Tracking the Copyright Consultation Online Discussion Forum, Day Four

Frances Munn provides the latest update on the copyright consultation discussion forum.  The discussion continues to focus primarily on consumer concerns associated with copyright law.

Copyright and You

How do Canada’s copyright laws affect you? How should existing laws be modernized?
Friday, July 24, 2009 (373 responses)

Recent posts continued the trend of advocating for greater consumer protection. Most people argued for an expansion of fair use and private copying rights, such as switching between media formats (e.g. HD-DVD to Blue Ray) and getting rid of digital locks.

There were a few new ideas:

  • One poster argued for clearer copyright laws, especially with regards to duration. The poster wondered how the copyright rule of the author’s life plus 50 years applied when there are more than one authors, such as with a movie or a piece of software.
  • A poster who identified as a DJ came to the defence of P2P, arguing that everyone uses it, including labels who use it as a scouting method. The poster argued that the Internet provides a low-cost way for musicians and smaller distributors to share their product, and that big distributors have to change their business model instead of preserving a model that is outdated.
  • One poster was particularly concerned with the loss of digital culture to society, pointing out that computer games and software developed 10 or 20 years ago are being lost due to long copyright periods. The poster proposed a default copyright protection period of 20 years as a way to preserve more digital culture.

Test of Time

Based on Canadian values and interests, how should copyright changes be made in order to withstand the test of time?

Friday, July 24, 2009 (83 responses)

There were several new responses to this question:

  • The most recent response argued that laws should focus on distribution rather than copying since it is difficult to pin down when it is immoral to “copy.”
  • Another poster pointed out that innovation is often based on previous works and argued for a system based on flexibility rather than prosecution and punishment.
  • One poster argued that while the sale of pirated content hurts the creator, the consumption of online content does not necessarily lead to losses. Further, consuming content is one way for an individual to partake in culture. The poster cautioned against enacting laws that sought to protect the “middle men.”
  • A poster cautioned against laws that are difficult to enforce, wondering whether ISPs would be called on to monitor all Internet traffic or whether file-sharing altogether should be banned.

Innovation and Creativity

What sorts of copyright changes do you believe would best foster innovation and creativity in Canada?

Friday, July 24, 2009 (170 responses)

Recent posts were in favour of an open copyright regime, with one poster arguing that innovation is based on old ideas such as Youtube inspiring the creation of Hulu. Another poster suggested setting up a small claims court for claims against individuals to avoid the large law-suits happening in the U.S.

Competition and Investment

What sorts of copyright changes do you believe would best foster competition and investment in Canada?

Friday, July 24, 2009 (25 responses)

The most recent response argued that that the government should stay out of copyright enforcement in order to give people the freedom to share and create.

Digital Economy

What kinds of changes would best position Canada as a leader in the global, digital economy?

Friday, July 24, 2009 (140 responses)

The most recent post argued that buying DVDs and other physical goods lead to an environmental footprint and that digital goods present a more environmental alternative. Another poster began a discussion by arguing that Internet piracy would be impossible to stop and instead creators should be compensated through an entertainment tax such as the iPod levy.

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