Archive for July 6th, 2010

Angus Calls Out Moore on WIPO: Says Fails to Understand Treaty, Makes Mockery of Copyright Balance

NDP MP Charlie Angus has issued a lengthy letter to Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore and Industry Minister Tony Clement that challenges them on the digital lock provisions in Bill C-32.  In a release on the letter, Angus states "the digital lock provisions will subject Canadians to arbitrary limitations on their legal rights of access. The government is trying to create the impression that this unbalanced approach to digital locks is necessary in order to bring Canada into compliance with WIPO and the Berne Convention. Nothing could be further from the truth."  He adds:

"The government is establishing a two-tiered set of rights. Bill C-32 offers rights that consumers will be restricted from exercising. These provisions make a mockery of the claim that the bill is balanced and pro-consumer. Either the government has a faulty understanding of international treaty obligations or is looking to use these existing treaties as a cover to pursue a specific political agenda. The New Democratic Party will challenge any provisions that would lead to unbalanced and arbitrary copyright legislation."

The letter delves into much greater detail on the digital lock issue, discussing how there is flexibility at international law with Angus emphatically stating "I believe the government will be unable to produce evidence that these onerous digital lock provisions are the result of existing treaty obligations."  As result, Angus makes a formal request that the government seek an opinion from WIPO on the issue of exceptions to digital locks.

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July 6, 2010 27 comments News

Canada_Version 3.0 Documentary – A Correction

Earlier today I posted on a new copyright documentary in which I raised the question of whether it was being supported by CRIA, much like the BCBC site.  I have just spoken to a producer at the film company, who suggested that was not the case.  I have therefore removed […]

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July 6, 2010 4 comments Must Reads

McKennitt Op-Ed: “Pirates are Killing Musicians, Composers, Lyricists, Even Popcorn Vendors”

Loreena McKennitt published an op-ed supporting copyright reform in the Winnipeg Free Press over the weekend that focuses on the harm of infringement and the need for C-32.  The piece raises at least a couple of issues.  First, there is the claim that "even popcorn sellers are struggling to stay alive" in light the current state of Canadian copyright law. This claim arises from some declining interest in big music tours, which is taken as evidence that performances are not a viable alternative for many musicians.  What copyright reform has to do with concert venues, performers or popcorn sellers is anyone's guess – promoters of struggling music tours say it has everything to do with a tough economy, competition for the entertainment dollar, and high ticket prices rather than music downloads or IP enforcement. Copyright reform won't change the financial dynamics of the touring industry, which will presumably still leave those same popcorn vendors struggling to stay alive.

If the McKennitt piece was limited to the popcorn claim, it would merely join previous attempts to link copyright with the success of the corn industry (see Rick Cotton of NBC Universal).  However, McKennitt also challenges the very notion of user rights in copyright, calling them "so-called user rights" which she says is used by activists and academics as "crafted language."

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July 6, 2010 99 comments News

Canadian Video Game Maker Criticizes C-32 Digital Lock Rules

Battlegoat Studios, an Ontario-based video game maker, has released its position on Bill C-32, criticizing the digital lock provisions in the bill.

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July 6, 2010 5 comments Must Reads

CMCC Speaks Out Against C-32 Digital Lock Provisions

The Canadian Music Creators Coalition, which features some of Canada's best known musicians, has criticized Bill C-32, noting how digital locks trump new consumer rights found in the bill.

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July 6, 2010 2 comments Must Reads