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Being a software developer, I have quite the vestment in copyright laws. It is because of copyright that I can develop what I want to develop, distribute how I want to distribute, and put restrictions on who can distribute and under what conditions (i.e. via the GPL and other permissive licenses).
What copyright should never do is guarantee me an audience, nor should it force people to lock into my creations.
The original intent of copyright is good, however somewhere the intent got skewed (somewhere around the signing of the Burne convention). Copyright was developed for people to have a LIMITED government-granted MONOPOLY (note emphasis). Copyright needs to move back to the intent rather than the rule.
1. Copyright lengths need to be reduced to pre-Burne convention (20 years-ish). Most copyrighted material makes most of the money within the first 5 years of distribution; very few copyrighted works make much money after 20 years. After 20 years, software isn't even really viable and is difficult to run on modern hardware (anyone try running DOS or Windows 3.0 on current hardware?).
2. Make a strong distinction between commercial, for profit copyright infringement and personal not-profiting copyright infringement.
3. Fair use should be very clearly defined. If I buy a movie or song from an on-line store (such as iTunes), there should be no restrictions or punishments for me to remove any undesirable restrictions to use on any number of players I may personally own, in any format I choose.
Schwarz [2009-07-25 00:06] Comment ID: 868 Reply to: 866
I have to agree with you.
Do you imagine a future where you would call your cable company and ask them why you can't view the hockey game and they would tell you "Well i'm sorry, but the hockey game is not available on your current TV but we do have a great deal on our new Sony for only 1000$ and if you send in your old we will give you a 100$ discount."
The guy goes to prison because he watched the hockey game on a Panasonic instead of a sony…
ITS RIDICULOUS, how far is the gouvernement ready to go for money instead of the interest of its own people…
Steve L [2009-08-06 16:12] Comment ID: 1393 Reply to: 866
I agree except that sharing should not be an infringement.
Imagine a world where you wouldn't let your friend borrow your screwdriver because you bought it for you and that after 3 uses of it you would have to call the company to reactivate it.
Imagine not being able to play a single note of music on your guitar because someone else played it before.
Imagine not being able to invent an electric drill because someone already had the rights to a tool made for driving screws.
Imagine locking up everyone in jail because there are criminals out there.
I say let's not punish the honest people because of the criminals. I mean would you ban forks because someone could kill with it?
Let's not kill our own evolution for the sake of money.
Anyways remember one thing any great ideas or inventions no matter what have been successful so I say NO to these new laws.
Pat Chafe [2009-08-18 23:15] Comment ID: 1791 Reply to: 864
Imagine lending your workdesk to someone for free and letting them receive compensation for your goodwill on your payroll time. Lending a screwdriver is not the same as lending your work or your personal copyrighted property. If it's your personally designed screwdriver, a tool which has given you a living, you wouldn't be quite so free about "lending it" so much, would you? or perhaps it's better said that you would be more conservative in your distribution and/or loaning out that product, particularly if every use means you get paid for it.
Imagine your own innovations or ideas to further improve your livlihood are stolen and claimed by others and you lose credit and compensation for them. In fact, imagine watching someone else being paid for something you did and not being able to do anything about it.
Imagine your job suddenly becoming obsolete because it's been copied so much that your original creativity has disappeared and your original worth has decreased to zero.
No need to imagine this: one IS permitted to improve, arrange or expand upon the original ideas of another so a new-and-improved drill is a reality, with laws protecting both original designers…
People who use forks to kill are criminals, I agree. But users of forks still have to buy them and pay for them, compensating the creator and distributor…imagine getting forks for free because they MIGHT be used in a way not intended by the creator or seller? If you invented the fork, would you go along with this?
Imagine your work being used properly, like having someone play your music on their guitar, which is one of the main purposes behind creating it…but receiving nothing IF that person decides to claim it as their own or record/copy it without your permission?
We as artists are not asking for BIG BROTHER monitoring. And no one is asking for the extreme measures you use as examples. Great inventions and creative endeavors HAVE been successful in the eyes of those who did not create them. However, infringement of copyright costs the creator and if you aren't one, you cannot possibly make general statements in stating the laws shouldn't be changed.
Imagine your rights and privledges in your job suddenly staying in the 1990's with no chance of updating or parity because the general consensus of others was that your job is still existing, so what the heck are you complaining about?…would you be as quick to say never mind reviewing the present laws? I think not.
Schwarz [2009-08-19 13:04] Comment ID: 1827 Reply to: 1791
Actually you are missing the point like most people.
Let's not punish the honest people who actually bought the software, i would give power to the gouvernement to actually go down on illegal sites that hosts copyrighted material but never go down on the people that bought the softwares.
If I buy a cake and want to share it with my wife and son I should be entitled to.
AND NO ! My wife and son are not stealing from the artist that made the cake, we are as a family sharing a product legally BOUGHT.
Next thing you know I won't be able to freeze my meat to preserve it because the meat company wants me to use it right now and buy some later.
I mean backing up a software is just like freezing your food for later use.
Softwares degrade with time, children don't handle their Dora DVDs like they should but HEY I bought it, I bought the right to watch it, and I should be able to watch it as much as I want.
What a messed up world that we are talking about this today. But if you look at it, only the big corporations are whining yet the future of open source is growing more and more…
If you make something good you will make money maybe not in the past but in this day and age if people need your innovations they will pay for it.
Don't kill innovation and evolution for money, let's think about the future and how much more we could accomplish. Once again there is a well defined line between fair use and illegal distributing of softwares, any logical judge can make the difference, we don't need no ridiculous laws about it that would just completely kill the learning and evolution of our own children.
The laws are fine right now.
As a blogger, I hope that copyright laws don't go to the extreme that critiquing and parodying works would be considered unlawful. In fact, if one goes this far (as the former Bill C-61 hinted that it would), it can be challenged as being unconstitutional. Barring one the right to freely express him/herself is against our Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Another thing: The music industry must come to the realization that they are no longer in the 20th century. Many seem to live as if it is still 1959, when it is really 2009. People are using music for many things, including producing videos for school projects and slide shows for weddings. These people are not making money. And they want to accompany the video with music. Right now, the only legal pieces they can use are those found in Creative Commons sites. And because these sites have so many artists, it's hard to weed out the bad ones to find good ones. If we were legally allowed to dub good music for slide shows and videos (especially video yearbooks! Many schools are doing this…my high school has since the mid 90s), especially with songs which are significant to people, it would make videos much more memorable.
It should be permissible for me to load content from media like CDs onto devices such as iPods, because content providers cannot be relied upon to support this usage reliably.
File sharing and other non-commercial infringement should not be criminalized, and should not carry large statutory damages, because this is not proportionate to the severity of the transgression. However, escalating warnings through ISPs (eg "three strikes", with subsequent disconnection) seem reasonable to control this usage.
stevenha [2009-07-26 12:06] Comment ID: 917 Reply to: 853
Agree strongly. I'd be proud to have Canada be a place where, music you buy once, can be moved from one manufacturers device, to a new competitors device next year. We have Canadian pride in our peacekeeping. Lets show international leadership in digital common sense.
yuanqi [2009-08-05 15:57] Comment ID: 1346 Reply to: 853
In today's connected world, cancelling a person's Internet access would result in widespread disruptions to the person's life, comparables to cutting off their phone lines and this sort of measures is too severe for such petty crimes. I personally believe moderate fines are sufficient deterrents for file sharing activities.
Media that I legally buy should remain my property, and not the property of a studio or distributor. If I wish to make copies of content that I have purchased for my own personal use or the use of my household, then I should have that right.
My private use of any media, information, entertainment, (digital or otherwise) should remain my private business. The publishers/creators of such things should mind their own business.
I pay extra taxes on recording media (like CD, DVDs and tapes) and that should be more than enough compensation for any content publishers.
Legal or otherwise, I'll continue to deal with media in my home in any way I see fit to, use for my own convenience and no one else.
I'm also a Linux OS user and if content publishers refuse to support my choice of software, then it's within my rights to do what is necessary to prevent me or my family from being discriminated against.
As for computer software, other than copying and re-publishing code deemed "proprietary" word for word, the premise or concept of such programs should not be patented or subject to copyrights of any kind.
Human knowledge should not be controlled by any organization.
routing [2009-07-24 19:21] Comment ID: 845 Reply to: 827
I hope that in the future when I buy a CD or movie, I should be able to watch or play it on any devices I have, whether that happens to be my mp3 player or computer. I hope that we can remain free to use media legally obtained for personal use in any way we desire.
I would have to disagree with the above poster with regards to computer software, as I make my living creating software, and patents/copyrights on original software works keeps people able to make a living creating software.
sjbrown [2009-07-24 20:10] Comment ID: 849 Reply to: 845
I also make my living creating software, and I think a blended approach is best. Copyrighting simple instructions should not be allowed. By "simple instructions" I mean such things as a recipe for brownies or a 15-line computer program. All but an extreme few would agree that simple instructions are not significant enough to qualify for protection. However, a program that requires work, knowledge, insight, and craftsmanship should be copyrightable.
It is very difficult to draw the line. I would propose that a test be created. Separate the program code from any publicly-available components it includes. Then make a upper-bounds measurement of the program's Kolmogorov complexity. That is, if the program can be compressed to under 100 bytes, it does not qualify for copyright protection.
This is just a rough proposal, but I think the principle is fair and reflects our values.
judland [2009-07-25 00:31] Comment ID: 869 Reply to: 849
The brownie analogy is a good one and relates well to the point I was trying to make regarding software.
Just because one person has come up with an idea for clicking on an icon (like the idaa for baking brownies) for navigating a webpage should not make it illegal for others to develop similar interfaces in their own programs.
How the developer accomplishes this task (within the code) could possibly be copywrited, but the idea should not be off limits for others to develop on their own.
I suppose I'm getting more into the realm of patented software, but the idea is the same. Thankfully software cannot be patented in Canada… for the time being.
Michael Walters [2009-07-24 23:41] Comment ID: 865 Reply to: 827
I too am a Linux user and agree with the statement that the refusal of ontent providers to support access to the content for Linux constitutes discrimination. But even more, draconian copyright laws stifle creativity because people will be afraid to quote other works in sharing their ideas because of fear of copyright infringement.
It is assumed that copyright protects the interests of creators of art, but instead it protects publishers and dsitributors, the middle men.
In the creative commons model I heard of one woman who gave others permission to use her material and were free to pay anywhere from zero to what they thought it was worth. I heard that she received an unexpected high return on her investment in her art. I do not know whether what I heard was true, but I heard she received about $100,000.00
For that reason, I believe that modifying copyright law to allow the formation of creative commons works would help artists, not hurt them.
Also, it would help artists to get exposure to allow customers who get their materials to change the format from say a CD to an mp3 file to carry with them for listening, for example. And open source users like myself woudl find it easier to enjoy the artists when I am free to use my operating system to create mp3 versions of my CD's to carry with me. Microsoft and Macintosh might not support this access to me, and I would feel discriminated against if I did not receive support in doing this.
I am an assistant professor in library and information science and a computer programmer. As an academic, I write articles based on my research for which I own the copyright. I also write software for my research for which I own the copyright. Canadian copyright law should be written so as to support the work of academics and software creators by allowing creators, such as myself, to make decisions about how to distribute, share and sell our work. This means that copyright law should support and encourage open access research and alternate license models such as the Creative Commons and the GPL.
Fletcher [2009-07-24 18:29] Comment ID: 838 Reply to: 825
Are you suggesting that this requires any change to Canadian copyright law? I'm a layman in the field, but my understanding is that CC and GPL licensing is supported adequately in our current copyright regime.
meikipp [2009-07-24 18:46] Comment ID: 841 Reply to: 838
No changes are required to support CC and GPL that I know of, but I wouldn't want to see the government implementing any changes that might make it hard to use CC or GPL or similar licences.
prosperegal [2009-07-24 22:33] Comment ID: 861 Reply to: 825
I agree with you. This is why I love Creative Commons work, especially ones where the original creator (or represenatives of the original creator) are easily accessible by communications. This way, I can contact the creator/reps (if I want to) to let him/her/them know about my work. It allows me to share it with them.
Michael Walters [2009-07-24 23:53] Comment ID: 867 Reply to: 825
It is good to see that someone who uses copyright law for disseminating information and stimulating creative research supports the creative commons model and the Gnu Programming License (GPL). So it appears that even some people benefitting from copyright law as it stands support the creative commons and GPL models
meikipp [2009-07-25 15:11] Comment ID: 888 Reply to: 867
Academics should all support CC and GPL licences really, it's more in keeping with the way research is supposed to be shared in academia.
rinzertanz [2009-07-27 22:16] Comment ID: 1016 Reply to: 888
Perhaps that's an area that needs clarity within the whole Act: to better distinguish between the KINDS of work that are 'copyrightable' or not.
I'm increasingly of the opinion that 'software code' should be treated as a 'commodity' and thus 'patented' thru standards set and accepted by industry practise or by academia, like Nortel has done, at the moment.
'Copyright', per se, should extend to AUTHORS & ARTISTS of singular works, like Northrup Fry, or Norman Jewison, or Emily Carr, as examples.
Does that seem reasonable to you?
There are so many things in our lives and economy that are affected by copyrights laws and if those laws are to be changed to force the public into submission, it's not going to get better but for only a few big corporations that are pushing for such changes.
The only copyright fundamental law should be for the creator of the material to make money out of his creation and to exploit it and no one else. Copying material for free distribution can only be good for the creator, as it is free publicity.
If the copyrights laws are changed for the worst, we can say goodbye to our local libraries, our school libraries, material distributed in classes, etc. The whole society will go down the drain as the professors will be strongly inhibited in the way they will be able to teach. We will have morons coming out of school since the whole system will crumble… and the big corporations pushing for harsh control won't get good smart and educated people to work for them.
The biggest question is in fact; Is the Canadian Government working for the good of Canadians (as it should be) or for the good of some special interests that are from the USA (and we can name them)?
I am a Linux user and a purchaser of DVDs and Ebooks. Currently, I have to break the encryption on DVDs in order to watch them on my computer (I do not own a TV). This is currently legal under Canadian law as I have legally purchased the DVDs. Bill C-61 would have made this normal activity illegal. Canadian copyright law should be modernised to protect my fair dealing rights to watch my legally purchased DVDs and move my legally purchased ebooks to new devices I buy.
we need to recognize that a purchase of "media" is not a purchase of the physical thing, but of the song or video or what not. if purchase a movie, why should i have to re-purchase for another medium. fair copyright recognizes fair use; that is the purchaser's right to enjoy their purchase in the manner of their choice.
I don't think we need to "modernize" our copyright laws. Truly we need to ignore the imaginary issues that big business wants us to believe. File Sharing is with few exceptions free in all ways and done in private. It is very common and it is NOT stealing. It is simply SHARING which is in the nature of human beings worldwide. It is in our interests to not pander to Newscorp, Time Warner, and Disney which are not in our interests as CANADIAN'S we are not American's and therefore do not have to have extreme copyright laws. The current laws are fine thank you very much.
Fletcher [2009-07-24 18:35] Comment ID: 839 Reply to: 817
Explicit fair dealing protection for parody would be an important improvement, don't you think?
Not every possible change benefits major corporations. I agree though that "Copyright modernization" shouldn't mean decreased public access to our culture.
meikipp [2009-07-25 10:30] Comment ID: 877 Reply to: 839
Absolutely. Modernisation should mean guaranteeing fair dealing in the face of technological change and even strengthening fair dealing or converting to a fair use system.
FairUseInCanada [2009-08-06 13:22] Comment ID: 1385 Reply to: 817
@DontpandertoBigBuisness: Very much agreed. Copyright is a privilege that we as a society grant to creators and inventors, and when that right starts to limit our basic civil liberties, like the right to privacy, it is time to step back and revise those p
Unfortunately, the Copyright Act intrudes hugely into my everyday life.
I have a VCR that I use to record TV shows to watch later. That's illegal. I expect to replace it at some point with a PVR, which is also currently illegal to use.
I rip the CDs I've bought to my hard drive to play them more easily while I'm working. That currently may or may not be legal - even lawyers don't seem to be able to agree.
I own an iPod. I copy those same songs to it. Again, that may or may not be legal.
I often forward email without getting the consent of the person who wrote the original email. That's also illegal.
As much as possible, I avoid material with DRM, so I haven't had any eBooks that I'd bought retroactively deleted, or music videos that I'd bought no longer play, but I know people who have.
I have DVDs that were purchased in the . In order to play them, I have to break the DRMUK. That's currently legal, but would have been made illegal by C-61.
As a software developer, I write software tools that do all sorts of things. If C-61 had passed, I would have had to vet my own software to ensure that it couldn't be used to break somebody's DRM somewhere, a task that is probably impossible because I don't know all the types of DRM that are out there.
Ironically, as somebody who creates copyrighted works for a living, the Copyright Act, which was originally intended to govern commercial activities by commercial entities, affects me far more at home than it does at work.
mccallus [2009-07-24 19:50] Comment ID: 847 Reply to: 805
I too am a software developer and I couldn't agree more with what you have said Chris.
Before I reply, I would like to point out that I find it very disturbing that my password to this site was emailed back to me in plaintext. This is a security flaw and makes all users vulnerable to hacking and it is a sign of a credible website that passwords are kept encrypted. If there is personally identifying information being stored about me that's the least I could hope for.
It is mistakes like this that make me pleased for this public forum to be taking place. Public servants need to be properly informed in order to make good decisions.
Copyright law affects every aspect of my life, from school (teachers who claim copyright over test questions, using materials for projects, writing articles criticizing a copyright holder using their works) to entertainment (downloading or watching movies and music online) to my family (scanning grad photos for my parents which technically belong to the photographer) to my writing (using characters and scenes from copyrighted works).
Existing laws are too stringent and biased towards large corporations who can afford to litigate anyone who even makes use of their materials under the Fair Dealing clause. There are entire blogs dedicated to documenting when corporations who rip off independent artists' designs for use in fashion (fabric patterns are copyrighted) and then turn around and sue the independent author of the work. The use of the internet necessitates copying and sharing - to view this website I am copying and relaying information from a government server. It is just stupid to think we can turn back the clock and pretend that none of this is happening. Copying of works will continue regardless of what the law is.
Existing laws need to reflect more society's instinct towards copyright - that unless you are using someone else's material with the intention of making a profit then you are not breaking any rules. That if you pay for something once it is yours and cannot be revoked (see the latest Kindle scandle as copies of 1984 were removed remotely without informing the customers). That Fair Dealing is essential to the a balanced discussion of public life and people should be protected from corporations using copyright to quash criticisms. In an ideal world, Digital Rights Management (DRM) and End User Agreements (EULA) would be illegal because it infringes upon consumers rights to own what they pay for.
Tighter legislation will only turn copyright law into even more of a joke, and when citizens stop taking their laws seriously there's a problem with how the government is being run - it will just be unsustainable, as was the case with alcohol prohibition in the United States.
hec [2009-07-24 17:16] Comment ID: 828 Reply to: 791
Wow. As soon as I read this I checked my inbox - and sure enough you are right. I can't believe they emailed my password like that. Amazing.
ruthcc [2009-07-24 18:00] Comment ID: 836 Reply to: 828
I know, I haven't had this happen in so long it was a surprise. Maybe we need to hold an information session on internet security for the government…
meikipp [2009-07-25 15:08] Comment ID: 887 Reply to: 791
That may be the biggest problem with today's copyright law. So many provisions are faintly ridiculous (VCRs and PVRs are illegal?) and everyone breaks them… not a good thing for the rule of law.
Above all, copyright laws need to be clear with what they're saying, something that the current laws fail at.
Especially regarding duration of copyright - whether you favour a long or short duration (I would much rather see a very short duration), we need to know how long it is!
Currently, most works revert to the public domain 50 years after the death of the author, for example, but it's extremely difficult to state who the 'author' actually is in many cases. A book is easy, even with several authors, but what about a movie? Hundreds, or even thousands of people are involved in its creation. What about software that might have been written by hundreds of (mostly anonymous) authors? Does copyright persist until fifty years after the last one of them dies? What if the 'author' can only be seen as a corporation? When does it die? How about sound recordings? Is the author the composer, performer, producer, recording engineer, editor, or all of the above?
Unfortunately, because our existing laws are poorly written and don't make this clear, something needs to be put in place to retroactively make copyright duration clear for past works. You can't start talking about protecting works under copyright until you can accurately state what is protected and what isn't.
Rai [2009-07-24 14:31] Comment ID: 799 Reply to: 778
"Above all, copyright laws need to be clear with what they're saying, something that the current laws fail at."
I have to completely agree with this statement. In the past I have asked my friends about their understanding of Canadian copyright laws, their responses at best have been an educated, but uncertain guess on the matter.
I have even tried very hard to find information online for specifics on the issue, finding a number of statements/studies on university websites which largely conflicted with one another. However, the only statement I can actually recall stated that the Canadian laws were ambiguous on the subject of copyright.
Its hard to follow laws when no one seems to understand them. I don't want to be forced to seek legal advice before I can download a song. Plus, from what we've seen from the music industry, I'd guess they'd sue anyway, if there was any sort of ambiguity in the law that they could manipulate.
The laws should begin to be flexible and up-to-date, all laws are inflexible pieces of paper that attempts to govern flexible humans, think of the Thomas-Russet case, is it even logical to have laws punish her to that of an extent?
We should have laws that govern fair use, and do not protect companies. If a new format is better, we should be able to upconvert old format into new format with quality loss for free.
New format to old format, for free as well. And the definition of a "new" format should be that it improves quality over older formats for the END user. if you got a HD-DVD version of a movie and it is HD, you should be able to move that onto Blu Ray or onto HDD since they are equally "HD". If you want a new Blu Ray quality file, and you only has DVD, then you have to repurchase only if there the newly released has better quality (think, if they gotten the original high quality movie master for star wars and did a nearly 1:1 conversion onto Blu Ray, then that should be considered a major upgrade compared to VHS, if they did this with Blu Ray and it is same or similar quality to DVD, then that should be out of the window and for free)
There should be incentives for new formats, but not because they allow for vender lock in like with UMD with sony PSP (movies for PSP, not so cool if you use UMD, most people uses the internal flash option for a reason), but because they genuinely offers some thing new and good for the end user (dvd vs blu ray, if quality of video is up there).
There is little today in my life that is not affected by copyright. Especially, being in the computer industry. However, I find it important copyright must support the consumers more, in how the average consumers uses the Internet and digital media. We must not put up laws that would criminalize most Canadians and give ridiculous powers to corporations. No possible good can come from protecting antiquated business models.
I am a DJ/Producer and soon to be artist. Copyright effects me on several levels not just in my profession but in my personal life as a Canadian. I want to first start by stating how this effects me and everyone else here, and how copyright effects our democracy in the 21st century. I am completely disgusted that the children of the 60's who are the majority in parliament right now, that are prepared to throw out charter rights they fought for, for their children and future generations due to virtually the same system of control we are having to fight off today. Current copyright effects free speech, self expression, and the freedom to choose. Companies who deal with DMCA type legislation shoot first, and ask questions later. Fair dealing provisions are usually put on the back burner to favor the control of the rights holder. This in turn relates to a huge number of online media being taken down that might not necessarily be against a copyright law, which has effected free speech, parody, self expression, and freedom of choice. We need to ensure that our charter rights as citizens are being respected through any change in copyright law over that of labels, talent, and industry. Without those rights, we are not a free democratic society, and I'd hate to see the day Slash from G+R takes control as our global leader. This debate on control has become somewhat of a farce in the music industry. It has got completely stupid, thanks in large part to our politicians.
Remixed video's are having an impact on our democratic system globally, and we cannot allow a system of control where we cannot use these videos to question our politicians or government regards of who owns the rights. Democratic values and free speech must trump the rights of content owners. For those of you from the 60's who are too old to remember what free speech is all about, here is an example of free speech in the 21st century that must be protected:
Now on to the music industry. There are now 2 separate industries currently. One that is trying to preserve an old business and financial model, who has been suing consumers, pushing away their main source of income, and not doing what they need to in order to effectively promote talent the right way, nor understands how to do this, and the other that has moved on. If you don't buy a bag of dog poop as a consumer, it's not my responsibility to go to the government and wine about it and try to force people to buy that bag of dog poop. It's my job as a professional sales/marketing/promotions person to find ways to sell you the bag of dog poop and make you think it's the best bag of fertilizer you will ever get. Back before P2P, label reps were extremely good at promoting and selling their dog poop. Today artists in the industry indie and commercial are being under promoted in a huge way and artists often have to rely on getting outside help with that promotion and paying out of pocket for it (which is a HUGE expense), when the labels should be looking after and learning how to use social media, and P2P as a way to promote and sell music. It might surprise some of you that the music industry is actually built on sharing music. That's what drives sales. If you don't know how to make money, nor how to promote talent in this industry today through the sharing of music, you don't belong in the industry representing talent, and you won't survive for much longer regardless of any change in copyright law. We, the other side of this industry that has adapted are getting a nice kick back off of the "good old boys" as artists leave these labels in search of people who actually know how to sell and promote in a digital market.
The other industry we have right now is one that is building on small - medium sized labels who give a lot of the control over distribution back to the artist, and is the future no matter how hard the old guys have tried to push us out. We are much stronger, and have a bigger voice due to their incompetence in the old industry, however because of the massive confusion out there as who represents who our government seems to be peeing on us all the time, and not listening to those who actually represent Canadian Talent! As a DJ, we used to be serviced through record pools back in the mid 90's. Today we are serviced through the artists and labels directly. Today's labels in this part of the industry know how important it is to bridge the gap left by members of the CRIA (who don't represent the majority of talent in this country and many of us in the industry would wish Mr. Henderson would stop misleading our government and general public on that fact) between artists and consumers and other industry professionals involved in the success of artistic talent.
The reality of this industry, as an artist you don't need a million dollar contract anymore. Technology has made it extremely cheap to produce professional music, so those costs have gone down. You don't need a major distributor anymore or the need to press CD's. You can sell music on any number of sites, even your own, and if you are techsavvy you don't need a promoter. People are still buying So all of these costs have gone down. I've spoken with several promoters and concert tickets and merchandize is way, way up on a global scale for artists. Music is still being purchase whether you use P2P or not. Bands are directly funded through the fans on donations, promotional events, fan clubs..all up.
And one last thing, it's not just teenagers, and low income individuals using P2P. The other part of the industry that has adapted, everyone uses P2P! Labels end up scouting for talent, signing tracks, bookings are made for gigs, professional opportunities where song royalties are paid either through TV ads, TV shows, Global FM Radio, video games all through the use of P2P. Money is being made through the sharing of music, as it was back in the 90's. The only difference, we don't need the label rep to hand us a big bulky "free" cd anymore. P2P is a great way for the consumer to sample music, and discover new sounds, and we in the new industry support it, use it, and all of us are making money off of it. Those of us in the new industry recently held a conference to discuss new and exciting idea's and share our successes with the old guys, until they started preaching about how "evil" consumers are and how "they will squash" P2P. Artists have moved on, the consumer has moved on and I hope our government will move on from this if copyright law is to be relevant at all in the near future. It needs to be built into the networks, like it is with cable TV (to shut the old industry up) and those making money off of works need to pay royalties. That's what we need, that's what this industry needs. We don't need some yahoo's with guitars controlling our fundamental charter rights. They belong on stage entertaining us not in control of us, and I find it completely humorous that industry has been let to do this by the children of the 60s. What an utter humiliation.
Rai [2009-07-24 15:24] Comment ID: 803 Reply to: 757
I have to say thanks for your detailed thoughts, I had been interested in hearing DJs thoughts on the issue (although I still would like to hear more details on how copyright affects DJs).
I agree with what you've said.
Jkobo [2009-07-24 17:52] Comment ID: 833 Reply to: 803
Lol where to start…The first think I can think of is how the industry has not only turned consumers away because of idiotic moves but has also turned it's sibilant and most needed relationships with DJ's into the same war. We too had to deal with DRM crap in the professional DJ pools, we too are a long with the consumer in using P2P to sample sounds. Back pre-P2P this was a very tightly controlled environment, which many DJ's felt wasn't fulfilling our need and audiences need to experiment and hear new sounds. It was the same old crap, from the same people, with the same sound, being played on the air 24/7. How fun is that.
Not everything in the industry is black and white, and while these labels are complaining about piracy, they also engage in the outcome of that themselves and are profiting from it. Artistic talent, knowledge, and everything that is protected through IP laws innovates on the past to create future income and drive industry forward. We've been so locked up in protecting ideas that if we don't loosen our grip on it, copyright legislation will end up being irrelevant for several industries, since people will push through with the ability to share idea's outside the law that cannot be enforced. It has to be allowed to happen, law makers don't have a choice. Society has already made that choice for them and for industry. This is what they want, adapt to it.
Professional DJ's often cut up songs, remix them, and before P2P sold them in DJ surplus stores. These would be called "white labels" or "bootlegged" tracks. Once enough interest was generated in the track, a label would usually pick it up, pay the rights on the samples used and sell it. The same thing is going on through P2P. So this notion on how P2P is not making money for anyone is completely and utterly a false statement. This is just one example out of possibly thousands of others on how the new industry has taken the past and applied it to today to generate interest and income. More needs to be done, I will post on that with respect to how innovation and competition is affected by strong DMCA legislation that all of us regardless of what country you are in have to deal with in our industry.
Some of the top ranked DJ's are also artists..there was a competition a while back when one of the top Global DJ's released samples and cuts of one of his songs on P2P and the net as a whole, and said to everyone…"here's some of the production work on the song, remix it, and submit it back to me." If he liked it, he'd release it with the single due out a few months later.
P2P not only creates an environment where this type of stuff happens legitimately, but it's also the driving point, and entry point into a professional career within the industry, and those professionals end up making money for everyone involved in a wide area within the industry. It grabs interest in the arts, music, and also over the past 10 years has been responsible for the rise of some of our talent in Canada to the global stage. Music is becoming like "open source software" professionally with respect to P2P, and it's important we help foster this. Without it the industry would be extremely worse off than they are today. P2P is now an integrated part of the industry, so if the CRIA and everyone else gets their wish with respect to stronger copyright legislation that is against P2P, the flood of artistic talent from the old guys to the new industry will be insane. These labels will have less than 5 years left in the business. The CRIA would have you believe that the industry is losing sustainable amounts of cash on P2P. The logical question I have to pose to the public "Do you really expect smart people in the industry to not innovate and adapt to P2P by now? It's been a decade!" Only those with vested interests in an old monopoly who have not moved forward are the ones losing money and talent at record rates for a number of reasons the least of which is P2P. I understand their views and what's at stake for them, but what's coming increasingly clear to talent now, is that they receive virtually no income from copyright (they never have even before P2P) and they see how upset their fans are with them.
The vast majority of our Canadian talent who used to be with Sony/BMG, Universal, Warner, EMI have left those labels in large part because the labels refuse to move forward and use technology to further their careers, instead they are fighting it, along with their main source of income. Artistic talent always looks forward, not backwards. They always look to their next album and tour dates, not what they did 10 years ago. Those of us who are professionals in the media industry have a good ideas on how to adapt to the marketplace due to the competitive and changing nature of this industry offers, and has always offered. Those that have not adapted by now do not belong in the industry, nor do they belong selling anything but dog poop door to door, and artists need to take that to serious consideration when contracts are up for renewal.
The most important thing is letting your MP know that this is a key voting issue for you. I contacted my MP Thomas Mulcair (NDP for Cote des neiges area)
Here is the email i sent and his reply.
Dear Mr. Mulcair.
Hello my name is Jesse Proulx.
I am writing you to know your party's stance on copyright reform laws which may be passed in Canada. Everyday in the news i see new lawsuits in the states where the recording industry lobby groups sue average people for an exorbitant amount of money. I have included a link to a new article where a woman was sued for 1.9 million dollars for having downloaded only 24 songs.
While I understand and agree that a company should have the right to protect their property, the amounts of damages in these cases are completely insane. The songs are worth only a dollar when legally obtained. in the united states the digital millennium copyright act has long been biased towards big business and does nothing to protect the legitimate consumer. These laws do not only hurt the people who are out there downloading copyrighted material and not paying for them, the would prevent me from copying a cd or dvd that i legally purchased into a digital format so that i could enjoy it on a portable device that does not have dvd playing capability.
I often buy a cd or dvd and copy it to my computer in a digital form so that i can listen/watch them on my ipod when i am away from home. This is activity would be concidered illegal in the united states. I believe that as a consumer my rights should be protected in a manner that is fair for both business and consumers.
I am also concerned about internet censorship and control. I run a small internet site as a hobby. As such i want to know your party's stance on net neutrality.
It is essential that the internet be protected as a communication mechanism. There has been talk of new laws in the states that would basicaly impose a "cable television-esque" business model on the internet. This would prohibit anybody but the biggest companies to be able to afford to run websites. This would reduce the internet from the great pool of knowledge and bastion of free speech it is today to become nothing more than a marketing tool for big companies.
Please respond as i am an undecided voter and both these issues are the the issues that I, and many other young voters, will be basing their votes on durring the next election. Thank you.
Here is the reply
Dear Mr. Proulx,
On behalf of Thomas Mulcair, Member of Parliament for Outremont, I wish to thank you for voicing your concerns about the copyright reform.
For the last two year the NDP has been warning the government not to attempt to bring forward restrictive U.S.-style DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) legislation. We urged them to consult with stakeholders and develop legislation that would protect artists, innovators and consumers in the 21st century.
Unfortunately, the government has completely ignored calls to bring forward reasonable copyright legislation. In fact, this bill is worse than originally feared.
There is no evidence of an attempt to strike any reasonable balance that would protect either artists or consumers. Instead, we are faced with a full capitulation to the U.S. corporate lobby that will pave the way for the criminalization of perfectly reasonable behaviour (like format shifting of most legally purchased content).
Across the country, people like you are coming together to oppose this legislation in online chatrooms, on facebook and in coffee shops. They are voicing their concerns with the legislation by writing elected officials, by posting comments on web-pages dedicated to the copyright discussion, and by writing letters-to-the-editor that call for a truly balanced approach. Thank you for being among them.
The NDP is strongly opposed to this bill and we are calling on MPs from other parties to listen to their constituents and join us in the growing chorus against it. We are pushing for legislation that will ensure that artists and creators are compensated for their work but that also ensures consumers are able to enjoy reasonable rights of access.
I would strongly encourage you to stay active in this fight by putting the heat on the Ministers of Industry and Heritage, the Prime Minister, and the leaders of the other opposition parties. Whether you call, write, email, or all of the above, your participation will be important to making our opposition to this bill impossible to ignore.
Thank you again for getting involved. Rest assured that your concerns will be brought to Mr. Mulcair's attention.
All the best,
This is an answer i was quite happy with. Every email counts!!
you can lookup your MP's email address by postal code on this site
crade [2009-07-24 10:19] Comment ID: 772 Reply to: 739
Sounds like a decent honest answer: It's an uphill battle, but don't give up :)
FairUseInCanada [2009-08-06 13:39] Comment ID: 1386 Reply to: 739
@Jesse Proulx: Thank you for posting both your letter and the response from your MP. I will follow your example and write to my MP. I was sad to read some of the points in their reply, namely the fact that the "copyright reform" is so heavily skewed towar
1. How do Canada's copyright laws affect you ? How should existing laws be modernized.
My name is Jean-François Gariépy and I am the director of an online museum about computer history. The museum is known online as 'EmuWiki.com - The Encyclopedia of Emulation'. It was founded in 2007 and is progressively becoming one of the most dominant emulation websites. Emulation consists in creating programs that are simulating a platform on another 'host' platform to allow inter-operability between these platforms. For example, an old Atari game from 1977 cannot be played by most people since the Atari consoles of this era have been damaged / thrown away and are becoming rarer every year. Additionally, they are not being sold anymore. To remedy to this situation, emulators are often used. They allow people to use the legacy games/programs that they legally own on their new computer system. Emulation is regarded by a lot of experts in digital culture preservation as one of the most efficient way of preserving digital content and insuring that we do not lose the capability to see old software/content in action. For example, think of what would happen in 100 years if current computers were considered outdated and if the programs that we currently use could not be executed anymore on the future computers. We would not be able to recover current documents, play current games, use current databases, view current websites… Computers are actually evolving on much faster time scales than this hypothetical situation, and without emulators, as I am writing this, we would not even be able to use programs designed 20 years ago. I am concerned by copyright laws in Canada because I make constant efforts in order to respect Canadian laws by distributing only public domain content on my website. In emulation, content can be split in 2 categories : emulators, the programs that are created by independent programmers and that are completely legal provided some conditions (numerous law cases confirmed their legality in the United States, and we expect emulators to have the same legal status under the Canadian laws, although there is no case law in Canada). These emulators are able to execute ROMs. ROMs are copies of the old programs / games and a lot of them are illegal and are not distributed / encouraged on our website. However, some companies accept to give up their copyrights on some particular software, and in these cases we are happy to distribute these public domain programs / games for free. I am sure that a lot of Canadian citizens will have a lot of things to suggest on the copyright reform, but as far as I'm concerned I will focus on a single point that really needs to be improved: the default copyright expiration.
2. Based on Canadian values and interests, how should copyright changes be made in order to withstand the test of time
I think we can agree that one of the fundamental values shared by a majority of Canadians is our desire to preserve our heritage, culture and tradition. Although it might not seem like it, digital culture is occupying a growing place and we can all foresee a future where digital media becomes the main source of information and entertainment for Canadian citizens, and thus the main support of our culture. One of the things that strike me is how efficient publicly financed initiatives such as libraries, universities and museums are at preserving ''non-digital culture'' such as music, books and films, but how useless they become when talking about digital culture. Just think about all the software and games that were made in the 1970's, the 1980's up to now. Is there a place in the whole world where people actually care about preserving this part of our heritage and have the financial means to do it ? Beside some isolated projects that are way too limited, the answer is no. One might argue that software does not need to be preserved because the disks that contain the software are durable and the growing Internet distribution of programs makes them immune to extinction. Throughout my experience, I can tell you that this is totally false. Computer programs are always at a click away of being thrown in a virtual garbage that keeps no trace of it - every single day, in my practice, I witness the disappearance of great software / games that would have deserved to be preserved. The problem of the little attention that we give to preserving digital content is huge, and it goes beyond the scope of the copyright laws themselves; however some changes are required in the copyright laws to make our job easier and to allow us to save as many programs / games as possible. The 50-years expiration of copyright model has to be switched from an automatic adhesion to a voluntary adhesion. I propose to change the 50-years automatic expiration of copyrights to 20 years and allow an optional adhesion to the 50-years copyright protection . Any company / author who produces movies, music, software would have his commercial interests completely protected for 20 years after the publication date. For companies that are not satisfied with this 20 years protection, it would be as simple as including a copyright notice in the license, the DVD cover, or the CD pamphlet such as: 'This content retains its copyrights up full length allowed by law after publication'. This would give us an additional 30 years window of opportunity to start preserving most of the software, and we would then have to patiently wait these 30 years to preserve the content of authors who would have took the 50-years option. The 50-year option could be took retroactively for content published before the law is voted; this means that a company could announce that it wants all its copyrights to be maintained for 50 years, and it would automatically protect all of its content published before voting the law. One of the most common problem in software preservation is that the companies who published the software 20 years ago went bankrupt, the authors cannot be contacted, some of them are deceased, and the product is not commercially available, and this often means that this particular piece of software is about to disappear. To be able to say that after 20 years, the copyright is expired 'by default', unless stated otherwise, that would mean thousands of additional software / games being preserved. To apply this law would mean that we could already start distributing and collecting copies of programs from the 1970's without having to wait for 2020 to do it. From 2009 to 2020, just imagine how much cassettes / disks in the world will be lost, destructed, or simply thrown away. It is clear to anyone who knows how fast computers evolve that online museums distributing copies of 20-years old software harms in no way the industry; in f act computer programs lose almost all their commercial value in less than 5 years after publication.
3. What sorts of copyright changes do you believe would best foster innovation and creativity in Canada?
I think I answered this question in point 2. To foster innovation we need educated people. One of the important point in education is to know about your past, your history and your culture. By changing laws to insure that our heritage is better preserved, we insure that our children will know what happened before them, and we hope that this will inspire them to build a better future for Canada. Interoperability, free access and knowledge will be the new advantages in the future economy; they probably already are. Canada has a once-in-a-lifetime occasion to take the lead of the new digital economy by writing the first 21th-century-pertinent copyright laws in the world. This would have a direct impact on the preservation of our culture, but it would also depict Canada as a leader in copyright laws and most likely a model for other countries.
4. What sorts of copyright changes do you believe would best foster competition and investment in Canada?
In the growing digital economy, attractive countries are those that stop limiting and that start thinking in terms of free and global access. If you want Canadian economical / cultural / artistic / virtual initiatives to be recognized worldwide, you need to give them the freedom that they need to operate. When you look at successful web-based companies like Google or Yahoo, you understand that success in the new digital world is not attained by limiting access, but by liberating access. One of Google's initiative, Google Books, is a good example of that : while every single book company in the world wants to sell books, Google Books decided to give them away for free in PDF format when they are in the public domain following the expiration of copyrights - and they still manage to make money indirectly through their ad system. We would like to do the same thing with computer programs, but these are volatile and they do not last as long as books; reducing the default copyright expiration to 20 years would make the copyright laws more pertinent with the time-scale of computers programs. As long as we keep the 50-years expiration model, which might be pertinent for books, we lose programs, contents and games - forever.
5. What kinds of changes would best position Canada as a leader in the global, digital economy?
I think you will receive many proposals during these audiences, but as far as I'm concerned, Canada has a unique chance to position itself as a leader in cultural preservation by allowing museums such as mine to do their job : that is to make historical software / games available, free without worrying for copyrights on material that - anyway - is not being sold anymore. Additionally, the 50-year optional protection would guarantee that no commercial rights are being offended and would insure a fair protection for companies who actually want that protection. I would say that the state of the current law is one of presumption - we presume that the authors actually want that 50 years protection. I would be surprised that this presumption is verified in most cases.
acaaleks [2009-08-05 00:29] Comment ID: 1310 Reply to: 729
Professional writers and the creators of written content depend upon copyright law to protect for them what is usually their ONLY source of income,namely royalties.
If the writer is able to care for his/her family's financial needs through royalties;(s)he is able to concentrate on the creative production,that in essence enriches all of humanity.
Without the protection of royalties there would be much less quality production in the creative word,which in turn would be countered by a huge watering down of literacy for the future of the literary arts.
We need to encourage progress in the creative writing field;not discourage it.
If people can copy the creations of everyone else's work without any dues being paid to the creators;all creativity becomes stifled,and quite often the case is that most creators of the world must struggle just to stay financially alive.
AccessCopyright IS working with all parties concerned,in order to find an equitable and just solution in this matter for both the written and digital formats of the original works of writers.
As a creative writer myself,I would like to hope that reason would prevail,and that with cool heads we could examine all the aspects of copyright law,and then come to the common conclusion that all creative writers deserve to be paid for their work.And in this case the Bible is very apropo in confirming;"A workman IS worthy of his hire." (Matt.10:10) :)
Sincerely Yours, Aleksandar Djosich.
New Westminster B.C.
rinzertanz [2009-08-05 10:16] Comment ID: 1320 Reply to: 729
First, you are a distributor, not a creator.
Second, you claim your 'museum' is FREE - how do you MAKE a LIVING from this? How do you get PAID?
And three, as an WRITER I DO want 50 year protection for my created works. It is my legacy, it is my 'gift' to my family. Why should you, and other 'mashup' distributors, have the Right to take my WORK away from me?
Jean-Francois Gariepy [2009-08-05 12:06] Comment ID: 1335 Reply to: 1320
As I said in my submission, we could leave the 50-years protection optional so nobody is hurt. You want that protection ? Simply include a copyright notice saying your creation retains its copyright for full length allowed by law. At least, for those who do not want that protection, we could do an effort of preservation. Do you really think that a 30-years old software is still worth anything for your family ?
To answer to your questions : I do not get paid, this is a non-profit organization that aims at preserving our culture. Please do not decide who is a creator and who is not. I do create content too. In fact all the description, the historical stuff about those pieces of software, the work that is done to understand their history; this is an original creation.
rinzertanz [2009-08-05 14:30] Comment ID: 1336 Reply to: 1335
Good grief, I don't write 'software'. I write books, and screenplays - 6 in total, thus far.
A 'non-profit' organization STILL makes sure that the principals gets PAID. So SOMEHOW you are making money. The question is, how?
If you ARE doing this for 'altruistic reasons', ie. NO MONEY, then WHY are you doing it?
Do you have INCOME from some OTHER source that allows you the leisure to pursue your 'HOBBY'? Cuz, for sure, f you are not EARNING A LIVING from this museum, it's a 'hobby'. Meaning, you are not a FULL TIME 'Creator' and thus don't understand the NEEDS of one.
You may well write a few cursory notes about the 'history' of the software, but the FACT remains you are not an 'Original Software Developer', working at it FULL TIME on SALARY or ON COMMISSION for MONEY. You are a 'hobbyist'. (even if you DID get a 'government grant' to underwrite it …)
Hey, why shouldn't I just 'borrow' your data and re-create a BETTER 'museum'? I'm SURE I can write BETTER historical notes, create more links, develop a greater 'click' base & improve the 'googlejuice' aggregates …
You wouldn't like that very much would you? You wouldn't like it if I 'ripped off' your 'idea', ripped off your time & your effort to research, compile & 'launch' the data. You wouldn't like it if I re-arranged the info & then claimed 'copyright' for it. You'd likely get in a snit and PROTEST mis-appropriation of your work. You'd seek 'justice' - recognition & financial compensation for your EFFORT.
Well, TOUGH. It's the NEW reality baby.
What's on-line, is now MINE. Hobby or not. Professional or not. It's ALL MINE.
ok, sarcasm, but perhaps now you might get a better sense of the 'siege' that I, and other author/artists, feel we are currently under …
Writers, authors & artists need solid copyright protection from infringement & theft during their lifetime - and after, if they so CHOOSE.
'Software developers' and their 'digital kin' are mechanics. What you are REALLY SEEKING are limitations on 'patents' and 'trademarks' and all those other legal goodies associated with 'industrial development'. Software programs are TOOLS that interact with manufactured components. Meaning, no computer, no software, no gaming.
Artists & Authors who Create 'Computer Free' Original Works are a completely different kettle of fish … fyi. And I'd appreciate it if you'd stop trying to tamper with the toothless legislation that feebly protects my livelihood …
Jean-Francois Gariepy [2009-08-05 15:07] Comment ID: 1340 Reply to: 1336
The rip-off situation you described is one I voluntarily believe in, it's called Creative Commons License. Google it. Yes anybody can start a copy of my museum and do whatevers he likes with it. This is the spirit of the GPL, the GFDL, and other free licenses such as the Creative Commons. Those are becoming the most used licenses for software and artistic content, so check it out.
I'm not making money at all, not even as salary as a principal. The division you try to make between a 'hobbyist' creator and a 'professional' creator is not that much pertinent. The law has to represent correctly the interest of all the creators, from the pure hobbyists up to profit-oriented musical / movie industries. The current problem with the law is that it assumes artists want a 50 years protection which is not the case. We need to switch that simply to a voluntary adhesion. If we continue the way it is being done now, we're biased toward copyright.
rinzertanz [2009-08-05 16:06] Comment ID: 1347 Reply to: 1340
I DO make my living as an artist. I make MONEY from what I do as an artist. Unlike you, I seek both protection and compensation for my efforts.
What you are failing to recognize is that not ALL creative endeavour is DEPENDENT on the computer. The chair you are sitting on, the roof over your head, those THINGS were designed by someone who DREW them, FIRST. Either free-hand, or computer-assisted, artists, designers & architects want to get paid for their work. Likewise, authors & musicians seek long-term security over their creative constructions. That you don't, is YOUR BUSINESS.
I am well aware of the Creative Commons licenses. I think some are relevant, particularly to the 'software industry' that builds on existing code.
The point is, I, as the creator of Original work, am entitled to decide HOW I want those works distributed and carried forward, not you.
By continuously lobbying for the diminishment of MY copyright protection, you, and your kind, are undermining not only my ability, but my desire to produce.
You likely don't care about that, as long as you can get your hands on the 'software'. That's your interest, and that's your focus.
All told, it is blindingly narrow-minded & self-serving.
It's like two different worlds 'out there'.
Jean-Francois Gariepy [2009-08-05 16:20] Comment ID: 1349 Reply to: 1347
I don't see how I could show myself more open to other situations than mine, I basically advocated for a free choice, voluntary adhesion system that would reduce in no way the copyright for anyone who actually wants it. I don't think you read my submission correctly.