The next stage in the copyright revision process: getting political

Today is the last day make your written submissions in the 2009 copyright consultation, but this does not mean the process is over. In fact, we should be winding up towards the next stage in the process and not winding down.

There are two sets of things that will be happening next: analysis of submissions, and then moving this into the political process. Nik Nanos will be summarizing the comments to the 5 topic areas, and the bureaucracy will be doing their analysis of the written submissions. We need to do our own analysis.

There may soon be a federal election. Whether there is or not, we need to work within each riding to ensure that as many members of parliament will be as informed as possible when a bill is tabled and there is committee and house debate on the bill. It matters who these individual people will be, and less what party they are affiliated with. To this end I have just donated $500 to the campaign of author, broadcaster, editor, journalist, musician, negotiator, singer, and Timmins--James Bay MP Charlie Angus.

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

Creators protecting our public domain

Tomorrow, Sunday September 13'th, is the last day make your voice heard in the 2009 copyright consultation.

One of the key ways in which copyright is balanced between the interests of past creators and future creators is through the limited term of copyright. While the current term of copyright is excessively long, and appears to be expanded in the USA every time Mickey Mouse is about to become part of the public domain, copyright is intended to eventually expire.

Since all creativity builds upon the past it is critical that we grow the public domain. Any policy that allows works to clearly enter into the public domain to benefit new creativity, without harming the legitimate interests of past creators, should be pursued. We are quickly moving away from a time when the activities which copyright regulated were corporate in nature and having a floor full of lawyers doing copyright clearance was reasonable. We need to modernize cultural recycling into the public domain to match this new reality.

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

My written submission to the 2009 copyright consultation

This afternoon I sent in my submission to the consultation. Today is September 11'th, and Sunday September 13'th is the last day make your voice heard in the 2009 copyright consultation.

There are so many more things I would like to say on copyright, but at 8 pages I felt it was already pretty long. I have given several presentations lasting an hour for what amounts to a single clause in the 1996 WIPO treaties. The format of this consultation doesn’t allow us the ability to discuss at this level of detail, but only very broadly. While this series of blog posts about the 2009 consultation is primarily motivated to encourage people to participate in the consultation, it also allowed me to say more things that would have been reasonable to include in my written submission.

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

Copyright Consultation: Strange bedfellows and the not so Special 301 report

There are now only 4 days left to make your voice heard in the 2009 copyright consultation.

I was about to write about the policy and statistical laundering which can be seen with not only the 1996 WIPO treaties but also the Special 301 report. This is a report which special interest groups have managed to convince the United States government to abuse to pressure other countries into making radical backward-facing changes to their Copyright law.

I then read an article about a statement by Bell Canada about policy which I agreed with. Given I disagree with the phone and cable companies on most things, it is pretty special for me to find an area where I agree.

>> Read full article on the IT World Canada blog.

Copyright Consultation: WIPO treaties.

There are now only 5 days left to make your voice heard on this critically important issue. In recent years two different governments tabled copyright bills: the Liberal Bill C-60 on June 20, 2005 and the Conservative Bill C-61 on June 12, 2008. (Note: Similar numbers only coincidence). When looking at these bills, both of which died on the order paper, you will notice that the majority of the bills dealt with ratifying two treaties Canada signed in 1996. We must look at these treaties to understanding what will likely form the bulk of the next copyright bill.

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

Tucows: Copyright’s Creative Disincentive

David Weinberger of Tucows has blogged about his participation in the consultation.

Tucows’ views can be summarized as follows:

1. We believe any legislation should be technologically neutral. A DMCA-like approach that considers a technology or a non-infringing use of a technology illegal per se is a huge brake on innovation.
2. We believe that fair dealing should be expanded to provide greater innovation and creator opportunities. Culture builds on culture and in order to derive the full benefit of the magic of the Internet we need to recognize that the Internet has sped up the dissemination of culture which naturally creates greater opportunities for sharing and extending. This is inherently a feature not a bug.
3. We believe that service providers should be neither policemen nor tax collectors for the existing rights holders. Service providers should be focused on helping ordinary Canadians use the Internet more easily and more effectively.

Copyright Consultation: the tail trying to wag the dog.

In yesterday's article, as well as my submission to the consultation, I suggested that the recording industry is like the tail trying to wag the dog in the copyright consultation. The recording industry represents one of three copyright holding groups in a larger music industry made up of composers, performers, and "makers" of sound recordings. While this group dominated the music industry in the past, modern technology will inevitably cause a restructuring of the music industry such that they will be the smallest of the three.

Contrary to recording industry claims, it is my belief that even if there wasn't a single unauthorized music file shared that the recording industry would be seeing a nearly identical decline.

>>> Read full article on ITWorldCanada's blog.

Cory Doctorow: Submission to the Canadian Copyright Consultation

Cory Doctorow has made his submission, and dedicated it to the public domain.

Would Bill C-61 have protected copyright violators?

A CBC News article by Paul Jay hilighted the copyright consultation submission by Joseph Potvin (Economist currently working at Treasury Board, and co-coordinator of GOSLING).

When Creativity Goes Digital

The Mark has published my op-ed which replies to the "sky is falling" claims in the article by Barry Sookman and Steven Stohn in the August 6 National Post.

Shortform: I disagree ;-)

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