A simple guide to copyright

I was thinking about the recent DMCA rulemaking in the US, which led me to this "simple guide to copyright".

You can legally do pretty much anything you like with your own property,

unless it's a "fixation" of a copyrighted work and what you want do is a right granted to the rightsholder,

unless it's covered by one of the "fair dealing" exceptions.

That's not too bad. Of course, in the US, or in Canada if C-32 passes as-is, you need to add a couple more lines:

Negative effects of the DMCA in the US

Interesting statistics from Copyright and Technology Blog :

[...] academic research into DRM and other rights technologies in the United States has diminished to virtually nil.

(For example, a search of IEEE shows that of all digital rights-related research papers published from 2008 to the present, 40% were from China, 27% were from the rest of Asia, 20% were from Europe, and less than 4% were from the United States. Spain by itself had more activity than the US.)

Logic and legal protection for TPMs

I was thinking about this last night after reading another "but we have to have the C-32 approach to TPMs for the creators to get paid" article, and think I found a way to explain my thinking.

Let's divide Canadians into 4 groups based on their ability to bypass TPMs and their respect for copyright law :

Can bypass TPMs Can't bypass TPMs
Respect Copyright law Engineers Comsumers
Don't respect copyright law Pirates Wannabe pirates

Putting the Genie in the Bottle

I read this article in Wired today. What blew me away most about it had nothing to do with yet-another-round-of-legal-shenanigans that the article was about. Rather, it was the quoted 30 million unique users per month that enjoys.

Why do so many people disrespect copyright?

I'm one of the few people I know that has much respect for copyright. I oppose excessive forms of copyright as I recognise that the more disrespectful copyright becomes, the more people will disrespect it.

This afternoon I came across the following tweet:

TJ Hilton: Limewire owes $1 billion+, BP owes $69 million. Because sharing music is 14.5x more damaging than catastrophic spills.

The Minister of Industry - Bill entitled “An Act to amend the Copyright Act”.

The new bill is now on the order paper. Like Bill C-61, and unlike previous Liberal bills, it will be tabled by the Minister of Industry rather than the Minister of Heritage.

Illegal downloading: How do you explain it to the kids?

Globe and Mail article by Erin Anderssen discusses how parents talk to their children about copyright infringement.

I received an e-mail message from Erin about this story. While we didn't arrange an interview, the following is what I wrote to her in an e-mail.

Charlie Angus, "Copyright" on May 11th, 2010 |

I just wanted to point to a cool feature of the OpenParliament website. You can search for a term (Example: Copyright) and it finds the usage and shows you in an easy interface. In fact, I'm noticing the site coming up often in my Google Alerts.

This one on Charlie Angus, "Copyright" on May 11th, 2010 came in this morning.

A comment to Drew Wilson's response to Denis McGrath on the State of the Copyright Debate

Drew Wilson wrote a response to Denis McGrath's blog article he titled The State of the Copyright Debate. While I commented on Denis's blog, the following is a mildly edit version of what I contributed to Drew's blog.

Fairness in an expanded Private Copying regime for recorded music

No matter what I feel about the Private Copying regime for recorded music, it is clear that the music industry wants this. When I say music industry I mean composers and performers who have come out strongly in favor of the regime. It has become clear that the recording industry can no longer be said to represent musicians or the overall music industry.

I can live with this regime being expanded to devices as I consider it the lesser of two evils: a levy on devices, or non-owner locks on devices. In order for the regime to have any resemblance of fairness it should be obvious that we can't allow both.

Read full article on IT World Canada's blog >>>

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