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I'd like to see every internet user pay a blanket fee that gets distributed based on what gets downloaded. I'd pay a few hundred bucks a year to be able to download at will. SOCAN and such already track usage of music--it is not hard to track what is being downloaded. Everybody could even have software installed that reports what gets downloaded, then rights holders could be paid based on what is actually being consumed from out of the blanket fee.
I'm a copyright holder, and I've seen my work on bit torrent sites. I don't have a problem with my work being shared, but knowing that I'm getting a royalty for that would be even better.
fingersoup [2009-08-11 18:57] Comment ID: 1529 Reply to: 1078
Unfortunately that is technically impossible, as well as a breach of privacy. As an avid user of Linux, I have seen several technologies be held back because Windows has greater market share, and developers of software don't want to maintain it for multiple platforms. In fact, there's several alternate operating systems where this falls flat - BSD variants, Haiku/BeOS Variants, Cell phone platforms, PDA's, etc….
As for a breach of privacy, it would be quite simple to abuse this type of reporting. A simple query on someone's internet account would result in people knowing WHAT songs I am listening to… If the government sees I listen to, let's say Rage against the Machine, then they can now flag me as someone who opposes authority and supports certain political viewpoints. The next thing you know, I'm being flagged at the airport and searched because my political views are a threat… Meanwhile, the only reason I downloaded Rage was because I like the rap/rock fusion sound, and couldn't care about the political views of the band…
Granted the above example is a little extreme, the minor implications of giving government access to that type of info would be quite damning…
Plus there's international law to deal with. You can't tax Sweden for file-sharing a Canadian artist's music. Canadian Copyright law has to take these serious implications in to factor.
karencollins [2009-08-11 21:04] Comment ID: 1534 Reply to: 1529
You misunderstood me. I mean that we have Canadian sources to download from, that are available to Canadian IPs only. THEY track what gets downloaded, not WHO downloads it. They report to SOCAN/ ACCESS, etc. and the funds get distributed that way. It's totally doable technically.
fingersoup [2009-08-12 15:21] Comment ID: 1563 Reply to: 1534
Whilst I agree with you to a point, this still leaves a host of other issues. The issue of a global internet is one of question, and one that the government is taking seriously… In an age where I could choose to download from SOCAN/ACCESS approved websites, I could also choose to download the same content from a friend in Paraguay. Should it be illegal to do so?
Furthermore, if the SOCAN/ACCESS sites decide not to "waste bandwidth and disk space" on a particular niche artist, because they are unmarketable to the mainstream, you end up creating an internet market that promotes unfair business practices such as payola. Thus if you like a niche band, or are looking for an almost forgotten gem, you are forced to go to the non-government approved sources to find that gem, and in the process, potentially break the law.
The laws need to provide a means for fair usage, that will allow licensees indiscriminate access to the licenses which they own. I'd say I download a lot of stuff for my MP3 player that I already own on CD or Vinyl, just because it's faster and less resource intensive than converting the stuff myself. That shouldn't be illegal, and if I already own a license, why should I be charged for it again?
In Canada we have a levy on blank media, and we are allowed to make copies for private personal use. Mix tapes and such. There is technically very little difference in downloading off the internet, and recording music off the radio. You just have more choice, and somewhat better quality nowadays.
If we were to extend the blank media taxation, to digital formats - while being an unpopular idea, this would legitimize the practices which most downloaders of content partake in. It wouldn't be the same as licensed music though… it would allow people to have unlicensed copies for private personal use, whereas licensed works should have certain freedoms granted by the license (ability to play verbatim in public, use in not-for-profit public projects, etc).
Hotshotharry [2009-09-10 15:42] Comment ID: 2402 Reply to: 1078
How do you sell this to my dad who checks the weather and reads emails from families ! He doesn't download one bit of your content ! This is an example of how copyright is desgned to protect business at the expense of the consumer !
Some people will torrent no matter what ! But for the most part you need to ask why are they doing it? It's usually to bypass some restriction that has been placed upon the product!
Sell a product that people want for a fair price and it won't be an issue!
I regularly donate money to software developers who make "free" applications ! I get to try their product and if I like it and I use it I pay for it ! No restrictions ! While this may be a little extreme to the fair side it forces companies to be fair ! I support choice!
Want innovation and creativity? Then revise copyright law to make it impossible for large multi-media platform systems (like Canwest, Rogers, etc) to impose all-rights, work-for-hire contracts on writers and to at the same time retain their right to re-sell the writer's work over and over ad infinitum, ad nauseum.
Just read Canwest's appalling contract, which grabs all reproduction rights (including moral rights-- I thought that was illegal???) in all existing media and media yet to be invented/discovered.
You cannot possibly regulate the amount of money writers will be paid for their work, but you should be able to control the rights a company can take for whatever money's paid.
Writers are like anyone else: we make a living-- or try to-- at what we do.
Factor average Canadian per-word payment rates for all-rights contracts into hourly rates and you don't even get burger-flipping wages-- and this, for keeping alive key aspects of Canadian culture and social geography.
Kill the Canadian writer by starving us out of the field, and you'll get mass-audience American infotainment pap filling every purported Canadian publication.
Or you will get sophomoric drivel from hobbyists and poseurs…hardly the best of what this nation could achieve culturally or creatively.
Is it too much to ask to be able to retain our rights to re-sell our own material (and that right will not be handed back to us, having been grabbed by the media conglomerates, unless they are forced to do so by law)?
Is it too much to ask to be able to pay our grocery bills and to keep roofs over our heads?
great for the government to give us a venue to discuss, but will this actually be read. They invite corporations to the meetings, all who are in favor of tough copyright and crackdown from what i have read so far.
i do agree with comments below that we have thousands of you tubers and creative artists who show innovation on the net everyday.
Provide incentives for citizens, as creators, to maintain their rights on their works instead of passing them on to commercial publishers and other third-party "copyright holders."
crade [2009-07-28 15:11] Comment ID: 1063 Reply to: 1057
Yeah incentives like "creators can't sell or otherwise give up copyright on their works" would be nice.
Favoriser la participation du plus grand nombre aux processus créatifs. La créativité ne dépend pas d'un petit nombre d'individus (ou d'institutions) disposant des moyens nécessaires pour créer. Toute personne est à même de créer si on le lui permet.
Encourager les initiatives créatrices de citoyennes et de citoyens. Même sans débourser de somme considérable, le gouvernement canadien peut supporter de telles initiatives. Il y a de très nombreux projets créatifs réalisés par des Canadiennes et des Canadiens. La société canadienne peut privilégier de telles initiatives en leur accordant une certaine visibilité. L'entreprise privée, elle, est réputée être déjà soumise à la loi du marché.
Clarifier, pour la population en général, les implications de l'utilisation équitable et autres exceptions à la loi sur le droit d'auteur.
Faciliter l'accès aux oeuvres du domaine public. C'est en se basant sur de telles oeuvres que le travail de création s'effectue le plus aisément.
Les données et les documents issus du gouvernement sont actuellement protégés par le droit d'auteur de la couronne. Ces documents devraient soit être versés directement dans le domaine public (comme c'est le cas aux Etats-Unis), soit êtres diffusés largement sous des licences libres du type Creative Commons pour que tous les citoyens et leurs institutions puissent les utiliser comme bon leur semble. Les canadiens ont déjà payé pour la création des documents du gouvernements et tous devraient pouvoir les utiliser, les copier et les diffuser sans demander la permission à quiconque.
johnmiller [2009-08-03 03:17] Comment ID: 1279 Reply to: 973
Ā la différence de ce que le Copyright les licenses Creative Commons et le Copyleft protègent avec plus de liberté les droits d'auteur, en favorisant les artistes et les citoyens. C'est une alternative qui favorise plus développement de la société que le Copyright. Plus d'information sur les licences:
Le domaine public : Le droit d'auteur cesse d'exister 50 ans après la mort du créateur, ensuite l'oeuvre entre dans le domaine public où tous peuvent l'utiliser librement. Il est évident qu'une prolongation de la durée du droit d'auteur va nuire aux créateurs actuels, tout en causant des maux aux consommateurs et institutions chargées de notre patrimoine collectif, sans produire des bénéfices tangibles sauf pour quelques larges corporations. Le terme du droit d'auteur ne doit pas être repoussé au-delà de la durée actuelle. En fait, le droit d'auteur devrait durer moins longtemps.
To best foster innovation and creativity in Canada, you have to do the opposite of everything proposed in the C-61 bill. Industry does not want copyright laws to help promote innovation. They want to promote the status quo.
Ask yourself these questions:
Why can't you copy a movie to your computer through a program like itunes, just like you can with a CD? Is it a crime to desire to have your movie library on your laptop so it is available wherever you go?
Is it fair to place copy protection on a blu-ray and then charge for a "digital copy" that you could have made on your own easily if it wasn't for the copy protection?
Why can you not use your own legally purchased mp3 (ie., from a CD or itunes) as a ringtone on many phones? Is that a fair practice to try to force you to buy ringtones from the service provider at the cost of $3 for a 20 second clip.
Why do you have to buy a new phone when you switch cell service providers? How is the loacking of phones fair practice, even if you purchased your phone without a contract?
Isn't it a violation of privacy for a game to install a program that always runs in the background reporting back to the manufacturer that can't be removed without a re-format before you accept the license agreement?
At this time industry appears to be free to do anything they want, as long as it is done under the guise of protecting their copyright. They are using them for anticompetitve means, and giving them more rights will only make it worse.
Record labels are finding themselves less and less relevant. Digital distribution and cheap recording software makes them less of an asset than they once were. They don't want to refine their practices to meet the new age, they would rather resist the change through any means possible.
Cable providers are looking at a potential huge drop in revenue as online video grows in popularity. If something really innovative came out that made online video better than cable, they would be in trouble. So naturally their stance would be to delay this change as long as possible, although they should be figuring out how to profit from this change.
Copyright law needs to be refined to prevent abuse from industry, which at many times is trying to stiffle innovation and progress.
We are shifting from traditional means of distribution to all digital, and industry is resisting it. We didn't compensate wagon manufacturers when cars came out. They had to innovate or be left behind. That is what these companies have to do now. Don't give them the tools to stifle innovation.
rinzertanz [2009-07-30 22:31] Comment ID: 1171 Reply to: 960
Careful. You must distinguish between distributors of content and the creators. Distributors LICENSE the copyright from creators. Your beef is with the distributors, not the creators.
paradox [2009-07-30 23:45] Comment ID: 1175 Reply to: 1171
At the end of the day it is the distributers that are pushing for revisions to the copyright laws and are the ones (in my opinion) abusing the current system. Perhaps my post is misplaced, but any revisions do need to protect the consumers as well as the copyright holders. The proposed Bill C-61 does not do that at all.
Hotshotharry [2009-09-10 15:49] Comment ID: 2403 Reply to: 960
You sure hit the nail on the head with this ! Well done!
The answer to this is very clear.
No Candadian copyright laws whatsoever.
Copyright is a government granted monopoly.
Innovation and creativity is done by "standing on the shoulders of giants".
If Canadians can use all ideas unencumbered by a government monopoly while the rest of the world shackles itself, we will have a tremendous advantage.
karencollins [2009-08-11 21:15] Comment ID: 1535 Reply to: 957
You've obviously never published/made money any copyright yourself, then.
We can use ideas. It's called 'fair dealing'. What it comes down to is taking work without paying the artist/author/copyright owner for it.
Your idea might work in a utopian world, but we need practical solutions
ael [2009-08-12 11:44] Comment ID: 1553 Reply to: 1535
I make my living through the fruit of my intellectual efforts. There are many ways to make money without creating an artificial, government sanctioned monopoly (which, after all, is exactly what copyright is about).
Look at American copyright law in the 19th century. It was explicitly designed to foster a publishing industry (a legitimate public policy goal) by denying the copyright monopoly to the great British novelists.
I'm suggesting that if Canada is able to use the copyrighted material of the rest of the world it will benefit Canada more than the loss of whatever benefits Canada receives by participating in the copyright regime.
It may have made sense to have copyright when disseminating ideas via capital intensive efforts (i.e. printing presses). In the age of cheap computing and the internet , I do not see what benefit copyright brings, compared to its costs.
karencollins [2009-08-12 11:58] Comment ID: 1554 Reply to: 1553
I think you're right in that it might work for some media (e.g. music where I can sell band paraphernalia), but for others, I don't see this working.
Let's say I spend 5 years researching and writing a non-fiction book (those years are unpaid, and un-tax-deductible, by the way). I publish the book, which gets distributed free since there is no copyright. How do I make money off this? I could make videos to go along with the book--oh, but they're copyright free, too, so soon end up available to anyone free anyway.
I could sell the paper copy of the book, but mailing costs are prohibitively expensive, meaning that very few people will purchase it when they can get it free online.
I could ask for donations but frankly will make next to nothing (if anything at all).
I could sell my services as a speaker, but only if I'm willing to travel regularly (and what if I'm raising a family?), and even then, there is very little money to be made doing this.
What do you propose for this situation? How would an author make any money off their years of labour?
You seem to suggest that just because something is not a "hard copy", the labour that went into that work is not worth anything.
I would propose instead that we have a repository of material produced in Canada--sort of like a massive online library, and make it available to Canadians who pay a blanket flat fee. The flat fee gets distributed to copyright owners if their work gets used (downloaded).
ael [2009-08-12 12:25] Comment ID: 1555 Reply to: 1554
First of all, there is no guarantee that if I create some work, I can make money off it (either with, or without copyright).
Also, as a public policy goal, abandoning copyright also allows Canada to use the rest of the world's copyrighted works without payment.
So, if a non-fiction book in Canada might not make money (and I will argue about this later) Canadian *readers* get to obtain non-fiction books from the rest of the world. The benefit to *all* Canadians is what the government must consider. Inevitably, there will be trade offs.
Now, on to the book itself. Look at Baen's free library. They give away books on the internet and make even more money selling those same books. By abandoning the practical aspect of copyright (by giving away the book) they make money selling the book.
Lastly, your idea about the online library can easily work without copyright. Don't put your work into the library until the library agrees to give you a small fee if it is used. The convenience of the library will draw people to it (and get them to pay the fees).
karencollins [2009-08-12 18:09] Comment ID: 1575 Reply to: 1555
You speak about the benefit to "all" Canadians at the expense of the authors of the works-- at what point after not making any money on their works will authors give up writing them? (Hint: It won't take long! I know. I am one. It's a tremendous amount of work for little pay-off as it is).
Of course there's no guarantee that you can make money, but with careful planning and decent publicity you can make enough to pay for the little extras.
I'm not sure where you see the role of authors in all this--Why work for free? You still haven't answered the question of how authors are supposed to earn money off their work. In your proposal, who is paying the fee the library is going to pay you if your work is used?
KickingRaven [2009-08-12 18:58] Comment ID: 1584 Reply to: 1575
karencollins, why the assumption that you will not make a profit with reduced copyright? I mean if your book is popular enough surely people will pay for a version, be that hardcover or digital? Would it not have the potential to be more profitable if more people are exposed to it? I think it is cynical to think that all of society would just take content for free. If that was the case then the entertainment industry would have completely crashed.
I am just trying to understand the view that weaker copyright equates to no financial renumeration of creative works?
karencollins [2009-08-12 19:09] Comment ID: 1586 Reply to: 1584
How many people take it free versus pay for it voluntarily, though? 10% 5%? If that? I would really LIKE to believe that more people would pay, but I think that is a really naive view. If people can get it free, most of them will not pay. Some of them will, yes, but most of them will not.
The kinds of costs incurred in marketing so that you can get the kind of volume to be profitable is crazy. And what about work that is not designed to be popular enough to sell enough to make that kind of volume of sales but that are important contributions to knowledge anyway? Will things need to be dumbed down to appeal to the masses to make it worth publishing?
I agree with the idea/the principle, but it won't work in practice. You're overestimating people.
KickingRaven [2009-08-13 12:15] Comment ID: 1608 Reply to: 1586
I think it is premature to anticipate what percentage of people will pay. E-books have yet to make a huge debut in Canada. I like physical books but as I grow older, and as a parent, I am much more aware of my environmental footprint. I have made the adjustment to reading digitally on my computer monitor but it isn't ideal. Something like an e-book would probably make me a consumer of books again but the technology still has a way to go, as does the availability of digital books. This is more about the market and less about copyright.
We are alienating a younger generation of consumers with outdated copyright models. As passive consumers we allowed copyright to expand to unrealistic terms to the detriment of the public domain. Now we have a culture of creators that want to remix and mash-up content. They want to draw from the public domain, or what should be the public domain, like never before. We have been lax in our stewardship of the public domain and this generation is calling us out on that.
"The original intent of copyright was not conceived as a welfare program for authors but rather to encourage the creation of new works." - A slight remix of a statement from http://www.hbs.edu/research/pdf/09-132.pdf
karencollins [2009-08-14 08:33] Comment ID: 1652 Reply to: 1608
What you're talking about is appropriating one artwork to use to develop another. I've got NO problem with appropriation: Our current copyright law even allows for this to a limited extent (through fair dealing). I'm all for copyright reform on appropriation and personal use, and there needs to be clarification about what can and cannot be done.
What some people are talking about though is eliminating all copyright altogether, which means creators of work have no say over someone, say, making a t-shirt out of their drawing and selling it for a profit. I have difficulty with that. That's not a remix or a mash-up, that's making a profit off someone else's labour. It would be nice if everything in life were free, but do you not agree that they should have to pay some kind of fee to make a profit off someone else's work?
I think there needs to be significant copyright reform, sure, but we have to also make sure that creators are protected.
KickingRaven [2009-08-14 17:12] Comment ID: 1662 Reply to: 1652
I appreciate what you are saying and I do support copyright. I would love for you, as an author, to reap the full financial benefits for your creative efforts.
The problem I have is with all the middlemen between you and I taking a piece of what should be yours and charging me a premium, all the while raking in a bulk of the profits. These middlemen are very quick to point out how they are fighting for you, the creator, but they are actually protecting their bottom line.
In a digital environment I am hoping people like you can use services to get your product out to people like me in a more cost-effective manner (for both of us) with the majority of profit going back to you for your creative efforts. The middlemen whom are doing less in a digital market, as opposed to a physical one, would be more for marketing and such but making less, as they should.
There needs to be a differentiation between original copyright holders (as people) and copyright holders as organizations, corporations, etc. in legislation. How many times have these entities used their significant political and financial clout to empower society? And in all honesty how have their efforts benefitted you, the individual creators directly, and not just their own ambitions in copyright assertion through litigation?
I am hopeful that efforts such as the Creative Commons are pointing us in the right direction.
I think we would both be on the same side of this debate if it weren't for those who would see us pitted against each other in the name of corporate greed.
SalyBant [2009-08-14 15:00] Comment ID: 1659 Reply to: 1586
I appreciate this discussion and agree with karencollins's comments -- especially with your most recent (2009/08/14).
I too find that many people want to avoid paying even for the work of artists they really appreciate and for the music and movies that they value very highly.
Matthew Robson, a fifteen-year old intern for Morgan Stanley, recently wrote, in his highly-publicized report on "How Teenagers Consume Media," that
"[Most teenagers] are very reluctant to pay for [music] (most never having bought a CD) and a large majority (8/10) downloading [sic] it illegally from file sharing sites"
(you can read his full report, courtesy of The Guardian newspaper, at http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2009/jul/13/teenage-media-habits-morgan-stanley).
Many people I know show the same reluctance, although they're past their teenage years.
KickingRaven [2009-08-14 17:32] Comment ID: 1663 Reply to: 1659
Thanks for the link, that was a very interesting read. I am hopeful that these youth are cost-conscious, they should be as digital distribution is much more cost-effective and better for the environment (I don't think we see that yet refected in the actual prices we pay). It would be interesting to know at what price point would these youth see the value of actually purchasing content. What value-added content is currently lacking to encourage them to buy? What if there was value in sharing? Say a code that could be redeemed by the people that do at some point purchase content, redeemable points for the sharer. Instead of punishing the sharing behaviour why not use it as marketing tool? I mean they are doing a service in getting market recognition for that content.
Time to reinvent the way businesses market with fresh insight such as this young person provided. I, for one, will not lament the loss of commercials or advertisements in their current form ;)
fingersoup [2009-09-07 12:20] Comment ID: 2284 Reply to: 1663
Some more insight to how an iTunes track's $0.99 US gets distributed.
and a breakdown (Distribution costs and apple profits combined)
It's just an extension of current business models - just it gives much more to the label. thus, if Apple makes 10 cents profit, and can't make the iTunes store survive off these profits from EVERY SINGLE SONG THEY SELL - instead relying on iPod sales to drive their profit margin… If the record labels get 65 cents, and 12% of that goes to artists, that means artists are only making 7.8 cents per sale off of each song (No wholesale markup) - Less than what Apple calls a negligible profit. Producers get less than 2 percent, thus the people who do the dirty work get less. This is what I call unfair artist compensation.
Thus there is no value in buying off iTunes, for teenagers who work for minimum wage or don't work at all… It doesn't encourage their favourite artists to make more music… It only pays bills enough to scrape by, or break even, unless they are some overhyped supergroup who gets lucky.
The fact is, any teenager could tell you these things about "illegal" music downloading. It's too expensive to pay for on their limited budget, and they are conditioned to download "illegally".
When they grow up and learn the statistics on how their money is spent, they learn that it ends up in the hands of corporate bureaucrats, as opposed to feeding and supporting their favourite artists. This breeds a general disdain for paying for music.
That's why legitimizing unlicensed private use, alongside a taxation of blank media, combined with fair ARTIST compensation; NOT label compensation; is the lesser of two evils. Yes, blank media taxation is unfair, but it is less unfair than the current corporate "Gouge everyone including the artist" scheme we live with now. Having laws which promote paying the artists and producers more, and paying the corporate entities less, will foster more innovation/creativity, because artists will be better compensated for their work, and will have more incentive to produce a larger catalogue/body of work, to become more profitable. Tie their live performance sales, radio listeners, and license sales (electronic and hard copy sales) to their blank media levy entitlement, to ensure artists are paid an appropriate amount from the levy. Equal distribution based on proven listenership, directly to artists.
ael [2009-08-13 10:58] Comment ID: 1602 Reply to: 1575
I am not suggesting that all business models would survive in a Canada without copyright.
Those who have knowledge, or can tell good stories will be able to survive (and probably even prosper). Authors existed in the world before copyright.
Note that Canada is less than 1% of the worlds population. By abandoning copyright you get to the benefit of the world's knowledge.
The USA did something like this in the USA. (they had their own copyright regime which allowed them to ignore non-american copyrights).
Finally, if you are committed to pursuing the old business model of authors and publishers, then simply publish in the USA first. That way you get copyright protection on your material for the rest of the world.
That way, old school authors still get 99% of the potential market and Canada still gets the benefits.
Copyright protection developed in a time and for reasons similar to Patents for Inventors. The principle is sound - society offers protection to individuals for their creativity. However, over time, the two have differed.
A patent is given and provides protection for a specific length of time. So the implicit contract with inventors is: society will provde protection (through the courts) for your creativity, but in return, at the end of the protection period, your invention is offered to all for the common good.
So why can not copyright work the same way? When an artist develops a work, from the moment it is published, released, broadcast, etc., it is protected for a given length of time. At the end of the protection period, the work enters the public domain - like patents.
The current copyright laws seem to be such that works will never enter the public domain. Where is the consideration offered by the artists for the implicit contract? Society will protect an artist, but shouldn't society receive some benefit (like patents) within a reasonable amount of time?
So my basic question for a new Canadian Copyright law - Why should an artist recieve lifelong (plus) protection for creating a song? Are aretists any better or is their work more important than a scientist that creates a cure, an engineer who creates a device or a programmer that creates a solution who only receive society's protection for a set duration?