Straight Goods News, Canada's alternative online news source, has republished my earlier posting about the new Canadian Association of University Teachers "guidelines" to expanded fair dealing in the classroom.
Rather predictably, one of the CAUT's professional officers, Paul Jones, has immediately commented on the article, attacking me as detached from reality, delusional and offensive, and labeling me a copyright extremist.
Bizarrely, Mr. Jones then bemoans the lack of nuance in copyright modernization discussion and debate. Of course, this is what I've come to expect after over a decade in this debate.
Sure, Mr. Degen, you delusional extremist, we'd love to sit down at a table and discuss why you should give up more of your rights -- if only you had a hold on reality. Please join us for nuanced discussion, though we doubt you're capable of it you offensive hyperbolist.
And so, I wonder aloud again - are Canada's teachers and professors really satisfied with this kind of representation from their professional association? CAUT appears to be intentionally alienating itself from Canada's professional artists and creators - Mr. Jones takes a broad swipe at Canada's publishing industry in his comment, as well.
Let's be clear - it's not me being attacked by CAUT. It's the very idea of Canadian writers and publishers enjoying robust protection for their creative work that is under attack. We're talking about folks like Margaret Atwood - maybe the most fair-minded, rational, nuanced thinker CanLit has ever produced - Nino Ricci and... well, name your favorite Canadian author.
I encourage any CAUT member to link to the Straight Goods article and send it out widely on the CAUT listserv or discussion forum. I think the grassroots members of that association need to better understand the path they're being led down in the name of saving money for their administrations.
And they need to ask themselves -- why is my professional association, the folks who are supposed to represent me in labour negotiations with the administration, suddenly taking the administration's side and agreeing to download legal liability to me?