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As a professional musician and a computer programmer, I believe I have good perspective on this issue. My creative output is subject to piracy but I cannot conceive of a legislative solution that could possibly address the current situation without taking away people's rights and futilely attempting to shackle modern technologies like the Internet. The recordable media levy in Canada has not put a single cent into my pocket, and the DMCA in the US is an unbalanced, wrongheaded law that despite its extreme measures has not curbed piracy. I believe if the creative industries are to thrive they will need to evolve and look at economic and cultural solutions. I do not think existing laws should be changed.
Translation: how do we change the law so that modern technology doesn't pull the rug out from under the record labels again, but without making everybody angry?
Let's be honest here, this turn of events has only come about as the result of Canadian creative industry lobbying, and the only reason you're having a public consultation is the public outcry that resulted from your previous (closed, failed) efforts like bills C-60 and C-61. The CRIA and similar want legal tools they can use to curb piracy, which is a legitimate concern. So let's dispense with this language of values and interests.
Artists will make art. Thanks to modern technologies we no longer need large corporations to package and sell it, we can share it with each other directly.CanCon, FACT, the CBC – these are great ways to encourage innovation and creativity and support Canadian culture. I don't believe punitive legislation will help nearly as much as these.
We already enjoy the protections of copyright law. It's infringement for somebody to try to sell my album without my permission. Online piracy is infringement too, although it has proven impossible to stop it without taking away people's rights, breaking the internet, and making life difficult for innocent bystanders. Handing a legal club to the CRIA that they can start swinging about, producing horror stories like the DMCA lawsuits we've seen in the states – not only is this of no benefit to our culture, but it won't even address the real reason for this copyright reform: protecting profits.
Now we're really talking the language of Creative Industry, eh? I've played in a few Battles of the Bands, is that what you mean by competition?
Do not attempt to protect the profits of the Creative Industry by taking away our rights like the American government has from their citizens. I will strongly oppose any law that restricts the doctrine of first sale, my right to tinker with my own property, or to alter and copy creative works for non-infringing uses.. Take the money you're putting into this public consultation and your other efforts to appease your lobbyists, and give it to artists in the form of grants and programs. A society of cultured, educated people will act in a moral way and continue to legitimately consume cultural products – by purchasing them online, for example, if the industries can provide us with half-decent systems through which to do so. If they choose to drive consumers underground with abusive technologies like DRM, let the market decide.
Thanks very much for asking my opinions on this matter.