Canadian Copyright Organization: This Is War Against Consumers

from the you-want-to-know-your-problem? dept

Wow. One of the key points in William Patry's excellent new book, Moral Panics and the Copyright Wars (on which we'll have more soon -- and a signed copy of which is available in our Techdirt Book Club) is that the big defenders of stronger and stronger copyrights have taken and twisted the semantics around copyright issues to make it sound like a "war." It's a "battle" to "protect your property" against "pirates" who want to "steal" it. They're using rhetoric to turn what is effectively a business model issue into something like a crusade that has nothing to do with reasoned arguments about how to actually "promote the progress" (the key reason for copyright).

I can't think of anything that demonstrates this twisted language any better than how Access Copyright (a licensing agency in Canada) has offered up a call to arms to get its members to fight back against those darn "users" who are looking to destroy copyright (thanks Rob!). As you hopefully know, Canada has been hosting a consultation about new copyright laws, and folks like Michael Geist have done a great job getting the public involved in the discussion. If you look at the submissions, the vast majority are in favor of protecting important user rights -- key points that have been missing from previous attempts to update copyright law in Canada.

Now, a reasonable discussion on these issues might look at the different trade-offs and such in granting these rights, but that's not what Access Copyright is doing. Instead, it screams out that the debate is being "dominated by individuals who do not agree you should get fair compensation for digital and other reproductions of your works." Of course, nothing is further from the truth. I don't know anyone who doesn't think that creators should get fair compensation -- but we feel they need to earn that by putting in place a good business model where people hand over money willingly. Instead, many who can only look to the past, want to pretend that if they just put in place stronger copyright laws, all the amazing things that new technologies allow will magically go away, and people will just start paying again. This is a fantasy.

But rather than deal with reality, Access Copyright, presents it as "us vs. them" with "them" outnumbering "us." The most stunning statement of all:
It's a simple fact that users outnumber us. But Canadian users involved in the online debate are so adept at leveraging the internet and social networks to their advantage, there's a danger that your voices as Canadian creators and publishers will be drowned out by the chatter.
Think about that fact for a second. Access Copyright is talking about customers here. The people who actually determine the real value of whatever content creators make. And Access Copyright is flat-out insulting them, by making them out to be an unruly mob that content creators need to fight. Copyright is supposed to be about what's best for society as a whole, in encouraging the production of more works. It should be a win-win situation. But here Access Copyright is stating flat-out that the desires of users to protect their own rights is somehow something that needs to be forcibly denied.

If you want to understand why these industries are dying, the evidence is right here. When you treat your customers as the enemy, don't be surprised if they go away. It's not because of "piracy" or "the internet." It's because these content creators are treating their best customers as anything but customers.

And, of course, Access Copyright peppers its call for participation with false claims about these unruly "users" trying to stop them from getting paid:
It's only right, it's only fair. Creators need to get paid.
Sounds good, right? Except no one is saying they shouldn't get paid, so this is a total strawman. The question is just about how these laws should work to protect user rights, and how to make sure the laws actually live up to their key point: which is to act as incentive, not as some sort of welfare system or crutch for those too uncreative to come up with business models that recognize the role of abundance in a market.

Copyright isn't a war. It's not us vs. them. It's about creating a system where society is best off and key incentives are in place to create more content. Our own complaints against those who push for stronger copyrights aren't about an "us vs. them" attitude. We've been quite happy to cheer on smart moves by those who have made mistakes before. Our only concerns are that the end result should be the best for everyone. Not a small group of folks trying to protect an old business model.

Apparently, Access Copyright thinks the laws are just for them.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2009 @ 12:21pm

    I have no problem what so ever paying the creator for what they make...

    What I hate doing is paying knowing the 75% of it will not go to the creator but help prop up things like Access Copyright

     

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    John Doe, Aug 12th, 2009 @ 12:22pm

    I have seen the enemy...

    I have seen the enemy and it is the customers!

    It should not be news that businesses big or small hate customers. They only view customers as $$$. The more they can extract from you the better. But even when they extract a lot, they still don't care for you.

    It would be an amazing thing to see a company that actually recognized the need to create win/win relationships with customers.

     

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    Paul, Aug 12th, 2009 @ 12:35pm

    Public Good

    If anything, the public's voice should drown out the voice of groups such as "Access Copyright." Who stands to gain more--a tiny number of corporates, or the public itself?

    I have always held that corporations and profit-oriented groups should not have a place at the table when it comes to lawmaking. Lobbying and interest-written laws are an unacceptable perversion of the legal system and our respective countries--our very lives.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2009 @ 12:36pm

    Again

    Woo, yeah! Another article on copyright. Yippeee!

     

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      :Lobo Santo (profile), Aug 12th, 2009 @ 12:52pm

      Re: Again

      Thank you so much for contributing in a meaningful way to the conversation.

      I'm sure this page would have been entirely not worth while were it not for your contribution.

      Seriously, thank you. /sarcasm

      (Some of us come to techdirt for exactly what they write about--including copyright.)

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2009 @ 2:48pm

      Re: Again

      Woo, yeah! Another article made up of words! Yippeee!

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2009 @ 2:58pm

        Re: Re: Again

        Wait, words are copyright, you can't use them. And concepts are patented and since the words you use try to convey concepts you can't be allowed to type.

         

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    lavi d (profile), Aug 12th, 2009 @ 12:53pm

    Endless Fascination

    The world has changed dramatically in the last 15 years. It's amazing to me how many people/businesses don't get it.

    You can't make bits uncopyable and you can't deprive people of this incredible engine of communication, the internet.

    Even though unauthorized copying is illegal, attempts to eradicate it are like trying to enforce a ban on cussing.

    It has become too natural, too easy and too deeply ingrained.

    If your business consists of selling things that can be duplicated and shared on the internet, it's time you figured out how to make money differently.

    The fact that so many groups don't understand this really simple premise is quite fascinating.

     

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      Sam Erb (profile), Aug 12th, 2009 @ 1:21pm

      Re: Endless Fascination

      "Even though unauthorized copying is illegal, attempts to eradicate it are like trying to enforce a ban on cussing."
      That's probably one of the best analogies I've heard on this subject

       

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    Designerfx (profile), Aug 12th, 2009 @ 12:58pm

    republicans (not the fiscal kind)

    sounds as typical of something I'd hear on the oreily report as any other republican. Are people actually *surprised* such concepts exist in canada too where pure strawman arguments come out?

    It's been noticable for the last 40 years or so that organizations trying to further political interests worldwide have been doing this crap to another disturbing level entirely, we're way tired of it, and the public is slowly becoming more aware of it.

    These are the reasons we pray that the old will just die away, and eagerly await the generational changes. This kind of stuff holds it back, and it's not easy to argue back from it on the spot. When you have time to review the statements, sure, it makes sense, but in a heated debate not so much.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2009 @ 1:23pm

    "But Canadian users involved in the online debate are so adept at leveraging the internet and social networks to their advantage, there's a danger that your voices as Canadian creators and publishers will be drowned out by the chatter. "

    This sounds like a plea to censor our free speech. People are tired of only mainstream views being acceptable and communicated, we want to discuss other views just as well and we have EVERY RIGHT TO. and if your position isn't compelling enough to convince the public that you're right in the free market of ideas then that's no one else fault but your own. Find a different position, but DON'T GO CRYING TO THE GOVERNMENT FOR LAWS THAT GIVE YOUR VOICE PRIORITY. Your voice must compete on a LEVEL playing field for me to even CONSIDER it (which is why I mostly ignore mainstream media since that's not even close to a level playing field), when you cry to the government for an un level playing field that favors your position over the position of others because your position can't compete on a level playing field I will not take you seriously. Furthermore, your attempts to censor our free speech or to force us to give more time to listen to views that agree with you over those that disagree should be strongly resisted. I'm sick and tired of private interests using the government to serve their own interests at the expense of the public interest, it's time we resist this tyranny. and then business and such talk about "free markets" but it's all nothing but a deceitful lie because everything the government does distorts the free market in favor of private interests at public expense.

     

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      J. Doh, Aug 12th, 2009 @ 5:26pm

      Re:

      "It's a simple fact that users outnumber us. But Canadian users involved in the online debate are so adept at leveraging the internet and social networks to their advantage, there's a danger that your voices as Canadian creators and publishers will be drowned out by the chatter."

      This statement also points out that they really don't have a handle on how to leverage the internet...for anything. It says to me that they cannot adapt to a landscape irrevocably changed (for more than a decade now). The laws on the books in the US aren't effective for anyone TODAY, yet they think making them so in Canada will make a difference somehow.

      Users outnumber them, there's a lightbulb moment. Sounds like a market looking to happen, but they're too busy being protectionist and not busy enough being actually creative enough to tap it.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2009 @ 5:36pm

        Re: Re:

        "Users outnumber them"

        Users outnumber them, in other words, the laws in place are in place at their will and not at the will of the general public (their will, a minority, have more control over the laws than the will of those that outnumber them) and hence the laws need to change ASAP (QED, by their own admission).

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2009 @ 5:46pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Basically they are admitting that the majority are being compelled to follow laws that are in place at the will of the minority, against the will of the majority (those that outnumber them). Why should the majority be compelled to follow laws at the will of the minority? This isn't democracy, this is tyranny. Society owes these people no monopoly.

           

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    Fatduck (profile), Aug 12th, 2009 @ 1:32pm

    Maybe content creators should work on making sure no one wants their product, so that they won't have so many pesky "users" to worry about.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2009 @ 1:39pm

    This sort of reminds me of the current fight in the US about medicare / access to doctors / insurance.

    There are a relatively small number of wildly uninformed people wandering into every meeting possible, and riling people up with anything from misunderstanding to outright lies. They yell, they scream, the interrupt, and they sure as heck do nothing to add to the process.

    Imagine meetings about copyright where you have, I dunno, 2 artists, 1 producer, 3 board members, and 94 file traders. What do you think the end result would be?

    Copyright is important for the public at large, and the public should have a seat at the table, but the public shouldn't have the vast majority of the seats at the table. That makes it meaningless.

    Oh yeah, remember something: Canada doesn't have a first amendment, so don't judge them by your US laws.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2009 @ 1:43pm

      Re:

      No, the public should have the majority of seats at the table because it is the public interest, NOT the private interest, that the government is supposed to serve.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2009 @ 1:53pm

      Re:

      "There are a relatively small number of wildly uninformed people wandering into every meeting possible, and riling people up with anything from misunderstanding to outright lies. They yell, they scream, the interrupt, and they sure as heck do nothing to add to the process."

      Since you clearly haven't even seen the discussions on the Consultation site, there's no point even talking to you.

      "Imagine meetings about copyright where you have, I dunno, 2 artists, 1 producer, 3 board members, and 94 file traders. What do you think the end result would be?"

      That's a very nice description about the whole situation: imagine meetings where 6/100 people make rules that tick off the other 94/100. What do you think the end result would be?

      "Copyright is important for the public at large, and the public should have a seat at the table, but the public shouldn't have the vast majority of the seats at the table. That makes it meaningless."

      And a consumer based industry blatantly snubbing it's entire money-base isn't meaningless?

      "Oh yeah, remember something: Canada doesn't have a first amendment, so don't judge them by your US laws."

      We also don't have a President, a Congress, a House of Representatives...

      Wow, Canada must be horrible, without a government running the place!

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2009 @ 1:54pm

      Re:

      "Oh yeah, remember something: Canada doesn't have a first amendment, so don't judge them by your US laws."

      Canada does have freedom of speech laws.

      "
      The constitutional provision that guarantees Freedom of expression in Canada is section 2(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

      2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms: ... (b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication
      "

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_speech_by_country#Canada

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2009 @ 2:03pm

      Re:

      "Copyright is important for the public at large, and the public should have a seat at the table, but the public shouldn't have the vast majority of the seats at the table. That makes it meaningless."

      The public doesn't even have a seat at the table, the public is mostly just ignored. That's why we have intellectual property laws that last almost forever.

       

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      Michael, Aug 12th, 2009 @ 2:40pm

      Re:

      Uh, we DO have the Charter of Rights... and we DO have free speech. The consumers ARE the reason ANY of this exists and we DO have more right and more voice when it comes to the laws that govern us. You can't change it just because you don't think its "fair". They need to work within reality, because if they try to impose laws we don't agree with, they are simply not valid laws. There is NOTHING that they can do to stop file sharing, it existed before the internet, the thing they are afraid of isn't so much the actual sharing of files, as their loss of control of the industry.

       

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      wvhillbilly (profile), Aug 13th, 2009 @ 10:46pm

      Re: Anonymous coward

      Go back under your bridge.

       

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    Ima Fish (profile), Aug 12th, 2009 @ 1:40pm

    "Access Copyright is talking about customers here."

    This is exactly the problem with government granted monopolies. We're not customers by choice, we're forced to be customers under government fiat.

    Access Copyright is correct to ignore that we're customers and treat us like enemies because essentially it's true. Access Copyright realizes that we're not customers. Access Copyright realizes that it does not have to provide a reason to pay. Access Copyright realizes that what it needs is a stronger monopoly from the government, because without it, we'd have no incentive or reason to pay.

    When you live off the government for as long as Access Copyright has, that's simply the way you start to think. It happens to people on welfare every day. Which is basically what copyright is, unfunded corporate welfare.

     

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      Free Capitalist, Aug 12th, 2009 @ 1:55pm

      Re:

      Which is basically what copyright is, unfunded corporate welfare.


      While I would agree this is how Access Copyright views the law, it would be a vital shot in the arm for our economies if we were to return to the letter of the law interpretation of copyright.

      Of course this all smacks of the same type of politicking that's got people believing that "the right to bear arms" means "don't own guns".

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2009 @ 1:58pm

    "Oh yeah, remember something: Canada doesn't have a first amendment, so don't judge them by your US laws."

    Quite right... but Canada does have a Section 2(b) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms:

    2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:
    (b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2009 @ 1:58pm

    Once again, Mike twisted the article to his advantage. He did not actually read it, nor attend any of the meetings. This is pure propaganda.

    Techdirt sucks. Viva la revolution (and not the propaganda Mike tries too hard to spread).

     

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    RD, Aug 12th, 2009 @ 2:26pm

    Dear WeirdF*cktard

    "Once again, Mike twisted the article to his advantage. He did not actually read it, nor attend any of the meetings. This is pure propaganda."

    Thanks for your opinion and nothing to back it up. Your worthless, unfounded observation will now be ignored as befits a 'Tard of your stature.

     

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    A photographer, Aug 12th, 2009 @ 3:10pm

    From a creator

    " Except no one is saying they shouldn't get paid, so this is a total strawman. The question is just about how these laws should work to protect user rights, and how to make sure the laws actually live up to their key point: which is to act as incentive, not as some sort of welfare system or crutch for those too uncreative to come up with business models that recognize the role of abundance in a market. "

    The business model is I make photographs you pay for them. If you don't pay for my creations then I don't get paid. Period. You take a photograph off a site from flickr, blow it up and put it on your wall I don't get paid.

    The only way as a photographer that I can ensure that I get paid for my work is the copyright legislation.

    You can pretend that the connection is not there when you take work for free online, but the fact is that it is no different then if you came into my house and took it. This is how I make my money if you aren't willing to pay me for it, then don't use it. No business model can work if the customer is getting the product for free.

     

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      Mike Masnick (profile), Aug 12th, 2009 @ 3:28pm

      Re: From a creator

      The business model is I make photographs you pay for them. If you don't pay for my creations then I don't get paid. Period. You take a photograph off a site from flickr, blow it up and put it on your wall I don't get paid.


      So you are saying you are too lazy to come up with a better business model, and thus the public should all have rights lessened for that reason?

      The only way as a photographer that I can ensure that I get paid for my work is the copyright legislation.

      No, that's the only way you can currently think of making money. I know many photographers, and most do not rely on copyright.

      You can pretend that the connection is not there when you take work for free online, but the fact is that it is no different then if you came into my house and took it.

      Again, that's not true... but more to the point, no one is talking about people taking photos off of Flickr or anything along those lines. They're just asking for basic consumer rights to be respected.

      No business model can work if the customer is getting the product for free.

      Funny, then, that many business models do seem to work that way. Do we trust you, anonymous photographer, or... reality?

       

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        A Photographer, Aug 12th, 2009 @ 3:58pm

        Re: Re: From a creator

        "No, that's the only way you can currently think of making money. I know many photographers, and most do not rely on copyright."

        Actually copyright legislation is one of the few ways that I can go after people who have decided that they don't have to pay me for my work. They don't pay me, they don't get to use my work.

        "Again, that's not true... but more to the point, no one is talking about people taking photos off of Flickr or anything along those lines. They're just asking for basic consumer rights to be respected."

        So why do consumer rights trump my right to be able to make a living from my work?

        "Funny, then, that many business models do seem to work that way. Do we trust you, anonymous photographer, or... reality?"

        Actually there a quite a few models that you think are making money but aren't. Yes many free services have been sold for a great deal of money but the fact of the matter is a good year for them is when the break even. Most of the time people are sitting around trying to figure out how to make them profitable.

         

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          Mike Masnick (profile), Aug 12th, 2009 @ 5:19pm

          Re: Re: Re: From a creator

          Actually copyright legislation is one of the few ways that I can go after people who have decided that they don't have to pay me for my work. They don't pay me, they don't get to use my work.

          Yes, and others who embrace much smarter business models don't waste time on silly things like going after those who copy work. Instead, they focus on making money through smart methods, such as selling their services and expertise. They use the fact that their photographs are more well known to sell more.

          So why do consumer rights trump my right to be able to make a living from my work?

          No one has a right to make a living. You have a right to try to make a living. But if your business model conflicts with basic consumer rights, then the problem is yours.

          Actually there a quite a few models that you think are making money but aren't.

          Ah. So Google? Doesn't make any money. We give away all our content, and you're telling me I don't make any money? Hmm. And the musicians we work with? They give away their music and I've seen how much they make. You're telling me their bank accounts are lying?

          Fascinating.

          Yes, you rely on copyright as a crutch. Good for you. That doesn't mean it's a good thing. Sugar monopolists relied on their gov't granted monopoly and that was good for them, and bad for society.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2009 @ 11:18pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: From a creator

            "Ah. So Google? Doesn't make any money. We give away all our content, and you're telling me I don't make any money? Hmm. And the musicians we work with? They give away their music and I've seen how much they make. You're telling me their bank accounts are lying?"

            A nice misrepresentation, and a wild mix of types to try to make a point.

            Ad based sites aren't "free", they just don't charge you money - they charge you attention. Same as TV, same as radio. It isn't free, it just doesn't come directly out of your bank account when you are enjoy it (but the price of everything you buy that was advertised is that much higher... )

            The musicians you "work with" almost without exception made their reputations on the backs of record labels and their promotions. Without them, they would be "Corey who"? and "Facepalm what?" - and they are all taking checks from "the man". Amazing, isn't it?

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2009 @ 11:56am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: From a creator

              So you're arguing petty semantics?

              It's free because I don't pay for it. Period.

               

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      Marcus Carab (profile), Aug 12th, 2009 @ 3:47pm

      Re: From a creator

      Do you have a premium flickr account? Did you decide to buy said account after using the free service for a while, probably a long while? Think about that.

       

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        A Photographer, Aug 12th, 2009 @ 3:51pm

        Re: Re: From a creator

        No I don't. I actually stopped using Flickr entirely.

         

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          Marcus Carab (profile), Aug 13th, 2009 @ 8:03am

          Re: Re: Re: From a creator

          Well that explains why you are struggling to promote yourself and succeed as a photographer. You should be looking into the amazing free tools available to you to strengthen your brand and get your name out there, instead of worrying about copyright infringement.

           

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    Jesse, Aug 12th, 2009 @ 3:45pm

    Purpose of copyright in Canada

    "The question is just about how these laws should work to protect user rights, and how to make sure the laws actually live up to their key point: which is to act as incentive, not as some sort of welfare system or crutch for those too uncreative to come up with business models that recognize the role of abundance in a market. "

    Mike, I agree with all your points on copyright. I would like to call to your attention the fact that copyright doesn't have an explicit purpose in Canada. There is no clause in our legislation that says why we have copyright (as in "to promote the progress of the useful arts"). Historically, it seems Canada kinda just followed the leader with copyright. So it might not be entirely incorrect to say that in Canada copyright exists as a crutch for struggling artists, or at least no more correct than to say it is to promote the progress of the useful arts.

     

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    by an artist who draws and doesn't just press a bu, Aug 12th, 2009 @ 3:46pm

    From another creator

    I love the public domain so much that I put copies of my work into the public domain. I am also Canadian. Photography isn't a very useful artform.

     

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      A photographer, Aug 12th, 2009 @ 4:04pm

      Re: From another creator

      Ok that's great for you.

      Do you really need to discount what I do to make yourself feel better?

       

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    Rekrul, Aug 12th, 2009 @ 3:50pm

    One of the key points in William Patry's excellent new book, Moral Panics and the Copyright Wars (on which we'll have more soon -- and a signed copy of which is available in our Techdirt Book Club)

    Where can I download a copy? ;)

     

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    Gracey, Aug 12th, 2009 @ 3:58pm

    Well, I also am a creator and a photographer. As such, I do rely on copyright.

    Not to make my living, just to protect some aspects of it.

    My customers don't pay for the "photographs", I seldom charge any more than the cost of my paper, or the cost of my lab prints.

    What they pay for is my expertise, and my time. If they want to post photos I made of them online somewhere, fine. If they want to make prints somewhere else, that's fine too.

    I am, however, a supporter of copyright (though not of groups like the CCO, et al), and of the right for a person call what's theirs, theirs, and to decide where and what happens to their property. And to protect certain things about it. I also am a supporter of creative commons, and give away thousands of images each year.

    I have issues with people who call my work, theirs. And who want to slap their copyright on my work. And those who use my work and put "happy birthday" on it, and then try to sell it as their own on places like cafe press. That's not innovation.

    There could be a happy medium here if both sides could get together in the real world, instead of their own worlds.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2009 @ 5:17pm

    "It's a simple fact that users outnumber us. But Canadian users involved in the online debate are so adept at leveraging the internet and social networks to their advantage, there's a danger that your voices as Canadian creators and publishers will be drowned out by the chatter. "

    I see this as a tacit admission that the laws in place are in place at the will of private interests and not at the will of the general public and as such these intellectual property laws should be done away with AT ONCE (or at least changed to laws that are in place at the will of the general public).

     

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    Random_Comment_Guy, Aug 12th, 2009 @ 6:22pm

    Proposed laws:

    This whole copyright problem is very easy to solve. Here are some recommendations on legislation that will quickly and easily do so:

    1) Pass a law to turn the internet off. That would save a lot of problems and prevent the bulk of modern copyright infringement.

    2) Redefine "piracy" to include not just the taking by force of another's property on the high seas, but to also include that of copyright infringement, and then use international admiralty and maritime law to address the issue.

    3) Identify the "creators," and then pass a law that guarantees payments to them for "life of the author plus 70 years," as is supported by the copyright laws in the United States, but do away with the silly requirement of having them "create" anything, thus eliminating the potential for infringement.

    4) Require payment by consumers for copyrighted works, but stipulate that said consumers have no legal right to access or view the work. For example, define a "sale" as a "lease" that can be canceled at anytime, and for any reason, or sell a work to a consumer, but place content access restrictions on the work so that they consumer cannot access it, and just for good measure, make it illegal to circumvent said access control mechanisms.

    I'm sure there are other equally effective laws, but this should be a good start for "us," in the fight against "them."

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2009 @ 6:43pm

      Re: Proposed laws:

      You forgot one

      Assume everyone breaks copyright law and put them all in jail. Guilty until proven innocent and even when they are proven innocent, who cares, there is potential they may break the law sometime in the future so lets just keep them in jail as a preventative measure.

       

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    HilarityEnsues, Aug 12th, 2009 @ 7:20pm

    Sue me, I know my digital rights.

    another excellent article. High five* mike masnick.

    Its funny when you referred to access copyright assuming their was an online mob fighting their draconian ideas; well its partly true. CBC.ca is being hit by pro-copyright vested interests daily, personally I felt obligated to vote the crap out of their comments down. This gives the appearance that their comments are despised by the general public. 1 vote thumbs up 200 votes thumbs down. Thats being generous but in my opinion thats the ratio they deserve. Also I personally was responsible for setting up the most agreed comment on any copyright, DRM related article in the past week (on CBC.ca that is). So.. who wants my script?

     

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    zenasprime (profile), Aug 12th, 2009 @ 10:38pm

    I think that Access Canada is right!

    It is "us" against "them". I know that I certainly don't want to listen to the music they are desperately trying to force me to buy. Maybe if we get our way, and the masses get to "steal" all their hard work, then maybe they will finally stop actually making that crap. :)

     

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    From another creator, Aug 12th, 2009 @ 11:01pm

    Re: A photographer

    Photography isn't creative. It's what I honestly beleive. So why should a photographer's output be put in the same category as someone who actually creates and makes art? Shouldn't the copyright on my work be greater than yours? Seriously, you click a button. I've been drawing since I was 2 months old. How long have you been button-clicking?

     

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    Actual Artist, Aug 12th, 2009 @ 11:39pm

    Re: Photography

    I really hate photographers and the notion that their creative output should be equal to those of us who actually make things and create art.
    Photography irks me. An artist's style can be readily apparent in their work and contrasted with other artistic styles but photography? Most photographer's work looks exactly like every other photographer's work. They're documenting reality.
    Yes, that totally needs to be protected for a few lifetimes.
    You take one hundred random artists and give them all the same pencils and paper and tell them to document a wedding and you'll have 100 different takes. Now get one hundred random photographers all using the same camera and what would you end up with? Seriously?
    Button-clickers do not deserve the same copyright protection as artists. I just felt like getting that off my chest. And it just goes to you how much disagreement there can be. What a silly mess.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2009 @ 5:10am

      Re: Re: Photography

      "Now get one hundred random photographers all using the same camera and what would you end up with? Seriously?"

      I had the same debate with a friend that is a professional photographer. He sells his expertese and pictures to people and media companies. After they are done, he couldn't care less what those people do with them. He sells photgraphs to restaurants and other places. Copyright, he couldn't care less but he does want his name associated with the picture. Because he is recognized for his expertese he doesn't need the welfare of chasing down people who use a thumbnail of his picture on their facebook.

      Anyway, I posed a question last week to him, (I could not make a living at photography and I know it) If I setup my camera tripod at the exact same spot that you did and took the picture with the exact same camera settings and time/lighting in the day, do you still own the copyright for that picture or do I because I just made the exact same picture without digital copying it...if I then released it free to the world, your copy would then be worthless because everyone could get it free because I released it under free use.

      The answer he had was....well yes you could...if you could take a decent picture..

       

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    David, Aug 13th, 2009 @ 5:25am

    its all about gouging money for everyone.

    There is a war going on.... Its not a copyright war.... its not a customer war...... its a war that has been created by new technology. A war that is very impersonal, because most of it is on the internet, the new technological war, where EVERYONE,, yes EVERYONE... is out to either save a buck or make a buck off of an industry that has worked very hard.

    Person to person technology programs are given out for FREE. These people taking advantage of this technology rake in advertising dollars, sell you T shirts, watches and all sorts of things and make money throught advertising on a medium that fully and knowingly abuses and encourages theft of others work.

    The customer will always take something for free, more so on the grounds that its not them that is really stealing, but the idiots that allowed these techologies to get the best of them, before creating a soundproof business model.

    Certain professions must now fight to survive or cant survive , or soon wont survive, because their work will be out on the pirate networks (person to person technology) in a matter of days.......

    To the p2p people. Its all a business model problem. MY BUTT. Its all about taking advantage of holes in the system to make a dollar off others, where no market should have ever existed in the first place.

    Again its all about cruel money grabbers everywhere, not a bad industry that is sore about customers stealing all its work, throught piggy back pimps who make it easy for them to do.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2009 @ 5:45am

      Re: its all about gouging money for everyone.

      "Its all about taking advantage of holes in the system to make a dollar off others, where no market should have ever existed in the first place."

      Humm, society and business models come and go...look at the mainframe business...it almost died when personal computers came about...film cameras are no more, people getting film developed is now almost dead, those business had to adapt to the new reality and technology or go bankrupt. Most of the industies in the world adopt and move ahead and take advantage of the new developments instead of sitting on their thumb and crying about the good old days....

      Sorry your statement above just shows that you can't think about a way to make money in the new era...Kodak cut their losses and no longer make film cameras but are making one of the best digital cameras...printing pictures has replaced film developing.

      The reality is that the media industries seem to be the last group to realize what has been happening over the last 15 years and are now trying to protect a dying art.

      Keep in mind that some media industries have see the benifit of technology and upgraded their distribution (movie theatres) and got rid of a whole bunch of movie projectionists. They used to be paid 60-70k per year for 4-5 hours work a night...now the projectors are all automated.

      Industries change, if you don't you will be looking for the pogy check...

       

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      The Idiot, Aug 13th, 2009 @ 8:07am

      Re: its all about gouging money for everyone.

      Oh, look. There's a strawman in the room.

      P2P was one of the original precepts of the Internet; after all, how coule they simply talk to one another without sharing data?

      Recently, the Big Four have done very little save to produce crass mass-marketed music. Take a look at Topspin records, a company that follows the "CwF+RtB" formula.

      "Again its all about cruel money grabbers everywhere, not a bad industry that is sore about customers stealing all its work, throught piggy back pimps who make it easy for them to do."

      So, setting the RIAA/IFPI on people who cannot back up their disk because that's 'piracy'? IT BLOODY WELL ISN'T! There is a reason you're allowed to makje a single backup copy.

       

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    Hephaestus (profile), Aug 13th, 2009 @ 6:10am

    Go back to my second post here ....

    Stages of grieving

    "The stages of grieving go like this......

    1-Denial - "this can't be happening to me"

    2-Anger - feelings of wanting to fight back or get even

    3-Bargaining - Attempting to make deals to stop or change the loss.

    4-Depression - overwhelming feelings of hopelessness, frustration, bitterness, self pity, mourning

    5-Acceptance - You have to accept the loss, not just try to bear it quietly."

    If you look at the media industries you see they are currently in the 2cnd and 3rd stages. Rupert Murdoch is a perfect example fear, anger, trying to make things go back to how they were. My worry is the lasting damage they will do with the changes to the laws.

     

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    anonymous, Aug 13th, 2009 @ 7:13am

    The recording industry is going to collapse as much as the (passenger) railway industry did. These guys were unable (or unwilling) to adapt to a world where anyone could buy a car and go wherever he or she wanted, for a fraction of the price the railway sharks were charging. Highways shot them down as a for-profit business for good, but they were an endangered species by the time the first Ford-T rolled out of the production lines.

    I'd say that internet is shooting the recording industry down. We see the process developing in slow motion, mostly because of the corruptness of the establishment. But, like before, I'd say the recording industry became an endangered species when Macs and IBM-PCs started to come out of the assembly lines in huge numbers...

     

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    Varsil (profile), Aug 13th, 2009 @ 7:40am

    Photography's standard business model

    The standard business model for a lot of photographers is pretty inherently abusive. I just recently got married, and finding a photographer who was willing to deviate from the "shaft-the-customer" model. The standard model goes something like this:

    Step 1: Pay a huge sum to get them to take pictures at the wedding. For this, you receive /nothing/, save the fact that they have taken pictures. They own the copyright. Maybe the deal includes a trivial number of prints.

    Step 2: Buy prints from them, as they jealously guard the original images, and the copyright. Print your own, and they will sue you. Want to edit your own pictures? Absolutely not--they don't want you interfering with their artistic integrity. Want to email a picture to your grandmother, or put up the wedding snaps on Facebook? No way.

    This isn't a "customer service" model, it's a customer exploitation model. I've heard of a number of people who have felt really snared by this, going in and expecting that they will own the pictures that are taken, and then realizing that the photographer will hold those pictures over them. Worse, it's not like you can go back and just re-take the pictures of one of those (ideally) once in a lifetime events. So the photographer can just put the squeeze on you.

    There's a lot of ways these weasels could still earn a living in a post-copyright economy. It'll probably involve a much more honest, up-front description of fees, and a lot less of the "squeezing the married couple (and their friends and relatives) for the next fifty years".

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2009 @ 7:53am

      Re: Photography's standard business model

      That is not really standard anymore unless the photographer is still using film camera.

      Most that I know and my professional photographer know use digital camera's and in the contract the client has all the copyrights (which the client paid for) and the photographers provide their expertises to frame and take good pictures.

      What you mention above is no longer the norm as people are now realizing more and more their rights and if a photgrapher doesn't provide them with what they want they will go to the next on the list in the phone book that will provide the digital negatives of the wedding.

      This nickel and dimming that some of the less honest photographers do is going away very fast. I will ask my friend to see if any other photographer still tries to do the above in this age....

       

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    wvhillbilly (profile), Aug 13th, 2009 @ 10:36pm

    /!

    I wonder...if the copyright industry had their way, would consumers have any rights at all? Or would you have to buy a license every time you listened to a song on your radio?

    Just how far do these people want to go?

     

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    David, Aug 14th, 2009 @ 7:48pm

    holes in the system.

    The whole is created by man to take advantage of laws that cant keep up to rapid change. I can give away the keys to your car to someone else who steals it. I say I had nothing to do with stealing the car, that was done by someone else who should have known better. I can't control him. Translate this to, I just provide the software to steal. and I just provide a means to get to a torrent. With these two things i just gave out for free, YOu can just about steal all the music, movies and books you want in the black market on the net.

    The torrent sites would be worth absolutely nothing (pirate bay in the works at some 76 million.) if they didnt attract all the people to getting free music , books movies etc. It all started from Napster, mostly, and if we look at what happened to napster, you can be sure after everything rings out that something will have to be done. You cant spent 15 million making a movie to just have everyone stay home and download it free.

    YOu can argue all you want, but in the end you can be sure the total freebee system will not last. IF it does you will be enjoying your kids high school musical as your best option for entertainment.

    Fact is because of the internet age, ITs too easy to steal, and too easy to infringe on copyright, and to be realistic its not someones right to just HAVE A BACKUP COPY LOL, not when a new movie just out on ppv and in the dvd rental centers has 7500 downloads on a single torrent site.

    Some kind of legislative change will have to take place to correct it. Even Ebay is unable to operate on the internet without making about 7000 pages of rules of engagement. If your were making 20000.00 a week selling on ebay, and someone copied all your adds and pictures and started selling your stuff stealing half your business with work you made, you would be as unhappy as those currently most effected by the p2p age.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 4th, 2009 @ 2:44am

    copyrights suck, i just wanna be able to press all the buttons on my computer and im a smart monkey, i learn the fun buttons. leave me alone!!

     

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