for its refusal to pay SOCAN tariffs. This is a tarrif for the public performance of the underlying music, and is separate from the fees that the musicians or their labels would be receiving for the event. Whether there is a live musician doing their own work or doing covers, or someone playing recorded music in the background, SOCAN claims a right to get a cut.

CMEC, Copyright and Québec

There is an interesting opinion piece by a Québec publishers association against the education institutional exception proposed by CMEC. Please read the BLOG articles by Howard Knopf and Michael Geist.

This issue points at the importance of Québec in the copyright debate, but also the fact that there are more than two sides in the so-called "educational use of the Internet" debate. Like Mr. Knopf I disagree with the CMEC proposal, but for reasons very different than the publishers association. See the earlier article: How CMEC and Access Copyright seek to destroy the Internet.

Tariff a Catch "22" for Canadian college stations

A Reuters article by Larry LeBlanc includes:

Under Tariff 22, proposed by the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN), noncommercial radio stations would be required to pay a total of 7.5 percent of their gross annual revenue, or $200 Canadian ($177) per month, whichever is greater, for a license to broadcast online.

The complexities of copyright discusses on CBC radio show The Current

The CBC Radio show The Current did a piece on visual artist collective SODRAC sending invoices to auction houses to collect royalties for images placed in catalogues for visual art for sale. The conversation went from there to including a discussion of "droit de suite" where the copyright holder (not always the artist) would receive payment for each future sale of the work.

I sent the following to the feedback form for the show.



The Copyright debate is always a hard one, and there are always multiple sides to the issue.

For no other thing that you can buy does the manufacturer or creator get a cut on a future sale. When you sell a used car, the company that created that car does not get a cut. Somehow when we are talking about creative works it is treated different in the marketplace, making the market more complex and reducing the property value of the visual art by having someone other than the previous owner making money on the sale.

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