[kwlug-disc] Parliament adjourned ... bills dead (again!)?

Chris Frey cdfrey at foursquare.net
Tue Mar 29 19:30:46 EDT 2011

On Tue, Mar 29, 2011 at 06:17:41PM -0400, unsolicited wrote:
> So let me ask you this: What is the right answer (speaking from a FOSS 
> perspective)? [There is no wrong answer for you, in choosing whose 
> ever rights you think are most important - I expect it depends upon 
> whichever you personally feel closer to. You will lose no points. You 
> will lose points if you say they are all equally important.]

*grin*  The interesting thing to me, is that in my view, the only right
answer (whether I'm talking from a FOSS perspective or not) is that
they should all be equal.  That is the answer that I'm really looking for,
and it is probably the answer that I'll get, but for improper reasons.

For example, if the candidate believes they should be equal, and that
Bill C-32 represented a good effort to achieve that balance, my next
question would be (attacking TPM specifically):

	If Bill C-32 was balanced, why then must the artist (who is
	often poor) defend his rights in court, and the consumer
	(who is also poor) defend his rights in court, while the
	recording corporation (which is rich) gets to defend its
	rights in the very devices that play the media?

In my mind, this does not achieve equality of rights, and we have to
look at the full set of rights here, not just rights over "intellectual
property" but also the economic realities of the parties, and the
privileges the law gives each party.

This same logic extends to the question of copyright itself, because
if the consumer is giving up some public domain rights in order to
give the artist a temporary monopoly, then the correct balance is the
point where that monopoly gives the consumer the greatest increase of
creativity for the lowest cost to the public domain.  And with copyright
terms of "lifetime + 70 years", that does not exist.

But if I was pressed, and I could not answer with "all equal", then I
would say that if bias must exist at all, that it should always be
in favour of the poor.  This means that the rights of rich corporations
come after those of both the artist and the consumer.

- Chris

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