Motion Picture cartel: Do what we say, not what we do!

A BLOG article titled MPAA Steals Code, Violates Linkware License includes:

A blogger who wrote his own blogging engine called Forest Blog recently noticed that none other than the MPAA was using his work, and had completely violated his linkware license by removing all links back to the Forest Blog site, and had not credited him in any way.

While the issue was "resolved" by the MPAA pulling the BLOG, it still seems hypocritical of the MPAA to claim what they did was OK because they were only 'testing' it. It is extremely easy to require a password for a test site that in its current state would be infringing copyright. Seems that the MPAA has yet to understand the simplest of technical measures, not using TPMs legitimately and mandating the improper use of TPMs.

US lobbiests, including the US government, continues to attack Canada..

Canadians should know the pressure that US special interest groups, including US government agencies like the USPTO and USTR, are exerting against Canada. A recent CBC arts article included:

A powerful coalition of U.S. software, movie and music producers wants the administration of U.S. President George W. Bush to put Canada on a blacklist of intellectual property villains.

Michael Geist has blogged on this issue, saying that Canada is in Good Company with other countries who have more balanced laws (balanced between the desires of big media companies and the rights of creators/citizens). Howard Knopf has also written on the issue.

If not for the fact that the USA is the author of this list, the USA would be on the list itself as its lobbiests are asking for worse laws to be enacted worldwide than the USA has itself.

It is important to realize that what is wanted is not better protection for the rights of Canadian or foreign creators, but protectionism for specialized business models where US corporations dominate. The war they are waging isn't against infringement, but competition.

Misinformation Campaigning about Camcording

I want to highlight something that Mr. Knopf said in his blog about the recent nonsense coming out of the motion picture industry about Canadian copyright law. They are joining CRIA in their misinformation campaign about the state of Canadian copyright laws, and their outright lies about the impact that WIPO treaty ratification would have.

First of all, nothing in the WIPO treaties (if either applied, it would be the WIPO Copyright Treaty "WCT") has anything to do with camcording in theatres. Camcording in theatres is already illegal. Nothing in the treaties would make it more illegal. If we decide to enact a tougher and carefully conceived anti-camcording law, fine. But it would have no more to do with the WIPO treaties than a fish has to do with a bicycle.

Thoughts on Thoughts on Music

On Tuesday, Steve Jobs sent out an open letter titled "Thoughts on Music". This letter includes a more honest description of how a "DRM" system works than you normally see from DRM vendors. At the same time it paints Apple as having no choice in the matter and passes the buck to major labels and studios, just as Microsoft has claimed with it's Vista DRM, something which I consider to be less than honest.

Movie Piracy Claims More Fiction Than Fact

Michael Geist's weekly Law Bytes column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) examines recent claims that Canada has become the world's leading source of movie piracy. The column finds that a closer examination of the industry's own data reveals that the claims are based primarily on fiction rather than fact, featuring unsubstantiated and inconsistent claims about camcording, exaggerations about its economic harm, and misleading critiques of Canadian law.

p2pnet: The Pirates of Osan has an interesting article about commercial infringement in South Korea, and how the major labels, studios and "software manufacturers" tend to have their priorities misplaced by seeming to be focused on non-commercial sharing.

Liberal vice-chair of Industry Committee lobbies for CRIA/CAAST position in Copyright revision

The Hill Times this week has two Copyright related articles. One is from Gordon Duggan who is co-founder of the Appropriation Art Coalition who talks about the appearance that the Minister of Canadian Heritage is not listening to all sides of the debate (p29). The Liberal vice-chair of the Standing Committee of Industry, Science and Technology, Dan McTeague (Pickering - Scarborough East), signs an article that reads as if it was authored by CRIA or CAAST (p31).

Piracy stats don't add up

An AustralianIT article by Simon Hayes includes:

The draft of the institute's intellectual property crime report, sighted by The Australian shows that copyright owners "failed to explain" how they reached financial loss statistics used in lobbying activities and court cases.

Figures for 2005 from the global Business Software Association showing $361 million a year of lost sales in Australia are "unverified and epistemologically unreliable", the report says.

Sookman clouds over number of issues: Geist and 2 related letters

This October 30th, 2006 issue of the Hill Times includes 3 letters to the editor in response to Canadian Recording Industry Association lobbyist Barry Sookman's opinion piece titled "Copyright reform: let the light shine in". His article was itself in response to a previous Hill Times opinion piece by Michael Geist titled "The Parallel Politics of the Environment and Copyright".

Please see Michael Geist thoughts on his BLOG, and an article titled "CRIA lobbyist Barry Sookman" on p2pnet.

Article temporarily removed

I have temporarily removed an article that was a letter to the editor of the Hill Times. While they have no problem with people self-publishing their letters, it was inappropriate for me to put it on my site ahead of when they publish in their weekly newspaper.

The Hill Times regular circulation represents an important audience for this area of policy. I will be ensuring I do not pre-publish in the future. I apologize to the Hill Times for my error in self-publishing too soon.

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