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Geist On Copyright As Canada Consult Nears End 38

Posted by Soulskill
from the quick-finish-it-before-hockey-starts dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Canadian law professor Michael Geist, who has been leading the charge on the national copyright consultation with his SpeakOutOnCopyright.ca site, has posted his own submission to the consultation. Geist focuses on issues like fair use and circumvention, and warns against a Canadian DMCA, copyright term extension, and three-strikes program. 'If copyright veers too far toward specific technologies by mandating new protection for specific business models or technological innovations, those rules risk being overtaken as the technologies and marketplace evolve. ... It should only be a violation of the law to circumvent a technological protection measure if the underlying purpose is to infringe copyright.' He also pointed out a few days ago that Bell Canada seems to be advising content owners to sue its own customers. The public consultation ends on September 13th."
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Geist On Copyright As Canada Consult Nears End

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  • so uh (Score:3, Interesting)

    by masshuu (1260516) on Saturday September 12, 2009 @02:14AM (#29396265)

    let me know when companies realize that 20th century business models don't work in the 21st century.

    All we get from copyright laws are large global corporations working there way into every countries law system, molding it to help them with there profits.

    • "And because the sales of the latest Shakira are so low I'm late on the payments on my yacht ! Lets strong arm them into payingany way we can, even if we have to beat them back all the way to the 20th century, and even beyond if needs be !"

      • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Saturday September 12, 2009 @08:29AM (#29397265) Journal

        Dear ISP Owner:

        We have observed that customer IPs ____, ____, ____, ....., ____, _____, and _____ have been sharing files. We also observed this is their third offense. Please unplug their connection from your service or else we will... blah blah blah.

        Thank you RIAA.

        .

        Dear RIAA,

        Fuck off. It's not my job to police YOUR limited, temporary copy privileges. I need those people to survive in this poor economy, and will continue providing a connection so long as they continue paying. Sue the customers in court if you want, but don't involve me in your paranoia.

        Signed,
        ISP Owner

    • by Abstrackt (609015)

      let me know when companies realize that 20th century business models don't work in the 21st century.

      That was the core of the letter I submitted. As far as easy access to digital media goes, the genie is out of the bottle and isn't going back in just because of a few new laws. It's totally ass backwards that these companies are trying to change their customers instead of themselves when they start losing money.

      What I'd love to see is an optional fee for being able to download as much media as you want in a month. They get the money, you get the goods, everybody's a winner.

  • by Adambomb (118938) on Saturday September 12, 2009 @02:34AM (#29396333) Journal

    I definitely applaud Geists work in both creating public awareness over copyright issues and also being ardently vehement against improper use of copyright, but this really means little until we find out whether the how the consultations are published to the lawmakers. From what i've seen in the past I almost wonder if we draft up ridiculous copyright reform bills from time to time just to keep the insanities of the various content distribution industries happy while making it easy to be shot down in parliament.

    Then again, Copps did get us a blank media tax that goes...somewhere... so perhaps the this doesn't always work or just appears to be the case.

    • The good thing about this is that we have the numbers and source material. If the government tries to draft up another corporation-friendly law, despite the numbers that make it absolutely clear that this is not what the people want, we can call them on it. Again.

  • by Geof (153857) on Saturday September 12, 2009 @03:07AM (#29396441) Homepage

    Make the effort to send in a submission. We have written a guide to help make it easy to put one together without understanding the intricacies of the law or the extreme proposals that have been put forward. Download the guide PDF here [faircopy.ca]. It only takes a few minutes to make the point that Canadians care deeply about this. Do your part, even if all you say is "no Canadian DMCA." But do it now: the consultation ends Sunday.

    If the government chooses to listen, great. If not, the consultation submissions are essential for making the political case that Canadians want a fair law. This is equally true if the government changes after an election.

  • by CarpetShark (865376) on Saturday September 12, 2009 @03:29AM (#29396487)

    It should only be a violation of the law to circumvent a technological protection measure if the underlying purpose is to infringe copyright.

    And you happen to be a corporation.

  • I did it (Score:4, Insightful)

    by JakartaDean (834076) on Saturday September 12, 2009 @04:19AM (#29396637) Journal
    I'm Canadian, but haven't lived there for 17 years. I don't vote, don't write letters to the editor, and generally let the folks who live there decide what they want, as it doesn't affect me so I shouldn't vote. However, I did abandon my principles and submit a submission, as I think the IP battle has been many times over by content providers, and the ordinary citizen has finished dead last. This draft makes one more loss for most Canadians.

    If you're Canadian, take half an hour and submit an email or letter (letter is better). Use the template, or copy and paste from Prof. Geist's text, or better still write something in your own words. Stand up like the guy in the Molson's Canadian commercial.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It's your decision, of course, but please vote. It matters a lot right now. If you're not in the country I know it's a hassle, but please do. The only reason we've had the chance for this consultation, and for the failure of the last 3 bills submitted with DMCA-like changes to copyright law, is probably the fact that the last 3 Canadian parliaments have been minority ones. If either of the parties in power had a majority when those prior bills were introduced we would probably have a DMCA-like law on th

  • by bzipitidoo (647217) <bzipitidoo@yahoo.com> on Saturday September 12, 2009 @05:27AM (#29396773) Journal

    Negative and punitive systems distort society. Some of those systems are somewhat successful and therefore tolerable. Copyright however isn't a success story, as it must be propped up at great expense to function in a marginal manner. We should replace every such system that is both punitive and broken. Copy "right" is all about a legal taking away of the fundamental principle of nature, used by radio stations, which is that information naturally propagates, same as heat naturally flows from hot things to cold things. Copyright maximalists would spitefully have our very brains lose the ability to remember a tune, if they couldn't monetize it. Such a limitation just isn't workable. It is impossible to restrict the ability to copy through technical means, and there is no natural way for information to be uncopyable. Penalties that run to extremes in harshness and random arbitrariness are yet another indication that a system does not work. And we've turned copyrights into tradeable items, which puts the artists at a big disadvantage to the organizations who specialize in accumulating copyrights, and who also most unfairly can greatly influence the value, and who can even distort the laws regulating the business.

    So rather than focusing on how to stop the "evil" of piracy, on hypothetical millions in lost profits, we should think of all the very real and unnecessary costs. It costs a lot of taxpayer monies to run the court, and those resources should not be wasted on such foolishness. There have been repeated attempts to force wholly unrelated organizations to police users, at all too conveniently overlooked massive expense to both the organization and all its users. Chilling effects go beyond scaring would-be artists away, there is also an encouragement of selfish, secretive, hoarding behavior. That slows down advancement at who knows what cost. Then, we could gain millions if budding artists didn't have to beg for permission for the use of every tiny little thing that might possibly infringe, or more like, take their chances that they won't be sued. Art would be better if artists were freer to explore, if they could discover and learn from everything others had done. If customers needed to buy even more equipment to handle their music libraries, if everyone could indulge their unique creativeness with any material that inspired them, in ways far beyond anything one lone artist could ever have envisioned-- it's incalculable the wealth that is being squandered.

    Rather than trying to demonize something that isn't actually harmful, dangerous, or immoral, and try to punish violators, we should reward artists in a way that does not trample upon our right to our own culture and which gives its blessing to the highly beneficial and necessary sharing we all do all the time anyway. Patronage is such a way. Pay the artists. Don't hand them bombs and tell them they have to spend time threatening everyone who makes use of their work without negotiating price on an individual basis. Don't burden them and all society with all the extra work required to work the system. Just pay them, and let them concentrate on their art as much as possible. Patronage is not a new, untested idea either. Too easy to cast an idea as new even when it isn't, and whip up hysteria and fear of the unknown over it.

    • Negative and punitive systems distort society. Some of those systems are somewhat successful and therefore tolerable. Copyright however isn't a success story, as it must be propped up at great expense to function in a marginal manner

      Or just retarded?

      I could read past the first paragraph.

      Copyright worked well for generations, and continues to serve a purpose.

      Are there flaws in it's application?

      Sure - it could use some work in a lot of areas.

      Saying it's an utter failure simply exposes you as ill informed and naive.

      • Re:Are you 12? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by commodore64_love (1445365) on Saturday September 12, 2009 @08:48AM (#29397363) Journal

        >>>Copyright worked well for generations,

        Actually it's never worked. Even in the 1800s authors had problems with people copying their books illegally. Charles Dickens frequently complained about unauthorized copies of his works appearing, and even though the government tried to punish those persons, the copies kept appearing.

        The founder of the Democratic Party Thomas Jefferson said the idea made little sense, because if you own a printing press, along with paper and ink, why shouldn't you be able to use your OWN property however you see fit? It's your property - nobody else should be able to tell you how to use (or not use) your own stuff. The only reason he tolerated it was because it was a time-limited privilege (7 years in the early 1800s), and therefore didn't cause too much hassle.

        But now it's around 1000 years which is insane. Copy PRIVILEGE should be time limited. It shouldn't be like Mickey Mouse which is still copyrighted 50 years after the original artist (Walter Elias Disney) died. In order to enrich society, works need to fall into the public domain, just like all the other great works of fiction (Paradise Lost, Romeo and Juliet, Pilgrims Progress, Tom Sawyer, David Copperfield) have fallen into public domain. That's how you enrich a culture.

        • I'd like to see shorter copyright periods as well.

          In order to enrich society, works need to fall into the public domain, just like all the other great works of fiction (Paradise Lost, Romeo and Juliet, Pilgrims Progress, Tom Sawyer, David Copperfield) have fallen into public domain. That's how you enrich a culture.

          Wut?

          You're saying these works did nothing to enrich humanity prior to falling in public domain?

          Gosh. I guess I'd best stop wasting time reading copyrighted works and spend more time on the real literature that is public domain.

          • by brit74 (831798)
            Exactly. It's one of the myths of the anti-copyright movement that copyrighted works only help society when they fall into the public domain. As if copyrighted software hasn't helped make society wealthier, more productive, and more efficient. If you were to apply to same logic (it only helps society if it's done as charity; i.e. the consumer doesn't have to pay for it) to the rest of the economy, they'd have to conclude that automobiles, airplanes, medicine, and computers haven't helped society at all b
    • I'll ask the question that I usually ask: "What have you created that is copyrightable?"

      I'm getting pretty sick of wankers that don't contribute anything to the arts, sciences or general well-being of society whacking off about, "You can't keep it from us!" Yes, we can. if we choose to. If I write a song, that's my fucking song. If I write a piece of software, that's my piece of software. I do both. If I choose to publish it under a Creative Commons License, that's my choice... or I can choose to copyright

      • Sorry... tidbit two: Don't even mention "patronage". If so, sponsor me! I'll be glad to write you a little ditty to sing at your grandmother's funeral: I love requiems. I'll even supply the details for the bank account payments.
        • I am not the public, and not authorized or able to pay out money on behalf of the public, or anyone else. Nor am I independently wealthy and able to indulge in patronage of artists on my own. Talk to someone who can. As a taxpayer, I have no objection to some of my tax monies being used to promote art and science.

          I find tiresome the basic argument that you can't have any standing to suggest improvements or criticize what you haven't personally experienced.

      • Create something worthy first, something that's worth a copyright. Then talk to me

        I already have. You think I haven't felt the pain of not being compensated for my work? I have. You think only that makes someone worthy to discuss this subject? I have a few papers published in journals. Copyright did nothing for me. The IEEE owns the copyright. If anyone pays money for a copy of one of my papers from the IEEE (and why would anyone do that?), I get exactly 0% of it. I did get a trip to the conference on public grant money, but that had nothing to do with copyright. Pretty feeble a

  • The whole idea of millions of people being criminals because they use internet is ridiculous. Copyright should be changed to make sure that there are no provisions making "default" uses like copying and distributing bits found from the internet illegal. Question to ask is this: if you find some work from internet, what steps do you need to do to receive valid permission to use and share that work on internet? Contacting _all_ copyright owners of the work is clearly not suitable solution, because finding the

    • The whole idea of millions of people being criminals because they use internet is ridiculous.

      Of course it is - which is why that has never been the case.

      Copyright should be changed to make sure that there are no provisions making "default" uses like copying and distributing bits found from the internet illegal.

      I don't know what you mean by "default" and neither do you.

      Firing up a p2p client to look for music which you know full well is copy righted work is a deliberate act - not something that happens automatically.

      Question to ask is this: if you find some work from internet, what steps do you need to do to receive valid permission to use and share that work on internet?

      You already know the answer to this:

      Contacting _all_ copyright owners of the work...

      Yup - you know.

      ...is clearly not suitable solution, because finding them all might be impossible, and even if you find them, every one of them is unlikely to agree on your request.

      So, what you are saying is that respecting the rights of others is too hard, and if the answer is No, you'd prefer to just ignore that.

      There needs to be a solution where individual end users can be confident that what they're doing with the internet is legal.

      So, what you want to do is make all infringing legal - n

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