Toronto Entertainment Industry Town Hall

I added some comments to the CBC Spark BLOG entry on how I felt about the attacks on rightsholders by various extremists (recording industry employees, groups claiming to represent artists while asking for things that would harm artists, and one "proud pirate" insulting anyone who believes in fair copyright by wearing a Fair Copyright for Canada T-Shirt) at this event.

What would you say with 3 minutes at a Copyright Town Hall.

August 27'th there was the 2'nd of two Town Hall discussions, first in Montreal on July 30 and the second in Toronto, for this round of Copyright consultations. For logistics reasons I was not able to attend either one. While in Toronto there is a lottery to decide who is allowed to participate for those attending, in Montreal each participant was allowed 3 minutes. This made me think: What would I say about copyright in 3 minutes given this is a topic I have talked about in front of an audience in one case for three hours.

Government imposition of specific business models on creators

My first draft of the op-ed for Georgia Straight was far too long, and included not only discussion of digital locks but also commentary about government imposing royalty-based business models. It also used Georgia Straight articles by Bill Henderson and Marian Hebb as illustrations. I'm including here that last part that needed to be cut out of the op-ed.

Copyright Consultation Made Easy

Vancouver Fair Copyright has put together a guide (PDF) to help people put together submissions for the copyright consultation.

Is a copyright consensus, or at least compromise, possible?

I have published a draft of my submission to the 2009 copyright consultation. Many of the proposals will seem familiar to anyone reading this blog. Feedback welcome, and you may also use any of these ideas in your own submissions.

New might be:

  • How I see the extremes in this debate being between the suggestion that any unauthorized usage (commercial or otherwise) of a copyrighted work is analogous to "theft" vs. the suggestion copyright holders shouldn't need permission or payment (non-commercial or otherwise).
  • That some of the cause of infringement will be how the general public is interpreting some of the views of some of the "infringement is theft" extremism.
  • That copyright infringement may in some cases economically harm competitors more than the copyright holder.

    Consultations Announcement Notice

    (Received via email)

    The Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Industry and the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages launched nation-wide consultations today, to solicit Canadians’ opinions on the important issue of copyright reform.

    Is Canada trying to block a WIPO treaty for blind people's access to written material?

    As the headline suggests I've become skeptical of the wide reporting of Canada's involvement in trying to stop a WIPO treaty that would facilitate grater access for blind people to written material. I had read this many times, but when I heard Jesse Brown mention in the June 1'st episode of his podcast that he tried to get an interview with Bruce Couchman and that Bruce never got back to him. Since I have met Bruce many times I decided to send a letter to Bruce and to Jesse about this issue. While Bruce got back to me right away and has been sending multiple messages on this issue since, Jesse Brown hasn't yet acknowledged receipt of the material I have sent him. Bruce was unaware of an interview request, so there may be problems with Jesse's email/etc.

    While I hope that a professional journalist like Jesse will cover this issue, I'll do my best to let people know what Bruce has been sending me. My hope is that Jesse will see this, carry out the interview which Bruce seems willing to offer if requested, and possibly set the record straight.

    Pandora, Radio, and copyright laggards...

    People in many countries reading an article by Nate Anderson in Ars Technica about radio vs netcasting may be confused by the statement that, "rightsholders have turned their eyes in recent years to commercial US radio, which currently pays songwriters (but not performers or record labels) for the tunes that power their business". In most countries all three music copyright holders (songwriters, performers and record labels) are paid for the broadcast of their music on radio. In fact, the requirement to remunerate performers and/or producers of the phonograms is article 12 of the Rome convention, a 1961 WIPO treaty that Canada acceded to in 1998.

    Canadian Copyright Consultation To Launch July 20th

    Please read Michael Geist's BLOG for details as they come forward.

    Jesse's Search Engine, and this BLOG being quiet...

    I'm going to link two seemingly unrelated things. First, check out the last episode of CBC's Search Engine where Jesse Brown and Michael Geist discuss how the Obama administration has embarrassed itself by elevating Canada to their priority watchlist for Copyright. By any objective fact-based analysis Canada shouldn't be on the list at all, and yet this unsubstantiated lobbiest document from the Obama administration unfairly puts Canada in the company of countries that are a real problem to the economic interests of the US "Intellectual Property" lobby. Not Change we can believe in, but Change for the worse?

    Then check out an interview between Jesse and Mike Miner about TVO's Search Engine.

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