[kwlug-disc] my Copyright Consultation submission
cdfrey at foursquare.net
Tue Sep 15 02:54:36 EDT 2009
For the record, for anyone who is interested. I heard that submissions
are still open until the end of the 15th.
----- Forwarded message from Chris Frey <cdfrey at foursquare.net> -----
From: Chris Frey <cdfrey at foursquare.net>
To: info at copyrightconsultation.gc.ca
Cc: submissions at faircopy.ca
Date: Tue, 15 Sep 2009 02:50:20 -0400
Subject: Copyright Consultation
I am a computer programmer who works with both closed and open source
software, and see and enjoy the benefits and advantages of open source
Below are my thoughts on copyright from a philosophical and practical
perspective. I do not get into the minor details of implementation,
but try to list the principles that I think should be kept in mind for
any new laws on copyright.
- Copyright is a temporary monopoly, a compromise between the interests
of the author and the interests of the public, to encourage the
creation of new creative works. It is not a lifetime property right,
especially not in today's age of easy copying.
- In today's age of easy copying, the interests of the public often turn
out to be in the interests of the author too. Utter control of
content by the author or copyright holder has negative implications
that must be considered.
- Copyright duration should be short. It must not be lengthened at the
whims of powerful copyright holders like Disney, as is done in
the United States.
- DRM (digital rights management) should have no weight in law, otherwise,
the copyright holder can become his own state-sponsored vigilante,
able to craft practical barriers beyond what the law provides.
DRM with weight of law gives the copyright holder the power to undo
all this careful consideration of competing interests that you are
undertaking right now with this consultation.
In other words, Canada must not follow the United States down
the path toward the DMCA.
- Law must reflect reality, and must stand for what is right, not the
financial interests of one side over the other. Note that
regardless of what copyright law says, works will be copied by the
general public. This is the reality of the digital age, and this
reality should not be ignored just because it is inconvenient to
deal with. A new copyright law should not turn the majority of
Canadians into lawbreakers, otherwise the law and the government
will be disrespected. Respect begins now, with the government
respecting the people. Turning what is common and natural
(computers are designed to copy things... that is their job)
into something illegal does not generate respect of any sort.
Appeal to fairness, appeal to the rights of the author not
corporations, and stand up for the common man. Corporations and
media companies are powerful enough. The average Canadian has
no sympathy for a "hurting corporation" that only makes a few
billions when he himself can't buy food.
- Either Canadians pay a tax on blank media for potential "infringement"
(such as the levy on CD media) or it is illegal to make copies.
It cannot be both. And considering the reality mentioned
above, Canada's levy system is better than flat out illegality.
- A new copyright law should not kill innovation in the realm of copyright.
There are groups such as software authors and groups such as
Creative Commons who are experimenting with copyright law and ideas
by using their own licenses to liberate content and foster the
sharing of creative works, making use of new technologies to create
new works faster. This innovation must not be killed by appealing
to Fear and Control as the basis for a new copyright law, as big media
would have us do. This innovation and experimentation must be
----- End forwarded message -----
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