Canadian Music Industry Spokesperson Claims User Generated Content Supports 'Piracy'

from the extreme-nonsense dept

As the battle over Canada's copyright reform bill C-32 heats up, the industry is making increasingly bizarre statements. We already noted the claim by the CRIA that a cap on non-commercial liability amounted to a $5,000 compulsory license, but even more ridiculous is this latest claim, found by Michael Geist. J.P. Ellson, the Chair of the Canadian Council of Music Industry Association, claims that legalizing format shifting and user-generated content keeps "piracy" alive:
Among Bill C-32's objectives is to put the pirate download and file-sharing sites out of business. But the provisions of the Bill that permit user-generated content and transferring digital files to other formats would in fact, keep the pirate flag flying and their sites in business.
Yikes. First, format shifting of legally obtained content does not, in fact, "keep the pirate flag flying." As Geist notes, the allowance for format shifting (such as transferring music from a CD to an iPod) is carefully limited to only authorized copies, rather than infringing copies. The fact that this representative of the industry is effectively arguing against allowing users to transfer music to their iPod seems pretty ridiculous.

But the other claim is even more insane. "Permitting user-generated content" allows "the pirate flag" to keep "flying"? How? Seriously. This claim is so typical of the entertainment industry, which still seems to think the internet is a broadcast medium, by which they can deliver "professional" content to the masses. They still don't realize that the internet is, primarily, a communication platform, and user-generated content is a huge part of that. Suggesting that it should be illegal to clear the decks for the elitist notion of "professional" content suggests a complete lack of understanding of why people use the internet.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    Karl (profile), Sep 17th, 2010 @ 11:20am

    Hm.

    If you take her statement at face value, what she's really saying is that the only way to stamp out "piracy" is to eliminate consumer rights and turn back technological progress.

    She's absolutely right.

    Which just means the world is a better place with "piracy" in it.

    "The recording industry: fighting piracy with totalitarianism, one lobbyist at a time. (TM)"

     

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  2.  
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    MrWilson, Sep 17th, 2010 @ 11:27am

    Every time someone in the music or movie industries makes a statement like this, it just makes my eyes hurt from rolling too much and further erodes any benefit of the doubt I may have been willing to give them.

    They ignore that every professional was once an amateur. They ignore that no artist creates in a vacuum. They ignore the billions of dollars other companies are making off of user generated content (Facebook, YouTube, etc). They ignore how much the ability to provide your own content and customization to a product or service is worth to the consumer.

    I don't buy console games because they aren't easily modded. I rarely buy PC games that can't be modded. The concept of entertainment being a one way street has been wrong from the beginning.

    Whether its written down in fan fiction or just daydreamed by the viewer, a viewer's mental and emotional interaction with "content" is inherent in its ability to succeed financially. The fan fiction doesn't have to be professional quality either. It's about wish fulfillment and the encouragement of that by the creator encourages more revenue.

    If I hadn't spent my youth in the 80's daydreaming of being a smuggler or a Jedi Knight, would I have still bugged my parents to buy me all the action figures or would I have grown up to spend so much money on Star Wars video games and watching the lesser-quality prequels in the theater more than once or bought a bunch of books and comic books about the extended universe? It even helps other industries. I ran up quite a few bills in the mid 90's chatting with fellow Star Wars nerds on CompuServe back when you paid for every minute you were on.

    Never mind that some user-generated content is better quality than the so-called professional content anyway.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 17th, 2010 @ 11:27am

    Suggesting that it should be illegal to clear the decks for the elitist notion of "professional" content suggests a complete lack of understanding of why people use the internet.

    shouldn't that be legal and not illegal

     

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  4.  
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    Matthew (profile), Sep 17th, 2010 @ 11:35am

    facepalm

    Independant thought really flies the pirate flag. When can we expect to see a bill calling for lobotomies for all Canadians?

    At least then the record companies will have someone at their own level to argue against.

     

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  5.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Sep 17th, 2010 @ 11:39am

    Re: Hm.

    "piracy"

    definition - Piracy - hijacking on the high seas or in similar contexts; taking a ship or plane away from the control of those who are legally entitled to it.

    definition - Infringement - A violation, as of a law, regulation, or agreement; a breach. An encroachment, as of a right or privilege.

     

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  6.  
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    iNetMANN, Sep 17th, 2010 @ 11:49am

    Re: facepalm

    Matthew said: "...When can we expect to see a bill calling for lobotomies for all Canadians?"

    I do believe this has already occured! hehehe

     

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  7.  
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    MrWilson, Sep 17th, 2010 @ 11:59am

    Re:

    I think he meant, "'Suggesting that (user-generated content) should be illegal,' with the suggestion being for the purpose of clearing the decks for the elitist notion of "professional" content...etc"

    He was correct in the use of the word "to" following illegal, meaning "in order to" or "for the purpose of" but "to" has a lot of meanings so I could see someone reading the sentence the way you did.

     

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  8.  
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    Karl (profile), Sep 17th, 2010 @ 12:15pm

    Re: Re: Hm.

    Yep, that's why the scare quotes.

     

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  9.  
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    interval (profile), Sep 17th, 2010 @ 12:32pm

    Re: facepalm

    "When can we expect to see a bill calling for lobotomies for all Canadians?"

    I think they're waiting on the orders to be totally filled in Quebec first.

     

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  10.  
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    BruceLD, Sep 17th, 2010 @ 12:33pm

    Subject

    The intensity of this idiots idiocy leaves me entirely speechless.

    I mean like...ummm...just wow.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 17th, 2010 @ 1:24pm

    Re: Hm.

    This is what I think he's saying:

    "So many technologies could be better smashed if they didn't have significant non-infringing uses.
    If we could only find a way to prevent people from using copy machines, youtube, and tape recorders in perfectly legal ways, it would be tons easier to gets these products banned."

     

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  12.  
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    Karl (profile), Sep 17th, 2010 @ 1:46pm

    Re: Hm.

    First of all, J.P. Ellson is a "he." What's with me and gender confusion? (Don't answer that.)

    Anyway. On second read, he could mean "the provisions of the Bill would have the unintended consequence of keeping the pirate flag flying."

    Why they would, he doesn't say. The CCMIA is pushing hard for "digital locks" (DRM), so it could be he's pushing to include a DMCA-style outlawing of circumvention, and the bill doesn't have it.

    It still doesn't mean he's right, of course.

    I also like this part of his blog post:

    At heart, Canadians are honest and law-abiding people. In a truly legitimate marketplace governed by reasonable rules, I am confident more of them will choose to buy, and not steal, the music they enjoy.

    There's nothing stopping those honest and law-abiding Canadians from buying music right now.

    And there's no evidence, anywhere, that stopping the ability to "steal" music would result in anyone actually buying more. They would just do without it.

     

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  13.  
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    vivaelamor (profile), Sep 17th, 2010 @ 2:09pm

    They're users too.

    "They still don't realize that the internet is, primarily, a communication platform, and user-generated content is a huge part of that"

    From the perspective of the internet as a communication platform, they are as much users as anyone else. It makes me laugh that they are scared to compete with free when so many argue that it's all about big budgets. They pretty much admitted that copyright isn't an essential incentive after all.

     

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  14.  
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    Piratus, Sep 17th, 2010 @ 2:15pm

    Tjabo

    User generated content is created by users. Therefore the only logical thing to do would be to FORBID USERS!!!
    'facepalm

     

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  15.  
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    Bengie, Sep 17th, 2010 @ 2:32pm

    If they get to make up bunk laws

    I say anytime corps get to make crazy claims like they, we get to claim treason against them and violation of human rights.

    What would be the punishment for both of those?

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 17th, 2010 @ 2:35pm

    *Slams head in wall*

    Oh, now I see it!

    User generated content devalues professionally created content because it floods the "market with "poor quality" products, and that confuses the buyers...or something.

    Bad users! They are destroying the entertainment industry with their arrogance and sense of entitlement! Stick to listening/watching to our crap.

    I'm going to sleep now.

    *Passes out on floor*

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 17th, 2010 @ 2:52pm

    What they are basically saying is that the easy way to shut it all down is to stop any large file transfer. But since it is legal to transfer large files, there is no way to shut it all down. Solution? Make everything illegal unless Ellson (or some other similar creature) say it is ok.

     

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  18.  
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    THIS MAKES ME SICK, Sep 17th, 2010 @ 4:00pm

    and just what the fucking hell are we paying a levy for

    LIKE YOU FUCKING LAZY ASS GREEDY MOTHER FUCKERS........
    550 million ain't enough OH i see lets steal from the artists themselves since 1980

    SO when my dad buys in canada that Bruce Springsteen album or tape THAT CASH ain't going to Bruce or any other musician.

    THESE PEOPLE NEE DOT BE JUST PLAIN EXECUTED

     

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  19.  
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    THIS MAKES ME SICK, Sep 17th, 2010 @ 4:02pm

    ALSO

    I have read this bill and this so called 5000$ once is a sham its per infringement and per item and could lead to MASSIVE MASSIVE lawsuits....and i passed it to a lawyer who says its vague enough that it coud be interpreted that way too.

    OH and crck a dvdr
    YOU get 20000$
    even if your just making a back up.....

    seriously get an honest cop in cnada and they will say it truthfully...they got better things to do then chase aorund people for music movies and tv eps

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 17th, 2010 @ 4:54pm

    Re: ALSO

    Whoa, whoa, whoa, wait!

    NAMELESS.ONE can read? Breaking News right there.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 17th, 2010 @ 8:31pm

    Re:

    Case in point.

    Tokyo Dance Trooper in Shibuya.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJIQauCwqVc

    Those are the things that create mythical status on things, when people naturally try to copy them and spread the word about those things.

    Maybe George Lucas should sue the guy for infringement.

    People have forgot were their fame and glory came from.
    No amount of marketing will imprint a lasting impression if people don't identify with it.

     

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  22.  
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    Mal (profile), Sep 18th, 2010 @ 2:12pm

    Kinda shows how "Mightier than thou" they are, Just because they're a business or whatever doesn't mean they're entitled to say what happens and what doesn't on the internet.
    User generated content is most of the internet (Because anyone "using" it is a "user", see how that works?), and if they want to block that just so they can use it ONLY to sell their products, well, that's selfish. (and would pretty much turn it from "the internet" into "the worlds biggest shopping catalog)
    I've pirated games before, have bought most of the ones I did, and don't see why they want to eliminate piracy so badly, as it doesn't actually make them lose money, just potential sales IF the "pirate" chooses not to buy their product, and with a price tag of 60-90 dollars a pop, I can see why people would want to test something before buying like 30 of them on top of the console or PC cost.
    I have also purchased modded consoles and the like before, and now own a legit 360, simply because they continuously get "Banned" or "Bricked" causing you to have to buy an entire new console and mod kit to get all the free content (or whatever you modded) back, so in a way, the company still makes money off pirates as they have to keep buying consoles to mod (which cost a lot more than the individual games they might get for free)

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 18th, 2010 @ 10:36pm

    Re: Re: Hm.

    "At heart, Canadians are honest and law-abiding people. In a truly legitimate marketplace governed by reasonable rules, I am confident more of them will choose to buy, and not steal, the music they enjoy."

    Oh, nice. Does this guy show up at a dinner party, compliment the lovely living room carpet then poop on it? Pat the kids on the head then slap them? Moan with pleasure as he chews the fabulous prime rib then spit it all over the hostess?

    Don't allow Passive-Agressive Man into your homes, Canada!

     

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  24.  
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    hmm, Sep 19th, 2010 @ 10:47am

    ever think these totalitarian assholes would LOVE the internet to have a fast download speed, but be restricted to perhaps 1-2kbps for uploads? (just enough to send an order to "buy" something)......

    Basically they're too stupid to be able to see that the internet isn't TV....and if it isn't what they're used to, they're damn well gonna throw a temper tantrum and bang their rattles and yell until daddy politician gives in......

     

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  25.  
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    joe blow, Sep 20th, 2010 @ 11:58pm

    Re: If they get to make up bunk laws

    "I say anytime corps get to make crazy claims like they, we get to claim treason against them and violation of human rights.

    What would be the punishment for both of those?"

    Nothing if we go by past history.

    George Bush knew about 9/11 ahead of time and there were no WMD in Iraq. What happened to him?

    Not a damn thing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
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    AustralianGibbon, Sep 21st, 2010 @ 8:15am

    Point me in the right direction

    Can anyone point me in the right direction for any polling information (un-bias, not an RIAA/CRIA push-poll) on the general public stance regarding file-sharing sites and systems, because while I know there is obviously signifigant public support as they require widespread public participation to function I've never managed to find any solid numbers to cast light on the democratic issue. I'm not really overly concerned about what country the data pertains to, just something to get me on the right track.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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