Archive for the ‘copyright’ Category

More Media “levy” Madness

Friday, May 13th, 2011

Howard Knopf doesn’t like the idea of extending the tax (or calling it one).

I didn’t like having to pay a tax, or “levy”, on the CDs I bought years ago to store photos and backup my HD, but I don’t see any difference between that bit of theft and this one. In fact, although I resent the presumption that the tax, or “levy”, is a fee for some service that I have no intention of using, I can live with the idea of a tax on media being used to support creative activities if that is the collective will of the nation.

Just don’t call it a “levy”, and interpret it as a fee for service, unless

(a)it entitles me to fill it with unlimited personal use copies of any works that I do buy, and

(b)there is some provision for levy-free media which are precluded from being used for copyright material (like the coloured tax-free fuel that is available in some places for farmers).

This Must be Said

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

In the light of the apparent opinion of Conservative MP Ed Fast that the mere presence of a digital lock trumps virtually all other copyright rights it must be said that the only appropriate response to passage of Bill C-32 without a Fair Dealing Circumvention Exception is to advocate and support widespread defiance of the law. It needs to be made clear that if the public is expected to support the law and facilitate or at least not obstruct its enforcement then that law needs to be fair and to be seen to be fair. In its presently proposed form it meets neither of those conditions.

To CBC re banning of CC licensed material

Saturday, October 9th, 2010

Re : CBC Bans Use of Creative Commons Music on Podcasts.

Moore vs Lavallee on iPod “tax”

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

Howard Knopf reports on the exchange between James Moore  and Carolyn Lavalleeon about inclusion of iPods in the Canadian media tax.

The idea of a tax on ipods is no more “toxic” or “dumb” than the one that presently exists on other blank media – which in many cases are *less* likely to be used for “illegal” copies of copyrighted material. (And regardless of what has been asked for, any actual amount would be subject to future ajudication so the requested rate of $75 is certainly not necessarily what would be applied in the law or assigned by an arbitrator.)

If a media levy is to be used to support the creative industries while freeing Canadians to format shift without other fee or penalty, then so be it, but if so then the levy should apply to *all* media types, and for it to be fair there should really be an option for purchase of levy-free media on which copies are not permitted without ownership of a license (analogous to the tax-free fuel provided in some areas for agriculture).

More Music Industry Copyright Madness

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

From Michael Geist – Cdn Music Industry Assoc Chair: Format Shifting, User Generated Content Keep Piracy Sites Going.  According to J.P. Ellson, the Chair of the Canadian Council of Music Industry Association and board member of the industry’s Balanced Copyright for Canada site,”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“.

So I’m to be considered a pirate for writing my own content and/or actually listening to music I buy on a device of my own choosing!

When will we ever be free of these lying theiving cheating pious bastards?

iPod Levy Proposal Makes Sense

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

Michael Geist – Angus Defends iPod Levy Proposal.

IF the “Canadian solution” of a media levy is valid (and I think it is), then there is no logical reason to distinguish in any way between different types of digital memory. In particular, the memory in an ipod is much more likely to be used for music storage than a randomly chosen CD (which is just as likely to be being used for backup of business records or private photo albums as it is for mp3 storage). I favour the ipod levy as it is totally unacceptable that the CDs used to store my personal photographs be subject to a levy when an ipod used almost entitely to store commercial music tracks is not.

In fact, EVERY bit of digital memory should be taxed at the same rate regardless of whether it is a CD, DVD, ipod or computer hard drive, UNLESS its owner has specifically undertaken not to record copyright content on it. But the proviso is essential and must be equally available on all memory types.

This could be achieved by selling specially marked media and devices (much like the coloured tax-free gas that is often sold for agricultural purposes) –  and if this was available, I for one wouldn’t mind if the penalty for abusing it was quite substantial.

More copyright irony

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

This story speaks for itself.

Copyright Consultations

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

Well I have finally got around to putting in my views at 8:50pm in Vancouver – which is still 10 minutes before midnight in Ottawa so should be within the 48 hour extension that was announced on the Copyright Consultations website on Sunday. (more…)

Access Copyright Charging for Public Domain Material

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

If this is how those who give pious lectures about respecting the rights and “property” of their clients act with regard to the rights and property of the rest of us, is it any wonder that many people refuse to respect any of these rights at all?

The NDP on copyright

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

Charlie Angus has an article in the on copyright reform.

The Return of Captain Copyright?

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

Michael Geist notes that the CIPO is Launching another campaign “Promoting Respect for IP Rights”. But, as I commented on his post, although respect for the Law is an essential foundation for a safe society, the best way to achieve that respect is by making sure that the Law is both fair and seen to be fair.

There is some value in working on the latter, but only after achieving the former. If the “education” initiative is based on promoting the results of a consensus arising out of an open consultation process then it might not be such a bad idea. If it is perceived to be otherwise then it will actually undermine the respect that is seeks to achieve.

The SAC Double Negative Option

Monday, July 6th, 2009

Howard Knopf doesn’t like The SAC Double Negative Option Celestial Jukebox, but I have to quarrel with a number of his reasons.

Many of these have to do with defending the existing media levy schemes which unfairly extract funds from people who have no intent of copying copyrighted work and who are provided no option for declaring and committing to avoiding such activity when making the purchase.
Until there is provision for specially marked exempt media, the existing levy scheme is just legalized theft and like any other manifestly unfair law it undermines public respect for the law in general.

Also particularly galling is #6 “It’s inherently socialistic” – not because I have socialist tendencies myself (though I do), but because (a) it’s not, and (b) whether it is or not has no relevance to the effectiveness of the proposed mechanism, so (c) the accusation is just presented as name-calling.

More Mythical Myths

Monday, July 6th, 2009

EXCESS COPYRIGHT: More Myths about Myths about File Sharing

What is 0^0 equal to? – squareCircleZ

Sunday, January 25th, 2009

This post at squareCircleZ (a very nice enrichment and support website for students and teachers of mathematics) raises the conundrum of how to define 0^0 if all positive x give x^0=1 and 0^x=0.

globeandmail readers on copyright

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008 Your thoughts on copyright in Canada

Update on Canadian Copyright Law – Proposed Changes

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

Michael Geist – Taking Stock of My Fair Copyright for Canada Principles

Illegal Class Notes or Stolen Course Materials?

Tuesday, April 8th, 2008

Illegal Class Notes ~ Stephens Web ~ by Stephen Downes
This refers to a lawsuit in Florida against a company that is selling copies of course notes gathered by previous students. Apparently the professor involved has a package of materials that are sold to students by a publisher and the publisher claims that the “notes” being sold duplicate these copyrighted materials.  Steven Downes, and a number of bloggers he refers to, find this lawsuit objectionable and consider the professor to either be privatizing “ideas” or to have been in some way tricked y the publisher. But in fact it appears that the professor is not averse to the lawsuit so I don’t see how he can be described as having been snookered by the publisher; also, the copyright is being applied not to the ideas but rather to the specific presentation, and to the extent that his material is original that is surely his right. If students copy and freely share their own notes rather than an exact transcription of the instructor’s material then I have no problem with that, but if the note company is selling Moulton’s work for their own profit then I hope they get stopped.

(This does not mean that I have no reservations about a professor requiring students to purchase a text of his own authorship unless the text selection has been made at arm’s length by some independent third party – but that is, I believe, a separate issue.)

More on Free Copying and Levies

Wednesday, March 19th, 2008

Michael Geist has reported briefly on the defense by SAC of its proposal for an internet levy to compensate copyright holders for legalization of file sharing. But what I really want to link to is the first comment following Michael’s report which I believe does a good job of making the case against such levies. I am also glad to see that Ariel Katz seems at least to be aware of some of the very real concerns. This is a point on which Geist sometimes seem to be blinded by his admirable desire to provide a system with full and free flow of information and content. The goal of giving people true ownership of what they purchase is a good one, but having that ownership paid for by granting Letters of Marque for extortion from uninterested third parties is NOT a fair solution.

Public Domain Under Attack

Monday, October 29th, 2007

Why a Great Music Site Died :: Mediacheck ::

CRIA cries the blues on the problem they created

Tuesday, September 18th, 2007

This is Downes’ take on Geist’s comments on CRIA’s break with the CPCC. When I finally reveal my solution to the conundrum of how to fairly and efficiently assign costs to users and compensation to producers, all who should be awed by my achievement will instead be dismissive and contemptuous of my naivete.