Thursday, January 10, 2008

bedfellows, part 2

This is where it starts to get really interesting in the copyright debates (still waiting for some sort of legislation on that, btw). The initial craziness of give me fair copyright or give me death, don't tread on my iPod, etc. has passed, and we begin to see more and more folks having a think about all the issues. Which brings us here:

A Senior VP for Best Buy Canada speaks out against the as-yet-unseen legislation in an op-ed in the Vancouver Sun. I quote:

We welcome the emerging debate on copyright reform. The recent federal government decision to delay tabling its new copyright bill is encouraging, if it means that consumers' concerns will be taken into account.

Although copyright law is a useful incentive for creators, it also inevitably grants monopoly rights and extensive marketplace intervention. Therefore, rights conferred on copyright owners must be carefully limited and counterbalanced.

He also has a heartwarming point about not stifling childrens' creativity. I just want to go to my nearest Best Buy and hug someone. I mean, won't someone please think of the children, our little electronics consumers of the future...

Hey, wait a second... according to many of the comments on the Fair Copyright Facebook group, we are engaged in an historic battle against the influence of large corporations, especially American corporate interests with front men in Canada. Isn't Best Buy an American corporation? OMG! WTF?

I'm so glad the fight for freedom and democracy can detour through the huge-screen TV department, because they always have comfy couches in there.

Then there's this -- Vue Weekly, "Edmonton's 100% Independent News & Entertainment Weekly" has published an opinion piece by fiercely independent Steven Sandor, who decries the presence on the Fair Copyright group of, as he puts it " a bunch of yahoos who have signed on in the hopes of having an unregulated internet."

Quote:’s interesting that many of the people who have shown support for Geist’s arguments and signed on to the Facebook site don’t come close to getting the point. While Geist points out flaws in the legislation, he’s not anti-copyright protection. But, once you read the posts on his Facebook group, you can see that his ideas have been co-opted by people who don’t think they should ever have to pay for anything. The site is now filled with posts from people arguing that no copyright law at all is needed.

Wait a second... aren't us hip, cool independent thinkers all supposed to be happy that our government backed away from new Canadian legislation on copyright? Why is this Sandor dude killing our buzz?

Pretty soon we'll need a program to tell us where everyone stands on this thing.


Anonymous said...

I find the most interesting thing about the Best Buy commentary is that it seems to contradict what the Minister told us about how all the CEOs want him to make copyright more restrictive.

Looks like he wasn't listening to the right CEOs :-)

Then when you consider that the consumer electronics industry dwarfs the music industry, it does start to look like an odd line for the Conservatives to take...

I'm not sure what point you were trying to make about the other piece.

Anonymous said...

"But, once you read the posts on his Facebook group, you can see that his ideas have been co-opted by people who don’t think they should ever have to pay for anything."

I have too words for that, Bull Shit.

I am in the facebook group and I want to buy by music, however, I will not support RIAA and their legal actions by buying CDs of companies who support the RIAA. I look forward to the day I can buy CDs again. Until then I listen to music for for free when the artists has specifically labeled it as free.

The group is fair copyright, not no copyright.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the insights John, I agree that the Best Buy CEO statement was patently self serving, although helpful nonetheless. I would disagree with Steve Sandor, in that his suggestion that the Facebook group is advocating free media of all kinds, as clearly this is an untenable situation. I will admit that there is a clear sense of rebellion against the status quo, which is clearly broken, producers and publishers attacking consumers is really not part of Dale Carnegie's 'How to Win Friends and Influence People'.
The RIAA\MPAA\MAFIAA has to understand that the GENERAL case is that people despite appearances, are struggling financially, burdened with debts or habits. Our culture has created this case, when our culture starts to wake up and wants to fix the problem, oh how the worm turns.

John said...

I'm trying not to break my no comment resolution, so I won't be arguing with anyone here, no matter how wrong they may be --

But just a quick request to keep it cleaner than it is presently being kept. In my little shack in Deadwood, we try to keep our conversation as civil as possible.

Russell McOrmond said...

I find it interesting how some people try to over-simplify things and lump large groups of people together. I mean, how can the WGA possibly be striking against the AMPTP given they are, in this simplistic view of the world, identical.

Yes, there are a few people in every group that aren't the best examples to hold up to understand the rest. Suggesting that everyone on FairCopy agrees would be like pretending the writers strike didn't exist because there couldn't possibly be different points of view.

That said, I believe that “Kristal Lee-Anne” is closer to the truth than Steven Sandor would like. There are many reasons for the downturn in the recording industry, and P2P -- if it is a significant factor at all -- is not the largest factor. Saying that downloads doesn't replace the CD sales from the 80's and 90's misses the reality that the recording industry was in a temporary bubble at that time. I bet there is a lot of .COM bubbleheads that would love to claim that it is the current economy is wrong for their current 'dip' in ability to cash-out for having a cool colored room, bunch of geeks playing hackisack, and a stock that went IPO.

I'm sitting here waiting for the next foot to drop, where composers and performers finally stand up for themselves against the real threat which is the labels. The real artists make pennies on the dollar, with the labels made largely redundant by new technology still extracting the lions share from the industry. Artists should get paid for their creativity, but it isn't "FairCopy" people trying to get something for nothing that is the greatest threat.

I am curious what you think about my latest posting on the US Writers Strike.

It will be interesting to see if the WGA will jump on-board with AMPTP in their future anti-technology lobbying, just as many Canadian groups have.