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Today I'm writing to voice my concern about the Bill C-61.
I urge Canadian politicians to *not* enact this bill. Passing such bill would clearly stifle innovation and decrease the quality of our educational system.
Furthermore, similar laws have been enacted in the U.S.A. in the past years without much success. Piracy is still a growing problem there, the only difference is they are destroying lives and creating criminals out of honest tax payers.
At the very least if their intent to protect artists and their intellectual propriety was honest. But it's far from the reality.
The RIAA has been suing thousands of people, young, old, poor and sicks.. even some deads! They have been racking millions in case settlement over copyright infringements.
Did any of those poor artists who they are representing got their fair share of the settlements ?
Not a dime.
The real battle we and they are fighting here is not for the protection of artists nor their intellectual proprieties, it's a battle over the control of information and its distribution means.
They want to control what we can or cannot watch, how many times we can watch it and how long we can keep it.
They basically want this for two reasons;
So they could sell us the same content over and over again. Ultimately in their biggest fantasy; I would pay for CD then I would also pay for downloading that same music album
on my computer and then I would have to pay for it again to have the same album on my mp3 player or on my cell phone. And of course if my girlfriend wants it
on her computer she would also have to pay. If I want a song on that album as ring-tone on my cell phone, I would then have to buy the 4.99$ official ring-tone
instead of turning myself into a criminal by just creating a trimmed mp3 .. of a song I already bought multiple times.
In other words, they want to make fair use a crime, effectively turning thousands of Canadian into prosecutable criminals for them.
Then they will use the same scare tactics than in the U.S.A. They will prosecute everyone they can and for millions in damage for a handful of mp3 downloads.
And like in the U.S.A., they will capitalise on the fact that most people will chicken out from the court battle and accept their expensive settlements.
I call this extortion.
Please don't let this happen here.
The second reason they want those law to be implemented is to secure their moribund business model and thus, not die.
With the growth of technology and the wake of the Internet, they miserably failed to adapt their business model to the new mediums.
Initially the music industry as we know it was a necessity in order to get a substantial success. They were the only gateway to success since
they had total control over the distribution system.
But today the technologies and communication means are cheaper and more effective everyday and the game is changing fast.
This had an instant effect on how the star system works. People can distribute their art over the Internet for free and become famous over-night.
The fat middleman is not as needed as before and understandably, he want to reverse that trend.
However doing it at the expense of millions of Canadians' most fundamental rights is a really bad idea.
To conclude times have changed, the markets and the technologies changed, but they did not. They either have to adapt or die.
As for the artists, don't worry. Arts existed and artists lived well before the first manager ever screwed anybody.
New distributions models will be created, they already did in fact and the results are often surprising.
I will end my plea with by highlighting an experiment made by Radiohead in 2007.
And I have quoted the relevant parts below my signature for your convenience.
The full Wikipedia article can be found here; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_Rainbows#Distribution
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On 1 October 2007, Jonny Greenwood announced in a brief post on Dead Air Space, "Well, the new album is finished, and it's coming out in 10 days … We've called it In Rainbows". Radiohead released the album as a download available for order from inrainbows.com on 10 October 2007. In a Wired interview, Yorke explained that "every record for the last four—including my solo record—has been leaked. So the idea was like, we'll leak it, then." Radiohead's managers have said that they would not have released the album as they did unless they were sure the physical CD would sell well. Writing about the unusual release method, Jon Pareles of The New York Times commented, "For the beleaguered recording business Radiohead has put in motion the most audacious experiment in years."
In order to distribute the album through inrainbows.com with minimal technical glitches, Radiohead utilised the services of UK-based PacketExchange to bypass public Internet servers, instead utilising a less-trafficked private network to deliver the digital download to users. The download, packaged as a ZIP file, included the ten album tracks encoded in 160 kbit/s DRM-free MP3 format. Upon purchase, the buyer was prompted to type in their desired price, plus a credit card transaction fee of 45 pence if purchased for more than 0 pence. The staggered online release of the album began at about 5:30 GMT on 10 October, but on 10 December 2007, the official digital download was no longer made available. A limited made-to-order "discbox", available for pre-order through inrainbows.com, was released on 3 December 2007. It contained the album on CD and two 12" heavyweight 45 rpm vinyl records with artwork and lyric booklets. The box included a second enhanced CD with eight additional tracks, as well as digital photos and artwork. The overall set, packaged in a hardcover book and slipcase, was priced at £40 (approx. US$80), and also included the MP3 download.
The album was released on CD and vinyl in Japan by BMG on 26 December 2007, in Australia on 29 December 2007 by Remote Control Records and in the U.S and Canada on 1 January 2008 by ATO imprint TBD Records and by MapleMusic/Fontana, respectively. Elsewhere around the world, the album was released on 31 December 2007 by independent record label XL Recordings. The CD release came in a cardboard package containing the CD, lyric booklet and several artwork stickers; this method of packaging encouraged a "do-it-yourself" style, whereupon the stickers were placed on an unused jewel case to create a package. In Rainbows was also the first album in Radiohead's catalog to be available for download in several digital music stores upon its release, such as the iTunes Store and Amazon MP3
In early October 2007, a spokesman for the band reported that "most people [paid] a normal retail price with very few trying to buy [the download version] for a penny" and that most fans had preordered the discbox. Citing a source close to the band, Gigwise.com reported that by the day of its online release, the album had sold 1.2 million copies. The claim, however, has been dismissed by band manager Bryce Edge as "exaggerated". According to an Internet survey conducted by Record of the Day of 3,000 people, about one-third of people who downloaded the album paid nothing, with the average price paid being £4. When asked in a December 2007 interview by The Observer how many discboxes were ordered, the band members responded with various answers ranging between 60,000 and 80,000. In October 2008, a report from Warner Chappell revealed that although most people paid nothing for the download, pre-release sales were more profitable than the total money from sales of Hail to the Thief. The report also stated that the discbox sold 100,000 copies.
The album's download and "discbox" sales were not eligible for inclusion in the UK Albums Chart because the website is not a chart-registered retailer. The week of its retail release, In Rainbows peaked at number one on the UK Album Chart, with first week sales of 44,602 copies. The album entered the Billboard 200 at number 156 due to street date violations, but reached number one on the chart the following week. The record sold 122,000 copies in the United States in its first week of official release, according to SoundScan. In October 2008, the band's publisher Warner Chappell Music Publishing revealed that the album had sold three million copies (including digital and physical format sales) since the album's physical release in January. The vinyl edition of In Rainbows was the top selling vinyl album of 2008.
The band released "Jigsaw Falling into Place", "Nude" and "Reckoner" as singles from the album in the UK in early 2008; they reached number 30, number 21 and number 74 on the UK Singles Chart, respectively. In the U.S., "Nude" reached number 37 on the Billboard Hot 100, and was also Radiohead's first single to appear on the Billboard Pop 100 chart, peaking at number 35. The album track "Bodysnatchers" reached number eight on the U.S. Hot Modern Rock Tracks chart. "Jigsaw Falling into Place" was the second most played song on American radio, peaking at number 69 in airplay on alternative rock-oriented stations.