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Geist On Copyright As Canada Consult Nears End

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the quick-finish-it-before-hockey-starts dept.

The Internet 38

An anonymous reader writes "Canadian law professor Michael Geist, who has been leading the charge on the national copyright consultation with his SpeakOutOnCopyright.ca site, has posted his own submission to the consultation. Geist focuses on issues like fair use and circumvention, and warns against a Canadian DMCA, copyright term extension, and three-strikes program. 'If copyright veers too far toward specific technologies by mandating new protection for specific business models or technological innovations, those rules risk being overtaken as the technologies and marketplace evolve. ... It should only be a violation of the law to circumvent a technological protection measure if the underlying purpose is to infringe copyright.' He also pointed out a few days ago that Bell Canada seems to be advising content owners to sue its own customers. The public consultation ends on September 13th."

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38 comments

so uh (4, Interesting)

masshuu (1260516) | more than 4 years ago | (#29396265)

let me know when companies realize that 20th century business models don't work in the 21st century.

All we get from copyright laws are large global corporations working there way into every countries law system, molding it to help them with there profits.

Re:so uh (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29396415)

niggers

cotton niggers, sand niggers, rice niggers (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29396467)

kill all niggers

but you have to understand their point of view... (1)

da5idnetlimit.com (410908) | more than 4 years ago | (#29397017)

"And because the sales of the latest Shakira are so low I'm late on the payments on my yacht ! Lets strong arm them into payingany way we can, even if we have to beat them back all the way to the 20th century, and even beyond if needs be !"

Re:but you have to understand their point of view. (3, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29397265)

Dear ISP Owner:

We have observed that customer IPs ____, ____, ____, ....., ____, _____, and _____ have been sharing files. We also observed this is their third offense. Please unplug their connection from your service or else we will... blah blah blah.

Thank you RIAA.

.

Dear RIAA,

Fuck off. It's not my job to police YOUR limited, temporary copy privileges. I need those people to survive in this poor economy, and will continue providing a connection so long as they continue paying. Sue the customers in court if you want, but don't involve me in your paranoia.

Signed,
ISP Owner

Re:so uh (1)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 4 years ago | (#29400219)

let me know when companies realize that 20th century business models don't work in the 21st century.

That was the core of the letter I submitted. As far as easy access to digital media goes, the genie is out of the bottle and isn't going back in just because of a few new laws. It's totally ass backwards that these companies are trying to change their customers instead of themselves when they start losing money.

What I'd love to see is an optional fee for being able to download as much media as you want in a month. They get the money, you get the goods, everybody's a winner.

Not Relevant to Most Slashdotters (-1, Flamebait)

pipingguy (566974) | more than 4 years ago | (#29396297)

Does anyone really care anyway? This is only Canada after all.

Re:Not Relevant to Most Slashdotters (1, Offtopic)

Adambomb (118938) | more than 4 years ago | (#29396313)

Take off, eh.

Ya hoser.

Re:Not Relevant to Most Slashdotters (4, Insightful)

DirtyCanuck (1529753) | more than 4 years ago | (#29396361)

I think any copyright battles that are won and lost are relevant to any /. reader. Law is largely based on precedent and countries often look to foreign neighbors for insight into domestic policy. Likewise these evil companies are always prying at politicians to spin things into law.

âoeEducation is the path from cocky ignorance to miserable uncertainty.â

Hoping for the best.. (3, Interesting)

Adambomb (118938) | more than 4 years ago | (#29396333)

I definitely applaud Geists work in both creating public awareness over copyright issues and also being ardently vehement against improper use of copyright, but this really means little until we find out whether the how the consultations are published to the lawmakers. From what i've seen in the past I almost wonder if we draft up ridiculous copyright reform bills from time to time just to keep the insanities of the various content distribution industries happy while making it easy to be shot down in parliament.

Then again, Copps did get us a blank media tax that goes...somewhere... so perhaps the this doesn't always work or just appears to be the case.

Re:Hoping for the best.. (1)

ahankinson (1249646) | more than 4 years ago | (#29397361)

The good thing about this is that we have the numbers and source material. If the government tries to draft up another corporation-friendly law, despite the numbers that make it absolutely clear that this is not what the people want, we can call them on it. Again.

French Canadians (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29396397)

French Canadians are the Jews of Canada.

Re:French Canadians (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29397163)

Shut up Cartman.

Canadians: Be sure to make a submission (4, Informative)

Geof (153857) | more than 4 years ago | (#29396441)

Make the effort to send in a submission. We have written a guide to help make it easy to put one together without understanding the intricacies of the law or the extreme proposals that have been put forward. Download the guide PDF here [faircopy.ca] . It only takes a few minutes to make the point that Canadians care deeply about this. Do your part, even if all you say is "no Canadian DMCA." But do it now: the consultation ends Sunday.

If the government chooses to listen, great. If not, the consultation submissions are essential for making the political case that Canadians want a fair law. This is equally true if the government changes after an election.

Oh, and I almost forgot... (3, Insightful)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 4 years ago | (#29396487)

It should only be a violation of the law to circumvent a technological protection measure if the underlying purpose is to infringe copyright.

And you happen to be a corporation.

I did it (3, Insightful)

JakartaDean (834076) | more than 4 years ago | (#29396637)

I'm Canadian, but haven't lived there for 17 years. I don't vote, don't write letters to the editor, and generally let the folks who live there decide what they want, as it doesn't affect me so I shouldn't vote. However, I did abandon my principles and submit a submission, as I think the IP battle has been many times over by content providers, and the ordinary citizen has finished dead last. This draft makes one more loss for most Canadians.

If you're Canadian, take half an hour and submit an email or letter (letter is better). Use the template, or copy and paste from Prof. Geist's text, or better still write something in your own words. Stand up like the guy in the Molson's Canadian commercial.

Re:I did it (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29399221)

It's your decision, of course, but please vote. It matters a lot right now. If you're not in the country I know it's a hassle, but please do. The only reason we've had the chance for this consultation, and for the failure of the last 3 bills submitted with DMCA-like changes to copyright law, is probably the fact that the last 3 Canadian parliaments have been minority ones. If either of the parties in power had a majority when those prior bills were introduced we would probably have a DMCA-like law on the books by now. With a majority and enough industry lobbying they'd ram it through. It's only now, after trying several times, that they've been forced to pay real attention to us.

You care enough about this issue to make a submission. That's great, and it is genuinely appreciated. But please help make sure that the government is obliged to do similar consultations in the future by also participating in the vote that forces them to be accountable -- more so than usual thanks to the minority government.

What goes around... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29396699)

Apparently nature is out to get the RIAA. Their genome has been recalled. The monkeys are claiming copyright infringement.

Dr. Geist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29396769)

Dr. Zeid Geist I. Presume

a nice fella

copyright is negative, punitive (3, Insightful)

bzipitidoo (647217) | more than 4 years ago | (#29396773)

Negative and punitive systems distort society. Some of those systems are somewhat successful and therefore tolerable. Copyright however isn't a success story, as it must be propped up at great expense to function in a marginal manner. We should replace every such system that is both punitive and broken. Copy "right" is all about a legal taking away of the fundamental principle of nature, used by radio stations, which is that information naturally propagates, same as heat naturally flows from hot things to cold things. Copyright maximalists would spitefully have our very brains lose the ability to remember a tune, if they couldn't monetize it. Such a limitation just isn't workable. It is impossible to restrict the ability to copy through technical means, and there is no natural way for information to be uncopyable. Penalties that run to extremes in harshness and random arbitrariness are yet another indication that a system does not work. And we've turned copyrights into tradeable items, which puts the artists at a big disadvantage to the organizations who specialize in accumulating copyrights, and who also most unfairly can greatly influence the value, and who can even distort the laws regulating the business.

So rather than focusing on how to stop the "evil" of piracy, on hypothetical millions in lost profits, we should think of all the very real and unnecessary costs. It costs a lot of taxpayer monies to run the court, and those resources should not be wasted on such foolishness. There have been repeated attempts to force wholly unrelated organizations to police users, at all too conveniently overlooked massive expense to both the organization and all its users. Chilling effects go beyond scaring would-be artists away, there is also an encouragement of selfish, secretive, hoarding behavior. That slows down advancement at who knows what cost. Then, we could gain millions if budding artists didn't have to beg for permission for the use of every tiny little thing that might possibly infringe, or more like, take their chances that they won't be sued. Art would be better if artists were freer to explore, if they could discover and learn from everything others had done. If customers needed to buy even more equipment to handle their music libraries, if everyone could indulge their unique creativeness with any material that inspired them, in ways far beyond anything one lone artist could ever have envisioned-- it's incalculable the wealth that is being squandered.

Rather than trying to demonize something that isn't actually harmful, dangerous, or immoral, and try to punish violators, we should reward artists in a way that does not trample upon our right to our own culture and which gives its blessing to the highly beneficial and necessary sharing we all do all the time anyway. Patronage is such a way. Pay the artists. Don't hand them bombs and tell them they have to spend time threatening everyone who makes use of their work without negotiating price on an individual basis. Don't burden them and all society with all the extra work required to work the system. Just pay them, and let them concentrate on their art as much as possible. Patronage is not a new, untested idea either. Too easy to cast an idea as new even when it isn't, and whip up hysteria and fear of the unknown over it.

Re:copyright is negative, punitive (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29396827)

Translation: "I want my entertainment for free, and am rationalizing that in a way that sounds altruistic".

try a refined model (3, Interesting)

zogger (617870) | more than 4 years ago | (#29397887)

There is a middle ground that apparently hasn't been tried much yet by the perpetual copyright and DRM crowd. The current practice with the entertainment cartel is to charge a per unit price that is grossly distorted upwards. They want to maintain some level of cash transferred "per unit" that doesn't adequately reflect the reproduction costs, it's inflated severely. They are still living way in the past when it really DID cost them a lot of money to make a "copy for sale". It just ain't that way any more, yet their per unit pricing hasn't changed much.

    Especially when you look at digital copies of this or that, but it still applies to data bits on a stamped plastic disk as well. Just *perhaps* if they had tracked technological innovation better, and seriously dropped what they charged, they could have maintained similar profits by merely increasing their sales using the "economy of scale" model. And, at the same time, not alienated their customers so much.

A *buck* for a few megs of download for *one* tune? Out to lunch. Ridiculously over priced, how about 5 cents or so? That might be like one cent bandwith, 4 cents profit. I don't know exactly but it would be something like that. I mean, do those media cartel goofballs REALLY think and expect that people are going to fill up their multi gigabyte capacity tune players at a buck a song? What is that, what it costs to buy a freeking brand new car to do that legally? Are they just crazy, or stupid, or both? And they wonder why a lot of their potential customers are abandoning that pricing model being offered?

  10-20 bucks for less than a dollar worth of stamped plastic and some printed up cardboard? Try two or three bucks instead. And I *know* it can be done for that price at new retail level, I have bought old TV show stuff brand new on DVD for that at chinamart before. Just sell a lot more copies at a more reasonable price, because people are more apt to buy and not peg leg it when it isn't obviously blatant price gouging.

Are you 12? (1)

Savior_on_a_Stick (971781) | more than 4 years ago | (#29397153)

Negative and punitive systems distort society. Some of those systems are somewhat successful and therefore tolerable. Copyright however isn't a success story, as it must be propped up at great expense to function in a marginal manner

Or just retarded?

I could read past the first paragraph.

Copyright worked well for generations, and continues to serve a purpose.

Are there flaws in it's application?

Sure - it could use some work in a lot of areas.

Saying it's an utter failure simply exposes you as ill informed and naive.

Re:Are you 12? (3, Interesting)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29397363)

>>>Copyright worked well for generations,

Actually it's never worked. Even in the 1800s authors had problems with people copying their books illegally. Charles Dickens frequently complained about unauthorized copies of his works appearing, and even though the government tried to punish those persons, the copies kept appearing.

The founder of the Democratic Party Thomas Jefferson said the idea made little sense, because if you own a printing press, along with paper and ink, why shouldn't you be able to use your OWN property however you see fit? It's your property - nobody else should be able to tell you how to use (or not use) your own stuff. The only reason he tolerated it was because it was a time-limited privilege (7 years in the early 1800s), and therefore didn't cause too much hassle.

But now it's around 1000 years which is insane. Copy PRIVILEGE should be time limited. It shouldn't be like Mickey Mouse which is still copyrighted 50 years after the original artist (Walter Elias Disney) died. In order to enrich society, works need to fall into the public domain, just like all the other great works of fiction (Paradise Lost, Romeo and Juliet, Pilgrims Progress, Tom Sawyer, David Copperfield) have fallen into public domain. That's how you enrich a culture.

rubbish (0)

Savior_on_a_Stick (971781) | more than 4 years ago | (#29399833)

I'd like to see shorter copyright periods as well.

In order to enrich society, works need to fall into the public domain, just like all the other great works of fiction (Paradise Lost, Romeo and Juliet, Pilgrims Progress, Tom Sawyer, David Copperfield) have fallen into public domain. That's how you enrich a culture.

Wut?

You're saying these works did nothing to enrich humanity prior to falling in public domain?

Gosh. I guess I'd best stop wasting time reading copyrighted works and spend more time on the real literature that is public domain.

Re:rubbish (1)

brit74 (831798) | more than 4 years ago | (#29402155)

Exactly. It's one of the myths of the anti-copyright movement that copyrighted works only help society when they fall into the public domain. As if copyrighted software hasn't helped make society wealthier, more productive, and more efficient. If you were to apply to same logic (it only helps society if it's done as charity; i.e. the consumer doesn't have to pay for it) to the rest of the economy, they'd have to conclude that automobiles, airplanes, medicine, and computers haven't helped society at all because they aren't free.

Re:copyright is negative, punitive (0)

Patchw0rk F0g (663145) | more than 4 years ago | (#29399697)

I'll ask the question that I usually ask: "What have you created that is copyrightable?"

I'm getting pretty sick of wankers that don't contribute anything to the arts, sciences or general well-being of society whacking off about, "You can't keep it from us!" Yes, we can. if we choose to. If I write a song, that's my fucking song. If I write a piece of software, that's my piece of software. I do both. If I choose to publish it under a Creative Commons License, that's my choice... or I can choose to copyright it, and make some money. I pay the bills that way. In case you hadn't heard, there are financial responsibilities in life. We can't all live in our parent's basement.

I choose what I publish, and how I publish it. Some of it is CC, some copyrighted. If you think that just the matter of your using up oxygen allows you to profit from my genius, then you're sadly mistaken. My wish would be for a vetting process for my CC work, so that assholes like you didn't get their hands on my stuff, and use it to further their idiot ideas. THAT would be a great boon!

Create something worthy first, something that's worth a copyright. Then talk to me,

Re:copyright is negative, punitive (1)

Patchw0rk F0g (663145) | more than 4 years ago | (#29399711)

Sorry... tidbit two: Don't even mention "patronage". If so, sponsor me! I'll be glad to write you a little ditty to sing at your grandmother's funeral: I love requiems. I'll even supply the details for the bank account payments.

Re:copyright is negative, punitive (1)

bzipitidoo (647217) | more than 4 years ago | (#29410249)

I am not the public, and not authorized or able to pay out money on behalf of the public, or anyone else. Nor am I independently wealthy and able to indulge in patronage of artists on my own. Talk to someone who can. As a taxpayer, I have no objection to some of my tax monies being used to promote art and science.

I find tiresome the basic argument that you can't have any standing to suggest improvements or criticize what you haven't personally experienced.

Re:copyright is negative, punitive (1)

bzipitidoo (647217) | more than 4 years ago | (#29410259)

Create something worthy first, something that's worth a copyright. Then talk to me

I already have. You think I haven't felt the pain of not being compensated for my work? I have. You think only that makes someone worthy to discuss this subject? I have a few papers published in journals. Copyright did nothing for me. The IEEE owns the copyright. If anyone pays money for a copy of one of my papers from the IEEE (and why would anyone do that?), I get exactly 0% of it. I did get a trip to the conference on public grant money, but that had nothing to do with copyright. Pretty feeble as compensation goes. I got a little recognition as the author, but that also had nothing to do with copyright.

No, actually, you don't own a song you wrote. You are the author. No one is the owner. Copyrights, media, and trademarks can be owned and for copyrights, only a limited time. Information cannot be owned. Ownership is the wrong context. It is a unfortunate aspect of English (and I would guess most languages) that the same wording means ownership and authorship, and implying the same sort of control over very different things. We shouldn't let publishers get away with this confusion of meaning. Publishers should not be allowed to dictate the uses we make of works on very dubious assumptions that such could somehow harm their ability to profit from the work of artists whom they paid a pittance.

The public library wants that their patrons return material on time, in good condition. And they wouldn't even care about that if freed from the restrictions of physical media. The idea that they have any standing from which to dictate what their patrons make of the information is ridiculous. It should be equally ridiculous for anyone else-- authors, publishers, booksellers-- to dictate anything, but it isn't. And copyright promotes that kind of warped thinking.

allows you to profit from my genius

If someone else can profit from your original work, what is wrong with that? If you were compensated in some acceptable manner that dictated nothing to others even if the only thing they do is use up oxygen, where is your objection? The only difference between most employers and freeloaders is the amount of the flat rate that both pay. A routine clause in an employment contract is that any invention or discovery that employees come up with that is supposedly related to the business, even if they did it on their own time, is the property of the employer. Intellectual property law has turned on its head, becoming a primary way for "owners" to lock the legally unsophisticated out of their own works!

Copyright needs bigger changes (2, Insightful)

tp_xyzzy (1575867) | more than 4 years ago | (#29396853)

The whole idea of millions of people being criminals because they use internet is ridiculous. Copyright should be changed to make sure that there are no provisions making "default" uses like copying and distributing bits found from the internet illegal. Question to ask is this: if you find some work from internet, what steps do you need to do to receive valid permission to use and share that work on internet? Contacting _all_ copyright owners of the work is clearly not suitable solution, because finding them all might be impossible, and even if you find them, every one of them is unlikely to agree on your request. And doing this for every bit that you find from internet is clearly impossible. There needs to be a solution where individual end users can be confident that what they're doing with the internet is legal. Currently such mechanism is missing. Even web use (reading news sites) or publishing material that you created yourself is extreamly risky, because current laws make some use, copying and distribution acts illegal by default. Everything you do on internet relies on copying bits from one computer to another, and the default being that this is illegal is not very good. We should count the number of criminals these laws are creating and decide that the actions are not serious enough that it should be used as basis of making half the population criminals.

You're such a tool (1, Interesting)

Savior_on_a_Stick (971781) | more than 4 years ago | (#29397147)

The whole idea of millions of people being criminals because they use internet is ridiculous.

Of course it is - which is why that has never been the case.

Copyright should be changed to make sure that there are no provisions making "default" uses like copying and distributing bits found from the internet illegal.

I don't know what you mean by "default" and neither do you.

Firing up a p2p client to look for music which you know full well is copy righted work is a deliberate act - not something that happens automatically.

Question to ask is this: if you find some work from internet, what steps do you need to do to receive valid permission to use and share that work on internet?

You already know the answer to this:

Contacting _all_ copyright owners of the work...

Yup - you know.

...is clearly not suitable solution, because finding them all might be impossible, and even if you find them, every one of them is unlikely to agree on your request.

So, what you are saying is that respecting the rights of others is too hard, and if the answer is No, you'd prefer to just ignore that.

There needs to be a solution where individual end users can be confident that what they're doing with the internet is legal.

So, what you want to do is make all infringing legal - neat - wish I'd thought of that.

Even web use (reading news sites) or publishing material that you created yourself is extreamly risky, because current laws make some use, copying and distribution acts illegal by default.

Really? Care to share an example of anyone EVER getting into trouble publishing something they created themself?

Everything you do on internet relies on copying bits from one computer to another, and the default being that this is illegal is not very good.

And not very true either. In fact, it's utter horse shit like the rest of your post.

A lot of people have made compelling arguments against copyright in it's current form.

You are not one of them.

Re:You're such a tool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29397499)

Aw, don't be so mean to the kid. His Mom won't raise his allowance, and he's too lazy to get a job, so of course he has to pirate. But, he wants to feel good about himself while doing so, you see, and these kinds of posts permit him to do so.

I particularly enjoyed this part: "Question to ask is this: if you find some work from internet" - There you are, just casually surfing along and all of a sudden there's this "work" forcing itself down your Internet connection onto your computer. Why, it's the complete works of Metallica - how in the world did *that* happen? I think the word that describes his post best is "disingenuous".

Although, looking over his posting history, I suspect that English isn't his primary language, and, looking at the usage mistakes he makes? Slavic, I'd say, and nakulturney.

Re:You're such a tool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29419377)

Really? Care to share an example of anyone EVER getting into trouble publishing something they created themself?

Here you go. George Harrison. [vwh.net]

"Harrison was later sued for copyright infringement over the single "My Sweet Lord" because of its similarity to the 1963 Chiffons single "He's So Fine", owned by Bright Tunes. Harrison denied deliberately stealing the song, but he lost the resulting court case in 1976 as the judge accepted that Harrison had "subconsciously" plagiarised "He's So Fine". When considering liable earnings, "My Sweet Lord"'s contribution to the sales of All Things Must Pass and The Best of George Harrison were taken into account, and the judge decided a figure of $1,599,987 was owed to Bright Tunes. "

And yes, it's too difficult to contact all copyright holders most of the time, and the fees for licensing cover songs are extremely overpriced. The Harry Fox Agency, BMI and ASCAP can all go fuck themselves. Do you have a solution for this messed-up situation? Eliminating the publishers/royalty mafia (who don't pay the artists anything worthwhile, and no, $30 a year for hundreds of radio plays is not worthwhile) would be a good start.

Anyway, I'm just going to continue with the copyright infringement, since I don't think there's anything morally wrong with it. The artists whose copyright I'm infringing are not harmed by this, since the pennies they make on a $20 CD are nothing compared to the few dollars they make on a $30 ticket sale.

Re:You're such a tool (1)

tp_xyzzy (1575867) | more than 4 years ago | (#29444567)

Do you have a solution for this messed-up situation?

Refusing to publish should work. But it's only temporary solution.

Some smart people seem to list all references in bibliography section of their work. Others seem to try to remove anything that looks bad.

But requirements before publishing seems to be very strict. Can you be sure noone else owns part of it?

lawyers and industry people 99% of this (1)

CHRONOSS2008 (1226498) | more than 4 years ago | (#29397747)

which is why i gave up on being part of geists little troop a morons that are so middle road that they dont even know
TPM = DRM , you remember that geist?
he came out of all htings in favor and it started a heated debate that saw me leave faircopyright and take a more hard lined stance.

104 people asking for less copyright?
WTF should be millions
look at the submissions and you will see what they have done DRM is and has been dead some time ...so lets make that the big issue so we end up with the exact same at minimum and if we can slide some more for us then.....
$$$$$
thats what its about and the internet is already the most expensive int he fraking world lets hike proices on the rest of entertainment
17.07 POP and POPCORN anyone?

someone should start throwing bricks at actors

advising content owners to sue its own customers. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29400367)

So, exactly how do content owners obtain a warrant with the exact IP address they want to look at, and the exact content they are searching for?

Signed off by a judge, in a real court of law.

Because anything else is fishing or trollling, as in ILLEGAL.

So how does this even operate without access to the big switches and routers and deep packet inspecting everything?

Re:advising content owners to sue its own customer (1)

Savior_on_a_Stick (971781) | more than 4 years ago | (#29400589)

There's this thing call the internet.
You should read about it.

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