CRIA Goes To Washington

The Toronto Star reports on a lobbying trip to Washington this week by the Canadian Recording Industry Association.  I’m guessing that the discussions did not focus on the fact that:

  • U.S. digital music services blame high licence fees – not copyright – for avoiding the Canadian market
  • the Canadian digital music market has grown faster than the U.S. market for the past four years
  • according to the 2009 IFPI global data, Canada’s digital market stood 7th worldwide, while ranking 6th for all recorded music – in other words, about what you would expect.  Of the top 20 global markets for recorded music, the IFPI said that Canada ranked 5th for the percentage of digital sales.  Indeed, digital music sales as a percentage of total sales in Canada is ahead of every major European country. The U.S. may lead Canada (though growing at a far slower rate), but the IFPI reported that Canada is ahead of France, Britain, Spain, Belgium, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Austria, Sweden, Czech Republic, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Norway, Poland, Portugal, and Russia.  Canada also led countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, and South Africa. 
  • leading executives rank Canadian IP protection ahead of the U.S.
  • the Business Software Alliance this year found that Canada was a world leader in reducing infringement as it hit an all-time low
  • while there are BitTorrent sites in Canada, CRIA has the tools to target them today but has chosen not to do so.  In fact, current Canadian copyright law was used against QuebecTorrent and CRIA is challenging isoHunt’s claims that it is operating lawfully in Canada by pointing to the current state of the law.
  • a U.S. appellate court has ruled that “merely bypassing a technological protection that restricts a user from viewing or using a work is insufficient to trigger the DMCA’s anti-circumvention provision. The DMCA prohibits only forms of access that would violate or impinge on the protections that the Copyright Act otherwise affords copyright owners.”  This is far less restrictive than Bill C-32.
  • U.S. rules contain a mandatory review of anti-circumvention exceptions every three years, but Bill C-32 only contains a review of the entire law every five years with no specific examination of anti-circumvention rules or mechanisms for new exceptions.
  • U.S. rules now contain an exception for unlocking and jailbreaking a cellphone.  Bill C-32 only covers unlocking.
  • U.S. rules now contain an exception for education to circumvent DVD protection to gather a short clip.  Bill C-32, despite various new education exceptions, would treat this as an infringement.
  • U.S. rules contain an exception for documentary film makers to circumvent DVD protection to gather a short clip.  Bill C-32, despite various new creator exceptions for parody and satire, would treat this as an infringement.
  • U.S. rules contain an exception for everyone to circumvent DVD protection to gather a short clip to create non-commercial videos.  Bill C-32 includes an exception for non-commercial videos, but do not exempt circumvention.
  • U.S. law contains a flexible fair use provision that covers everything from recording television shows to making backup copies.  Bill C-32 contains a series of new fair dealing exceptions that are collectively still more restrictive than the U.S. fair use and are still subject to digital locks.
  • there are at least another 20 examples of instances where Canadian law is more restrictive or tougher than U.S. law
  • the music industry is sharply divided on Bill C-32
  • as a Washington insider told the Star, “Canada is not breaking any international treaties”

As always, none of this is to say that Canada should not engage in copyright reform.  It should.  And as I note in the Toronto Star piece, I think there is much to like in Bill C-32 and if we can find a compromise on the digital lock issue, I believe it is a bill worth supporting.  That said, Canada needs to reform its laws based facts and the national interest, not lobbying trips designed to embarrass the country into changing its laws.

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  1. The discussion will probably not being anything new to the table that hasn’t already been heard and more or less successfully debunked by various different things. Because we can’t let facts get in the way of a good lobbying effort.

  2. What else would one expect from the Canadian Recording Industry of America?

  3. In other news….
    Canada now leads USA in entrepreneurship too:

    What the article doesn’t mention is the US “Intellectual Property” laws and the resulting climate in the tech industry. Where, no matter what you do, there will be always a wolf-pack of big corporations or patent trolls attacking you. Ask RIM.


  4. Tom Dunbrowskii says:

    A-Lobbying they will go
    Washington must be confused:
    CRIA yesterday:
    “Once this bill is passed, you could go online and steal every movie that’s ever made, every book, and every song…It’s close to saying that for people who want to steal stuff, there’s a compulsory license of $5,000.”
    CRIA today: bringing his message to Washington, he is hammering home to Canadian officials just how important this legislation is to Canadian artists.–can-a-trip-to-the-u-s-help-change-canada-s-copyright-laws

    Tom D – Calgary, AB, CA

  5. Man, this is non-news. The RIAA is always lobbying Washington. 😉

  6. Swiss law
    We should have one too:

    “Whoever, with the purpose of inciting or supporting foreign enterprises aimed against the security of Switzerland, enters into contact with a foreign state or with foreign parties or other foreign organizations or their agents, or makes or disseminates untrue or tendentious claims (unwahre oder entstellende Behauptungen / informations inexactes ou tendancieuses), shall be punished with imprisonment of up to five years or a monetary penalty.”


  7. Laurel L. Russwurm says:

    copyright infringement is illegal but…
    BitTorrent is not illegal.

    “The Industry” wants people to hear words like “BitTorrent” and “Downloading” and assume these things are immoral, unethical and illegal.

    When in fact, BitTorrent makes efficient use of bandwidth. It is an ideal resource to allow Independent filmmakers an effective internet distribution method. Feature films like “Sita Sings the Blues” and “Die Beauty” no longer have to be released by big studios, the same way music doesn’t have to be.

    That’s the real windmill the ***A’s are fighting. Independent competition.

  8. RE: BitTorrent is not illegal
    Correct. BitTorrent is a communication protocol, and that can’t be killed. It’s no more illegal than using encryption or VPN, POP3 or IMAP…all communication protocols designed for specific purposes. What they, the **AAs, have successfully argued, at least in certain other countries and soon here with C-32 is that torrent indexing sites, such as ISOHunt and Pirate Bay intentionally encourage or at the very least, don’t do enough to stop, the trade of illegal material. In reality, the **AA, would like to kill torrents altogether because they cannnot regain their monopoly while BitTorrent is acitve. As of February of 2009 it was estimate that BitTorrent traffic accounted for 27–55% of all Internet traffic (depending on geographical location). That’s a lot to kill.

    Interestingly enough, the same legislation used to bring down Torrent sites also makes much of what you can find on Google illegal. If you look hard enough and know what you’re doing, you can find almost anything, both legal and illegal, on Google. Will they be the next target?

  9. ….
    @IanME: “It’s no more illegal than using encryption or VPN, POP3 or IMAP…all communication protocols designed for specific purposes. ”

    But we know from UK (the country that came up first with the idea of a copyright law) that when used by citizens, encryption is illegal unless you handover the keys to the government whenever they feel like requesting them.


  10. The one thing Canadians hate is US influence over our legislation. I think anything that comes our of Henderson’s mouth after this trip will be viewed as such.

  11. Mr. Magoo goes to Washington
    @Jason – “The one thing Canadians hate is US influence over our legislation. I think anything that comes our of Henderson’s mouth after this trip will be viewed as such.”

    Yup, great optics there Mr. Henderson, and sticking to your positions [lol]. Keep it up, we need all the help we can get.

    P.S. Canadian Artists should continually consider wither the CRIA is your best representative or your best vehicle for your efforts. There are other, possibly better, choices.

  12. My “speculation” on this trip, they are down there trying to drum up support for their position in Canada. Possibly going to try to get US businesses threaten to pull out of Canada all together unless the CRIA get’s it’s way with Copyright.

    That’s just my interpretation, I could very well be wrong, but why else would the CRIA head over to Washington? They seem to be needing some help to “persuade” the Canadian Government and officials on oppressive copyright reform.

    The problem with that is Henderson can’t see past is own bum hole. He will be dividing the industry further if that’s what ends up happening.

  13. @Nap
    “encryption is illegal unless you handover the keys to the government whenever they feel like requesting them.”

    I believe in Canada, at least for the time being, you need just cause AND a warrant.

    …further down the rabbit hole…

  14. Oh, does it never stop 0_o
    @Henderson – “There is a certain set of bloggers out there who think music is nothing more than a hobby, that it should be free. But I think Canadians as a whole are more open to supporting their creative industry and so we’re finally at the point where Ottawa is going to act. I refuse to believe that this brand-new digital era is going to make beggars of creators and send them back to the 1800s.”

    Why must people like Mr. Henderson prattle on with such hyperbole. The only ones who believe this nonsense are his devoted [and brainwashed] followers. I yearn for the day when folks like this can just be honest and speak the truth instead of the sky is falling all the time. First it was the VCR, then mix-tapes now the digital format .. blah, blah.

    There are many artists who are doing just fine, some even more so that are outside of his influence or control. I won’t go on about new technology or opportunities as you have all heard it before. I just wish Mr. Henderson would be a little more real and stop playing the part of the wounded animal. It’s very stale and tiering.

  15. @Henderson – “There is a certain set of bloggers out there who think music is nothing more than a hobby, that it should be free.”

    And just to be clear, they don’t blog here.

  16. Time for some anti-hyperbole
    And for some of those pesky facts …

    Music industry income declined 8% in 2008. Studies place the share of those losses due to piracy at 20%, but let’s be generous and say 40%. That’s a (8% * 0.4) = 3.2% loss of income due to ‘piracy’.

    Heck, my income has decreased that much and more in these tough economic times, but I don’t get to make a trip to Washington. I suppose now with that 3.2%+ decrease in income I’d better learn to enjoy my 1800’s lifestyle 0_o [OK, a little hyperbole there, but to make a point].

    Although as many artists see only 15% return from their efforts, due to their industry contracts, I can see them being upset by any losses. There is a simple solution to your problem though, get a better [or no] contract. Sell directly to your fans, perform, use viral marketing, social networking … and keep most of your earnings.

  17. IsoHunt
    I think some clarification is in order on the BitTorrent points you make. As I recall, QuebecTorrent shut down on its own accord, there was never any decision regarding whether Canadian copyright law was sufficient to shut it down.

    From what I see, isoHunt is getting hammered by the courts in the US while managing to stall any kind of judgment against it in Canada.

    But really, why is it CRIA’s responsibility (or any other private entity) to shut down BitTorrent sites? They should not be coming to Canada in the first place.

    While I recognize many see TPMs and fair dealing as the main issues, that’s the point of Bill C-32 – to shut down those kinds of operations.

  18. strunk&white says:

    an element of style
    Crockett — are you German? Anywhere in the past.

    You wrote “stop playing the part of the wounded animal. It’s very stale and tiering.”

    Of course, you know “tier” is the German word for animal. A wounded animal that is stale and tiering?

    You should write.

  19. A walk in the country…
    You like lists of countries? How about this one, it’s the list of countries that have ratified the WIPO treaties ahead of Canada:

    Argentina, Belarus, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Gabon, Georgia, Hungary, Indonesia, Japan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico, Moldova, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Romania, Saint Lucia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ukraine, United States, Mali, Senegal, Honduras, Guinea, Jamaica, Philippines, Mongolia, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Togo, Montenegro, Serbia, Cyprus, Macedonia, Poland, Jordan, Korea, Republic, United Arab Emirates, Kazakhstan, Botswana, Armenia, Singapore, Albania, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Dominican Republic, Azerbaijan, Benin, Belgium, Ghana, Liechtenstein, China, Australia, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Russia, Tajikistan, and of course, Uruguay.

  20. Lists
    And what does that list have to do with anything?
    Do you know how late the US signed the Berne convention?
    Do you know the full contents of the WIPO treaties?
    Can you justify all of its provisions, including the term extensions?
    Did creating new exlusive rights result in more works being created in these countries?
    Does the creation of TPM laws actually stop TPM circumvention, or does it create a black market for such activities?

  21. “if we can find a compromise on the digital lock issue, I believe it is a bill worth supporting.” That’s one mother of a humongous IF you are supposing there… I sincerely wish I could hold out some hope, but I’ve wholly given up believing that our government has any interest in anything but satisfying the demands of some of the organizations that lobbied for things like this bill, and not the people of Canada.

  22. @Mark
    Considering the instability of Government I would be extremely hard pressed to see C-32 get past committee before an election is called. During the next election you should write to your prospective candidate and ask about how they would deal with the digital lock issue if voted in. Than post those responses everywhere online, make them accountable to the public on this issue, and vote accordingly.

    My position on digital locks, is that they are very much unenforceable with respect to the consumer market. I think the digital lock issue will have severe consequences in the business and software sector, and will increase costs substantially making it extremely hard to operate Small to Medium sized businesses due to interoperability issues that digital locks present.

    I don’t think we should have any laws protecting digital locks. I think the market has spoken out quite clear on this issue in the past. I personally have boycotted products that have digital locks on them, and it’s my right to do so and participate in a market where digital locks do not exist 😉

  23. My artistic lineage …
    @ Strunk&white – “Crockett — are you German? Anywhere in the past.’

    Actually, my great-grandmother was a famous German opera singer and my Father is a British producer, director & playwright who’s worked in both Vancouver and New York. I have acted in many theatrical productions, stage managed and crewed as well. I grew up in the theater scene and know countless actors and professionals who work in the entertainment industry.

    Yet I am also a technologist and consumer who sees the writing on the wall. I see the damage all the politicking is doing to the creative industry as they pursue their crusade against those whom they claim to perform their art for.

    Yes, there are some people who may share what they watch or listen to, but so what? Laws or fines are not going to change that, it’s too large scale and unenforceable. Some will never pay a dime while others are quite often your biggest customers. The sad part is the bad PR from heavy handed tactics like litigation, digital locks and trips to Washington will only push more people into the not a dime camp.

    You cannot make the Internet or digital distribution go away. Attempts to control or regulate the structure to your liking will not fly. As the younger generation who was brought up in the digital age moves into the the generation of power they will certainly not stand for such.

    I would suggest a proactive approach to harness the power of viral and social networks. This will require a huge change in the status quo of the content industry. It’s not too late, even though you should have started 10 years ago, but as you do remember it is easier to catch more flies with honey. Swat the files and there will be none left to dance to your music.

  24. “You like lists of countries? How about this one, it’s the list of countries that have ratified the WIPO treaties ahead of Canada”

    … as a Washington insider told the Star, “Canada is not breaking any international treaties”

  25. Lists
    @Ralph W: “You like lists of countries?”

    No Cuba? Is it still under embargo? On what basis? Never forget that US are the biggest hypocrites in the world. Anything they propose to you should be very very carefully examined.


  26. Who benefits from DRM
    Interesting reading:

    On short the story is that they wanted to create a high end receiver but Sony & the gang kept changing the DRM specs so they were never able to finish it.

    There’s a Canadian company suffering from the same – they didn’t cancel it yet but it keeps getting delayed again and again.

    Basically since Sony has complete control on the interface specs (HDMI) they make it a moving target to screw everyone else.


  27. …and the irony is….
    …that it is the Canadian Minister of Industries that backs a law which works against a Canadian company that employs Canadian workers.

  28. The truth about “anti-piracy”

    According to this it’s just a scam that creates “additional revenue streams” through lawsuits filed against innocent people.


  29. @Jason
    Ideally, I’d agree that we shouldn’t have any laws protecting digital locks, although I am compelled to concede the point that _some_ protection may be in order, due to international treaty obligations. However, Bill C-32 goes too far in that regard, when it could actually satisfy such treaty demands simply by only protecting them when copyright itself is infringed upon (and as long as they don’t render that provision wholly moot by lumping the bypassing of such locks as copyright infringement itself, which is something else I wouldn’t put past the current government to do under the pretense of “offering a compromise”).

  30. I think, as far as the TPM protections go, most people here would be happy if the bill make it so that you could break TMPs in the case where you are legally allowed to use the content.

  31. @Chris A: Actually TPM is useless other than for preventing you to make use of the “fair rights”. Remember that “pirates” trade DRM-free stuff. It is the legal buyers of original DVD/BluRay that have to put up with DRM.

    So Brazil is right. Any DRM that prevents a legal user to exercise his fair use rights should be considered “copyright infringment” too, and subject to the same penalties as other infringements.


  32. I see no reason to have laws which prevent copyright holders from wanting to limit people’s abilities to copy their works, even if they impede “fair use”… if copyright holders want to do that, the free market is fully capable of deciding whether or not they will tolerate it. The only thing I have a problem with is the law that makes it illegal to bypass those protections when the underlying purpose isn’t criminal in the first place. Because that puts the free market in a position where they don’t have any legal recourse *BUT* to simply accept it.

    Further, the problem with making such protection measures illegal could all-too easily produce the side effect of inadvertently limiting the directions that future technology is allowed to legally take. Newer and perhaps not entirely compatible technology could very easily be construed as a form of protection prohibiting access to older works, and as new digital formats are created that may be incompatible with the old, and by outlawing copy protections, people with the older hardware may well have cause to scream “foul” for being forced to have to spend money on newer equipment that works with the new technology. Ideally, it would be best if the law would simply keep out of the issue of protection measures entirely.

    However, the simple reality is that it cannot… copyright reform in Canada is going to need some protection for copy controls, simply so that it can fulfill certain international treaty obligations.

    That said, if a person has a legitimate reason to want to use an unprotected work, I see no reason why a law should exist to deny him or her that desire, since, at the very least, if they were to copy it for their own private use, there would be no way that anyone else would even know the unauthorized copying had been done, let alone exact punishment for the act, which will only result in people tending to simply not care about that aspect of the law, only further depreciating the respect that the public has for copyright law in general.

    I believe that C32, as written, is guaranteed to produce an even greater level of indifference in Canadians about copyright than even the worst levels that we have ever been accused of by other nations. And it simply cannot be overstated that fair dealings and private copying should not be trumped by TPM’s, as C32 advocates. If copy controls were given legal protection only in the event of otherwise actually breaking the law (which would therefore increase a person’s penalty), that would satisfy the extent to which current international treaties (to which Canada has obligations) wish to govern that aspect of individual nations’ copyright laws.

  33. @Warble
    …”While I recognize many see TPMs and fair dealing as the main issues, that’s the point of Bill C-32 – to shut down those kinds of operations.”

    From what I read in C-32, that doesn’t really seem to be “point” of C-32. To do so would require some very careful wording to avoid targeting Google, Bing, and other search engines and search sites. Wording which isn’t in C-32.
    There seems to be more focus on the public/audience and consumers than on sites like you are concerned about.

  34. FTB … that takes self importance to a whole new new level.

  35. Some news

    The interesting stuff:

    “FACTOR is funded both by the federal government and voluntarily by broadcasters. It currently spends about $14 million annually helping bands tour, cut demo CDs or build websites. […]
    Canadian musicians say the funds are crucial. “FACTOR doesn’t give you enough money to live comfortably, but it does give you enough to keep going,” says Spearin of Broken Social Scene. […]

    Small independent record labels have also played a key role. As they have lost revenues to downloading, the big labels — whose Canadian subsidiaries have recorded and distributed lots of Canadian music over the years — have pulled back from their historic role as talent scouts.”

    So it looks like it is the taxpayer and the broadcasters funding artists, while “the industry” does nothing but try to milk whatever they can without contributing in any way.

    I guess they’re socially useless now, time to retire.


  36. ….
    @IanME: “I believe in Canada, at least for the time being, you need just cause AND a warrant.”

    Sure, just don’t go South no matter the reason:


  37. Jack Robinson says:

    Bill C-32… A Trip-Wired Subterfuge
    As an infrequent yet ardent admirer of Mr. Geist’s blog and it’s highly relevant implications for Canadians’ rightful access, management and ability to share digitized media in a responsible and socially valid fashion… I’m still astonished and pissed that the large majority of posters to this site are caught up in the bogus File Sharing Conundrum at the real deal expense of engaging C-32’s far more sinister agenda… Who Actually Owns and Controls digitized content IN ANY FORMAT… and the potential penuries that could and likely will be imposed upon hitherto innocent consumers for their legislatively-imposed transgressions of “theft” in any unauthorized by law format.

    And while Harper’s New Rome Cabal is busy on another under recognized flank dismantling the CRTC’s regulative authority, i.e. the Sun TV license and the iminent firing of yet another expendable public sector appointee Who Just Doesn’t Get It… and destroying the CBC from within by means of Hubert St. Croix’s Trojan Horse calculated scuttle-the-ship mismanagement… all I read in these pages are lame arcane right-brainer hissy-fits about the right to rip and burn White Stripes and Finger Eleven.

    Clue-In kidz. Or become a neuron-neutered New Rome plebe with a Jolt Cola addiction and a content-controlled i-Pad as your default rubber ducky BFF.

    The Jack-L

  38. Napalm said: “Sure, just don’t go South no matter the reason”

    I remember the Maher Arar case, thinking it was completely rediculous at the time and the inaction of our government was inexcusible. The US is guilty of racial profiling of the worst kind. It amazes me every day what they get away with because they are the big rightious United States of America. I avoid traveling to the US if at all possible and haven’t been there since I was 19…in 1992 I think.

    Jack, you made me laugh out loud since I’ve been try to convey this for some time to people I know. You are correct of course. Copyright holders have been trying to kill copyright ever since it was first introduced. Remembering that copyright was first instituted to give consumers rights, in the presence of a TMP, what C-32 effectively presents is the complete removale of ALL copyright. What people get is a very limited usage contract. A consumer no longer owns the copy they purchased.

    Unfortunately, I think it’s going to get MUCH MUCH worse and VERY ugly before it gets better, much like in the US. By then I fear that much of the conumer population with have become alienated, much like in the US. It will do nothing but increase the rate of infringement, much like in the US. As we lose more and more privacy right until we are required to cameras in the toilet, FreeNet, TOR, proxies, VPNs and the like will start to see huge increases in user base. Storage is CHEAP these days, traveling by “sneaker net”, underground hard-drive trading will become popular. Now, instead of a single movie on a VHS tape or a few songs on a tape, like in the 80’s, we’re looking at over 1,000 movies, or tens of thousands of songs, on a single harddisk not much bigger than deck of cards. They couldn’t kill the VHS trade in the 80’s I don’t know why they think they’ll be more successful now.

  39. @IanMe: “It will do nothing but increase the rate of infringement, much like in the US.”

    I secretly hope that we could prove (again) to be wiser. Like in we don’t infringe but we don’t buy it either – in formats that do not fit our needs.

    As previously mentioned, music & movie recordings are “optional”. You can definitely live without buying them. It is the textbooks where they can hit hard (and they did – read Stallman’s text “The Right To Read”, written way before the Kindle and protected PDFs – he may be a lunatic but a visionary one nevertheless).


  40. The Right To Read
    For your convenience, the link:


  41. @Napalm and @IamME
    The US isn’t oblivious either. Here is an interesting article. Although I won’t say I agree with it completely it does point point out many of the problems.

  42. Laurel L. Russwurm says:

    @Davey Boy

    James Gannon’s friend Barry Sookman has so far neglected to approve Russell McOrmond’s technical correction comment posted to his blog, even though it would clear up some of the misinformation in his post. Frankly, I don’t see the point of reading articles by people who ignore inconvenient facts. It rather weakens their credibilty.

  43. @Mark
    “Ideally, I’d agree that we shouldn’t have any laws protecting digital locks, although I am compelled to concede the point that _some_ protection may be in order, due to international treaty obligations.”

    Where would we be if we have treaty’s in place that deregulated our banks? Probably in worse off position than we are right now economically. Global economics have changed since 2008 or even 1997 since WIPO came around, and we should be publicly debating these “treaty obligations” as it relates to national sovereignty, and economic security.

    I think we as a nation should start to question a huge amount of economic policies and treaties to ensure we are not going to follow the rest of the world down the rabbit hole.

  44. There are always two, or three, sides to a story [Part 1]
    Davey, it is sometimes a matter of perspective. But ‘facts’, it seems, can be made up on either side. For instance …

    @Davey “Graham Henderson of CRIA who says that the widespread usage of illegal file-sharing programs is the major deterrent for legal streaming music services in Canada.”

    @Crockett – Well, this is utter nonsense. Pandora operates in the USA and all the same ‘file sharing’ programs are in use there as the rest of the world. Canada does not have any secret collection of super ‘sharing’ software. There are more files being ‘infringed’ in the USA than Canada on any day. DMCA, litigation & fines have had little or no effect on the amount infringement in the USA. Of interest, the HADOPI laws passed in France are the most ‘pro-copyright’ in the world, yet infringement there has significantly increased sine they went into effect. As I have always postulated, heavy handed tactics will lead to less respect for the laws and greater infringement.

    @Davey “As I wrote back in April, this report highlighted the fact that the Canadian music market declined yet again in 2009, this time by 7.4%, bringing the total decline for the decade at over 50%. If Geist was so interested in “growth rate” when it came to digital music sales, why did he not report on the (significantly negative) growth rate of overall music sales in Canada? ”

    @Crockett – the music market has generally declined globally, to single out Canada as bad just for being part of that trend is neither logical or fair. And if you are talking about being honest, it is not copyright issues that are the main causes of that decline it is rather changing technology, the decline of the Album format, and the economy. Infringement contributes only a fraction towards the losses.

    “Many of the “leading executives” may not even have thought of copyright when answering a survey on the strength of Canadian IP law. To draw any sort of conclusion about Canadian copyright law based on a survey of executives responding to questions on IP law as a whole is speculative indeed.”

    @Crockett – And you are ‘speculating’ that they did not answer in relation to copyright issues ??

    @Davey “TPM provisions in Bill C-32 would allow the Canadian government to protect consumer interest through regulation in three different ways (at any time rather than every 3 years as with the DMCA):

    -By excluding prescribed classes of TPMs from the protection in Bill C-32 if such TPMs “would unduly restrict competition in the aftermarket sector in which the technological protection measure is used” (s.41.21(1));
    -By allowing circumvention of TPMs under prescribed circumstances where the TPM could adversely effect authorized use of a work, including uses under the fair dealing exception (s.41.21(2)(a));
    -Require the owner of a copyright work to remove a TPM in order to allow users to take advantage of the exceptions to TPM anti-circumvention (s.41.21(2)(b)).”

    @Crockett – Actually this is very interesting, it has been my understanding that digital locks trumped users rights without recourse. I would be interested to get a better understanding of the context of these review provisions and if they are likely to be effective. For I see no logical reason to even include fair use provisions behind non circumventable locks in the first place. Other than a smoke screen tactic.

    @Davey “Geist also again chooses to focus on “growth” rates while ignoring the overall numbers. It is likely that Canada wouldn’t be a “world leader in reducing” our infringement rate if it wasn’t starting from a higher level. Other countries (United States, Japan, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Finland, Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark, United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands)”

    The % spread between the Canada and many of the countries in your list is in the single digits. While a greater infringement rate is undesirable it is hardly a significant ‘higher starting level’ as you suggest.

  45. There are always two, or three, parts to a story [Part 2]
    @Davey “Fair use would lead to uncertainty, expensive litigation and leave important public policy decisions to be made by courts instead of Parliament. It would reduce revenues available to the Canadian creative industries; revenues which are vital to their indigenous growth.”

    @Crockett – A number of things here. First, I too would like to avoid expensive litigation as we have seen in the USA. Is $80,000 per downloaded song anything approaching sanity? Yet the CRIA has said that capping the infringement fine at a $5000 ceiling is a “license to steal”. I won’t go into all the illogic of that argument (what average person can afford a $5000 hit in todays economy?), but certainly we don’t want to see that kind of thing here in Canada. The other is the entertainment industry is concerned fair dealing will decrease revenue? Infringement I can see, but fair use such as backup and format shifting? This is a disconnect between the industry and the consumer, it is not likely that you are going to change consumers expectations that they have for these fair use activities. Stronger laws or enforcement will only cause greater disrespect and non-compliance, you are only deluding yourselves if you think otherwise. In C-32, just add a clause that TPMs can be bypassed for the specified fair uses. NOT to put up on P2P or sell on the street, NOT for any reason whatsoever. Yes, you may loose a few repeat resales of a media item in a different format but you will loose more from people ignoring you all together if you lay down the hammer too hard.

    So Davey, as you see, you can massage the numbers and the message to your perspective. I do not wish to see artists ‘starve’ or not be successful. I do think people should pay for the media they use. I think if they harness the digital age there are some exciting opportunities, but you need to generate some good will. People WANT to like their artists/actors/authors but the industry groups are making them come across as greedy elites .. good job there. I also think the media industry should not be able to tell a private user what they can do with the media they have purchased for their private use.

  46. It’s all about the artists, right?
    Here’s a better approach: make all sound / video recordings illegal. Yes, all of them. Ban DVDs and music CDs. Ban any device that records. Delete all files everywhere. Only live performances shalt be allowed. Need a jingle for your radio advertising? Pay musicians to come into the studio to perform it live. Movies? Ban them completely. Only live performances through TV allowed. No storage no editing no nothing allowed.

    This is the only way to make sure that the artists get full payment for they work. And ensure that they will have a lot of work too.

    Nap. 🙂

  47. What are TPMs “really” about?
    Why are the industries…especially the movie and television industry so desperately trying to push for anti-circumvention protection? It’s simple and has been mentioned many times on here, it gives them COMPLETE control. In a few short years, you won’t be able to buy a digital video device (TV, BD player, DVD player, computer, etc.) that does not use HDMI for audio and video. The entire HDMI communication channel is encrypted using HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection) encryption and can only communicate with devices with an “approved” HDCP license. HDCP was to be the golden egg to give the industry final control over the consumer. It effectively removes all copyright, leaving the consumer with nothing. Now comes the push for protection of TPMs, which really has no place in copyright law, but that’s a different issue. It’s seems over the last month or so the industry has really stepped up it’s push for protection of TPMs. Why is that? Well, it could have something to with HDCP encryption being broken which would open up the industry to devices which, potentially, cannot be fully controlled, but can still communicate over and/or capture that encrypted channel. This would be illegal under C-32 since, even if you have the keys, it’s would be illegal to break the encryption.

    Intel confirmed the leaked master key was indeed “real”.

  48. @IanME: “Why are the industries…especially the movie and television industry so desperately trying to push for anti-circumvention protection?”

    Planned obsolescence. “The industry” wants to sell you the same song/movie over and over again. The media changes from vinyl to tape to CDs were goldmines for them as they sold you your music collection again on a different support. Now in the digital era you can “format shift” yourself at no cost and that’s exactly what they want to prevent you to do. All the talk about “pirates” is done just to distract attention. Now that they’re done with the VHS -> DVD conversion, they in the process of moving you to Blu-Ray. Once the market peaks (i.e. people are done with re-buying their collections and only new movies sell), they’ll point to “piracy” again and invent a new format with new DRM. With the excuse of “combating piracy”. While the whole purpose is to sell you again the same old movies in the new VioletRay format.


  49. @IanME: It’s all about selling you again the same old movies in a new format. Plus the needed electronics (remember that $ony makes both the movies and the electronics to play them).

    Every time they come with a new format / DRM scheme (pointing at “piracy” to distract your attention), they create the opportunity to sell you again their catalog on a new media.

    Since these days you can “format shift” yourself at no cost, that’s exactly what they want to prevent.


  50. The next step has already been defined…digital 3D at home, they’re already planning the next steps before the last one has even been majorly adopted. 😛

  51. @Jason
    It is a reality that most of the rest of the technologically advanced countries in the world are adopting the provisions in these treaties, so it’s not in Canada’s interest to simply ignore them. Were Canada to decide not to, it is naive to think that we would not also lose access to some significant trading partners (for exports as well as imports), which would be wholly catastrophic for this country’s economy. The lesser of two evils, in this case, seems to be making the concession to accommodate the demands of the treaties, which Mr Geist’s proposal of a compromise in C32 of rendering the bypassing of digital locks as criminal only in the event of actual copyright infringement would seem to satisfy. Personally, I believe such a compromise is unlikely to happen with our current government. If they even bring the matter of such a compromise up in parliament, I suspect it will just be to pretend to offer it by lumping the bypassing of digital locks on a work as generally an actual form of infringement itself, rendering their “compromise” wholly moot, but they’ll still be able to say that they made the concession.

  52. @Mark
    Unfortunately C-32 brings us from feast to famine, so to speak, and would be one of the most strict (Not the most strict) pieces of copyright legislation in the world, far more so than in the US, though it does offer the benefit of protection from statutory damages and caps on damages for non-commercial infringement, neither of which are offered in the US. We do not need anti-circumvention regulations to be WIPO compliant. Many WIPO countries do not have such legislation. In fact, Brazil, who is a WIPO member, implemented anti-circumvention regulations against copyright holders, to protect consumers. They then fine copyright holders who are found to be using TPMs which violate that country’s version of fair use.

    France, who arguably has the most strict copyright legislation in the world, has actually seen an increase in piracy since implementing the 3-strikes law and HADOPI. Why is that? I surmise this is from a loss of respect for the law due to heavy handed legislation which is broadly considered to be unfair and industry centered. Should we be looking to them for advice…well, perhaps advice on how NOT to do it. Same goes for the US, we shouldn’t be looking to them or trying to mimic anything they’ve done, Bruce Lehman, the creator of the DMCA has admitted it was a failure. He points fingers at the RIAA, for their failure to adapt to an on-line marketplace.

    In this regard, Brazil has implemented one of the best I’ve seen which balances both the rights of the consumer and copyright holder. I haven’t read their entire act and don’t know if they have other pitfalls, but I like their approach to anti-circumvention regulations.

  53. @Mark: “Were Canada to decide not to, it is naive to think that we would not also lose access to some significant trading partners (for exports as well as imports), which would be wholly catastrophic for this country’s economy.”

    Is this some kind of blackmail?

    I’m shaking at the scary thought that they would refuse to sell us any more DVDs… A new Seinfeld series that I couldn’t possibly watch… And we’ll all die of boredom without access to the latest Britney Spears album…


  54. @Mark: And if by the way you’re referring to our neighbors, they’re sticking to their plan of moving everything to China:

    (as you can see they even have financial incentives to do that).

    So my guess is that in some 10 years they won’t be making anything worth buying and they won’t be able to afford to buy anything.

    Better see what’s China’s opinion on copyright laws as that’s what we’ll have to align with in the end.


  55. 1
    “We had just caught Henderson falsely claiming that the reason streaming music services won’t come to Canada is because of the “piracy,” there — even though the same article where he made those claims showed a bunch of streaming music companies who want to launch in Canada, but can’t because of the ridiculous licensing demands of the recording industry. It seems Henderson just can’t stop making statements that appear to have little basis in reality.” .. Mark@Techdirt

  56. @Mark
    I understand what you are saying. My issues are with the fact that most advanced nations right now are in debt over their eye balls. Should we as a sovereign nation give into threats of trade wars with countries who are in a huge mess economically, and would probably do far worse if we cut their supply of oil and other goods off to them? I think we have the right to make our own choice here, and not be bullied by empty threats from countries who’s economies are down the toilet. I think that threat needs to be reassessed.

    I’m not that conformable with Canada being bullied around here considering the new economic realities that have been presented post 2008. I think we are in a much stronger position economically, to be presenting Canadian values in trade and treaty negotiations.

  57. Before the CRIA considers starting it’s litigation campaign …
    A certain ‘unpopular’ lawyer in London recently was the unfortunate victim of data theft. So put on a post of coffee, get a comfy chair and sit down to read how his life has been turned upside down …

    “That was only the start of Crossley’s problems. In the last 12 months, Crossley has been targeted by the Blackpool municipal government, dogged by journalists, hounded by a major consumer group, and hauled up before the Solicitors Regulation Authority for disciplinary proceedings. Baffled, angry people write his office daily, denying any knowledge of his charges. He has blacklisted his own ex-wife in his e-mail client, demanding that she cut off all contact with him forever. Clients press him to pay up. His own data suppliers are, he fears, out to screw him, and Crossley harbors the suspicion that he could make far more money in America, where fat statutory damage awards mean he could demand even more cash from his targets.”

  58. @Crockett:

    Mr. Crossley has some bigger problems to deal with right now:

    I wonder why there’s not a $5000 fine per infringement for “making available” and “copying” someone’s personal data without his consent. If we can include DRM under copyright law then why don’t we include personal data there too. Of course none of them should be there, but what the heck lets have an uber copyright law including everything from picking locks (those car thieves should be punished harder if they touch the locks) to spam (how did those guys find out my private e-mail address and why are they using and copying it without my consent, it took great arteestec effort from my part to craft it as napalmthabomb69@mailserver).

    Nap. 🙂

  59. RE: Crossley
    Crossley is a parasite and parasites don’t often have happy endings. He’ll get his in the end. Unfortunately, he’s gojng to hurt a lot of good people along the way.

  60. How CRIA helps canadian artists and consumers
    Do a search for “Ray Montford” on youtube and listen to some of his works.

    Then go to his site and buy the albums for $7:

    or go to and get the CRIA sanctioned versions for $27.


  61. And buying it from his site, he get’s a majority of the $7 where buying the CRIA version he probably doesn’t get $0.07. There is something wrong with that entire system.

  62. Nigh, the end is near? 0_0
    It has been said many times, and not just by me, but what goes around comes around and the content industry, it seems, is looking for a brusin’

    Now, first of all, I do not necessarily approve of digital vigilantism but I am not at all surprised to see it arrive. Not to say that the content industry has not been affected by those involved of copyright infringement and should have some recourse, but their response has been so out of proportion to the harm that they have embittered not just the ‘perpetrators’ but the public at large. The further they attempt to ramp it up, the worse it’s going to get. There are much more of ‘us’ than them.

    I have said for quite a while that unless the content industry starts to develop some goodwill they are going to loose much more than they every could hope to gain by their offensive tactics. There is going to be a critical tipping point where it will go very bad for them and I think we are just seeing the tip of that now. There are many cautionary tales of embittering your ‘enemies’ that history has for us [the ‘enemies’ who in this case are also happen to be their customers], the content industry would be well to do their homework.

  63. I’ve had a change of heart 😉
    Last night I had a dream. Mr. Henderson was wearing a bat costume and James Gannon wore a colorful array of tight fitting attire. Anytime a file was infringed a glowing silhouette would appear in the clouds to strike fear in hearts of even the crustiest pirate. The world was a safer, saner and much fairer place.

    Now, as I contemplate the waking world I find it hard to believe that Mr. Henderson, Mr. Gannon and their US counterparts are not telling us anything but the gospel truth. After all they are only concerned for the welfare and success of artists & creators. Their significant cut of profits are sure to give them the resources to dig for corruption and combat injustice. Those who question their ethics, morality or intelligence should be ashamed and probably sued for a large portion of their life income. After all, politicians seem to give great credence to their cause and we know that politicians are only concerned about their constituents needs above all else. So please, leave the CRIA, RIAA, MPAA or any other #*@A alone, they are selfless warriors in the fight for truth, justice and the American way.

  64. @Crocket: “…and the American way.”

    Objection, your Honor. We’re in Canada here.

    Nap. 🙂

  65. RE: American Way
    Sacred Reich released a song called “The American Way” back in 1990.

    It’s not much more flattering than Green Day’s “American Idiot”.

    Korn released a song/video called “Y’all want a single” about industry monopoly back in 2003. (WARNING!!! This song has very obscene lyrics!! Don’t listen if you have sensibilities about such things.)

    All three are American bands BTW.