Post Tagged with: "private copying"
Readers of the Toronto Star will know that the paper recently published a letter to the editor from CRIA President Graham Henderson responding to my column on the privacy implications of the Federal Court of Appeal file sharing case. Henderson didn't think much of the column, opening his letter by stating that "Michael Geist's on-going vendetta against the record industry assumes new dimensions each week."
The Star edited some of the rest of the letter, but CRIA has now posted it in full on its site. The first paragraph actually continues in the same vein, with Henderson stating that "I think readers are entitled to start asking what motive is at the root of this single minded, attack dog mentality."
Since the start of the year, I've written 23 columns for the Star. They've addressed a wide range of issues including a national online library, patents, Internet pharmacies, broadband access, Internet telephony, spam, lawful access, ISP accountability, and censorship in China. Two columns have focused on intellectual property issues in developing countries and three have discussed privacy law issues. In fact, only seven columns considered copyright matters and just three columns explicitly focus on the music industry and copyright.
My motivations are pretty transparent. I am concerned about the impact of potential copyright reforms advocated by CRIA that have been shown elsewhere to have a negative impact on privacy, free speech, creativity, security, and research. I am concerned with policies that do little to benefit Canadian creators while sending increasing royalties to large multinational corporations based outside the country. I am concerned by public rhetoric that seeks to label as "theft" activities that may be permissible under Canadian law. I am concerned that Canadian copyright laws are not focused on policies that could genuinely foster greater Canadian creativity and access to Canadian culture.
I would argue that CRIA's motivations are also pretty transparent. Consider the development of the private copying levy in Canada and the ongoing debate on file sharing.
Game show aficionados will recall the 1960s and 1970s hit Let's Make a Deal, in which host Monty Hall would tempt contestants into trading prizes for whatever lay behind one of three doors. While there were great prizes behind some doors, there was always a booby prize behind one.
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