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 - Confusion, Confession or Confrontation?

An article by IP lawyer Howard Knopf includes:

As I said the other day, “I can’t imagine how a consortium of Coca Cola, Pepsi, MacDonald’s, Wendy’s and KFC would be allowed to develop a “Captain Nutrition” or “Dr. Diet” program for Canadian schools that would be allowed in the classroom.”

Access Copyright: Statement Regarding Captain Copyright

Access Copyright has added a note about Statement Regarding Captain Copyright on their homepage.

It is interesting how after presenting such a one-sided and in a number of cases factually incorrect political view of copyright, claiming it was "education", that they are suggesting that they were surprised at the reaction.

They did state that, "We are taking action to make these improvements, and one of the first things we have done is to invite organizations with differing perspectives on copyright issues to participate in the process".

It will be interesting to see how well they incorporate those different perspectives, including competitors to Access Copyrights' business model of collecting royalty payments for all possible uses. Examples include the Open Access, Creative Commons, and FLOSS communities. Some members of this growing creative community only charge for the initial up-front development costs, harnessing the fact that the marginal cost of production for creativity is zero, and never charge anyone royalty fees for any use.

Captain Copyright Resolution at the Canadian Library Association's Annual General Assembly

The following is a resolution from the Canadian Library Association's Annual General Assembly of members, carried unanomously Saturday, June 17th 2006. (Full list of resolutions in PDF format, Copy on the InfoCommons WIKI)

Resolution 2006 – 4: Access Copyright’s “Captain Copyright”

Whereas the past positions of CLA on copyright issues call for a balance between copyright restrictions and reasonable access by the public, representing the democratic values and information access rights of all Canadians as affirmed by the Supreme Court of Canada;

Captain Copyright! -- where is the love?

(Also published by p2pnet)

John Degen posted his thoughts on Captain Copyright last week.

The character is silly, dumb, over-the-top and even, dare I say, derivative (in the critical sense). And I love him. I have a Captain Copyright sticker on my laptop... and I had vowed to never put a sticker on my beautiful little computer, but this guy is too great. He is way cooler than Elmer the Safety Elephant. I hope someday he too gets his own flag.

In the past few weeks I have been thinking why I felt such negative emotions about Captain Copyright taking flight. Here is my thinking, and I'm curious to read what other people have been thinking, and why they love or hate Captain Copyright.

Continuing open conversations with Christopher Moore (writer of history, Access Copyright director)

The following is part of an ongoing public conversation between myself and Christopher Moore. I am posting this as a new article rather than an addition to the ongoing thread in a past article to draw more attention to the conversation and invite additional participation.


We have many different topics mixed together in one thread. I'm going to try to divide them up by themes, so please let me know if I did so incorrectly.

I thought – think – Lessig’s nostalgia for that era suggested the way his vigorously stated support for copyright-in-principle can sometime flag at about the point when practical suggestions for copyright administration are offered.

Links to friends, foes fair game on the Internet

This Toronto Star article by Michael Geist (See homepage version) includes:

In the case of Captain Copyright, it is irrelevant whether the citation comes from a critical blogger or a supportive school board (a number of boards, including the Halton District School Board, linked to the site only to remove their links once the controversy erupted). Permission is not needed to link on the Internet and it cannot be denied in legal terms and conditions.

Captain Copyright vs. Private Infringer

A p2pnet article hilights the latest "chapter" in the responses to Acces Copyright's Captain Copyright.

The Continuing Adventures of Private Infringer
By Darryl Moore - Chapter I

Private Infringer isn't a super hero like Captain Copyright of course. He is just a lowly private who wants to know why everybody keeps trying to tell him what to do, even in the privacy of his own home.

Former Access Copyright staffer charged with defrauding agency

A Quill and Quire article by Dan Rowe includes:

After an investigation that spanned nearly 18 months, two people, including one former employee of Access Copyright, were charged Tuesday with fraud and attempted fraud for allegedly mailing cheques worth a total of $61,343 from the Canadian copyright licensing agency to creators and companies that...

(... didn't exist).

Obvious questions: Should there be more government intervention into the books of Collective Societies such as Access Copyright, given they are creatures of statute (IE: created under the Copyright Act). Should their books be open to Access to Information requests, much like new Accountability Act is suggesting for crown corporations?

Captain Copyright doesn't know Canadian Copyright law...

(Also carried by p2pnet)

I have been wondering if it would be worthwhile to post an article each day with an aspect of Canadian Copyright law or practises that the lawyers at Access Copyright got wrong. While Michael Geist and others have pointed out that they seem to have missed PART VIII: Private Copying entirely, there are many other errors on their site.

As you read each of these consider this important question: Is our current Copyright Act simple enough to be reasonably understood and discussed by students before high-school age? Is it reasonable for Access Copyright to have created Lessons for grades 1-8 considering that it is questionable whether High-school students can reasonably understand these complex issues as part of a law course, where legal scholars are still debating many aspects of this area of law.

No password required

An anonymous "Readers Write" posted their thoughts as a reply to an article I wrote suggesting "that both the educational community and the collective societies have got it wrong".

Wow. And I was beginning to think no one would get it.
When I enter the software market intending to develop competent products as a means to put food on the table, I will be glad to know that I have coworkers who share my views. Until I read the article above, I had never seen a sane proposal for dealing with the conflicting viewpoints of "free information" and "I want to get paid to make this stuff." I hope these ideas continue to proliferate and that the online revolution continues to grow.

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