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Here are my thoughts regarding the questions:
1. How do Canada's copyright laws affect you? How should existing laws be modernized?
I am a writer, and have had short stories published in literary magazines, book anthologies, broadcast on radio, etc. As a creator, I spend a lot of time on a work, and believe that it is important for the work, talent and time of creator's to be recognized and protected. In a former job, I also worked with musicians and am aware of the need to give credit when performing someone else's work. The work of creators contributes to the value of a country's culture. Major changes in electronic technology make it much easier to replicate and use a creator's work. It think that it's important to provide copyright protection that can encompass these new technologies. I am a member of Acess Copyright and believe the creation of that organization many years ago was an excellent step forward in protecting creators as well as in making users of creators' works aware of the need to pay for its use. I think that Access Copyright should be a major player in the licensing of copyright.
2. Based on Canadian values and interests, how should copyright changes be made in order to withstand the test of time?
I think it's impossible to predict how our society will change in 20 or 30 years — witness the proliferation of lap tops, cell phones, MP3 players, etc. — that few thought of 30 years ago. I think that laws and legislation have to be flexible and comprehensive for the time in which they are made, but also be reviewed periodically as society changes. I think that one of the important principles of any copyright legislation is the rights of the creator — the right for work to be protected from theft, and for the creator to be paid for his/her work. At the same time, there have to be mechanisms, ways for the public to access and use works — thus the importance of organizations such as Acess Copyright and SOCAN.
3. What sorts of copyright changes do you believe would best foster innovation and creativity in Canada?
Creators are always open to new methods and styles of working, whether it be new technologies, traditional or new media, multi-media, collaborations, etc. In the digital age, intellectual property is at least as important if not more so than land or other material property in creating the wealth and culture of a country such as Canada. I think that copyright changes need to take all this into consideration.
4. What sorts of copyright changes do you believe would best foster competition and investment in Canada?
As I said previously, I think the basic principle of protection of the rights of creators to keeping the integrity of their work and getting paid for it, as well as methods of licensing use of works are important. I don't think there should be any limits to the media or methods of work, all should be protected. I don't think this relates necessarily to copyright, but I also think that encouragement of Canadian content (e.g. in media in Canada) is one of the keys to growing our creative and cultural property.
5. What kinds of changes would best position Canada as a leader in the global, digital economy?
Canada must enter into agreements, treaties, etc. with other countries to protect our creators and those of other countries — exchanges of information and agreement on basic principles of protection of copyright.