Too Much Free Time

by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
canada, copyright, faq, law, reform


Canadian Recording Industry Puts Out Copyright Law FAQ... Which Gets Almost Everything Wrong

from the that's-what-we-call-propaganda dept

The Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA) -- which is basically just a front for the RIAA -- has been pushing hard for increasingly strict copyright laws in Canada, for no good reason (or, rather, entirely made up reasons). To date, the group has had trouble getting the laws passed, as the public has been quick to speak up in defense of user rights -- something that few politicians seem interested in protecting. However, Michael Geist points out that the CRIA isn't stopping, and has put out a copyright reform FAQ. However, what's amazing is that almost every "answer" in the FAQ appears to be wrong. In talking about what copyright is, it only talks about the rights of the content creator, and not the user, nor the fact that copyright law has always been designed to "balance" both sets of rights. It also claims (incorrectly again) that "piracy" (loaded word) is no different than shoplifting, despite the fact that any ounce of logic would tell you the two are quite different -- even if both may break the law.

But, perhaps the most stunning claim is the one where the CRIA actually claims that it's "piracy" that has caused record stores to shut down, rather than the shift to buying (legally) things online:
Q: Does copyright piracy put your job at risk? A: Yes. Canadians who work in the copyright-related industries have seen numerous job losses - from the artists who create music to truck drivers who deliver CDs and DVDs to retailers. Since the advent of widespread P2P file sharing 10 years ago, retail sales of music have declined by more than half; this has forced ongoing job reductions and slashed funds available for Canadian artist development.
Does the CRIA actually think anyone believes that P2P file sharing is the reason for this? I don't do any file sharing at all, but haven't set foot in a physical "record store" in years -- because I buy all my CDs online (and, yes, I still buy CDs). To claim that the end of physical retailing can be blamed on file sharing is simply ridiculous.

You can read through the link above to see the other "questions and answers" including, Geist's refuting nearly every single one. What's sad, though, is that some in the press, and many politicians, will start using these as talking points as if they're factual.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Blatant Coward, Apr 15th, 2009 @ 3:00am


    Yes they killed off the buggy whip industry too when them automotatomobiles came along too. And the phrase 'whippersnapper'.

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

  2. icon
    MadJo (profile), Apr 15th, 2009 @ 3:49am

    Video killed the radio star

    And the radio killed the public performance.

    Dear RIAAtards (and that includes all of the offshoots in other countries as well, and also the movie industry asshats and the publishing industry morons across the world)

    Get your heads out of your asses and just change your business models.
    Your time has come, you have had your time in the limelight, made a few quick bucks off of us the public. Now it's over. Your old ways of thinking doesn't work in a world without scarcity.

    You can't put the Internet genie back in the bottle. You failed to embrace the change when Napster came along. Instead of striking a deal, you decided to litigate. YOU have taught a whole generation about 'piracy' through those acts, and YOU have glorified the word 'pirate' through the media.
    YOU have brought on your own demise.

    Copyright is a deal between content creator, and content user. Creator gets a SHORT amount of time of monopoly on the work to make money of it, and after that SHORT amount of time, it belongs to the public. It was never supposed to be a wellfare system for lazy corporations and some artists.

    If you want to make money, make content that people want to pay money for. Make an interesting/good movie/album/book/magazine/newspaper, and people will pay money for it to see/hear/read it.

    I, as a member of the public, for one, am sick and tired of these bozos completely missing the point of copyright, and keep spouting lies and more damn lies. And of these very same people running their own industry into the ground and blame us, the public, for their own stupidity and short-sightedness.

    Yes, change is difficult, and work is hard. But money doesn't grow on trees. You can't get money for nothing.
    So what, if you can't afford the penthouse in the center of New York any more, join the club. Work for your money, it's good for you.

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

  3. identicon
    OneDisciple, Apr 15th, 2009 @ 3:59am

    Re: Video killed the radio star

    HERE! HERE! MadJo! say it again! We the people are not criminals. You the lazy corporations need to get a job.

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

  4. identicon
    fake Weird Harald, Apr 15th, 2009 @ 4:01am

    Welfare for ever

    Copyright is forever. The poor artists should get paid for the hard work they did three generations ago. blah blah blah.

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

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2009 @ 4:11am

    I think the real problem here is that Mike still buys CDs. It just seems like such a hassle to get the CD out of the case and put it in the player. Please tell us that you do that so you can rip them at a higher bit rate or something.

    But seriously? CD truck drivers? That's just an economic inefficiency. The issue isn't a truck driver making 40k. It's the executives making 40 times that. But who would run an ad campaign with pictures of the executives and what they have lost due to piracy.

    This is Christian Bale . Last year, his movie was downloaded more than any other. The movie set box office records in several categories. Christian Bale became a household name. He is currently worth 27 million dollars. Piracy has ruined his life.

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

  6. icon
    Skeptical Cynic (profile), Apr 15th, 2009 @ 4:37am

    Good post MadJo!! Not much to add to that but I do have a small wish.

    Since governments all over the world are passing laws written by the RIAA, MPAA and other AA's. I think it is only fair that we get a law to protect us from the AA's knowingly publishing information that is false. They have to know that statements like "Piracy is akin to shoplifting - both involve taking property without authorization" are just plain false.

    The big difference unauthorized copying of music (I won't call it piracy) and Shoplifting is that there is no danger of physical harm to any one when someone makes a copy of a CD. Another big difference is that shoplifting a CD actually does cost the company because it did cost money to manufacture the CD and packaging.

    Please RIAA, et al start a true dialog with your consumers. I would be willing to bet if you start asking you will find plenty of people like Mike that will actually help you to figure out a new business model and do it for free! Stop calling everyone criminals. Sit down at the table and let's talk.

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

  7. identicon
    Ima Fish, Apr 15th, 2009 @ 4:53am

    "Since the advent of widespread P2P file sharing 10 years ago, retail sales of music have declined by more than half"

    The New York Times did an article back in 2007 about how the music industry systematically killed most music stores. It was an intentional act to favor big box stores such as Wal-Mart and Best Buy to eliminate the little guys.

    I worked at one of those little guys from the late 80s to the early 90s. We had nine stores spread around Michigan. Best Buy was selling CDs for less than our cost. It was simply impossible for us to compete with that and we knew our days were numbered... years before the internet.

    Sure, the net help, I too still buy CDs and MP3s from Amazon. But the decision to kill off the music store was made prior to the net, prior to P2P, and prior to the MP3. And that decision was made by the music industry itself.

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

  8. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2009 @ 5:10am

    Re: Pirates!

    Bad example. The buggy whip industry is strong and well, thank you, and probably charging more for buggy whips than they ever have. Priced a buggy whip lately?

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

  9. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2009 @ 5:13am



    I often disagree with you, but I am the same way. I get mine from Amazon, and I do still buy them.

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

  10. icon
    Steve R. (profile), Apr 15th, 2009 @ 5:39am

    Music Industry Hypocrisy

    Excellent point. The music industry wants you to feel sorry for them, but they have no feelings of guilt for the damage they willfully inflict on others. If the music industry is unwilling to treat you fairly; then there is no reason to treat them fairly.

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

  11. identicon
    Krusty, Apr 15th, 2009 @ 5:55am

    You know this could easily solved by a 1 or 2 year boycott of all Cd's and DVD's.

    Of course most can't handle that pain.

    I only buy used, because buying new supports terrorism;p

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

  12. icon
    PaulT (profile), Apr 15th, 2009 @ 5:58am

    "industries have seen numerous job losses - from the artists who create music to truck drivers who deliver CDs and DVDs to retailers"

    This just shows how clueless they are about overall advantages...

    Artists? Most of them are doing OK, they're playing more shows and selling more merchandise than ever before. They rarely got a large amount of money from CD sales alone in the old system, so they're not suffering.

    Truck drivers? Well, to begin with someone still has to deliver Mike's CDs to his doors. Even if a few of them have stopped delivering CDs, I'm sure they're delivering other goods. If not, what about all the sys admin, tech support and customer services jobs created at ISPs? What about the people working for online retailers? Yesterday's CD truck driver might just be today's Amazon warehouse clerk or broadband cable installer.

    Retailers? Not all retailers exist in a physical store. While I've been in stores more often than Mike recently, I never buy anything from them in their first weeks of release (way overpriced compared compared to online stores). I do go in there to pick up bargains when goods are being sold in sales, but to be honest I buy many more games and DVDs anyway. I have some great (legal) online services to use for most of the music I want.

    Even if piracy is a major factor in the music industry's problems (which I doubt somewhat anyway), it's far from their only problem. If the RIAA and its cronies stops trying to pretend that piracy is the only problem, they might regain some ground. Not all of it, it's a decade too late to retain the momentum they used to have. But this kind of propaganda just turns people against them as being clueless fools. It's about as effective as DARE is in combating drugs.

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

  13. identicon
    Gracey, Apr 15th, 2009 @ 6:02am

    I've been following this since I'm a Canadian. It's not much in terms of FACTS backed up by real proof.

    They say in the FAQ they have no intention of suing "fans" (even tho they want the ability to do so).

    Makes me wonder...who do they think the filesharers are?

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

  14. identicon
    WeirdHarold, Apr 15th, 2009 @ 6:23am

    People are to confused about copyright, which the CRIA was out to solve. They provided a succinct explanation that copyrights are applicable to everything, including trucking and farming coca plants. That is a completely reasonable explanation.

    Copyrights' sole purpose is to protect small time artists which I have never heard of , nor care to listen to. It protects them by allowing multinational corporations to properly utilize these human resources for maximum profit.

    That is the true intention of copyright. Consumers? Who needs them?

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

  15. identicon
    Eponymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2009 @ 6:39am

    I got the smoke. Who gots the mirrors?

    In the shouting contest that is the court of public opinion, I don't see this as doing much to help the case of the AAs. Yeah, declining sales of physical media has had an effect on retail and distribution channels, but I think it's funny how they try to lay this all at the feet of the pirates. This comes across as a rather shoddy attempt to put a human face on the recording industry's troubles, and to make sure that the face isn't one of a recording executive.

    May as well complain about how the surge in blogging and online debate has negatively impacted the crazies that used to stand on street corners shouting that the world was ending from behind their sandwich-board signs. Now all the loonies are online, and the world is somehow a less interesting place for it. The solution? Burn down the internet, or enact some equally ridiculous and onerous law making it impossible to forward a ridiculous agenda through the blogoshpere without first paying the initial end-times evangelists for using their ideas.

    See what I did there? Onerous is my favorite word.

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

  16. identicon
    DS, Apr 15th, 2009 @ 6:41am

    But, but, but Canada is a dream land full of free healthcare, meds, and no crime! How can there be anything wrong with anything that they do?????

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

  17. identicon
    hostile, Apr 15th, 2009 @ 7:06am

    It's canada, did anyone expect them to get it right? amiright?

    o no i dinit!

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

  18. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2009 @ 7:08am

    "In addition, Canada has seen no significant new digital services introduced over the past year"

    Possibly because every new innovative startup gets shut down by the big boys?

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

  19. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2009 @ 7:49am

    Wait, since when does Canada have the internet?!? Why doesn't anyone inform me of these things!? Next thing you know someone will tell me they have cars.

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

  20. identicon
    Johnny Canada, Apr 15th, 2009 @ 7:59am

    Yes we have cars and car factories up here but most are controlled by the U.S. like our copywrite laws (or copywrong)

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

  21. identicon
    batch, Apr 15th, 2009 @ 9:41am


    my old buick was manufactured in Quebec!

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

  22. identicon
    The infamous Joe, Apr 15th, 2009 @ 9:42am


    You spelled copyright wrong, and it's in the title of the post.

    Crazy, floppy-headed Canadians.

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

  23. icon
    kirillian (profile), Apr 15th, 2009 @ 11:10am

    Don't these people learn the lessons from their own movies?

    So, I was reading this and had this random thought...

    All the younger generation people get it just fine - Pirates = GOOD, following laws that don't make sense = BAD...

    You'd think that after milking the general public off of 3 Pirates of the Caribbean movies, they would have figured out that they shouldn't call unauthorized sharing piracy...all the 13 year old girls think that those that do share are pirates...but that's ok, because pirates are way hotter than those other guys...

    I'm just curious...did anyone in the recording industry notice that they made their scapegoats into heroes? Not only did they falsely accuse them of ruining everything, but then they exalted them in their own movies...Now THAT's what we call WINNING strategy there!

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

  24. identicon
    CN, Apr 15th, 2009 @ 4:18pm

    But think of the truck drivers!!

    Yeah, I'm sure the CRIA is worried about truck drivers...

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

  25. identicon
    Andrew Fitzgerald, Apr 16th, 2009 @ 2:16am


    Well the pain would be much easier to bear if you use certain, um, resources

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

  26. identicon
    Andrew Fitzgerald, Apr 16th, 2009 @ 2:20am

    Re: Don't these people learn the lessons from their own movies?

    It's ok, they've got current events going for them to make piracy sound bad/evil again.

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

  27. identicon
    Valkor, Apr 23rd, 2009 @ 12:28pm


    "Piracy is akin to shoplifting - you end up having something you didn't have to pay for."

    There, fixed that for them. That's what sloppy similies get you. After all, you wouldn't steal a handbag and you wouldn't steal a baby, right? Well, maybe I would take a cheek swab of that baby and clone it... Yeah, I really wish they wouldn't try to argue by analogy.

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

  28. identicon
    Mike Darling, May 25th, 2009 @ 11:28am

    Re: Welfare for ever

    uhmm COPYRIGHT IS NOT FOREVER. Please rethink this statement. Because it is totally wrong.

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

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