This morning in Ottawa an unprecedented coalition of Canadian cultural organizations released a joint statement calling for targeted amendments to Bill C-32, the federal government's Copyright Modernization Act (currently at a special legislative committee after passing Second Reading).
The statement contains 9 warnings about Bill C-32 as it is currently written:
C-32 may be toxic to Canada's digital economy;
C-32 can destroy markets for artistic and cultural works;
C-32 expropriates without compensation;
C-32 streams revenues away from creators;
C-32 expropriates music owners' rights;
C-32 rewards infringement;
C-32 turns copyright upside-down;
C-32 makes Canada a safe haven for pirates; and
C-32 thwarts new business models.
Full details can be found at this website; but for me what's even more important than the statement itself is what it represents.
Canada's many overburdened cultural associations and organizations have worked incredibly hard on producing a statement that represents the entire sector as broadly as is possible in a very complex and often misunderstood policy discussion. The statement is endorsed by almost 90 separate organizations representing in total over 600,000 working Canadian artists and professional cultural creators.
So often in the copyright debate, you will hear free culture activists claiming to speak for Canada's creators. Undoubtedly, there are many individual voices in Canada's cultural sector, and they do not always agree. In fact, not always agreeing might be considered a prerequisite for the creative life. That's why a joint statement like this, incorporating the collective opinion of over half a million Canadian creative professionals is so remarkable.
Can it be disputed that this is the voice of Canada's creators? I don't think so.