Asking Citizens What They Want Out Of Copyright Law Is Really Just A 'Tactic To Confuse'?

from the oh-really? dept

One of the more stunning realities that has become clear in watching the entertainment industry, as it responds to people who are actually impacted by ever more draconian copyright laws, is the fact that the industry doesn't view other positions as worth hearing at all. To the industry, copyright law has one purpose and one purpose only: to protect the big players in the content making business. Everyone else is secondary. Unfortunately, those big industry players have powerful lobbyists. That's why it was so nice to see Canada at least hold an open process to hear from the public. Of course, we were skeptical if those voices would really be heard, and stories about the industry itself stacking the deck at public gatherings did not bode well.

Separately, with so much pressure coming from other countries, we wondered if Canada would be able to resist implementing ever more draconian copyright laws, which would be a serious drain on the Canadian economy. So far they have resisted, but the pressure from outside continues to be fierce. We recently noted that US lobbyists and lawyers were insisting that Canada needed to be dragged into the 21st century, and now European trade negotiators are pushing hard on Canada to change its copyright laws despite no actual evidence of any problem with existing laws.

But what's most troubling of all is that these trade reps don't seem to care at all what Canadian citizens had to say. Despite receiving thousands of well-argued, well-thought-out statements concerning Canadian copyright law, EU trade negotiators are dismissing the whole process as "a tactic to confuse." To confuse who? About what? Holding an open discussion with citizens, rather than just backroom deals to protect a small group of companies? I'd argue that's the very opposite of a tactic to confuse, but rather it's a tactic to enlighten.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    Brendan (profile), Jan 18th, 2010 @ 9:31pm

    This is shaping up to be quite a battle for us Canadians

    We're being assaulted on all fronts, even from within on own government.

    The vast majority wants expanded fair use and enforcement focused on commercial infringement.

    Why is our government only listening to the demands of foreign-controlled private interests?

    Them's fightin' words, boy.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2010 @ 10:21pm

    Copyright control in this sense is an economic warfare tool used to suppress knowledge and a societies advancement. This is why places like China and India don't give a shit about copyright, the more knowledge the better. The moves by the Americans and Europeans are simply another play to repress other countries advancement.

    Canada has already been placed in the same boat as those countries by such nobel peace prize winning corporations as the MPAA and RIAA. Organizations who just don't care if they put into place laws which destroy our ability to innovate and advance our society so we can stay prosperous. They would rather sell that out for pennies and deals with dirty congress people.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2010 @ 10:40pm

    I am Canadian and I hate copyright.

     

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  4.  
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    :), Jan 19th, 2010 @ 12:06am

    Buy copyleft.

    Don't buy copyright it is bad for your civil rights and freedoms.

    That is why people who don't want to be trapped should consume copyleft products is more healthy for you and society.

    If you let others decide for you that is what you get, you can still have your liberties but it will be voluntarily you will have to choose freedom, you will have to make an effort because others will not do it for you that much is clear already.

    People want better laws? People should really start changing how they consume media products and go after the ones that have good licenses.

    Consuming what copyright maximalists give you even for free is like signing away your rights they own your soul.

     

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  5.  
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    Laurel L. Russwurm (profile), Jan 19th, 2010 @ 12:08am

    I don't Hate Copyright

    Copyright is a perfectly legitimate idea. It's just been messed up by the corporations who have traditionally extorted some or all of the creator's copyright as the price of distribution.

    We need copyright reform, just not the kind that Disney wants.

    Corporations holding copyright on say a movie or TV program, since the work is a collaborative art,-- once the work goes out of distribution it should go staright to public domain.

    I think we need much shorter terms, certainly it shouldn't survive the creator. Some people think 2 years is a good term, some 70. Me, I think 20 should be the absolute max, but I'm inclined to lower.

    Regardless, corporations should have no say in copyright. (They don't create. They hire). Nor foreign governments.

    One of the copyright consultation questions was asked how can Canada be a copyright leader?

    By standing up for ourselves.

    Currently Canada has no trouble standing up to the pressure because our government is on prorogation vacation. We may even get an election.

    Too bad American citizens don't get a say in their own copyright law.

    There are sure a lot of secret treaties going on among so called democratic nations.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2010 @ 2:21am

    Re:

    I'm Guybrush Threepwood and I wanna be a pirate.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2010 @ 4:34am

    Re: This is shaping up to be quite a battle for us Canadians

    I hate to say this, but I can see Canada being invaded by the U.S. Of course, they'll be some fictional tie to terrorism involved, just as fiction as American freedom.

     

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  8.  
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    Anshar, Jan 19th, 2010 @ 4:35am

    Public Consultation

    I agree with what Laurel L. Russwurm just wrote.

    I would add that part of the problem with the copyright consultation we had up here in Canada is that it was widely expected to be ignored. It was viewed by many as an excuse by a government that had already tried (and failed) to pass stronger copyright laws to try again claiming that what they propose is what Canadians asked for.

    Make no mistake, I and many people I know sent in submissions in the hopes that the government would have to sit up and take notice. Whether that happens or not remains to be seen.

     

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  9.  
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    trade rep, Jan 19th, 2010 @ 5:17am

    "trade reps don't seem to care at all what Canadian citizens had to say"

    Let them eat cake

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2010 @ 5:55am

    Title is wrong

    Should read: "Asking Citizens Why They 'Want Out' Of Copyright Law"

     

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  11.  
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    Chris-Mouse (profile), Jan 19th, 2010 @ 6:06am

    A tactic to confuse?

    The canadian government's consultations on copyright are indeed a tactic to confuse. The only question is who is getting confused. Is it the content industry being confused because they're not automatically getting everything they demand, or is it the canadian people being misled into believing the government is listening to what they have to say?

    For the moment, I'm willing to give the government the benefit of the doubt until I see the proposed legislation. Given the government's past track record though, I'm also not particularly optimistic about the outcome.

     

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  12.  
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    Bunched Knickers, Jan 19th, 2010 @ 6:16am

    Don't...

    Don't get your knickers in a bunch. Anyone who doesn't understand that most "modern" countries are corporacies, not democraies deserves what they get.

    The United States stopped being the land of the free and the home of the brave a long time ago, we are now the land of the slaves and the home of the corporate masters.

    Anyone who tells you differently is selling something.

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2010 @ 6:58am

    Tautology

    Under the current political ideology of policy makers, policies which citizens play a significant role in making is by definition confused.

     

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  14.  
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    Idobek (profile), Jan 19th, 2010 @ 7:23am

    The EU ignoring public opinion? I'm shocked!

    No, really.

    Honestly, I am.

    Okay, I'm not. Those EU trade negotiators don't give a damn what EU citizens want; they're hardly likely to care about Canadian opinions.

     

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  15.  
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    WHAT DOES 50 year copyright do for you citizen, Jan 19th, 2010 @ 7:24am

    WHAT DOES 50 year copyright do for you citizen

    WHAT DOES 50 year copyright do for you citizen
    they now want 70years plus life of author a heft 50-70 year increase

    were in canada have one party saying 12years max
    liberals and conservatives both side with holywood
    niether gets a majority cause of this issue

    when you say NO TO COPYRIGHT
    which ever of you does that
    will have his or her majority

     

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  16.  
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    BetterFan, Jan 19th, 2010 @ 7:24am

    Deeper underground...

    Well, the harder they press the public on copyright issues, the further we dig in. Good luck catching and punishing a decentralised, leaderless, community driven system. Fuck the corruptist government, whichever and wherever it may be.

     

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  17.  
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    BigKeithO, Jan 19th, 2010 @ 8:48am

    Re: Re: This is shaping up to be quite a battle for us Canadians

    They'll invade us for all of our "dirty oil" and water... er.. no.. I meant because terrorists will get through the border and attack the US.

     

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  18.  
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    BigKeithO, Jan 19th, 2010 @ 9:02am

    Re: WHAT DOES 50 year copyright do for you citizen

    Capital letters and punctuation would do wonders for your argument.

    I have to disagree however. You seriously believe that whichever party comes out and adds balanced copyright reform (or do you mean abolishment of copyright?) to their platform will get a majority? Follow Canadian politics much? No one is getting a majority until the Bloc is declared an illegal party for not running candidates all across the country. We are doomed to minority governments for years to come unless this happens. Quebec votes Bloc, the east votes Liberal and the West votes Conservative. Left and Right wings are split down the middle in this country and Quebec is guaranteeing a minority by voting for the Bloc every election.

    Copyright reform isn't going to change that.

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2010 @ 9:44am

    New copyleft talking point: "no evidence of harm" from existing copyright? give me a break! Where's the evidence that massive theft isn't causing harm? The same people are saying piracy is so out of control, it's not stoppable.

    copyright protects big AND small- perhaps small more than big. A big music company can demand fees from copyright users - but everyone knows a singer or author who's had her stuff ripped off and has no recourse.

    And copyright as a 'serious drain on the Canadian economy"? Give me a serious economist who thinks abolishing property creates wealth? It didn't work so well in China or Russia. Pirates don't pay taxes, they don't hire creative people - they just free ride on the creative works of others. Ask megaupload how many people they employ. Compare that to, say, James Cameron.

    It's time to stop with the talking points and apply some real analysis.

     

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  20.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jan 19th, 2010 @ 11:00am

    Re:

    New copyleft talking point: "no evidence of harm" from existing copyright? give me a break! Where's the evidence that massive theft isn't causing harm? The same people are saying piracy is so out of control, it's not stoppable.

    First, are you commenting on your own behalf, or on the behalf of your large entertainment industry employer? At the very least, it's only fair to admit that you are posting from the computers of a very large entertainment industry company, right?

    As for the "no evidence of harm" that is not a "talking point" it is fact. You have not presented any evidence of harm. Both the music ecosystem and the movie ecosystem have *grown* during the last decade, despite rampant "piracy" as you call it. The problem is that your employer (or perhaps you, since we don't know your role) has been too clueless to set up business models to capture that larger income.

    Hence, you complain and demand that the gov't force others to redirect the money in your direction.

    Corporate welfare at its finest.

    copyright protects big AND small- perhaps small more than big. A big music company can demand fees from copyright users - but everyone knows a singer or author who's had her stuff ripped off and has no recourse.

    Actually we know plenty of singers and authors who have embraced freeing up all their content and are making tons of money doing so. A lot more than if they had signed their life over to your employer.

    And copyright as a 'serious drain on the Canadian economy"? Give me a serious economist who thinks abolishing property creates wealth?

    Uh, first, copyright is not property. It's a monopoly right. And, yes, every serious economist knows that monopoly rights are bad for the economy. Including many of our recent Nobel Prize winners who have spoken out against the abuse of copyright law by folks such as your employer.

    It didn't work so well in China or Russia. Pirates don't pay taxes, they don't hire creative people - they just free ride on the creative works of others. Ask megaupload how many people they employ. Compare that to, say, James Cameron.

    Ah, false comparisons will get you nowhere.

    Remember, the very organization you work for is suing some of the largest tech companies in the world -- who employ tons of people -- claiming that they're "using piracy" to build their business. But now you're admitting that companies like Google aren't benefiting?

    And didn't an organization your company belongs to just file something with the FCC insisting that it was really the ISPs that benefit from piracy.

    Or are you taking that back?

    It's time to stop with the talking points and apply some real analysis.

    I would suggest that would apply significantly more to you than to us. We've got the stats to back us up. You've got confusion and rhetoric.

     

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  21.  
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    bubbles, Jan 19th, 2010 @ 11:28am

    hurry up canada

    I want free trailor park boys!

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2010 @ 11:50am

    canada then does business with china

    and ya see haper did one smart thing OMG one smart thing is bridging ties with china

    if hte americans want to get stupid we can give the chinese the goods and then a ton of Americans are gonna be out of work and homeless a ton of our lumber you need and oil

    as well as steel and other resources, even uranium for non nukes is needed.

    ha go ahead and like i said
    ten times per capita then the americans we have guns
    you best think of soldiers that aint gonna run away like iraqis and as a american biker said you canucks are crazy when you have to be.

    and this form a reservist in a unit that beet the green barets best at a contest in late 80's
    with outdated tech form WW2.

    those fnc1a1's ya shear a pin off then you got a gas powered semi automatic killer
    and my bet is they still got some hanging around in decent enough condition to pass out should any dumb ass american ever think of invading Canada.

    seriously think about that reaction world wide it would be a big problem. n1st thing we do is move the enriched uranium out of your reach so we can make enough dirty bombs to kill millions of americans then we construct missles to rain down like israel would never have seen.

    yea they will attack canada...... question is could they keep it long

     

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  23.  
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    sarkozy says 1$ for you, Jan 19th, 2010 @ 11:53am

    50 year copyright does me no good

    @BigKeithO thats why bc is mostly liberal
    and the ndp got a seat in alberta
    and why you shall see some changes in the next few eyars as the older outdated parties start to slid more
    and younger and more vibrant parties rise and take hte intellectual integrity challenge to not get bribed or lobbied by hollywood
    they have neough
    it really is time to think of the children and stop the economic terrorism these frak tards are doing world wide

     

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  24.  
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    nasch (profile), Jan 19th, 2010 @ 12:36pm

    Re: Buy copyleft.

    The media industry will lobby for these laws regardless of how many do or don't buy their stuff. Long term we can bankrupt them (theoretically) by not buying anything, but they will have enacted a plethora of bad laws by then. Don't think you're safe just because you don't have anything to do with them.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2010 @ 7:03am

    I hate copy right laws I live in the EU and they don't give a darn what the people want or what the people really need for that matter. And it's realy hard to watch or read something online but it has been taken away by these harsh laws when it's really hard to get in your country in the first place.

     

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


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