Creators' Rights Alliance / Creators' Copyright Coalition

Michael Geist: fictional character, or the real person?

Overall, CopyCamp last week was great and brought people with a wide variety of views of the future of creativity and the roll of the Internet together. There was one very odd phenomena that I would like to describe, and that is what happened whenever anyone mentioned the "G" word: Michael Geist.

Dr. Michael Geist is a law professor at the University of Ottawa where he holds the Canada Research Chair of Internet and E-commerce Law. He has authored many academic papers, articles for newspapers, as well as running an active BLOG on related topics.

Whenever his name was brought up the conversation quickly split into two groups: people who see him as a great ally, and those who seem to think he has horns coming out of his head. Because of this strong split it was hard to have a reasonable conversation once his name came up, a form of Godwin's Law for CopyCamp.

Read full article on IT World Canada's BLOG »

Summarizing CopyCamp 2 while looking forward to CopyCamp 3

Tuesday evening and Wednesday all day was the second CopyCamp. The first CopyCamp was held in September 2006, and I actively participated in both. The first good news is that all the language coming out of the organizing committee is that they already have a desire for there to be a third, so this may become a yearly event.

Read full article on IT World Camada's BLOG.

CopyCamp 2: Volunteer Invitation and Opportunity

From the Planning Team:

CopyCamp is a place to meet people making art and making waves, an opportunity to discover how the Internet can work for artists and fans, and a chance to debate the value(s) of copyright with some of the key players. It is an event in which participants drive the programming, and debates are genuine round-tables. There are no observers: everyone has something to offer and is expected to contribute.

Net Neutrality at CopyCamp

Most people perceive the Internet as this big cloud that one hires an Internet Service Provider in order to connect to. The problem with making the Internet into this magic "black box" is that we then have a harder time understanding some of the critical policy decisions we as a society need to make about how the Internet works, and who should be making these decisions.

In the session I will host at CopyCamp on Net Neutrality we will head into the cloud and talk about the special computers called routers and physical connections that make the Internet work. While we will make some of this technology real, I will try to keep this from becoming an overly technical session. Contrary to the claims that some special interests make, these decisions are not strictly technical and should not be left to engineers, but public policy questions which we should all be engaged in.

Press release: CopyCamp returns April 29th - 30th!

For Immediate Release

Toronto, April 3rd 2008… COPYCAMP 2008, an “unconference” for artists about the Internet and the challenges to copyright is now open for registration at

Organized by the Creators' Rights Alliance and held in Toronto at OISE (The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education), CopyCamp will bring 100 artists, geeks, lawmakers, and copyright activists together to explore issues surrounding new models for making art and making a living on the Internet. It continues the discussion initiated at the first CopyCamp held in September 2006.

The needs of professional writers, and why their current proposals will backfire.

I am baffled in my latest submission to IT World Canada's BLOG by writers who are concerned that traditional media companies are abusing their stronger negotiating position to force bad deals on writers, but who then lobby the government to change the law to put far worse intermediaries in control of our media.

Copyright lobby to IT sector: It’s all your fault! In some cases it is.

In todays contribution to IT World Canada's BLOG I discuss that while copyright holders already have the legal tools to sue people in Canada infringing copyright, statements made this week by a relatively large number of organizations from the Copyright lobby have named their real target: the IT sector. They are lobbying to make changes to Canadian law to make the providers of IT products and services more liable for the activities of their customers.

Creators' Copyright Coalition releases their platform

The Creators' Copyright Coalition has released their platform. It's not yet up on their website, but copies are circulating in email.

Highlights include ratification of both WIPO Internet treaties, reversing the Théberge decision by granting a new exclusive right on transfer of medium (which would obviously also affect format shifting), and many other issues of interest to our community. While the preamble for this platform seems more reasonable, the recommendations are very similar to the platform offered by the French-language groups represented by DAMI©.

Copycamp: Protecting property rights in a digital world

I am still resting from CopyCamp. It was a very busy couple of days, and I left directly from CopyCamp to take a late bus home to Ottawa.

I recommend people check the various updates on the WIKI if they are curious how it went. I have added quite a bit to the page for one of the sessions I co-hosted: Protecting property rights in a digital world: The Collateral Damage Of Rights Management.

There is a key question that Mr. Sookman asked that I wanted to document. He was asking whether I would support having a business where someone could purchase something that would only last for a few days, bringing up a possible example of a camera. I said that this is a "rental" and not a "purchase".

Eye Weekly on Copycamp: : The ideal Copy

This Eye Weekly article by Brian Joseph Davis includes:

While the US entertainment industry tries to control internet downloading through punitive measures, the artists and activists attending Toronto's first Copy Camp "unconference" see opportunities for copyright reform

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