Archive for the ‘canada’ Category

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.

CRTC Net Neutrality Hearings

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

Telecom Public Notice CRTC 2008-19, is the CRTC’s notice of proceedings and call for comments re forthcoming hearings on ‘Net Neutrality’.


globeandmail readers on copyright

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

Canadians Need Net-Neutrality

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

Take Action: Say NO to Corporate Control

Open Letter to CRTC Chair Konrad von Finckenstein:

Dear Sir,

Canadians rely on the CRTC, as the federal communications regulator, to act in the public interest, which in this case means ensuring we have an open and neutral Internet.

Due to the limited number of connectivity options, the providers of internet service share an effective monopoly on public access to a global resource (which includes a large amount of publicly funded physical and conceptual infrastructure). This affords those few connectivity providers with the opportunity of hijacking a general public good and diverting its value to their own interests (for example by engaging in media production and sales as well as transmission and then favouring their own content by “throttling” the transmissions of their competitors). Such behaviour is unacceptable and it is your responsibility to ensure that it does not happen.

Corporations like Bell and Rogers must not be allowed to control our access to the Web or degrade the quality of service we receive from our internet service providers.

I therefore submit that the CRTC should order Bell to stop its Internet traffic-shaping practices.

Please protect Canada’s level playing field for free speech and innovation by ordering Bell to cease and desist its “throttling” practices, and be sure to take similar action against any other service provider or other entity which threatens the right of Canadians for equal access to all parts of the internet.

Update on Canadian Copyright Law – Proposed Changes

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

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

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.

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 – 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…)

Michael Geist – Canadians Speak out on Media Diversity

Wednesday, July 18th, 2007

Michael Geist – Canadians Speak out on Media Diversity

I support a policy limiting concentrated and cross-ownership of the media in Canada, and also clearly separating those who control distribution channels from those who produce, aggregate and/or distribute content.

I want a choice in what I see on TV, hear on the radio and read in the newspaper and on the internet, and I do not want any private body to have the power to deny or limit that choice.

The freedom of expression and communication that is essential for democracy is lost when the private holder of a broadcast license can deny the right to purchase advertising on the basis that the proposed message conflicts with those of others to which it is beholden (as happened with the denial of AdBusters anti-car ads a few years ago)- or when the controller of an internet communication channel blocks access to web sites whose message it objects to (as was done more recently by Telus in the context of a labour dispute).

Any public policy seeking to protect diversity in the media must recognize the simple fact that ownership matters, and carries a responsibility to the public interest.

Because this review comes after a wave of media mergers, I call for a policy that forces divestiture by media companies with concentrated holdings in a given market.

I also call for the severance of media producers and aggregators from the control of media distribution channels.

But most importantly, I call for a policy which requires those who control media distribution channels to refrain from any kind of censorship of what is distributed over those channels and to provide access to such channels at the same price for all content producers even (in fact especially) when such content may be detrimental to their own interests.

I want to be assured that my voice will be both heard and counted at all CRTC hearings on these matters.

My email address is:

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

No Nukes For Oil?

Wednesday, January 17th, 2007

In Today’s Big Story at perhaps the most interesting aspect was the (wisely) restrained reaction of Jack Layton – “It’s certainly incumbent on somebody proposing to use nuclear plants to provide the power for the oil sands to tell us where they are going to put the waste. And I don’t think that question has been answered.” It is important not to insist that it will always remain unanswered, and in fact finding a satisfactorily answer may be our only realistic hope for solving the CO2 problem.

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.