Copyright and Faith in the Free Market

My weekly Law Bytes column (Toronto Star version, HTML backup article, homepage version) in the Toronto Star focuses on the Canadian recording industry's rejection of alternative compensation systems on the grounds that it prefers to rely on the free market. The column notes that the industry has been a leading proponent of government involvement, consistently seeking both financial support and legislative intervention. It concludes that as Canada heads toward yet another round of copyright reform, policymakers and politicians should be mindful that they have already used legislative intervention to establish many rights and protections that have tilted the copyright balance heavily toward creators at the expense of users.

The inspiration for the column comes from the University of Toronto's Sound Bytes, Sound Rights conference held on February 11th. The webcast of the conference is not yet online, though I gave a very similar talk the day before at an Open Access/Open Source event. That webcast is available in Quicktime, Real Player, or MS Media Player.

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