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February 27, 2011

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Is passing 'any' copyright bill better than passing 'no' copyright bill?

I was sent a link to some interesting Canadian Copyright debate related cartoons by Rob Labossiere. While I liked the cartoons, something said in the text around the cartoons caught my eye even more:

But it will be a shame if Bill C-32 is never passed, for two reasons, neither of which ironically has to do with the substance of it.

I saw something similar last evening when law professor Jeremy de Beer tweeted a link to a Globe and Mail article, adding "So now any new law is better than no new law?? Sad.".

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January 21, 2011

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Radio Broadcasts and copyright

This morning I presented an ethical copyright question to a long time outspoken commentator and strong copyright proponent, John Degen. To say we do not see eye to eye on copyright matters would be to severely understate the point. None the less I was sincerely interested in his perspective of this copyright scenario so I posted it to his blog.

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November 28, 2010

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Where do you draw the line with Canadian Copyright?

Canadian copyright is excessively complex, and makes illegal things which most Canadians don't even believe are illegal when you tell them. Given this complexity and over-coverage, I believe nearly every Canadian infringes copyright many times a week.

There is a line that each of us draws that fits our sense of right and wrong. It sits somewhere between recording a television show to watch later, and mass producing videos to be sold for profit. Both of these activities are illegal under current Canadian law. Most Canadians believe the first is a perfectly legitimate activity, even if they are part of that small minority that realize it is illegal in Canada. Most Canadians believe the second is wrong, know it is illegal, and agree it should be illegal.

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October 5, 2010

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Falling off the edge of a flat world?

Professor Birgitte Andersen has posted a very interesting response to old-economy industry association critique of studies she has authored.

While focused on copyright, I found the section talking about evidence based policy making vs "intuition" to be useful for all political discussions.

Of course intuition has its place, e.g. for short-cuts or if we do not have concrete evidence to rely on. However, if we are unable or unwilling to free our minds, ‘intuition’ can also imprison our thought and lead to prejudice and ignorance.

For example, although the world seems to be flat (by pure intuition), then falling off the edge of a flat world is not among my fears! Similarly, although it seems that the sun rotates around the Earth (by pure intuition), then research has proven that it is the other way around. However, we shall not forget that after Galileo announced these research results, which were counter-intuitive for the general public and the belief of the Catholic Church, he was forced to retire as a scientist and live in house arrest.

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» The real cost of free

A great essay from Canadian born science fiction author and human rights activist Cory Doctorow.

You know who peddles false hope to naive would-be artists? People who go around implying that but for all those internet pirates, there'd be full creative employment for all of us. That the reason artists earn so little is because our audiences can't be trusted, that once we get this pesky internet thing solved, there'll be jam tomorrow for everyone. If you want to damn someone for selling a bill of goods to creative people, go after the DRM vendors with their ridiculous claims about copy-proof files; go after the labels who say that wholesale lawsuits against fans on behalf of artists (where labels get to pocket the winnings) are good business; go after the studios who are suing to make it impossible for anyone to put independent video on the internet without a giant corporate legal budget.

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September 18, 2010

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» The BSA needs a time machine, not copyright reform

The BSA (Business Software Alliance, or Bad Statistics Alliance, depending on who you talk to) have released yet another one of their comical studies. I have been very critical of these studies (See: Lies, Damned lies, and IIPA/BSA/etc statistics). What I recommend people do is skip to the methodology section and see what they are measuring, and decide for themselves whether what they are measuring is harmful or beneficial for the Canadian economy.

Brian Jackson wrote an article that quotes Michael Geist indicating the study was "shockingly misleading". I will go further and suggest that what the BSA is really asking for is a time machine, not copyright reform.

Read full article on IT World Canada >>

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August 31, 2010

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» ZeroPaid Interviews Russell McOrmond 2 – Canadian Bill C-32

Drew Wilson of ZeroPaid has posted a 3 part interview (Part 1,Part 2,Part 3)with me discussing Copyright and Bill C-32.

August 19, 2010

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» The most objectionable aspect of the Copyright debate

For those who did not know, Access Copyright, which represents a limited subset set of Canadian creators and publishers, has proposed (and will likely be granted) a yearly per-student fee for the use of photocopiers by schools. This increase will set the rate to $45 for Universities, and $35 for other educational institution, multiplied by the full time equivalents (FTE). (For details, read this PDF)

I have some sympathy for the economic situation these organizations find themselves in.
...

While I have this sympathy, I don't see what this has to do with Copyright.

Read Full article on IT World Canada's blog...

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July 30, 2010

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» A simple guide to copyright

I was thinking about the recent DMCA rulemaking in the US, which led me to this "simple guide to copyright".

You can legally do pretty much anything you like with your own property,

unless it's a "fixation" of a copyrighted work and what you want do is a right granted to the rightsholder,

unless it's covered by one of the "fair dealing" exceptions.

That's not too bad. Of course, in the US, or in Canada if C-32 passes as-is, you need to add a couple more lines:

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July 16, 2010

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Negative effects of the DMCA in the US

Interesting statistics from Copyright and Technology Blog :

[...] academic research into DRM and other rights technologies in the United States has diminished to virtually nil.

(For example, a search of IEEE shows that of all digital rights-related research papers published from 2008 to the present, 40% were from China, 27% were from the rest of Asia, 20% were from Europe, and less than 4% were from the United States. Spain by itself had more activity than the US.)

July 14, 2010

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Logic and legal protection for TPMs

I was thinking about this last night after reading another "but we have to have the C-32 approach to TPMs for the creators to get paid" article, and think I found a way to explain my thinking.

Let's divide Canadians into 4 groups based on their ability to bypass TPMs and their respect for copyright law :

Can bypass TPMs Can't bypass TPMs
Respect Copyright law Engineers Comsumers
Don't respect copyright law Pirates Wannabe pirates

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June 16, 2010

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Putting the Genie in the Bottle

I read this article in Wired today. What blew me away most about it had nothing to do with yet-another-round-of-legal-shenanigans that the article was about. Rather, it was the quoted 30 million unique users per month that ISOHunt.com enjoys.

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June 9, 2010

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Why do so many people disrespect copyright?

I'm one of the few people I know that has much respect for copyright. I oppose excessive forms of copyright as I recognise that the more disrespectful copyright becomes, the more people will disrespect it.

This afternoon I came across the following tweet:

TJ Hilton: Limewire owes $1 billion+, BP owes $69 million. Because sharing music is 14.5x more damaging than catastrophic spills. http://bit.ly/aEoZRR

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June 1, 2010

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» The Minister of Industry - Bill entitled “An Act to amend the Copyright Act”.

The new bill is now on the order paper. Like Bill C-61, and unlike previous Liberal bills, it will be tabled by the Minister of Industry rather than the Minister of Heritage.

May 17, 2010

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Illegal downloading: How do you explain it to the kids?

Globe and Mail article by Erin Anderssen discusses how parents talk to their children about copyright infringement.

I received an e-mail message from Erin about this story. While we didn't arrange an interview, the following is what I wrote to her in an e-mail.

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May 12, 2010

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Charlie Angus, "Copyright" on May 11th, 2010 | openparliament.ca

I just wanted to point to a cool feature of the OpenParliament website. You can search for a term (Example: Copyright) and it finds the usage and shows you in an easy interface. In fact, I'm noticing the site coming up often in my Google Alerts.

This one on Charlie Angus, "Copyright" on May 11th, 2010 came in this morning.

May 9, 2010

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» A comment to Drew Wilson's response to Denis McGrath on the State of the Copyright Debate

Drew Wilson wrote a response to Denis McGrath's blog article he titled The State of the Copyright Debate. While I commented on Denis's blog, the following is a mildly edit version of what I contributed to Drew's blog.

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May 7, 2010

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Fairness in an expanded Private Copying regime for recorded music

No matter what I feel about the Private Copying regime for recorded music, it is clear that the music industry wants this. When I say music industry I mean composers and performers who have come out strongly in favor of the regime. It has become clear that the recording industry can no longer be said to represent musicians or the overall music industry.

I can live with this regime being expanded to devices as I consider it the lesser of two evils: a levy on devices, or non-owner locks on devices. In order for the regime to have any resemblance of fairness it should be obvious that we can't allow both.

Read full article on IT World Canada's blog >>>

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May 4, 2010

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Why do some people claim that Canadian copyright is "weak"?

In a series of postings over the years, lawyer Howard Knopf has detailed how Canadian Copyright law is strong (protects incumbent copyright holders), including many ways that Canadian law is stronger than that of the USA (See: 21 Reasons Why Canadian Copyright Law is Already Stronger Than USA's, 22nd Example of How Canadian Copyright Law is Stronger than US - and Another Possible US Treaty Violation)

I had a recent twitter conversation with lawyer Barry Sookman, who has clients in the recording, motion picture and proprietary software industries. As a response to his tweet, "Canada again named to USTR’s Priority Watch List for weak IP laws", I said "Canada being on the USTR priority watch list for having strong Copyright (stronger than US in many ways) only makes list a joke". He then claimed I was wrong, pointing me his submission to the summer 2009 copyright consultation.

His submission didn't provide me with what I was looking for, which was something as detailed as what Mr. Knopf has authored.

Read full article on IT World Canada's blog >>>

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May 3, 2010

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» When consumer choice is not enough: Dishonest Relationship Misinformation (DRM)

When I discuss non-owner locks on technology and anti-competitive locks on content, the two highly controversial forms of so-called "Digital Rights Management", a common question comes up: If I don't like these things, why don't I just not buy them and be done with it?

While I have historically been a firm supporter of consumer boycotts, I do not believe they can be effective in this case for a number of important reasons. I am also a strong supporter of free markets, but in this case I also do not believe that markets alone can solve the problems -- partly because I don't believe we have a free market scenario.

Read full article on IT World Canada's blog >>>

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