Tuesday, June 24, 2008

geeky reason

One of the unfortunate truisms of the ongoing debate over C-61, the federal government's legislative attempt to reform the Copyright Act to better reflect digital practice and the need for strong creator copyright protection, is that the, ahem, geekier elements of the population are lining up beneath the protest flag of unregulated consumerism being flown by Michael Geist and a number of other freedom fighters against new American imperialism. The intent of these groups, I think, can be summed up by one of the organizing URLs -- KillBillC61.ca

See that's just super extra special geeky because not only is it a call for immediate action to undermine and destroy tabled Canadian legislation (as opposed to debating and amending it), but it side-references the super-hot American actress Uma Thurman. I guess the hidden message there is that if C-61 passes, we will not be allowed to carry films featuring Uma in her yellow motorcycle suit on our iPhones.

Since I've been casually collecting examples of reasoned thinking and opinion around C-61, I thought I should probably show some from folks with a little geek in them, to prove not everyone who has seen the guts of a computer is terrified. This is from a blog run by someone named Xenon, who describes himself in his online profile as an advance scout for the invasion fleet from the planet Neptune that is scheduled to arrive in 2009. I'm just not sure you get geekier than that.

Some thoughts on Bill C-61

Xenon expresses the same kind of confusion I do about the over-the-top misinterpretations of the bill and its implications, and he frankly does a better job of it. Here's a favorite quote in which he chides Catherine Ford of the Calgary Herald for her fear-based and somewhat uninformed opinion piece against the Bill (Copyright Law Would Turn Millions Into Criminals):

a newspaper column by Catherine Ford of the Calgary Herald noted the following:

"There are at least 400 movies and an uncountable number of television shows on about 200 VHS tapes stored in my den. Should the amendment to Canada's copyright law pass without change, I will apparently be branded a thief."

Um.... Catherine, under the current law, you're *already* a thief. Bill C-61 just clarifies some of the murkiness. But unless someone is making copies of their archived programs and selling them, they have little to worry about. The police will be after pirates who go into the illegal-copying business wholesale.


Xenon, representative of our future Neptunian overlords, ends his piece by saying:

It's not the law yet, and there may be changes or amendments before it passes. Until then... get a grip, people.

I welcome his reasonable and logical people.

50 comments:

Ex-Conservative Canadian said...

Imagine, when someone comes out with a law designed in such a way (that everyone knows) it had no public consultation, basically in secret, and upon release it confirms their worst suspicions, and grants nothing the average canadian wants, and can easily be "misunderstood" and "misinterpreted" as you claim.. is that a law that people should just "get a grip" on? especially when they try to slip it through as "fair and balanced"? and "made in canada"? And LIE on television and radio shows?

Add to that fact the media has been slow on the uptake because they're part of the problem? So the average person has no idea what this law implicates? I have read this law, and it is complete garbage, the worst of the US DMCA with some extra bullcrap thrown in. Sit back and Relax? I don't see American Lobbyists and Ambassadors relaxing.

You sir, are a fucking tool. The only logical reaction to being raped is to fight back. And you want the Canadian public to take it in the ass and like it. I'm glad people see this law for what it is. Useless, anti-Canadian and made in America.

Infringer said...

John, your link is busted.

I'm not sure invoking the reasoning of someone who claims to be "an advance scout for the invasion fleet from the planet Neptune that is scheduled to arrive in 2009", really does a lot to bolster support for your argument. Is that really the best you could do?

With regard to Catharine Ford. What you say is true, but still one of those nasty shades of gray(scroll to time-shifting). It could still have been interpreted by a judge to be legal under fair dealings. Dunno. As you've pointed out, I'm not a lawyer. This legislation removes the gray, but unfortunately opts for black instead. Bad colour choice.

Speaking of colour. What colour is the sky today John?

John said...

Because I honour free speech and the memory of George Carlin, I don't delete comments from my blog, but you should know, ex-conservative, that we don't run a potty-mouth establishment here at johndegen.com. Scream obscenities all you want, but I won't be listening.

ifwhinger -- what? You're not a lawyer?

John McFetridge said...

There are lots of bad Canadian laws and many of them have been imposed from outside the country.

Last January Marc Emery agreed to spend five years in prison in Canada (where he broke no laws) in a plea bargain to avoid a life sentence in a US prison.

http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/story.html?id=e343fa43-da3c-4864-a3fd-999a218650b0&k=80077

(you mau have to cut and paste the link, I'm not very techy)

Marc Emery sold marijuana seeds by mail order from BC into the US. Pretty much all of our drug laws are forced on us by the US.

The tiny trickle of reform to medicial marijuana laws is in fact, a step backwards not forwards.

I see potheads on Capital Hill, I don't see any U of O law professors there with them. Are some imposed laws more equal than others?

In Canada we now have something called FINTRAC that asks banks to report "suspicious" transactions - this law was forced on us by the US and EU who feared Canada was becoming the home of money laundering (in fact it is, and the law has done nothing to slow it down, it's that same kind of 'reporting' they're asking ISPs to do with this C-61).

It amazes me that with all this going on (there are far too many more like to list here) so many people are bent out of shape over this law.

It's not the principle, it's not US invasion of Canadian laws - that goes on everyday.

What is it exactly?

Infringer said...

Good God John. Be reasonable with ex-conservative. I mean, it's not as if you listen to anyone who refrains from obscenities either.

I notice you've resorted to name calling today. Is this because you have come to some sort of realization regarding the quality of any argument you can muster?

Surely someone back in Buffalo is yearning for your presence. Why don't you drive to see.

Infringer said...

Hi JohnMcF,

Speaking for myself, it's not because this law is being imposed from the outside that I am against it. It is because it is not a good law.

I remember the Marc Emery story, alas it fell off my radar too. If he has to spend 5 years in jail for what he did, then that indeed is a travesty.

It sounds like you are arguing that since these sorts of travesties have happened and are happening, that we should not bother doing anything to prevent them from happening again. I don't agree with that. There probably are a whole lot of bad laws imposed from the outside. I don't know what they all are, and I'll have to trust someone else is fighting them. Life is just to short to fight every cause.

With regard to copyright, I've been following this for many years now. I don't really want to open myself up to John's ridicule, but it is a topic I feel knowledgeable on and I want to influence.

WRT the "kind of 'reporting' they're asking ISPs to do with this C-61" I don't think I am aware of that. My understanding was that there was a notice-and-notice system (which we have now, and which is the one part of this bill I agree with). If there is 'reporting' of a similar nature to what banks have to do, then that implies that the ISPs have to actively be policing their own networks. I'll have to read the bill again, because I did not see that. If it is there, then that would be one more aspect in a long list of objections I have to this bill.

John McFetridge said...

No, I'm sure you understand C-61 a lot better than I do, Darryl. FINTRAC is probably different (but it doesn't work).

Yes, I can appreciate your views on copyright and trademark and not agree with them.

But many people involved in this debate have pushed it to hysterical proportions with things like the 51st State comic book and organized websites and they've made a lot of claims about American imperialism and losses to Canadian autonomy, without I think, having any real idea what's actually going on in other fields (and how really culturally threatened we are).

I think if more people were honest enough to say how much of this fight is because they want free stuff and will use any justification to get it, we would be a lot closer to discussing the things yo feel are wrong with the bill.

Maybe, someday I would see how the economy would work without copyright or trademark but at the moment I can only see how it would push all the investment into the cultural industries into the hands of the government - no one else would invest in things if there was no way to see a return so it would mean the only cultural activities would be small-scale, individual or tiny group work. Maybe that would even be a good thing, but given how we're being buried by Hollywood now, I don't see it.

The original reason for copyrights and trademarks still stand - creators and investors need a reasonable chance to recoup before the public domain can function. On this we can siply disagree.

But on the idea that this is a fight for people's rights and to ward off foreign aggression - well, that's not cutting it. You may think it's a bad bill (they all are, in some way, they're all compromises), I wish you get more people to say that, within the context of all the other bad bills, and not that there's some special principle here.

I think the Capitol Hill article summed it up perfectly - this is a fight between Google, Yahoo, Rogers, Telus and Bell the ones who benefit from a 'free and open exchange' as long as it's on networks they own) on one side and Microsoft, Adobe, and Apple on the other.

The rest of us are just collateral damage, and wraping yourselves up in the flag or thining your on the side of the 'little guy' or individual rights is just being willfully duped.

So maybe you align with some multinationals while other people align with others. There are multi-nationals on both sides - some of them will come out winners.

Ex-Conservative Canadian said...

Scream obscenities all you want, but I won't be listening.


Then you do not "honour George Carlin" in the least.

To insult people against this bill because they are "infringers" who want "free stuff" is to do a disservice to all the Canadians against this bill.

Copyright holders only have rights in so far as we grant them, and this goes too far. If I want to unlock my cell phone and bypass digital locks, If I want to watch a DVD using Linux or some non-microsoft platform by reverse engineering the encryption, then that should be completely legal. This law makes it otherwise.

And yes, copyright owners should be compensated for their works, however, There is no reason why a law should be created to protect people hired to take wedding photos, and they retain all copyright by default. Want to share it online? Bypass a digital lock to do so? Well then, add an extra 20,000 dollar bill to your already overpriced wedding.

These laws were created to protect businesses with outdated business models and that is all. Heaven forbid the Star Trek replicator is ever created, and millions of Chef's are put out of jobs. Want to reverse engineer the data pattern for roast beef? break a digital lock to do it? Oh well. Screw feeding the third world. Screw fair access to information. Screw the consumer for wanting to own what they buy and be able to use it how they choose.

But hey, if you're in favour of people being sued for posting videos of themselves singing happy birthday on youtube, by all means, hold to your position. If you think it wont happen, then you're a fool. I've been following the goings on of the US DMCA for a decade. There is no need for these laws in Canada.

And they won't stop piracy! Artists won't see an extra cent!

But ignore me for using the word Fucking. You must have been too stoned to hear the actual messages George Carlin had for people.

Infringer said...

"The original reason for copyrights and trademarks still stand - creators and investors need a reasonable chance to recoup before the public domain can function. On this we can siply disagree."

Actually I whole heartedly agree with you on this John, but whereas in the industrial economy this was the only tool that did this, there are now a great many tools at our disposal. As a result we need to loosen the grip of copyright rather than tighten it so that these other tools can be better utilized.

Xenon said...

Just a side comment to Infringer: my blog profile claiming to be an advance scout from Neptune is intended as whimsical humour. It is not intended to be taken literally, or even seriously.

John McFetridge said...

"As a result we need to loosen the grip of copyright rather than tighten it so that these other tools can be better utilized."

Well, as I said, for functional creative work, I understand this. For things like software that can't possibly be used now in the ways they were written ten years ago, sure, I see it.

For other creative works, what are these new tools? How do they work? Are they a lot better than the old ones, or just a little better?

I think we can ignore the Star Trek replicator stuff, but the guy does reduce the argument back to nothing more than watching DVDs and that's a shame (we really have to stop sucking up to Hollywood). The wedding photog stuff is silly, too, because it's simply the default setting on the contract - you can still make your own agreements with your photog. This also wouldn't be becessary if so many people hadn't simply appropriated other people's work without even asking. So much of this issue does come down to rudeness. I wish we could legislate that :)

This idea that some jobs will be lost isn't the issue, either. What will be lost, if the revenue streams are too greatly reduced, is the investment.

Again, maybe this isn't the case in software at all, but the arts are still using old models. If new ones are better people will look at them.

Here look. Making a movie costs a lot of money. Investing in a movie is a risk because many don't return the investment. To reduce the risks a bunch of things are done. They appeal to the lowest common denominator (so they get stories and characters from comic books, so they're simple enough for lots of people to understand) they use well known movie stars and they spend huge amounts of money on advertising. And the investors do have a monopoly (on that specific movie - not on "movies") for a period of time. Is it too long? Who knows?

If there's a better way to get people to invest in the arts, I'm pretty sure most artists will be keen to hear it.

Look, Darryl, even using your Private Infringer short stories, in the first one he wanted an Anne of Green Gables figurine - not a generic figurine, but one based on a specific character. He could have bought a generic figurine, but he made a choice to buy a specific one. That choice has a small (very small) fee attatched.

The original publisher of Anne (American, by the way) invested money at risk, as did the makers of the TV show, and one or both of those investments is the only reason PI had even heard of Anne. The risk happened to pay off, they won. They don't always win. Entertainment companies have no greater a return on investment than any other industry (no matter what my broker tries to tell me when he's trying to unload one :)

Even launching my books in the US costs quite a bit and in return for that risk, the publisher wants to lower the odds of failure. I'd say increase the odds of success, but it's a book set in Toronto, so come on, how well can it sell in the States?

If there was a way for me to get such a food looking book in people's hands without the copyright and the deal with the publisher, well, all I want to do is write the books. What's your idea? How does it work?

One last one. My wife is a big fan of the TV show Firefly and the movie Serenity. If half the people who downloaded the movie and the episodes of the show had paid a buck each, Universal Studios would be making new episodes right now. Maybe no one cares, but I'm sure you can appreciate what it means to have your wife be happier.

Infringer said...

Sorry Xenon, I am quite sure it is all humour. I just couldn't resist the temptation to take a pot shot at John, and you got caught in the cross fire.

John said...

"There are a few things that when I think they're too harsh, I'll take them out when I do the show... I don't like making people uncomfortable. I don't think I have an obligation to force what I think is correct or okay into other people's lives... You know, I don't really want to injure someone."

-- George Carlin discussing his stand-up act in an interview on NPR's Fresh Air, aired yesterday to commemorate his life.

See ex-cons accusations, to me, are an example of what tends to go wrong in these debates. Willful misinterpretation of the public record.

I honour the memory of George Carlin as a free speech advocate who understood there is a difference between "bad words" and "bad thoughts, bad intentions." That's from the actual 7 dirty words routine, by the way.

Carlin was also someone who could speak intelligently and convincingly about the moral and ethical limitations of the white, male, corporate power structure in which we live, and then also choose to engage in delightful self-mockery by playing a burnt-out hippy in the Disney/Pixar (Nascar) incredibly white male corporate children's film Cars.

In other words, he was a subtle intellect, who understood, nay lived and celebrated nuance.

So in other words, ex-conservative, I accept your apology.

And ifwhinger, I am sorry if my parodic, um, mashup of your silly internet handle is hurting you in any way. But I will continue to exercise my fair dealing right to satirical comment -- at least until we can both make sure the proper amendment defining that right is inserted in C-61. Also, you do whinge an awful lot about what-ifs, so it may even be covered by fair comment.

Infringer said...

That's it John, when your argument has no substance, resort to name calling. It's a tried and true method. My 6 year old used it just the other day. Your retort is fully in line with what I've come to expect from you. Carry on.

Ex-Conservative Canadian said...

. I don't like making people uncomfortable. I don't think I have an obligation to force what I think is correct or okay into other people's lives... You know, I don't really want to injure someone."
- George Carlin.

If only You, Lobbyists, and the liars I helped elect into power felt the same.

This law does not give people anything in return for giving up their rights to access what they purchase. Nobody signs a contract when they purchase a DVD that says "you must play this only on a certified machine and if you break the encryption you will be fined", because if they did, they wouldn't buy it.

The photographer at a wedding under current copyright laws does NOT by default own the copyrights, as logically enough, they are seen by default as being work for hire. Which any sensible human being would see as the proper way of dealing with it.

This bill does not stop piracy. It will create even less respect for copyright than ever before. You say we're chicken littles and that nothing bad will happen with this law. All one needs is to look at the USA and see how they're doing. They're the ones who are pushing this in the first place. Dismiss my points as you please, I didn't actually come here and post to convince you. I don't yell "leafs suck" to convince leafs fans of the fact. I yell it because its true.

I apologize for nothing.

John McFetridge said...

"This bill does not stop piracy."

So, what would?

John said...

Wait second, what if a wedding photographer refused to sell any prints of the wedding and instead loaded all the images on an encrypted DVD which he then stored at his secret American headquarters, ofr use in the US government's plans for eventual capture and rendition of all legaly married Canadians?

Why, he'd be... the least successful wedding photographer ever.

I'm still waiting for ex-conservative to understand the rules of civility as explained by George Carlin, so I'll address this comment to all those many people who come to this blog to have ifwhinger explain my fallacies to them.

It's been reliably shown that photographs probably do not steal souls or identities. The inclusion of new photog rights in C-61 addresses an historical anomaly in Canadian law, and protects the rights of highly trained professional creators who invest a great deal in creating photographic "texts."

It allows them to retain the rights of their creativity -- not to any image of the bride and groom, or the bride and groom themselves for that matter. It gives them confidence in negotiating contracts for the sale of certain products of their creativity, and defines exactly what it is the couple are getting for their money. It creates accuracy and gets rid of ambiguity in the contracting of this service.

It does not apply only to wedding photogs, though that seems to be the sexiest way to disagree with this element of the bill. Since just about every wedding guest carries a digital camera these days, and since they all will be quite generous with those images, I doubt there is a single married couple who will suffer from not being able to access the images of their wedding should this bill become law.

The only consequence will be that that the photog will have as much confidence of full payment as does the caterer, the limo driver and whoever's renting out the hall.

Infringer said...

"I'm still waiting for ex-conservative to understand the rules of civility as explained by George Carlin, so I'll address this comment to all those many people who come to this blog to have ifwhinger explain my fallacies to them."

Why would you expect that of ex-con, when you have yet to get past name calling yourself. A little hypocritical don't you think?

"It's been reliably shown that photographs probably do not steal souls or identities. The inclusion of new photog rights in C-61 addresses an historical anomaly in Canadian law, and protects the rights of highly trained professional creators who invest a great deal in creating photographic "texts." "

So you're saying that since we handle the copyright on other materials wrong, we should handle photographs the same wrong way? I guess there is a certain kind of sense to that.

"It allows them to retain the rights of their creativity -- not to any image of the bride and groom, or the bride and groom themselves for that matter. It gives them confidence in negotiating contracts for the sale of certain products of their creativity, and defines exactly what it is the couple are getting for their money. It creates accuracy and gets rid of ambiguity in the contracting of this service."

Right, because we all know that the photographic industry is currently an anarchistic waste land. No photographer can survive in this environment. They are all living under bridges and in parks.


"It does not apply only to wedding photogs, though that seems to be the sexiest way to disagree with this element of the bill. "

So true. It also applies to your own family photo album, and to your vacation pictures. A law like this would force anyone wanting to stay within the law to get others to sign waivers when asking them to use your camera to take your picture.

"The only consequence will be that that the photog will have as much confidence of full payment as does the caterer, the limo driver and whoever's renting out the hall."

This can and is done already though contract law. The real consequence will be that it will be harder to track down the copyright holder on photos in general, and harder still to identify when any particular photo is out of copyright.

John McFetridge said...

"The real consequence will be that it will be harder to track down the copyright holder on photos in general, and harder still to identify when any particular photo is out of copyright."

If they even bother to look.

I think you're right, we have to move to a new model, it's too much to expect people to respect the work. A friend of mine is a cartoonist and he's constantly finding his work online - often changed to be really racist and offensive. As long his friends and family (and prospective employers) don't think it's him and get offended, so what, right?

But we really are moving to the play all day pass, like amusement parks. When I was a kid we didn't have much money and at Belmont Park in Montreal we had to pay for each ride seperately. The day usually ended in disaapointment when the money ran out before I was done.

Now that I have much more money than my parents did (thanks for all the sacrifices, folks!) my kids can play all day at Ontario Place for one fee.

So that's the model here. It'll work. As a creator I'll get paid for submitting my work, probably n some sliding scale based on ho wmany times it's accessed, and people will have free exchange of ideas.

Once they pay the price of admission. So, really, all we'll be doing is trading one set of multinationals - Microsoft, Hollywood, etc., - for another - Google, Bell, Rogers.

That's okay by me, I just wish the guys at "Appropriation Art" would stop being so cartoonish about it.

John said...

ifwhinger,

Okay, I guess I can explain one more thing -- please feel free to pass this on to your six year old (or maybe he can explain it to you).

When someone refers to the President of the United States as "dubya," they are satirizing aspects of his character and public persona for the purposes of making a point. When someone calls the same person "a f***ing tool," they are name-calling. I like to think of it as a difference in quality as well as purpose. I think ex-con's immediate obscenity betrays a lack of grace and style. I respect satire because it has style.

And so, if for no other reason than your most recent, ridiculous suggestion about waivers when asking someone to take a photo with your camera (I mean, what if they sued?), you are now and forever shall be on this blog "ifwhinger."

And if you don't like it, you're free to choose a number of remedy options.

Ex-Conservative Canadian said...

When someone calls the same person "a f***ing tool," they are name-calling. I like to think of it as a difference in quality as well as purpose.

It's merely a factual observation. Let me demonstrate. This law f***s us in the a**. You are a "tool" of this corrupt establishment in poorly defending these laws that Canadians in general do not want. Therefore one can accurately be described as a f***ing tool.

I sincerely hope the asterisks defend your sensibilities and chastity sufficiently.

And so, if for no other reason than your most recent, ridiculous suggestion about waivers when asking someone to take a photo with your camera (I mean, what if they sued?), you are now and forever shall be on this blog "ifwhinger."

Childish, and if, once again you looked to the USA, who with their DMCA now are being forced to set up a registry of "abandoned works", and have to create even more laws as a result of the DMCA in order to deal with the ridiculous aftermath. This situation is already happening in the USA.

WHY ARE WE COPYING A FAILED AMERICAN LAW THAT DOES NOT STOP INFRINGEMENT AT ALL AND MAKES MOST CANADIANS CRIMINALS.

no question mark because we all know the answer.

John McFetridge said...

"no question mark because we all know the answer."

I actually don't know the answer.

I've asked a bunch of questions in this thread and others and I never get answers. I may be too dumb for you to bother with responses, but there are lots of people like me.

I'll start with two:

1) How do we stop piracy?

2) There are multinational lobbyists on both sides, why are some good and others bad when they both have the same objective of controlling what's online and maximizing their profits from it?

Infringer said...

1) How do we stop piracy?


You can't. But if you want to keep it at a minimum you have to have laws that can be respected. Otherwise people will simply figure, phfff I'm already a pirate for having my VHS collection or putting my pic on Flickr, watching my DVD on linux, or modding my Xbox, might as well download that movie too.

The law HAS to be worthy of respect in the eyes of the consumer otherwise it is worthless. That is the point that Degen keeps missing.


2) There are multinational lobbyists on both sides, why are some good and others bad when they both have the same objective of controlling what's online and maximizing their profits from it?


Who said some were good?

----

John, I understand sarcasm, honestly. That doesn't make it any less a dis. The only reason for dissing someone in a forum such as this is to deflect attention from your inadequate arguments. Disaway till your heart is content m'boy. It only reflects poorly on you.

John McFetridge said...

Who said some were good?

I guess it was implied by lining up with them and dissing the others - as if their very existence made them evil (look, I'm still annoyed I'm being pushed to 'their' side in this).

Now, we had VCRs for a long time before piracy became a serious problem.

What law would have to say to keep it to a minimum?

John said...

ifwhinger,

So, again, you accept my point about satire, except that you don't accept it. It's this total lack of self-awareness that keeps you at least mildly amusing.

Your forming a sentence saying I keep missing a point is not the same as you actually making a respectable point, or any point at all for that matter. Your justification for piracy is little more than lame ethical relativism -- and if you wonder why anyone would design Bill C-61 the way it has been designed, I'd say you need only look at your own cute rationalizations for clearly unlawful behaviour.

You seem to be working under the delusion that I care what you think about me. You have to know that you lost my respect when you tried and failed to defend the more ridiculous examples of "death by copyright" on your own website. Plagiarism, censorship, lazy attribution. Why would anyone who makes any claim to respect anything about copyright defend these things? Lawrence Lessig doesn't defend these things. Michael Geist doesn't defend these things.

Is that what your continued appearance over here is about -- some sort of request for renewed respect after the crashing of your reputation?

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. I find most of what you say over here to be rude and disrespectful to an entire sector of our society for whom I have a great deal of respect. If you don't like how I respond to such behaviour in my own digital home, leave my digital home and go rail about my unreasonableness somewheres else. At least -- at the very least, stop whining about how you're being treated.

Consider this the blog-debate equivalent of the on-field official catching you in a dive. Get back on your feet and start running. No one's buying it. Or do we need to dig a hole?

Soccer reference for the benefit of McF.

Infringer said...

"I guess it was implied by lining up with them and dissing the others - as if their very existence made them evil (look, I'm still annoyed I'm being pushed to 'their' side in this)."

I think they are all necessary evils. We use to need them to distribute creative works. They are becoming a lot less necessary though, and soon I expect they will go the way of the Bell Canada operator. Sure we still have a few, but not as many because we don't need them and they get in the way of the conversation.

C-61 is an effort by these orgainizations to to try to keep themselves relevant when technology is making it so that we simply don't need them. I think in the long run it will be better for artists and consumers alike when these dinosaurs aren't taking a big piece of the pie any more.


"Now, we had VCRs for a long time before piracy became a serious problem."

Yeah, but remember what Jack Valenti said when the VCR did first come out. If lawmakers had listened to him an entire industry would never exist right now. The internet is the next evolution of the same thing and it is really important that law lawmakers don't listen to his ilk now either.

"What law would have to say to keep it to a minimum?"

I think there is a typo here 'cause I don't quite understand. A reasonable law in my mind will not try to regulate something that cannot be regulated. You might as well regulate that the sky be purple. The problem becomes if you try to regulate something that you physically can't and most people disagree with the law, then all you do is hurt the law because people will get use to ignoring it.


-----

JohnD, you're on a tirade. Stop and breath for a moment. I think we both know where our opinions differ on all these subjects you bring up here again. Give it a rest.

I don't really care what you think. I comment here for the sake of your readers. You can heave all the sarcastic insults you want at me. I'm not bothered. As you say, it's your blog. Sling all the mud you want. But as long as you keep comments open I'll offer different perspectives of whatever you post, and I'll leave it to you're readership to decern the reasonable position.

If you're not happy with what what I say, turn off comments like you guys do at the CCC site, or delete my comments, or (as you are doing now) whip yourself into a lather.

John McFetridge said...

"C-61 is an effort by these orgainizations to to try to keep themselves relevant when technology is making it so that we simply don't need them."

Well, they own the technology, so that makes them pretty relevant, doesn't it? Unless your going to start laying your own cable and launching your own sattellites.

And, in terms of artistic efforts, I'm not as sure that we don't need something.

The idea of artists creating and distributing work on line has some serious limitations. It can work fine with small-scale operations, but anytime capital needs to be raised we run into some kind of middle-man.

In theory, capital could be raised online by the artists themselves, but people tend to specialize. I've seen dozens of people try - mostly for film production - and no one's been able to figure out how yet. Maybe someday that'll work, we'll see. It can certainly be tried with or withour C-61 and any other copyright law (you know, there's no law that says you have to copyright your work). If it works, it works and copyright law will fall away like so many other unused laws.

I think the idea that we simply give up on regulating things that are difficult to regulate is a very tough one to put into practise.

Regardless of what ex-con says (and really, how'd you ever get suckered into the cons in the first place? What possible platform did they sell that you bought?) that the lobbyists are all on one side, they're not. Dressing this up as some American Imperialism fight just doesn't work and I wish we could get to the real issues.

And yes, there was a typo (or two or ten) in my question, but you figured it out :) Still, though, what I mostly hear is what we can't do.

It sounds like your saying we should let the mob rule, that even if it was morally right to try and stop them, we just can't, so why bother?

That's a big change from the way we've done things in the past and quite a sharp turn from the road we've been on, as a society. I sure hope it works out.

John said...

ifwhinger,

Oh, you're not bothered. Okay, I thought all that whining about mud slinging was you being bothered.

Carry on with your theories about justifiable law-breaking and the corporate dinosaurs.

And please, no more diving.

Ex-Conservative Canadian said...

1) How do we stop piracy?

You cannot. No amount of legislation, no amount of suing of Canadians, no amount of DRM will stop it. There will always be Copyright Infringement so long as there is Copyright.

Sure, there need to be laws that target large scale for profit enterprises that wish to make a profit from the works of others. There are already, to an extent, such laws.

At the same time, you must grant the public at large fair use/fair dealing. Non Profit use of a work should be granted by default in copyright.

What is created and given protection under copyright is not a god given right. It is a right society has chosen to grant individuals in order to maintain a living. And it (originally) was only meant to be a temporary right, not something corporations could extend forever and ever. Eventually everything is supposed to return to the public domain where again, it can be modified and used for the advancement, creatively, of all mankind.

Digital locks restrict what people can do with what they own, and negatively hinder the future of the public domain.

How many works from public access stations were lost when large cable companies in the 90s began throwing them out? Or even old tv shows. Who are they to be the gatekeepers of what was created? Everything that is created eventually belongs in the public domain for the betterment of the future creative industries. Especially nowadays with the internet creating a much faster turnaround time for creative works and making distribution incredibly cost effective.

2) There are multinational lobbyists on both sides, why are some good and others bad when they both have the same objective of controlling what's online and maximizing their profits from it?

the people we elect should work for us, not lobbyists. simple as that. If a majority of Canadians are against something, then they should follow us, not American's who want to make an extra buck. If its bad for the economy, (which it isn't, I'd argue Canada has never been more creative than in the last 10 years, in movies, television, and music) then if that is the will of a majority of Canadians, politicians should listen to them. Not outright lie to their constituents about laws they table yet cannot even explain the intricacies of, because they were produced by American multinational corporations who have NO loyalty to Canada whatsoever save how much money they can siphon out.

Regardless of what ex-con says (and really, how'd you ever get suckered into the cons in the first place? What possible platform did they sell that you bought?) that the lobbyists are all on one side, they're not. Dressing this up as some American Imperialism fight just doesn't work


I'm in favour of getting tougher on crime than the Liberals and the rest have been. Bill C-60 is why I chose not to vote Liberal, though I always leaned strongly Conservative/PC in the past. But these guys are clearly nothing close to the PC's. I'll have to vote NDP or Green. The Liberals and Conservatives clearly do not respect the people who put them in power. Although I always wished the Rhino party would win every seat in parliament. The Libs and Conservatives never liked them, but they were the most honest party there ever was. And their whole platform was a series of lies!

and I wish we could get to the real issues.

If the Conservatives didn't release such a bad law on purpose, but instead brought out new copyright legislation that didn't immediately take the worst possible position imaginable, and wanted to create a dialog with Canadians, then I wouldn't be quite so angry. But They didn't, they listened to the American ambassador, American based industry groups, and gave platitudes to Canadians. so I am furious. I despise being used, and I despise my vote being treated with contempt.

John McFetridge said...

"Non Profit use of a work should be granted by default in copyright."

True. But tricky. everytime we go online someone makes a profit - there's no non-profit internet yet (unless I sit at the library for my few alotted minutes). This is why Bell, Rogers, Telus and Google are lobbying for everything online to be freely available - they profit from it.

"It is a right society has chosen to grant individuals in order to maintain a living."

as is every right we have. and they certainly change over time. This one could, too.

Look, for me personally, if there was no copyright, I could do pretty well. Many reviews of my books have pointed out that I'm stylistically influenced by Elmore Leonard (as he was by Hemingway, etc.) and I think I could do a very professional job on a sequel to one of his novels - and plenty of publishers would pay me for that than for my next book.

But to not ask Elmore is wrong. Not just legally, but morally. It's
rude and no way to make a society. It's too big a break with tradition.

"How many works from public access stations were lost when large cable companies in the 90s began throwing them out?"

Now we're getting somewhere. We must make sure that anger over this law - or similar laws - doesn't push things further into the hands of the cable companies (and other companies that deliver online content).

I've said on here many times that my fear is piracy will lead to a kind of 'permanent rental' of content - which is certainly where the business model is headed. If content can't be sold with protections - it doesn't have to be sold at all - it can be made available any time you want it, on any device you want to play it on - for one monthly fee.

Now, we're likely headed there anyway, this will just speed things up. If you're okay with TV going from free over the air (public domain) to privately owned (and very loosely regulated) cable, this will be fine for you. In fact, since cable TV replaced over the air TV, far more content is available - even (maybe especially?) older content, but far less is public domain.

Given how little control Canadians have (or want) over cable, it's a losing battle to complain about american interference - we want their stuff too much. I know, YOU don't, but look around.

"I'd argue Canada has never been more creative than in the last 10 years, in movies, television, and music."

You could, but it would be a hard sell. I worked in the Canadian movie and TV industry for over ten years and it only exists because of government regulation. It's a kind of noblesse oblige industry.

If Canadian companies could merely deliver foriegn content, they would. there was a saying in TV production, "Not a minute more." The CRTC mandates how much Canadian content has to be aired and every TV station in Canada airs the absolute minimum required to keep their lisence. every time there's a new regulation that lowers that amount, it gets lowered immediately.

I can't say about music.

The only healthy cultural industry for Canadians is publishing - the only one in which the content reflects the lives of Canadians. It's also the only one which Canadians seem to want, consistently placing Canadian books at the top of bestseller lists. I'm not sure why that is, why the book business is so different - maybe smaller scale, lower production costs. Lots of reasons I suspect.

"If the Conservatives didn't release such a bad law on purpose, but instead brought out new copyright legislation that didn't immediately take the worst possible position imaginable"

wow, there are so many worst possible positions.

Look, I want to download music, too. I want to watch Hollywood movies before they come on TV without paying for them, I'm sure we all do. (I don't want to watch movies on a three inch screen, though, that's just wrong).

I'm sure we also all want to stop large-scale organized crime piracy, too, we just don't know how.

To me, this law is as silly as marijuana laws or speed limits on highways. Yes, it makes us all criminals as so many laws do. we don't have quite somany blogs or organized opposition to other silly (but even more invasive) laws as this one and when breaking the other laws we usually have the honesty not to try and take some silly higher moral ground.

The first example in the Globe article was, I don't want to buy a second version of Alien to watch on my iPod. Then there was, i want to record a TV show to watch later.

These aren't issues. Don't buy Alien. Miss a TV show.

Stop being such a teenager.

(oh, and be very afraid of the people you're siding with on this issue - they don't even want to make new music or movies or TV shows, they just want to sell repeats, and they're even worse corporations tha Hollywood studios, record companies and software makers. Just look at what they've done with cable tv and phones, those prices going down?...)

John said...

But officer, don't you see how the speed limit here is imposed due to pressure from the big 3 American auto manufacturers who clearly have a stake in slower moving traffic, since it keeps everyone in their cars longer. That's why I was speeding -- to protest needless and evil restrictions on my liberty.

And what's with the locks on these cars. (I know... different kind of locks) And what's with these seatbelt laws and the law prohibiting that I remove the airbags or add an extra fuel injector? When I buy a car, do I not own it?

I would also add to McF's last point that I'll enjoy watching student tuition fees dropping to more fair levels when the educators no longer have to pay license fees for copyright protected curriculum.

A little more honesty about the motives, please, and a little less posturing. That would be nice.

Infringer said...

"And what's with the locks on these cars. (I know... different kind of locks) And what's with these seatbelt laws and the law prohibiting that I remove the airbags or add an extra fuel injector? When I buy a car, do I not own it?"

Actually John, none of the things you talk about here are illegal. Including the speeding! As long as you don't take it out on the public highways afterwords you can do whatever you want with your automobile.

Unfortunately the same cannot be said for your media after this bill goes through.

Just like you can do anything you want with your car in your own home. I want the freedom to do anything I want with my purchased media in my own home.

Don't you hate when your own sarcastic analogies come back to BITE ya? :-)

John McFetridge said...

This seems so simple to me.

Like ex-con says, copyright is a right given by society - creators have a choice to take it or not. Some do, some don't. I take it on some of my work and not on others (I should get a plug in here for the final issue of a webzine called Hard Luck Stories, just went live yesterday and it looks great, I have a story in it called Barbotte:
http://www.hardluckstories.com/)

You have a choice to acquire the works of some creators and not others. I wouldn't want to limit your choices to only copyrighted material, so I don't advocate forcing copyright on everyone.

I'm sure you don't want to limit my choices as a creator to offer my work in whatever way I want.

Do you?

If you're opposed to copyright, don't buy copyrighted stuff. There are plenty of other choices. If you want you that specific stuff, there are terms and conditions. You don't have to have that stuff.

The problem, for you, is that most people will in fact, put up with the terms and conditions and there aren't enough people who will refuse to affect the marketplace.

About ten years ago a religious group in the states started a boycott against Disney because they felt it was too gay-friendly (gave equal benefits to same-sex couples, and group rates to gay organizations at the parks). Disney looked at the their organization and said, "Go ahead." After five years, and zero effect, they called off their boycott.

If you could get people to stop sucking Hollywood's dick, you'd make some progress here, but the geeks want to watch Alien on their iPods so bad, and they can't miss a single episode of Battlestar Galactica, so you can't.

And it's too bad, because a lot of what people opposed to this law, and laws like it, have to say is valid. It's just going to get lost in all this haze.

Ex-Conservative Canadian said...

The speed limit analogy is lame. Nobody dies because I want to unlock my DVD player, or not be restricted in recording TV shows by broadcast flags, or if I want to use Linux, where they often reverse engineer things such as the encryption used in DVD's where hardware locks need to be broken in order for consumers to be able to use the hardware they purchase freely. If I want to put a modchip in my X-box or wii and run linux, then I should be free to. If I want to unlock a cell phone, I will.

I am more furious about the digital locks than anything else. I could give a crap about the rights of copyright holders to protect their content. Their rights are not as important as mine to do what I want with what I buy. My rights should not be superseded by some groups that want a tighter restriction on modern culture.

Infringer is right, when it comes to locking cars. This isn't about protecting your car from thieves (because breaking car windows isn't a circumvention technique that people get fined $20,000 dollars for.. strangely enough!)

This is about locking down your hood, so that only a representative of Volkswagon can open it and fix whats wrong, or more likely, force you to buy a new car. Complete garbage.

And you'll say "why would they do this?" Corporations do things to maximize their immediate profit. The free market does not exist, with copyrights granting monopolies on culture, to restrict what they do. They will use DRM. Platitudes about DRM being on the way out so we should allow it anyways are ridiculously naive.

John McFetridge said...

"And you'll say "why would they do this?" Corporations do things to maximize their immediate profit."

That's right. That's why everything will be available online. Then the corps who control that will maximize profits.

Does it matter to you which corps maximize profits? Of course not, because;

"I could give a crap about the rights of copyright holders to protect their content. Their rights are not as important as mine."

You see, Darryl, this is what you're up against. This attitude can easily be circumvented by no longer making content available in any physical form other than online - which then could be played on any device you own. This anonymous guy will get his steady supply of Hollywood crap and he'll shut up and go away, as satisfied as any addict (and as attatched to his dealer as any crack ho).

But guys like you and Russell, who understand this more deeply and realize that something completely different is at stake here will be no further ahead.

And that really is a shame.

John said...

Sorry, I had to go away and chair a meeting of the Book and Periodical Council. We decided to put locks on all hardcopies but leave the paperbacks open.

What I find most interesting in the recent comments is how the two, what?, gentlemen who attacked my comment about speeding so completely missed the point. In their haste to deny the efficacy of the analogy they passed right over the fact that it is the justifications for law-breaking I was addressing. No shortage of obnoxious self-congratulation (smiley-face!!!!!!) but a sad lack of subtlety. And, for me, that's a core issue in the public debate. I'm asking for a serious discussion, and I'm getting speeding is legal as long as you do it in your own home.

Now, McF, prepare to be scolded. First of all, you are overgenerous in your awarding of deep understanding. I happen to know that Russell is brilliant in his own way (a scary, might become an island-owning super villain sort of way -- I am Syndrome!). Beyond that, I can't really say. I keep waiting for a truly nuanced debate to come across the wire, but there's so much static it's hard to hear.

Secondly, my mother reads this blog. Please... with the Hollywood sexy behaviour terminology. I have to see this woman on the weekend, and you have no idea the guilt.

By the way, the last time someone on the street tried to sell me a car with a locked hood, I didn't buy it.

Infringer said...

"In their haste to deny the efficacy of the analogy they passed right over the fact that it is the justifications for law-breaking I was addressing."

And you obviously missed the first sentence of my second paragraph. "Actually John, none of the things you talk about here are illegal." I was attempting to justify nothing.

"I'm asking for a serious discussion, and I'm getting speeding is legal as long as you do it in your own home."

Should I remind you John, that you were the first one to make the association to speeding?

It is unfortunate that you are either unable or unwilling to recognize serious discussion when it you see it. The criticism of your car analogy was valid. There is no such thing as speeding on private property, but it is a punishable offence on the public roads. By the same token, there SHOULD BE no such thing as copyright infringement in the privacy of my own home, but such offences should exist in the public sphere.

You should see the parallel. After all, you were the one who brought up the analogy. I was simply showing you that is was even more applicable then you first imagined.

Then again, you have a certain gift as far as being able to only see what you want to see and block out all other perspectives which annoy your sensibilities.

"By the way, the last time someone on the street tried to sell me a car with a locked hood, I didn't buy it."

Fair enough. But what would you have done if the option of buying a car without a locked lid did not exist?

John McFetridge said...

"Secondly, my mother reads this blog. Please..."

Sorry about that Mrs. D., lost my head for a minute there.

My Mother reads my books. I actually ask her not to, but...

I did think, though, that if I made the points in those terms they might get addressed, but alas...

John McFetridge said...

"But what would you have done if the option of buying a car without a locked lid did not exist?"

Hey, that was one of my points that didn't get addressed. Copyright is a choice, lots of people don't apply it to their stuff and you can buy (or download for free) their stuff all you want.

Lots of "cars" are offered with no locks. Just not the "cars" you want. Well, that comes down to taste... and like Mick said, you can't always get what you want.

(I'll now refrain from the rather blue exclamation I was going to put on this)

Infringer said...

"Copyright is a choice, lots of people don't apply it to their stuff and you can buy (or download for free) their stuff all you want."

Actually I'd say lack-of-copyright is the choice, because by default it is applied. As well if you neither make an active effort to put it in the public domain nor make any effort to enforce it, it will be enforced for you by the kind people at Access Copyright, who will be very happy to collect royalties on your behalf. But please don't get me started on access copyright. I'm sure they mean well, but their entire existence is based on a flawed premise, which itself could occupy many threads.

"Lots of "cars" are offered with no locks. Just not the "cars" you want. Well, that comes down to taste... and like Mick said, you can't always get what you want."

That may be, and they should be free to create such contracts that people who buy their cars can sign and agree not to break those locks. But my question to you is, should those car manufactures be given special federal legislation which gives them the right to put those locks on the car and, simply by doing so, make it illegal for you to break them?

John McFetridge said...

"But my question to you is, should those car manufactures be given special federal legislation which gives them the right to put those locks on the car and, simply by doing so, make it illegal for you to break them?"

Analogies don't work, we've established that. But yes. There's nothing special about laws that allow manufacturers to apply terms and conditions to their products (they rarely want to, but they've been sued a lot by people who didn't realize by ordering HOT COFFEE it would be hot and they shouldn't spill it on themselves). Manufacturers of cars, guns, and cordless drills would love to sell them with no safety featuers at all - they'd be cheaper and they'd probably sell more - and never be responsible for what happens with them. If that's what you want, you'll get plenty of them onside your lobby group.

If the manufacturers want to limit their own market potential themselves - through pricing, limited available options or whatever means, then yes, that's up to them as well.

If consumers chose not to buy those products, that's up to them, too.

If you want to spend the next fifty years reading stories, watching movies and TV shows and listening to music you downloaded with absolutely no restrictions on what you do with it - there's enough available, you'd never have to repeat a single one. And more everyday.

I still think you need to seperate this into the right issues. I actually agree that copyrighted material should enter the public domain - maybe not as quickly as you do - but the people with money opposing this law are really just (quietly) talking about shifting the ownership of the content from the old-style 'dinosaur' manufacturers to the new content providors.

The voices calling for the content to liberated, as it were, simply aren't being listened to.

That's why I think you need to get past the whole problems with the 'locks' and people's rights to play their freaikin' DVDs on whatever players they want, and get to the real issues.

As long as the loudest voices are those like ex-con, telling the world he doesn't give a crap about other people's rights, only his own, and how he wants to watch his Hollywood #$%@& on whatever system he wants, it's too easy to grant him his wish.

And ignore yours.

So you've got to decide what this is really about.

John said...

Okay, just so you know McF, my rule with ifwhinger is that when he becomes so thick that no amount of explanation will stop him from his embarrassing repetitions and blind alleys, I tend to just ignore him. There really is no percentage for me in arguing with someone who can only say slightly amusing variations of "no it isn't."

I'm not sure why he has such a crush on me that he keeps hanging around my house trying to convince me he's cool. Love follows its own logic, I suppose. Even Russell imposes a time out on himself every now and then. But then again, Russell actually has a lot of better things to do.

Keep trying if you wish. But before you do, answer me this -- what if the refrigerator manufacturers were given special federal dispensation to release a chemical into your food that would make you want to buy a new refrigerator every two years? Where would we be then, McF? Where?

Ex-Conservative Canadian said...


If consumers chose not to buy those products, that's up to them, too.


Why should our society be spending tax dollars giving the right to copyright holders to protect these locks? Yet Taking away ALL rights by consumers to bypass them?

Feel free to use locks, but if people are smart enough to break them, then they should be allowed to.

Lets look at software, with ridiculously stupid EULA's, commonplace nowadays. But they generally hold little to no legal standing because nobody reads them for one thing, and people don't buy the software expecting to have to sign or click anything further. People don't buy CD's expecting there to be digital locks on them. This is what these large media companies bank on.

And again, it won't stop piracy. So whats the point of it all?


You see, Darryl, this is what you're up against. This attitude can easily be circumvented by no longer making content available in any physical form other than online - which then could be played on any device you own. This anonymous guy will get his steady supply of Hollywood crap and he'll shut up and go away, as satisfied as any addict (and as attatched to his dealer as any crack ho).

You miss the point, The rights of copyright holders end when they infringe upon MY right to do what I want with what I purchase. The consumer is more important than appeasing artificial copyright monopolies.

I purchase a lot of DVD's, and I am a stakeholder in this debate, as I use Linux, I despise the thought I will be made a criminal by this law, and If I'm going to be made a criminal, I may as well go all the way, shouldn't I? Why should I respect a flawed law?

Infringer said...

"But yes. There's nothing special about laws that allow manufacturers to apply terms and conditions to their products (they rarely want to, but they've been sued a lot by people who didn't realize by ordering HOT COFFEE it would be hot and they shouldn't spill it on themselves)."

You're right, and what they have to do is apply those terms and conditions through contract. Bill C-61 IS A SPECIAL LAW which allows them (different them) to apply these terms without telling you they have done so, and without your mutual consent via contract.

As I said I have no problem with legally protected locks on copyrighted material but they have to do it through contract law, not special clauses in copyright law.


"Manufacturers of cars, guns, and cordless drills would love to sell them with no safety features at all - they'd be cheaper and they'd probably sell more - and never be responsible for what happens with them. "

That is a completely different kettle of fish. There is no comparison between digital locks which producers are allowed to put on without consent and safety devices which are required to be present for the public's safety.

"If the manufacturers want to limit their own market potential themselves - through pricing, limited available options or whatever means, then yes, that's up to them as well.

If consumers chose not to buy those products, that's up to them, too."


Agreed, but I'll stress again contract, contract, contract!


"That's why I think you need to get past the whole problems with the 'locks' and people's rights to play their freaikin' DVDs on whatever players they want, and get to the real issues."

But that is what this issue is about. When I purchase a video, song, book, whatever, there should be absolutely no restrictions on what I do with it for my personal benefit, and there should be no restrictions on what tools other people can offer to me to do so. When I by a cell phone, DVD player, or XBOX, there should similarly be no restrictions on what I do with it. If the manufactures what to impose those restrictions, then they have to keep ownership themselves and impose those restrictions through a rental agreement.

I think this whole DRM issue is standing on its head. If there is any meantion of DRM in copyright at all, it should be something to the effect that it not be permitted unless specifically agreed to through contract. Not that it be protected.

---


And John, regarding your comment. You're projecting again. Give your head a shake. It's a pity you never have anything productive to contribute to these conversations.

John McFetridge said...

"If the manufactures what to impose those restrictions, then they have to keep ownership themselves and impose those restrictions through a rental agreement."

I suspect this is exactly what's coming. Not so much from manufacturers, but from the delivery systems. An article in the paper today said the government is talking about lessening the regulations on telecom companies - I'm sure it'll pass.

These companies aren't being quite as up front about it as I'd like, but more and more, content is simply available online whenever we want it and the need to own it is going the way of the dinosaur.

It's worked in so many other industries, from cars to housing (condos over houses, 40 year mortgages, etc.), ownership being incrasingly more difficult and lease arrangements becoming easier - in the short term. Not owning is even being sold, and accepted, as the preferred method.

Over the long run, it will be a much worse system for far geater numbers of people, but I've become resigned to the fact that, as ex-con says, we don't care about anyone but ourselves. Our selfishness knows no bounds.

There are two issues here, consumers' rights and ownsership of the content.

Consumers' rights can easily be achieved by changing the delivery system -- all people want is the ability to do what they want with the content in their possession. Easy.

The ownsership of the content is quite different from how it's used and while that may be changing hands, none of this protest is putting it anywhere near into consumers hands.

I've now realized that of the 75,000 Facebook signatures, 74,900 are just selfish guys like ex-con who don't give a crap about anyone else and want to watch Alien on their iPods, cause they bought it, damn it.

And the other 100 are Ayn Rand Libertarians who don't need to be taken any more seriously than communist party members.

I'm sorry Darryl, but the best you'll get here is a Pyrric victory here that addresses all the concerns about your ability to "do what you want" with the material, but you won't ever "own" it.

Piracy doesn't have to be eliminated, it can just be made obsolete by selling people a 'better' method. If they can sell a GET SMART movie, they can sell anything.

And, yeah, JohnD, I see the refrigerator argument coming, these guys just can't help themselves. I don't think they have any idea how much they're being played. I guess we read different sci-fi as kids.

Oh well, School's Out, going camping with my kids next week, I'll miss this place, but I'll be back. It's eye opening, and good character research, especially for a guy who writes crime novels (excellent summer reading, by the way ;)

John said...

McF,

I think perhaps the difference is you read other things as well.

You know, I was looking through the Facebook group yesterday and noted someone's criticism of Terence Corcoran (he of the hilarious telecom trotskyites label). Someone other than our resident mouse said something like "It's a pity when Corcoran can't come up with a convincing argument he just resorts to name-calling."

So, I'm now wondering if Geist has sent out a style-book to his minions, or if they all just communicate borg-like through brain implants.

Ex-Conservative Canadian said...

I've now realized that of the 75,000 Facebook signatures, 74,900 are just selfish guys like ex-con who don't give a crap about anyone else and want to watch Alien on their iPods, cause they bought it, damn it.

Theres nothing selfish about getting the most out of what you paid for. Alien is not in my DVD collection, for the record.

It also appears to be more than 80,000 now.

Who knows how many of those are voters, but since the legislation has been introduced membership has doubled.

Dismiss them all you like. You have a narrow misguided view of what copyright is. A view that will ultimately lead to its irrelevance.

So john, keep posting your articles lamenting the anti-copyright cabal. Keep trolling for hits to your blog, but if you believe people are dumb enough to be influenced by your "writing", then you're dumb enough to believe the new laws are "made-in-canada" and "win win"

John said...

Oh ex-con, you're an absolute peach. Thanks for the encouragement.

With your kind permission, I have posted another item.

John McFetridge said...

"... then you're dumb enough to believe the new laws are 'made-in-canada.'"

How many of our laws are, I wonder? Laws that involve international trade - no compromises at all, negotiated as they are, from our position of strength in the world. How many that you've noticed? How made-in-Canada is that softwood lumber deal? How much protesting did you do over that? What about our entirely American dictated drug laws, were you on the Hill with us? Or was there just not enough in it for you?

Some of us have been fighting Canadian laws for a long, long time while others were being duped by the Liberals and Conservatives. You're awfully late to this party, ex-con.

That's why I know you can be ignored.

And, I wonder, how much of your Alien-free DVD collection is made-in-Canada?

Perhaps we could start there - lobby for copyright free Canadian made content - after all, you've already spent over $100 million a year on Canadian movies and TV shows, surely you deserve THOSE without any locks.

Why don't we start there?

Oh right, because we don't care about Canadian-made content, we're selectively patriotic, just like we're selective about the laws that outrage us and selective about the rights we want to protect.

Yeah, there's nothing selfish about it. It's the high road, sure it is.

We want our government to tell those big, bad Ameican companies if they want to do business here, they better do it our way - and they better not stop doing it here because we really, really want their stuff and we'll... well, we're just gonna... why, we'll sign some online petitions, that's what we'll do!

Yeah, they're worried. As if you could give up the content for a day.

As if they don't know that.

If you think there's another electable political party in Canada that will give you what you want, good luck. How many have you been through so far?

Xenon said...

Infringer said:

"Sorry Xenon, I am quite sure it is all humour. I just couldn't resist the temptation to take a pot shot at John, and you got caught in the cross fire."

Apology accepted. You will be spared when the invasion fleet arrives. :D