Elections Canada and enforcable laws

The National Post had an interesting article today on the election and Elections Canada's increasingly futile attempt to try to keep a lid on election results across time zones.

It quotes Dan Zen, professor of interactive multimedia at Sheridan Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning who said "There must be lots of options but I know one option that isn’t going to work is trying to enforce secrecy over Twitter and Facebook. That’s just not going to work, so expectation needs to change."

Is passing 'any' copyright bill better than passing 'no' copyright bill?

I was sent a link to some interesting Canadian Copyright debate related cartoons by Rob Labossiere. While I liked the cartoons, something said in the text around the cartoons caught my eye even more:

But it will be a shame if Bill C-32 is never passed, for two reasons, neither of which ironically has to do with the substance of it.

I saw something similar last evening when law professor Jeremy de Beer tweeted a link to a Globe and Mail article, adding "So now any new law is better than no new law?? Sad.".

Radio Broadcasts and copyright

This morning I presented an ethical copyright question to a long time outspoken commentator and strong copyright proponent, John Degen. To say we do not see eye to eye on copyright matters would be to severely understate the point. None the less I was sincerely interested in his perspective of this copyright scenario so I posted it to his blog.

Where do you draw the line with Canadian Copyright?

Canadian copyright is excessively complex, and makes illegal things which most Canadians don't even believe are illegal when you tell them. Given this complexity and over-coverage, I believe nearly every Canadian infringes copyright many times a week.

There is a line that each of us draws that fits our sense of right and wrong. It sits somewhere between recording a television show to watch later, and mass producing videos to be sold for profit. Both of these activities are illegal under current Canadian law. Most Canadians believe the first is a perfectly legitimate activity, even if they are part of that small minority that realize it is illegal in Canada. Most Canadians believe the second is wrong, know it is illegal, and agree it should be illegal.

Falling off the edge of a flat world?

Professor Birgitte Andersen has posted a very interesting response to old-economy industry association critique of studies she has authored.

While focused on copyright, I found the section talking about evidence based policy making vs "intuition" to be useful for all political discussions.

Of course intuition has its place, e.g. for short-cuts or if we do not have concrete evidence to rely on. However, if we are unable or unwilling to free our minds, ‘intuition’ can also imprison our thought and lead to prejudice and ignorance.

For example, although the world seems to be flat (by pure intuition), then falling off the edge of a flat world is not among my fears! Similarly, although it seems that the sun rotates around the Earth (by pure intuition), then research has proven that it is the other way around. However, we shall not forget that after Galileo announced these research results, which were counter-intuitive for the general public and the belief of the Catholic Church, he was forced to retire as a scientist and live in house arrest.

The real cost of free

A great essay from Canadian born science fiction author and human rights activist Cory Doctorow.

You know who peddles false hope to naive would-be artists? People who go around implying that but for all those internet pirates, there'd be full creative employment for all of us. That the reason artists earn so little is because our audiences can't be trusted, that once we get this pesky internet thing solved, there'll be jam tomorrow for everyone. If you want to damn someone for selling a bill of goods to creative people, go after the DRM vendors with their ridiculous claims about copy-proof files; go after the labels who say that wholesale lawsuits against fans on behalf of artists (where labels get to pocket the winnings) are good business; go after the studios who are suing to make it impossible for anyone to put independent video on the internet without a giant corporate legal budget.

The BSA needs a time machine, not copyright reform

The BSA (Business Software Alliance, or Bad Statistics Alliance, depending on who you talk to) have released yet another one of their comical studies. I have been very critical of these studies (See: Lies, Damned lies, and IIPA/BSA/etc statistics). What I recommend people do is skip to the methodology section and see what they are measuring, and decide for themselves whether what they are measuring is harmful or beneficial for the Canadian economy.

Brian Jackson wrote an article that quotes Michael Geist indicating the study was "shockingly misleading". I will go further and suggest that what the BSA is really asking for is a time machine, not copyright reform.

Read full article on IT World Canada >>

ZeroPaid Interviews Russell McOrmond 2 – Canadian Bill C-32

Drew Wilson of ZeroPaid has posted a 3 part interview (Part 1,Part 2,Part 3)with me discussing Copyright and Bill C-32.

The most objectionable aspect of the Copyright debate

For those who did not know, Access Copyright, which represents a limited subset set of Canadian creators and publishers, has proposed (and will likely be granted) a yearly per-student fee for the use of photocopiers by schools. This increase will set the rate to $45 for Universities, and $35 for other educational institution, multiplied by the full time equivalents (FTE). (For details, read this PDF)

I have some sympathy for the economic situation these organizations find themselves in.

While I have this sympathy, I don't see what this has to do with Copyright.

Read Full article on IT World Canada's blog...

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