Information identifiée comme étant archivée dans le Web à des fins de consultation, de recherche ou de tenue de documents. Elle n’a pas été modifiée ni mise à jour depuis la date de son archivage. Les pages Web qui sont archivées dans le Web ne sont pas assujetties aux normes applicables au Web du gouvernement du Canada. Conformément à la Politique de communication du gouvernement du Canada, vous pouvez la demander sous d’autres formes. Ses coordonnées figurent à la page « Contactez-nous »
Here are my my answers to the questions you've asked...
1. How do Canada’s copyright laws affect you? How should existing laws be modernized?
Surprisingly quite a lot. I am a writer and content provider. I'm also on the periphery of the free and open source movement. At the same time I have a hobby which is in a "grey" area in terms of the law. The thing is I'll still continue to write and produce content regardless of how the copyright laws are changed.
To address the issue of how the laws should be modernized one has to ask if the laws need to be modernized. The original intent of copyright laws was to provide a period of time where the creator of a work was to be paid for that work. Unfortunately certain industries in Canada and elsewhere have perverted the meaning to include corporations and industries as the beneficiaries. Essentially they take work of employees or contractees (such as musicians, authors, and actors) and claim it for their own. Take a look at the members of RIAA in the USA for an example... As with the CRIA in Canada, most artists see practically nothing from these groups who claim to represent them. Any modernization should return the proceeds directly to the artist. If they wish to voluntarily join a group such as the CRIA and pay an annual membership fee, more power to them.
Then there is the issue of how long a copyright should remain in effect... The original intent was not to have the copyright outlive the creator of the work. Nor was it to pass ownership to corporate interests. Think about it... If I write an article, will it be relevant in 200 years? Will I be around in 200 years to collect royalties? Will there be any royalties to collect in 200 years? If a company forces me to sell my work to them for $1.00 then they turn around and collect $500,000 for my work, that's really not a benefit to me. On the other hand, if a company were to pay me for permission to print my article I would then be able to retain ownership of my work and be able to also have my work published elsewhere.
2. Based on Canadian values and interests, how should copyright
changes be made in order to withstand the test of time?
The answer is simple. Leave the copyright with the author not the publisher. Set a finite period of time before the work can be used elsewhere without royalty payments. Five years would be a good length of time before most work becomes irrelevant. How many people want to go out and buy a five year old movie or CD? If an author or publisher hasn't made money within five years they aren't going to make very much by waiting any longer.
3. What sorts of copyright changes do you believe would best foster innovation and creativity in Canada?
Given todays political and economic climate, tight control for a short period of time would satisfy most people. After that anything goes as long as the original author is credited with the work. Even an attribution of "Based on a work by..." would be appropriate. The fair use objections can be overcome by defining what is fair use. For example, no more than 30 seconds of a two hour movie can be used in other works, and attribution must be given.
4. What sorts of copyright changes do you believe would best foster competition and investment in Canada?
Competition? By whom? There is very little creativity in a corporate environment. Competition by publishers to find works to publish? If it's out there corporations will find it. Investment will be made by the individual content creators. If it looks like the creators are getting a better deal relative to the corporations they will probably choose to come here to do their work. Where the creators go the corporations will follow.
5. What kinds of changes would best position Canada as a leader in the global, digital economy?
We are already leaders. For us to do better we have to focus on the individual rather than the corporation. For example, certain anime (Japanese cartoons) authors have issued the statement they don't mind if their work is distributed for free internationally because a) translations are often done non-commercially by fans, b) people learn about Japans culture and language, c) the works are both better translated and of lower visual quality than the commercial product, d) it makes their work known so fans will go out and buy their DVDs and related merchandise, and e) after a period of time they have moved on to other things. As long as nobody benefits financially from the work, for the most part the Japanese TV studios are willing to ignore this practice. Unfortunately the North American corporations (particularly in the USA) ignore the wishes of the creators in favour of making a short term profit.
Hypothetically let's say there is a song someone likes. Some people can't afford to purchase the CD. Sometimes it's a choice of spending $21.00 on a CD or eating for a couple of days. The hardware to play it is cheap and has multiple uses. Computers can be used to both write resumes as well as play CDs. If it was legal to distribute music (or whatever) after five years the artist and distribution company will already have made their money. The user will have access to old music. There would be no loss of "potential income" because those who could afford to purchase the CD will already have done so within the first five years.
My idea of a short time period streamlines the whole process. If things are defined then there is no argument as to what is allowed.
With a focus on the creator it will be a friendlier environment for those who actually do something. If there are more people doing something in a certain area the bottom feeders... err... Corporations will follow.