[d@DCC] Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage re-tables Interim
Report on Copyright Reform
russell at flora.ca
Sun Nov 7 14:46:40 EST 2004
I offered my own summary of the recommendations in this report. I know
my reasons for opposing the report are different than others in this
forum. Having diversity in this forum is a feature, not a bug. While we
each have different reasons for opposing the report, I believe there is
near unanimous opposition to the report.
Thoughts appreciated. We have spent some time talking about
photography, allowing list members to solidify their feelings on this area
of policy. I am wondering if we can talk about extended licenses
generally, and specifically in these 3 areas:
- works received by educational institutions in cases where the implied
license of the work should be understood as royalty-free
- works distributed by educational institutions
- inter-library loan of electronic documents
Note: I do not support the position of the educational or library
communities on their alternative to these recommendations, and
fundamentally believe there is a market-based solution.
I finally realized the reason why I am opposed to the reason offered by
CIPPIC and Wallace for opposing the photographic amendments
(recommendation 2, Senate bill S-9, etc).
CIPPIC and Wallace believe that the commissioner should have a positive
right to use works which they commissioned. In this case there is a claim
that photography is different.
As a long-time supporter of Free Software (as defined by the FSF
http://www.flora.ca/floss.shtml ), I believe that citizens should have the
positive freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve
software. This is especially true of the personal and domestic situation,
where software is brought into the private home and in any way governs the
private activities in a home.
I suspect I believe this even stronger than Wallace's belief about
photography, given I believe that this freedom is required to protect a
large range of human rights as our society becomes more dependent on
digital technologies. I have a hard time getting too excited about access
to historical photographs when compared to issues around software,
including the undetectable electoral fraud that likely happened in the USA
this past week.
I also realize that for practical political reasons it is simply not
possible to quickly move from where we are today with software thought of
as if it were a manufactured product to recognizing the "code is law"
regulatory nature of software. There is a need for both regimes to at
least temporarily co-exist, and allow for the gradual education and
migration. There is a need to allow an educated market to decide.
This has lead me applying similar ideas to photography. While I agree
with Wallace that a citizen *should* have a positive right to use
photographs of their family, I believe there is a need to educate citizens
and try to deal with this in the marketplace. Regardless of what happens
with 13(2), professional photographers have an advantage of having
associations with legal support and lobbyists, while citizens generally
remain unaware of the radical political changes happening around them.
We need to engage these citizens to take more responsibility for their own
futures, otherwise any potential gains we make on the copyright front will
always be removed by the far more resourced industry associations.
My brother accepted such responsibility, and the contract he signed for
the photographer for his wedding clarified that my brother (not the
photographer) owned copyright of those photographs. He also works for
Xandros, a locally produced operating system based on Open Source Linux.
This makes him a-typical, but I use him as an example of the fact that we
can already get the necessary and appropriate rights.
Russell McOrmond, Internet Consultant: <http://www.flora.ca/>
Code is Law: how software code regulates the activities of citizens,
and acts similar to law. How do we ensure transparency/accountability?
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