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.

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Comments on “Canadian Music Industry Spokesperson Claims User Generated Content Supports 'Piracy'”

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Karl (profile) says:


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)”

Hephaestus (profile) says:

Re: Hm.


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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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.”

Karl (profile) says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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!

MrWilson says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Case in point.

Tokyo Dance Trooper in Shibuya.

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.

MrWilson says:

Re: 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.

vivaelamor (profile) says:

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.

joe blow says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

*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*


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

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.




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

Mal (profile) says:

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)

hmm says:

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……

AustralianGibbon says:

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.

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