I've had some interesting phone calls and e-mails in past days that suggest to me some folks in Ottawa have begun to take a longer look at the professional creator position on copyright. As a key stakeholder in copyright, creators are happy when our concerns are not summarily dismissed.
We'll no doubt go into all this in even greater detail in coming weeks, as it looks again like no bill is on the way in the immediate future. To those relatively new to this process of copyright reform, "no new bill" is also known as "just another day." Before we do advance the discussion, I wonder if it's possible for us to pull back and redefine one fairly important thing.
When I call for a bill, I'm calling for a bill. Not a law, and certainly not "the Canadian DMCA," whatever the heck that's supposed to be. It has become very tiring discussing copyright reform in very public places, calling (in fact) for greater public discussion with less rhetoric, and then always being expected to support some entirely fictional rhetorical position. Hey, you're that guy who's in favour of the Canadian DMCA!
Really? Am I? Because I thought I was in favour of strong and essential copyright protection for professional creators. That's why I belong to the Creators Copyright Coalition, and that's why I'm asking for a table to sit down at so I can defend the professional creator position.
Here's a comment I read on Michael Geist's blog, from the ubiquitous "anonymous":
... who is left out there in favour of a Canadian DMCA? American lobbies, CRIA, 100,000 fundamentalists, John and .... anybody else?
And here's Michael Geist himself commenting on the stalled legislative process:
"Rumours tonight indicate that the government has again decided to delay introducing the Canadian DMCA."
Dr. Geist is fond of asking politicians to take pledges. I think such pledges are kind of silly, and even potentially destructive to true democracy. I prefer to allow my legislators the freedom to make mistakes, but ask them to try hard not to. But here's a pledge I support. I hereby pledge never to use the term Canadian DMCA again in this or any other discussion. It's an easy pledge for me to take, because I despise the term and feel it has no meaning or bearing on this discussion.
I don't expect anyone else to take this pledge, but those who do win my everlasting respect.