Archive for the ‘copyright’ Category

Basskin Misrepresents Media Levy

Friday, August 10th, 2007

David Basskin, Director of the CanadianPrivate Copying Collective, has written a letter to the Star in response to Michael Geist’s earlier comments about the media levy and its prospects of its being extended to mp3 players and perhaps even computer hard drives.

Basskin says “The private copying levy is an important source of revenue for music-rights holders and is an issue of fairness”, and goes on to claim that “The levy is often misunderstood. It is not a tax or subsidy, but payment to individual rights holders for use of music by Canadians in the privacy of their homes. Compensation for use – that’s fair”.

But of course the levy is NOT fair because it extracts funds from people who purchase data storage media for purposes having nothing to do with the products of Basskins’ clients and so in fact it IS a tax and subsidy.

What is particularly frustrating about this is the fact that there is a perfect opportunity for the sellers of music recordings to obtain compensation for whatever pattern of reproduction they expect from their customers, and that is at the point of sale. Extracting that compensation later from others who may have no interest in the product just amounts to artificially lowering the price. This may be good for sales and it may even be in the public interest to subsidize artistic products in some way, but this particular approach to gaining that subsidy is fundamentally dishonest and the legislators who were persuaded to go along with it have been conned and bamboozled.

One other aspect of this situation that is worth mentioning is that many who object to the levy might still be willing to entertain a more honestly defined subsidy – paid from honestly defined taxes. But taxes should be collected by the government not by private organizations.

Bad Law

Friday, August 3rd, 2007

The peace and wellbeing of society is harmed by laws whose perceived unfairness or unenforceability reduces public respect for the law.

In a large body of legislation it is hard to avoid parts which will appear unfair to some, but it is foolish to unnecessarily enact provisions whose manifest unfairness will be frequently imposed on large segments of the population.

A case in point is the media levy in Canadian copyright law. (more…)

Media Company Thieves Coming Back For More

Thursday, August 2nd, 2007

In TheStar.com – entertainment – Tax on MP3 players may return, David Basskin, director of the Canadian Private Copying Collective, is quoted as saying:

“When you have bought a CD, you don’t own the music – you own the copy of the music that you’ve purchased,” he says. “You’re not buying the rights to make copies.”

“People are going to do private copying, and the levy legitimizes it and provides compensation to the people who created the music. It’s pretty hard to say why that’s not fair,”

No its bloody well not hard to see at all!!!

{Warning:obscenities coming} (more…)

Big Guns Join Fight Against Illegal Copyright Notices

Wednesday, August 1st, 2007

Michael Geist brings some good news in – Complaint Filed With FTC Over Copyright Notices. But it is a bit sad that it is only with the support of big businesses that there is any hope of defending public access rights. If there were no major segment of the economy interested in protecting these rights would they just disappear?

Revisiting the Potential of Free Content ~ Stephen’s Web ~ by Stephen Downes

Thursday, July 26th, 2007

Revisiting the Potential of Free Content ~ Stephen’s Web ~ by Stephen Downes

CRIA’s a liar

Thursday, July 19th, 2007

Michael Geist – CRIA’s “Unprecedented” Decline points out that the decline in sales bewailed by the Canadian Recording Industry Association in 2006 was due to the departure of several independent labels from the organization and not to file sharing as claimed by the association. But it should be no surprise that the thieves who steal a royalty fee from anyone buying blank media to store personal photos would also stoop to outright lies in order to influence the public.

Telus Lies to Force Images off YouTube

Monday, July 2nd, 2007

Telus Cleanses Image on YouTube :: News :: thetyee.ca

Although requiring a court order before penalties apply to the carrier would help avert this kind of abuse, the most important thing to do to protect public domain property (as well as that of those without the financial resources to defend what is their own) is to VASTLY increase the penalties for falsely claiming ownership.

Media Company Thieves

Wednesday, May 16th, 2007

Michael Geist – Canadians Overpay Millions on Private Copying Levy

Yehuda: Canadian Copyright Code, in Verse

Wednesday, February 21st, 2007

Yehuda: Canadian Copyright Code, in Verse

RIAA copyright education contradictory, critics say | CNET News.com

Thursday, August 31st, 2006

RIAA copyright education contradictory, critics say | CNET News.com

This CNetNews article (received via Stephen Downes) points out some of the lies told by Recording Industry advocates. By extending their campaign against “piracy” to become itself a theft of existing public rights they lose any moral authority that their case may have had in the first place.

Michael Geist – 30 Days of DRM

Thursday, August 31st, 2006

Michael Geist – 30 Days of DRM

EdTechPost: Blackboard Patent and Prior Art

Wednesday, August 2nd, 2006

Scott Leslie comments in his EdTechPost on the Blackboard Patent and Prior Art.

I find the patenting of obvious and/or commonplace techniques and concepts to be grossly offensive and believe that I will now find it necessary to avoid any further use of WebCT and switch to open alternatives like Moodle – and to urge all of my colleagues to do likewise.

The Pig and the Box

Tuesday, July 18th, 2006

Push the Third Button Twice: The Pig and the Box comes from ‘MCM’ in Victoria via Michael Geist and Stephen Downes.

It’s about the despicable attempt by the Canadian Copyright Crew to introduce biased materials into the early education curriculum

Captain Copyright Caught Copying

Friday, June 9th, 2006

This is amusing but also frightening. Our public institutions are being blackmailed into paying huge fees to an organization which is aggressively promoting a wrong understanding of ethics and the law mainly for the benefit of institutions which have no qualms about stealing ideas and property which are either public domain or owned by others.
I got it via Stephen Downes who also notes Clarence Fisher’s observations on the duplicity of publishers’ claims about copyright.

Public rights defender Michael Geist also refers to this among other aspects of the issue – including the fact that political contributions from those we pay for this “service” are being accepted as political contributions by those entrusted with determining public policy.