Archived - VandeVelde, Mike
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Here are my priorities:
- Anti circumvention – I do not believe that we should go the route chosen by our southern neighbours where breaking a Digital Restrictions Management system is a crime in and of itself. I believe this allows content producers to avoid spending the money required for robust anti circumvention mechanisms. These costs are then shifted to our court system. I don't want to see companies come out with the the cheapest flimsiest security systems they can imagine, and then lean on the courts to maintain their security. Just like picking a lock is not a crime, the crime is trespass and / or break & enter, there is no point to adding another charge on top of copyright infringement. The marketplace is in the process of deciding to eliminate DRM anyway.
- Fair use – this is the most important part of copyright, and needs to be at least maintained if not strengthened. I need to be able to archive my collections. I need to be able to do my own format shifting as new technologies arise. I need to be able to freely use excerpts for my own purposes. Ideally, I need to be able to remix and mash up existing works into new works without fear of being prosecuted for it. But most importantly, if I purchase a license for a copyrighted work I do not want to have to purchase more and more licenses just to be able to continue accessing it.
- Sharing – I do not believe that not-for-profit copyright infringement is a serious crime. I have no problems with crushing for-profit copyright infringement mercilessly. I do have a problem with the way it is in the USA where the amount of damages for sharing music for example is ridiculously set to hundreds of thousands of dollars. This does nothing to further respect for law enforcement. Seriously, please wait till after you have eliminated murder and rape and theft before you consider treating people who share copyrighted works so harshly.
- Blank media levies – I do not agree with these, but if it will keep the media industry off of our backs then this is the least harmful compromise, and we have them already so there are more important things for me to spend my time on than pushing for their elimination.
- Internet access levies – simply: no. This makes less sense than blank media levies. Just as there are many uses for blank media that do not involve copyright infringement, there are even more uses for the internet that do not involve copyright infringement. The internet is fast becoming an essential communication tool in this modern world, and to add to the cost simply to keep the media industry happy while widening the digital divide would be criminal.
- Copyright terms – I can only hope that they are shortened. The life of the artist, OK. A few extra years for inheritance purposes – well, OK. Extra decades to be passed around like a commodity between huge corporations – nope no thanks. I think that it should be the life of the artist – or the point at which the artists passes on their rights to someone else – plus x years. So that if a corporation ends up holding the copyright, then that's the point when the x extra years start ticking away. If you hold the copyright to a work, and you don't make it available to the public in some way, then you should lose that copyright and have it default to the public domain. Plus we need a common sense way for orphaned works to become part of the public domain, where nobody knows who holds the copyright. The main goal here should be increasing the amount of content in the public domain. There is a balance between taking away the incentive to create new works, and taking away the possibility of those works ever entering the public domain. The public domain is one of our national resources, if you go so far as to slow its growth then you hurt us as Canadians. If you do anything to help it grow then congratulations.
Thank you for this opportunity.