Access Copyright Says That There Should Be Less Fair Use

from the let's-not-listen-to-our-customers dept

Access Copyright, a Canadian copyright collections agency that has already positioned the discussions on copyright reform in Canada as a war against consumers, has had its submission to the government on the topic published, and it’s really quite stunning in that it says that “fair dealing” (the Canadian version of fair use) is already too broad and needs to be greatly restricted. But the really stunning statement from the filing is the following:

Access Copyright submits that good public policy should not be dictated by legalizing common public practices.

Actually, it seems that’s the very definition of good public policy. You know what bad public policy is? Destroying basic consumer rights and criminalizing basic consumer behavior because some obsolete organization can’t figure out a way to adjust its business model.

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Companies: access copyright

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Comments on “Access Copyright Says That There Should Be Less Fair Use”

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moore850 says:

Lessons of prohibition

Did we learn nothing from prohibition, the great experiment? We tried this exact thing thinking that disallowing drinking would be better, specifically for reasons like “public policy should not be dictated by legalizing common public practices.” All it did was create a huge crime wave that we are still affected by today in various forms.

Anonymous Coward says:

“Access Copyright submits that good public policy should not be dictated by legalizing common public practices. “

Just goes to show the mentality of intellectual property maximists. No wonder why intellectual property laws are so messed up. Why do we pay them any attention? Oh, that’s right, we don’t, it’s our bribed governments that do.

Pretty soon everything I type on techdirt will be infringement and we will be labeled the techdirt terrorists for disagreeing with corporate efforts to exploit the public.

Don says:

“Access Copyright submits that good public policy should not be dictated by legalizing common public practices.

“Actually, it seems that’s the very definition of good public policy.”

Not that I agree with what they are trying to accomplish, but I have concerns with the validity of your argument. Isn’t it common public practice to drive 5 over the speed limit? Shouldn’t, therefore, we all demand that we be ever increasing the speed limits?

Designerfx (profile) says:

Re: Re:

It’s more like this:

if the public is speeding, maybe the limit is low?

Or did you read the article about how lower speed limits = more traffic and more road rage, while our speed limits have been going up and the amount of high speed accidents has gone down. What do ya know? I have the link right here.
which links to

You have two choices in society: make everyone a criminal, or make actions reasonable. We’ve tried both routes, and the latter is the only one that works without violent resistance, ergo.

Stop trying to strawman when you don’t even read the facts.

Don says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Ah, but the Autoban is designed differently, with banked curves, a deeper and more solid base. I believe, although I may be mistaken, that the tar used is different as well. Different networks, then, have different properties and different restrictions. But besides, consider the extreme example of 15mph in a school zone, theres a reason that rule is there, but I think that my cer idles faster than that. Should we up the speed there to 30?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Furthermore, you further demonstrate my point that speed limits aren’t the only factor affecting safety, there are many other, often much more important, factors. But your point about the autobahn being designed differently is negated by the fact that freeways (and often public roads) are designed to easily accommodate speeds much greater than the speed limit.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

and when I say accommodate I mean safely accommodate.

I do believe that the speed limit, at least in California, should be raised. 65 Miles per hour on the freeway is too slow. Perhaps 75? I think that would be fair, 75 or 80, which really depends on where one drives of course (certain locations are designed to accommodate higher speeds than others).

rival (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

In my region, the rule applies to any road a certain distance from a school. In a particular area, the school owns a swamp behind a high school. On the other side of the swamp is a major road, and on the other side of that, a river.

There won’t be any pedestrians approaching this road from either side, due to the swamp and the river.

But, because the road is within a certain distance of the high school itself, it must have a reduced speed in the morning and afternoon.

To add insult to injury, a quarter mile down the road there is a bridge over the river where teens and kids cross on their way to that school and an elementary school. Because of its distance, it doesn’t merit school-zone status, and kids are left to fend for themselves on public roads.

The rule is applied and enforced despite the invalidity of the reason and despite public practice. The net effect of the rule is to contribute to rush hour congestion. There is no protective benefit of this rule being applied in this location.

Of course, this is the exception, not the rule. It is, however, an excellent example of bad public policy.

Don` says:

Re: Re: Re:

You’re right, I have not read that, I am here to learn, and will read the links you posted. It is still my opinion, at this point, that popularity does not make something right. Which is why I have a problem with the agrument used above. I attempted to provide a concrete example to aid my point, which you disliked, but I feel there is a better arguement to this, as well as the everyones a criminal or saint.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“It is still my opinion, at this point, that popularity does not make something right.”

Industry lobbyists lobbying for something doesn’t make it any more right either. Politicians making policy against public opinion doesn’t make them any more right. I prefer public opinion through open public communication over industry lobbyists any day.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“It is still my opinion, at this point, that popularity does not make something right.”

Many things don’t make something write. The opinion of a politician does not make something right. The opinion of a lobbyist does not make something right. Laws passed due to industry lobbying does not make them right. The opinion of a judge does not make something right. However, it’s the TAXPAYERS that pay taxes so THEIR collective opinions are the only ones that count.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Ok, well maybe I overspoke on the last sentence, but the point is that public opinion should have a far greater weight in policy than the opinions of lobbyists or politicians or big corporations, etc… since it is the public that the government is supposed to serve. The current laws are incredibly one sided in favor of rich and powerful corporations at public expense and that needs to change.

Perry K (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Yes, perfect example.

I drive on 400 series highways daily for the last 15 years or so. From my observation over that period, 99% of drives exceed the 100 km/hr speed limit. I would guess the median speed to be around 115-120 km/hr

I would have the speed limit set around 120 km/hr if I had any say. This will likely not happen as the fines here in Ontario are tied to how much you go over the speed limit. So raising the speed limit would reduce the revenue of speeding tickets.

DocMenach (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Every increasing free use of content is what we want (we all want something for nothing) but it isn’t what is good for us.
The analogy is damn good, spot on really.

Not quite. Access Copyright isn’t arguing to keep fair use fair use protections as they are, they are arguing for further reductions in fair use protections. Taking away rights that people currently have.

And once again you make the “everyone wants everything for free” statement that you are so fond of, yet completely off base on. Paying for products is perfectly sound and is what drives the economy when the product received is worth the price. But when the price is arbitrarily set and is not based on the actual value of the product then the consumer will go elsewhere.

Vincent Clement says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

People do not desire ever increasing speed limits. They desire reasonable speed limits and/or roads that are designed for a specific speed limit. When Montana had no daytime speed limits, the average speed decreased.

Nor do people desire increasing free use of content. They desire the ability to do whatever they want with content they paid for.

chris (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

speed limits exist for a reason. Every increasing speed limits are what we desire, but not what is good for us.

Every increasing free use of content is what we want (we all want something for nothing) but it isn’t what is good for us.

so by that logic, you agree with copyright access that we should be continually decreasing speed limits?

sounds like that will not be a popular public policy move.

zcat (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

To expand a little on Mike’s answer, I’ll quote a bit from wikipedia (and you can follow up to references for that for that if you’re really interested)

“Traffic engineers may rely on the 85th percentile rule[13][14] to establish speed limits. The speed limit should be set to the speed that separates the bottom 85% of vehicle speeds from the top 15%. The 85th percentile is slightly greater than a speed that is one standard deviation (SD) above the mean of a normal distribution.

“The theory is that traffic laws that reflect the behavior of the majority of motorists may have better compliance than laws that arbitrarily criminalize the majority of motorists and encourage violations. The latter kinds of laws lack public support and often fail to bring about desirable changes in driving behavior. An example is United States’s old 55 mph (88 km/h) speed limit that was removed in part because of notoriously low compliance.”

So in short; YES. If significantly more that 15% of the population are routinely breaking the speed limit, that speed limit is probably too low.

rival (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

I can handle this… If public practice is to regularly drive 5 over the limit, and on this particular road, people are driving 25 over the limit, perhaps the speed limit of 25 should be raised to 45.

I’ve got this situation just up the street from me: a “back road” – in an area where all back roads are limited at 45 – is limited at 25. People regularly drive 45-50 on this road because it is as safe to do so on this road as every other road of this type. The only reason it is at 25 is because it forms the border of the city, so city rules apply instead of county rules.

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