[d@DCC] The battle of the anti-copyright exceptions
ag737 at freenet.carleton.ca
Wed Sep 29 10:47:36 EDT 2004
> On one side are institutional users like libraries and schools looking
>for exceptions to copyright as a solution to the complexities introduced
>by electronic inter-library loans and distance learning. I believe these
>institutional users should instead
"instead"? "In addition," maybe, but definitely not "instead".
There are sound public-policy reasons behind the exemptions to
infringement built into the Copyright Act. In the case of the educational
exemptions, they are there because we, as a society, have made the
following decision: That even if there is a quantifiable loss to "authors"
in respect of works used, without permission or renumeration, to educate
students, "authors" are paid, in the future, through the creation, in the
classroom, of educated, literate, and cultured citizens. The exemption is
not a dead loss to the "author", if it is a loss at all, because the use
of their work creates people who will consume, and create, even more works
in the future. It is an investment, not a cost.
>be bringing resources together to fund
>the creation of Open Access educational materials, licensed under
>agreements such as the Creative Commons and iCommons Canada licenses,
Or under a declaration that the material is in the public domain. In
addition to recognizing "strange" copyright licenses, our law should have
an express provision allowing for a declarative de-claim of copyright.
This way, for example, a generous geography teacher could produce outlines
maps of the provinces and territories, make them, in law, public domain
immediately, and thus allow all other teachers, anywhere, forever, to have
access to those maps for use in their schools without any idiotic worries
about copyright liability, and without taking a single scarce cent out of
the education system.
> The other set of more radical exceptions are those being requested by
>collectives where they would be collecting royalties outside of their
>repertoire of works.
Or empire-building their "repertoire". I would love to know who plans to
organize the webmasters of Canada in order to administer the collective
right proposed in the May report... and how much of their levies would go
to administering the collective. The more I think about it, the more these
collectives are starting to sound like those sham charities...
>allow collectives to receive a royalty where there was no license
>indicated, or where a royalty was requested on the password-free,
>royalty-free, public part of the Internet.
Even for the password-full, royalty-full, gated-community part of the
internet, the rights would be difficult to collectivize, IF they have any
need of colectivizing in the first place: If there's a gate on the door,
the owner of copyright in that part of the internet already has their
rights and revenues administered, and there's no need for a collective.
>copy, to mirror, to print, etc). I find it quite offensive that
>collectives want to extract money from any of my audiences,
Not just that: the whole premise that these "rights" need to be
administered is a farce, stemming from the complete unbalance that's been
introduced into copyright policy-making over the last decade or so.
Copyright is not about copyright-owners' or creators' rights; it's about
everyone's rights, including users and third parties. However, the PTB are
blinkered by their won't-someone-think-of-the-creators?! mentality, see
stuff for free (free!) on the internet, and see a problem in that.
Yes, there is a problem when CR material is being copied and distributed
illegally, beyond the limits of what the law permits. But there is no CR
problem, and no administration-of-rights problem, when a body makes
material available on the internet, no charge, no restriction, to anyone
who can find it and has an interest in it. The creator/web-publisher has
"administered" their right: Here, look at my stuff. It should be of no
import to the copyright law or PTB whether the user who views that stuff
views it alone at night, or in a classroom, whether they keep it on screen
or print it off to show someone else.
The creator has administered their right; if they wanted to give the user less
freedom, they could have restricted the material with a statement, with a
software measure, or by withholding it from the web to begin with. The May
report has it ass-backwards: the Copyright Law should expressly state that
internet-published material can be used without copyright liability or
royalties, if it is published without any notice of contrary intention,
and without control measures.
Given the ease with which it (placing a notice) can be done, it should be
up to the creator to put a restrictive notice, rather than a permissive
one, on material which is otherwise free-libre-gratuit on the internet.
Heck, for the benefit of the people at Heritage and Industry who are
reading (hi, guys!, gals!), I'll even draft some legislation:
XX.1. Where a work is
(a) lawfully published to the internet, and
(b) accessible to any internet user without charge or technological
restriction on access,
absent any notice of contrary intention on the part of the owner
of copyright in that work, contained in that work or the internet site where
it is located, it is not an infringement of copyright for an institution
or a person acting under its authority to use the work for any
purpose provided for in sections 29.4 to 29.7, 30, or 32.2 of this Act.
>already underfunded schools. I have a hard time differentiating the
>proposed exception from so-called "commercial piracy" that these other
>rights holders often claim they are trying to eradicate.
There's a distinction?
Piracy is piracy; it's just that one has the imprimatur of legitimacy that
arises when the pirates have names that end in ",Executive Director" and ", Legal Counsel", instead of ones that begin
"skeeterboy77" and "ungavabob".
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