[d at DCC] CPCC Levies
darryl at mfe.ca
Mon Feb 12 15:11:22 EST 2007
Russell, I very much like your summary of the available options. I think
it sums them up very well. You have also correctly identified that I am
firmly in the "abolish copyright for private communications" camp. I'd
also venture to say that I have a fairly large foot in the "abolish for
non-commercial use" camp as well.
Regarding your argument for supporting the levy option, it reminds me of
a quote from Shaw. "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the
unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself.
Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
I believe you are being far too reasonable at a time when
unreasonableness is called for. To settle with an unjust system simply
because it is achievable is wrong headed. Certainly you should not set
your target as something which is merely the lesser of two evils. Not
when you know a fairer solution exists, though I admit you may have to
accept such a resolution in the short term.
I think we need to speak out against, not just levies and DRM, but about
everything that is wrong with the Burne Convention and the WIPO as well.
Don't even get me started on patents. Sure people might see you as a
radical at first and write off what you are saying. But eventually, if
you say it often enough, and you make strong logical arguments for it,
people will come around.
To my mind this fight over intellectual freedom is comparable to the
struggles of Martin Luther King, Henry Morgentaler, Galileo, Darwin or
others. All were seen as radicals and trouble makers in their day. All
had to endure a lot of negativity towards their ideas. But eventually
the world came around, accepted, and even embraced what they were saying.
They did not settle for a lesser solution simply because it is
achievable. Nor should we.
Russell McOrmond wrote:
> Darryl Moore wrote:
> > I would be interested to hear Russell's justification for keeping
> this levy.
> As a "convert" on this issue, I'll offer my ideas. In the past I was
> strongly opposed to any levy system, but have since changed my mind in
> situations where there is a clear market failure (where I believe all
> multimedia entertainment are examples, but software, non-fiction
> educational material and science/health publications are not).
> - Extended/statutory (compulsory) licenses should only be used in
> extreme cases of market failure, and never in marketplaces where
> competition is growing. Royalty-free business models are rapidly growing
> worldwide in software as well as scientific and educational material.
> Compulsory licensing is known to be a system that with inaccuracies.
> The question is always: if not a levy, then what? Is the disease
> worse than the cure, or is the cure worse?
> Without some form of a compulsory licensing system, the recording
> industry, commercial radio and cable television would never have been
> allowed to exist. Saying that copyright holders should just "simply
> accept it" was never politically possible, and I think if we were
> talking about FLOSS developers being told to "simply accept it" about
> DRM and software patents we might think differently.
> The copyright holders of the day were saying *NO* to any new uses of
> their works, and the transactional costs of trying to negotiate pricing
> between individual copyright holders and and users were too high (Do
> you pay a few thousand $ to your lawyer to decide if a D.J. needs to pay
> 2c or 3c each time they try to play a song on the radio?)
> Which leads us to a table of options where we are forced to decide
> which is the lesser of the available evils?
> a) Copyright abolished for private activities (private copies,
> private communication)
> b) Copyright abolished for non-commercial activities
> c) Extended/compulsory licensing for private and/or non-commercial
> activities (AKA: Levies)
> d) Lawsuits against children and grandparents for activities many
> people think aren't harmful, but which require permission and/or payment
> on a per-transaction basis (AKA: the status-quo)
> e) Outlawing communications technology that is under the control of
> anyone not approved by the government as a "professional" (IE: the
> DRM/Broadcast Flag/Analog Hole debate -- where the major cultural
> industry associations want to bring us -- note that CRIA isn't a fan of
> levy systems as they counter their lobbying for DRM)
> f) Outlaw the activities entirely (IE: recordable CDs, portable media
> players and personal computers outlawed).
> Can you think of other options that are possible. I don't think just
> saying everyone should pay for what they use is possible, given the
> major copyright holders don't trust their own customers and are
> unwilling to tolerate any small amount of infringing/uncompensated
> activity. This fear of their own customers isn't going to just
> magically go away.
> Darryl appears to be on the "abolish copyright for private
> activities" side of this debate. If I believed that this was
> politically possible, I might support it. After a bump in the market,
> the market would adjust to business models that weren't negatively
> impacted by this.
> Politically I believe it is more likely that we will achieve a 50%
> reduction in carbon emissions from 1990 levels by 2010 than to believe
> we will convince the Government of Canada to adopt a Fair Use regime
> that is expansive enough to exclude all private and/or non-commercial
> activities from the regulation of copyright.
> Of the available politically likely options, I see compulsory
> licensing (levies) as far better than DRM or the outlawing of personal
> communications technology. We can want other options all we want, but
> we need to be politically realistic in what we ask for if we are to be
> paid attention to at all.
> 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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> Discuss at list.digital-copyright.ca
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