Recording Industry Lobbyists Says Politicians Worried About User Rights Are 'Disgusting'?

from the that-doesn't-seem-right... dept

Well, well. Last week there was a “town hall” meeting in Toronto about new copyright laws in Canada, and we’ll have a more detailed post on that later. But there is one story that popped up from all of this that deserved a separate discussion. Apparently two Parliament Members, Olivia Chow and Charlie Angus, who have been big supporters of consumers’ rights on copyright issues, have been called out by music industry lobbyists for distributing a ‘disgusting’ flyer. Why? Because that flyer contained an interview with Angus (a former musician in a popular punk band), where he talks about the importance of consumer rights and not following through with a DMCA-style law in Canada. It’s hard to read anything in that interview that is “disgusting” — unless you don’t believe consumers have any rights. But that apparently was the position taken by Alan Willaert, the Canadian representative of the American Federation of Musicians, who not only called it disgusting, but also demanded a retraction and an apology.

It doesn’t sound like he’s going to get it. Charlie Angus is defending himself ably:

I was elected to participate in discussions about public policy. I have never heard of a lobbyist group demand an apology for speaking out about a totally botched piece of legislation like Bill C-61. If they spent less time running e-mail attacks and more time speaking with the various players they might realize that the NDP position has been balanced and consistent from the beginning.

As for a public recanting to satisfy the C-61 lobby ? Sorry, dude….it ain’t happening.

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Companies: american federation of musicians

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Comments on “Recording Industry Lobbyists Says Politicians Worried About User Rights Are 'Disgusting'?”

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28 Comments
fogbugzd says:

Bad Idea

I wonder if the recording industry is realizing that the town hall format is a bad idea. They have had moderate success in controlling the meetings, but the concept of a town hall meeting suggests to many people that all voices should be heard. That means that people who are not on the official agenda and approved audience list are motivated to make their their ideas heard, and they are finding moderate success in actually doing so.

kyle clements (profile) says:

disgusting?

Yes, it is ‘disgusting’ that Canadian politicians dare to represent the views of Canadians, when those views differ from those of the American Federation of Musicians.

Politicians should be easily bought and sold by corporate interests. What, do these elected officials think it’s their job to look out for the people who elected them or something? That’s crazy talk…

Ripjack says:

Laughing at the RIAA

Fact: Music sharing people buy more music. Many studies have shown that the recording industry is dead wrong on file sharing.
Fact: They sue their customers.(Its like Bestbuy suing me because I buy blank cd-r and dvd-rw.
Fact: Just like the drug war,they will never win.
They can never stop me from giving away/copy what I have purchased.

Hephaestus (profile) says:

I like the rework of copyright laws suggested here ....

Here is the link

http://mimuspolyglottos.blogspot.com/2009/08/interview-american-federation-of.html

1) Withdraw from the Berne Convention
2) Reduce the duration of copyright to 60 years maximum for published works. Shorter still would be even better.
3) If the term of copyright in published works is greater than 50 years, require formalities for the copyright to be fully effective beyond the 50th year. If the formalities are not complied with, the copyright would subsist for the full term, but remedies would be much reduced.
4) Repeal the DMCA’s “device” and “circumvention” provisions.
5) Automatic termination of all assignments at fixed intervals.
6) Author’s successors to be specified by statute. Possibly not even the author would be allowed to will the copyright to anyone else. This, together with the automatic termination, will prevent excessive fragmentation of rights and provide for easy identification of the rightsholder.
7) Provide for more generous margin of fair use. For example: (a) peer-to-peer computer file exchanges to be free, and (b) the judges’ distinction between “satire” and “parody” is unworkable: both should be fair uses.
8) Scrap copyright in architectural works themselves. Blueprints will of course remain copyrightable.
9) Amend the law of trademark to focus more narrowly on graphical marks (no sounds.) Burden to be chiefly on mark-holders to inform the public to look for its mark and beware of imitations. Any publisher, for example, should be permitted to publish Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit in an edition of the same dimensions as the Warne editions. The public would need to take care to look for the Warne mark if it wanted Warne editions

Matt (profile) says:

In fairness, it should be noted that what was called “disgusting” was not the comments, but the departure from an established party line. On the other hand, such a departure is only disgusting if you have invested in the party line. Willaert’s response sounds a bit like, “We paid for the entire party, and now some ingrateful members are talking back?! Disgusting!”

Blaise Alleyne (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“In fairness, it should be noted that what was called “disgusting” was not the comments, but the departure from an established party line”

Thing is, Charlie Angus is the party line on this issue. He’s their digital affairs critic, he’s the NDP spokesperson on copyright, it’s his file. Willaert accused Angus of not “ensuring appropriate copyright protection so that creators are fairly compensated for their intellectual property” — but I’d bet that resolution has little to do with Willaert’s maximalist copyright ideas, and much more to do with the sorts of levies that Angus and the NDP favour.

Willaert seems to find it “disgusting” that anyone’s ideas of how to “support Canadian creativity” might differ from his own. I think he’s got some research to do on the NDP party line.

you want a name well for now my name is fred. says:

Actually, the document is disgusting in many ways.

Let’s start at the top. Charlie Angus is a member of parliment, a member of the NDP (a socialist party). He is not a student. So for him to be in front of a student group is disgusting in it’s own way. If the students want to talk, let them talk, don’t stuff words into their mouths.

The document also beats around the bush on the true core issues, like this:

“Good public policy must ensure that digital technology protects the legitimate copyright interests of creators (artists, writers, musicians, researchers etc.) but prevents copyright owners from using new technologies to restrict reasonable access to, and use of, information resources.”

It ignores first and foremost that Canada has some of the most liberal and open file sharing rules, basically taxing blank media and telling copyright holders to butt out.

They also don’t degine “reasonable access”, however, it would appear their version of reasonable access is the creation of a “creative commons” for information. It’s absolute horseshit to think that everything should be shoved off into a creative commons and big finger to the copyright holders.

Basically, the core issues: Should there be copyright or not, and should people be obliged to abide by the laws?

If it take a bunch of students and ask them “do you want free music and movies?” I know what sort of answer I would get. Throw in “free beer” and you might not see half of them until spring. It’s a tilted landscape.

Sorry, but asking a socialist about copyright is like asking a Republican’t about welfare. if they could find some way to get rid of it, they would, no matter the cost.

Jason (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“Sorry, but asking a socialist about copyright is like asking a Republican’t about welfare. if they could find some way to get rid of it, they would, no matter the cost.”

What the hell are you talking about?? Free sharing of files and ideas for completely self-interested motives is capitalism, not socialism. Socialism sharing would be more like a centralized source of information where all other information is suppressed because it is obviously wrong or untrustworthy.

Call it the office of NowMyNameIsFred.

you want a name well for now my name is fred. says:

Re: Re: Re:

“Free sharing of files and ideas for completely self-interested motives is capitalism”

Fail. You are twisting it hard here.

This isn’t just about “self-interested motives”, it’s about “free sharing of files”. When something is shared amongst everyone in the collective, it’s socialism, or at an extreme, communism. There isn’t any capitalism if everything is given away for free.

Capitalism is that the files / music / movie whatever is put on the market at a price. If you want it, you pay for it. If you can’t afford it, you don’t pay it. If the producer wants to get more people to have it, they lower the price or increase the offering. That is capitalism.

There isn’t any capitalism in the NDP party, they are socialists bordering on communists. The policies expressed here are the same, stick it to the man, give it all to the huddle masses.

dorp says:

Re: Re: Re: fred flailing and failing

When something is shared amongst everyone in the collective, it’s socialism, or at an extreme, communism.

Sharing in itself is neither. It can be part of any economic system. Or are you going to call all the people that donate to charities filthy communists now? You are twisting hard and you are getting it wrong. In Socialism, the means of production and distribution are centrally controlled. Feel free to show where production is centrally controlled.

Capitalism is that the files / music / movie whatever is put on the market at a price. If you want it, you pay for it. If you can’t afford it, you don’t pay it.

You are making shit up again. Price is something you can ask for, but it does not mean you will get paid. Capitalism does not have any restriction on how much something should cost (if at all) beyond the basic economics of supply and demand. Supply in this case is limited by marginal cost, which in digital goods case is approaching zero. Restricting supply is in essence an anti-capitalistic idea, yet here you are, advocating it, like you are some sort of socialist bent on market control.

Blaise Alleyne (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“Basically, the core issues: Should there be copyright or not, and should people be obliged to abide by the laws?”

If people should be obliged to abide by the laws (which I think they should), you need to ask other questions: how will you ensure they are following the laws, and how will you enforce the laws against people who don’t follow them?

If you can’t enforce the laws and the common practice of consumers is to do other than the law allows, then you’re creating a law that is going to criminalize the common consumer with no way of enforcing it.

I think people should abide by the laws. So, it’s a bad idea to create a law that most people aren’t going to abide by. It’s a bad idea to place common behaviour outside the law, because then people get used to breaking the law.

And, since there’s no way in hell to enforce any sort of law that would stop file sharing… what exactly do you propose?

How would you enforce a law to ban file sharing? And how many people do you think would stop?

Unless you have answers to those questions, I think you may want to reconsider your take on Charlie Angus, who’s simply trying to support a more reasonable approach for a law that people can be expected to follow, that can be enforced, and that can actually help creators (since an unenforcable law that few follow isn’t exactly going to help anyone).

Fin says:

“There isn’t any capitalism in the NDP party, they are socialists bordering on communists. The policies expressed here are the same, stick it to the man, give it all to the huddle masses.” – Shill Fred

So what? Last time I checked they live in a democracy and they’re allowed to have those views. If you don’t like it you can stick your head back in the RIAA ass.

calude (profile) says:

Bill C-61

Ask any artist, ask any artist, ask an artist, ask an artist, would he, she they mind if the Recording Industry would only charge $5.00 for each full and complete CD (record or LP). I’m sure their answer would be yes, then the playing field would be even thoughout all parties concerned. Fair pay, Fair Play, Fair Ownership and multiple sales; everyone happy isn’t that what we want?

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