p2pnet.net News Opinion:- The Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC) recently released a document titled “The Truth About Copyright Revision“. It’s a collaborative work between people and organizations concerned with the direction that Copyright revision is taking in Canada, and offers a summary of our perspective as well as an opportunity for Canadians to sign-on to indicate their agreement.
I was a participant in that group, and want to add some context to the document.
While discussing this issue with many Canadians it reminded me of the “abortion” debate. People have very strong opinions, and have a hard time talking with the other side as they’re concerned about very different issues. People on either side of the debate don’t identify with the terminology their political opponents use.
I get quite emotional when called a “pirate” by content and software manufacturing industry associations. This accusation is as valid as saying parents who run Planned Parenthood hate children.
I am not pro-infringement simply because I oppose those making proposals they claim to be anti-infringement.
While I am strongly opposed to copyright infringement and speak against it at every opportunity, I believe there are far more important issues. I believe fellow creators should be more concerned with the centralization and privatization of the means of production and distribution of cultural goods and services. I believe that if policy makers continue the direction they have thus far taken that the harm to Canadian creativity will be far greater than any amount of copyright infringement.
I consider the solutions of the legacy content industries and some creator groups to be like amputating your arm because you have a painful paper cut. When I oppose them it’s not because I have no sympathy for their painful paper cut, but because I disagree with their priorities.
I don’t agree they’re trying to stop infringement, but appear to be trying to stop competition to their existing ways of doing things. I see them as trying to take technological control over the means of production and distribution through Digital Rights Management (DRM), as well as opposing a full spectrum of business models through their imposition on all creators and audiences of royalty-based Collective Societies through statutory and extended licensing.
My solutions take on a very different form. I strongly promote modern business models which harness rather than oppose new media. Many of these business models have innovative solutions to the infringement problem, with copyright infringement by private citizens of my software being something that does not happen.
I also create and strongly promote accountable and transparent Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS) which puts the means of production and distribution in the hands of citizens, and out of the hands of DRM companies.
While parliaments have been hearing one side of the story, it’s important that they finally hear the other side. I believe “The Truth About Copyright Revision” document is a good summary of the position of those of us who are promoting new media and advances in Canadian creativity and innovation.
And there are other petitions you should consider signing:
Petition for Users’ Rights is a paper petition that follows all the parliamentary rules so it can be presented inside the Canadian parliament.
Save Canada’s Internet from WIPO is an online petition focused on issues with recent WIPO treaties, the same treaties that the USA claims were implemented in their extremely controversial Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA).
Russell McOrmond – digital-copyright.ca
McOrmond is an independent author (software and non-software) who uses modern business models and licensing (Free/Libre and Open Source Software, Creative Commons). He’s also the webmaster for digital-copyright.ca