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

Russell McOrmond russellmcormond at gmail.com
Wed Mar 30 09:39:45 EDT 2011

On Tue, Mar 29, 2011 at 7:30 PM, Chris Frey <cdfrey at foursquare.net> wrote:
>        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?

Here is the problem with this version of this important question:
Someone like me with a technical background would have to answer the
question differently than someone without that background.

  See: http://flora.ca/own (which I need to update to link to the
transcript of my intervention at committee, and possibly a YouTube
video clip of my introduction if I ever set up some video editing
software on my computer....)

  Your question is a "I am holding up 3 things in my hand" subset of
my "4 things" presentation.  It misses the "pay no attention to the
man behind the curtain" critical stakeholder that is pulling all the

  In a typical DRM scenario you have a lock on content, and a lock on
devices (hardware/software).   The one that is in control (IE: gets to
defend its interests) is the one who holds the keys. The keyholder is
the DRM vendor (often the device manufacturer), not the copyright
holder (IE: not the recording industry).

  This is the big ironies of the debate: while the major recording
labels and television/movie studios (and their dependent "unions" like
ACTRA/etc) have been asking for the legalization and legal protection
of these technologies, their interests will be harmed as much if not
more than the interests of artists and consumers.

> 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.

  When I come in with my "4 things" presentation, and specify that
there can be 4 different owners, I often get the repeat question: do
you not recognize the rights of creators?

  I got it from Ms. Lavalee in committee -- she simply couldn't
comprehend that you could respect the rights of creators while at the
same time respecting the rights of the owners of tangible media, the
competitive software marketplace and technology owners.

  There is a *LOT* you can learn from asking a "4 things" type
question, and seeing if the candidate has understood that there is
more than just one "owner" whose rights need to be protected.   Even
if they have never thought about it before, asking the question puts a
critical thought into their mind: that copyright law *MUST* be about
respecting the rights of all impacted owners and other relevant
constituencies, not only the interests of copyright holders.

(BTW: If people would prefer an outsider to the KW region keep more
quiet, let me know.  Of course, there are other lists for this,
including one hosted at digital-copyright.ca )

Russell McOrmond, Internet Consultant: <http://www.flora.ca/>
Please help us tell the Canadian Parliament to protect our property
rights as owners of Information Technology. Sign the petition!

"The government, lobbied by legacy copyright holders and hardware
 manufacturers, can pry my camcorder, computer, home theatre, or
 portable media player from my cold dead hands!"

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