On Thursday October 27th, Canada's National Post newspaper published a masthead editorial expressing some commonly held (though inaccurate) free culture complaints against Canada's Copyright Modernization Bill C-11. That a print-based newspaper would choose to launch an attack against "established old-media players" in the cultural economy is a bit baffling in itself, but what struck me as most odd about this editorial was just how familiar it all sounded.
Hadn't I read this somewhere else... just recently?
Well, no, I hadn't read it somewhere else; I'd read it in the National Post... on Wednesday, October 26th.
On Wednesday, the Post published an op-ed from one of its staffers, Jesse Kline, entitled "Jesse Kline on copyright reform and the case of the illicit t-shirts." The very next day, Kline's article was reprinted almost word for word as an original masthead editorial in the same paper.
See the image above for my quick, highlighter-aided comparison study of the two articles. There are no less that 24 sentences that are wholly or partially in common between the two "original" pieces.
I also note that Canada's most vocal free culture cheerleader, Dr. Michael Geist, happily posted links to both articles on his blog, apparently missing the fact that he too was repeating himself.
Where does lazy free culture thinking and a disrespect for originality take culture? See for yourself.
No wait. What I meant to say was... Where does lazy free culture thinking and a disrespect for originality take culture? See for yourself.