[d@DCC] The different sides of new technology like "podcasting".
russell at flora.ca
Thu Nov 17 11:35:28 EST 2005
I am excited to hear fellow creative Canadians talking with excitement
about things such as "podcasting". Sounds Like Canada
http://www.cbc.ca/soundslikecanada/ interviewed Marie-Chantale Turgeon
http://www.mcturgeon.com/ about how she is now able to very cheaply create
and communicate some of her own work without needing the very expensive,
and very centrally controlled, infrastructure from the past.
In economic terms, new communications technologies have allowed the
marginal cost -- the cost per additional unit -- for the reproduction and
distribution of creativity to approach zero. Using peer production
techniques we are also able to greatly reduce the fixed costs of
production as well.
This is a massive opportunity for most Canadians. I am a software and
non-software literary author who has embraced newer business models which
harness this economic reality. By using business models which charge a
one-time fee for my work, allowing the marginal price to be the marginal
cost of zero, I never have to worry about the social, economic, and legal
costs of counting copies.
What is good for me is obviously a competitive threat to the
established media, content and "software manufacturing" industries. They
have launched a massive worldwide offensive against any competitor using
alternative methods of production, distribution and funding of creativity
I am curious what Marie-Chantale would say to the federal Government
about Bill C-60 which seeks to protect the incumbent industries from
competition from people like her and I. Where the Heritage Minister and
other government officials have claimed that this act is about reducing
copyright infringement, abusing the politically loaded and inaccurate term
"theft", this bill is really about protecting established businesses from
much needed modernization.
Since the tools for creativity are being put into the hands of average
Canadians, Copyright should be simplified so that we don't need a team of
lawyers to protect our rights. Unfortunately the government seems intent
on making copyright more complex, more expensive, and to only benefit the
largest companies and their lawyers.
Some unscrupulous large copyright holders, such as Sony-BMG, have
decided that it is OK to install harmful software on our computers. This
is the type of activity of criminals such as virus authors, and yet the
Canadian government is offering legal protection for this type of
"technical measure" when used by copyright holders. These types of
"technical measures" have nothing to do with Copyright law, and are really
attempts to enforce (often secret) contracts. Like any type of contract we
need to both protect valid contracts as well as protect consumers from
invalid and/or harmful contracts.
Sony-BMG is currently being sued in a class-action lawsuit by music fans
whose computers were damaged by a series of recent "music" CDs containing
mis-named "Copy Control" technology. The claim from Sony-BMG that they
were only protecting their copyright is further made suspect by evidence
suggesting that they were infringing the copyright of various software
authors on the same CD.
Webmaster for http://digital-copyright.ca
BLOG topic on "Digital Restrictions Management" (DRM)
Bill C-60 BLOG
Russell McOrmond, Internet Consultant: <http://www.flora.ca/>
2359+ Canadians oppose Bill C-60. This bill protects antiquated Recording,
Motion Picture and "software manufacturing" industries from modernization.
http://KillBillC60.ca Sign--> http://digital-copyright.ca/petition/
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