Copyright Scholar Kicked Out Of Canadian Copyright Panel

from the fair-and-balanced dept

US entertainment industry interests have been pushing for quite some time to get stronger copyright laws in Canada, despite plenty of questions about why they’re needed. Thanks to folks like Michael Geist, who has repeatedly shined light on attempts to rush these efforts through, some of these efforts have been set aside until there can be more public debate. But, of course, the industry never rests, and as it’s looking to get stricter copyright laws in place in Canada, it doesn’t much want to hear from critics who have facts on their side. Geist points us to the rather ridiculous news that a supposedly non-partisan, independent organization called the Public Policy Forum has uninvited a well known expert, Howard Knopf, on Canadian copyright from a symposium being held today. Knopf was going to do a presentation explaining why Canadian copyright law is already stronger and better than US copyright law, and why the US ought to be copying Canada’s law, rather than the other way around. However, Knopf believes that PPF was pressured to remove him from the schedule, including removing him from a panel where he planned to debate these issues with a registered lobbyist of the entertainment industry. It’s a lot easier to get questionable laws passed when you silence the critics.

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Comments on “Copyright Scholar Kicked Out Of Canadian Copyright Panel”

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Crosbie Fitch (profile) says:

Not so terrible

Polarisation will hasten copyright’s demise.

Let the maximalists change the leather padding inside the public’s manacles for serrated steel, and keep those misguided reformists who would replace it with soft fur well away from discussions.

The manacles of copyright must be removed, and making them more comfortable persuades the people to rest a little longer in their constrained slumber.

Let them add vicious spikes too, I say. 😉

fat Tony says:

One moment please

Are you saying that money is important in Canada too?

I really didn’t expect to hear a thing like: You can buy what you want if you have enough money.
Of course everyone recognizes the old saying: Silence is Golden. Now perhaps they will realize it’s not the color gold, but the metal that makes silence so worthwhile. He who has the gold makes the rules.

Gold buys the opposition. When they can’t be bought, they can be removed from the picture by any number of means.

Enjoy your free society, and all the gold that it has cost others.

pat donovan (user link) says:

canadian copyright

I complained about the exclusion of the public element from the PPF forum too. Not that I’ll help much.

I don’t think they’ll like my theory of this being a application of feudal warlordism (ditatorships and whatnot collaspe after they run out of things to steal. people seem to dislike working for them)

the new age of treachery (in teaching and healing) is my best guess. After ID theift levels the playing feild.

shoulda stuck to filtering, throttling and censorship. At least people can grasp those topics.


MLS (profile) says:

US interests are strong promoters of two points missing from Canadian law (per Mr. Knopf):

A Canadian counterpart to the DMCA, and increasing pressure on ISPs re file sharing.

Some will obviously say this is a good thing about Canadian law. At the same time, however, a careful reading of Mr. Knopf’s presentation reveals that there are many aspects of Canadian law pertaining to copyright that are significantly broader than what US law embraces as rights of a copyright holder. Moral rights have been rejected in the US. Apparently, Canada subscribes to this broadening of copyright. The Canadian law embraces “crown rights”, i.e., the right of the government to claim copyright. Our law specifically rejects this notion and places all such works, with but a few exceptions, into the public domain. Apparently Canada does not embrace the notion articulated in Betamax, that time-shifting is not copyright infringement. Mr. Knopf goes on to point out numerous other areas in Canadian law where copyright holders are apparently afforded more rights under the law than is the case in the US.

The above are just some points to think about before concluding that somehow Canada is more copyright friendly than the US. In some respects it is. In many others it is not.

fat Tony says:

How to help

As far as how to help Canada…
There is nothing I can do. I am a servant of America. Contractually obliged to do everything I do with “excellence”
I can only suggest to you to get your honest, intelligent, and available to run for offices until you can oust the limitations of society.
If your best and brightest are like ours, they are also somewhat not eligible for public office. (ref: Richard Dawkins @
As it stands I can no more run for office in Canada than I can in America. Thus I can only attempt to inspire rage in others to go out and accomplish great things. Preferably good great things.
Best of luck to you Canadians. You can see our long road of sub-par decisions. Steer your path in a fresh new way…like towards public and personal freedom.

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