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As the owner of a company that develops software for a living, I recognize the value of copyright and ownership. There is no way I could afford to stay in business if everything I produced simply became common property.
This being said, I also realize that the American style of copyright law, where it is used as a tool to stifle creativity, impede competition and milk royalties off of loosely-owned properties ad infinitum is a terrible, dishonest and uncivilized practice. The rule of corporation is one where profit is maximized at the expense of all else, as the current state of the world economy can attest. Greed prevails over common sense, and lawyers become brokers of society's intellectual property. Take a look a the sad state of Software Patents in the US, where companies like Blackboard can actually copyright the concept of "online learning" and actively (and successfully) litigate away their competition at the obvious expense to society. They are oblivious to the implications, simply treating the opportunity as a way of gaining an unwarranted advantage and extra revenue.
They say the last vestige of a dying market is litigation and anti-competitive behavior. We see this in the entertainment industry, where it is easier to litigate and press for longer copyright life than it is to innovate, compete openly and build for tomorrow rather than feed of the scraps of yesterday. The only innovation the modern corporation demonstrates today is in circumventing moral and ethical boundaries to pursue their goals (a small example being their actions of stacking the last town hall meeting so as to drown out the balanced voice, a larger being the Blackboard litigation previously mentioned).
I do not believe in software piracy, music piracy or any other theft of intellectual property where the creators are not able to compensate themselves from the works they have created, but neither do I believe that the status quo that the lobby groups are attempting to foist on us is anything more than self-interest driven by greed and miserly ambition. All I expect is that the laws regarding copyright are fair, flexible and designed to protect the individual first and corporation second. Corporations have demonstrated loudly and with vigor the lengths they will go to prevent having to actually compete or innovate, to the great expense of society and the free market. To give them this power in Canada would simply mean the further erosion of personal choice and freedom.
Specifically, the legislation of patents on intellectual property where there is no mechanism or practical application in place is a very bad thing (granting a reasonable amount of time for such creations to be developed). Laws should not legislate technologies or implementations of them, as they cannot but stifle honest growth and use (and are often too rigid to prevent abuse in creative ways anyway). Also, no company should be afraid of entering a market or creating a product where one small aspect could become mired in litigation or anti-competitive practices, especially from companies who neither produce nor innovate themselves (i.e. patent trolls). In these cases, it should be very expensive for a company to pursue these claims, a very high burden of "creative/intellectual innovation" proof should be on the claimant, and settlements (where true infringement to the point of definable theft is identified) should be balanced accordingly. In point of fact, the implementation of similar processes should *never* be considered improper, only the actual theft or direct copying of physical, mechanical processes or duplication of existing work. Imagine a world where an artist can copyright a brushstroke, a singer a chain of notes, or a company a portion of the human genome (oh, wait, that all ready happens now).
Create fair, open and equitable laws and the balance will come naturally. Individuals realize the importance of fostering creativity, innovation and growth and demonstrate this by paying for these products (intellectual or otherwise) when they are presented in a fair manner. By creating a fair and equitable environment, Companies will be forced to shed their old, dated business models and find a common ground where profit and respect go hand in hand. Canada will rise above the country's where copyright has made it impossible to innovate or compete (while at the same time allowing companies with the advantage have no motivation to do so themselves). A free model fosters growth, innovation and creativity, and from this alone we are bound to become a more successful community.
For what it's worth,