Wild Panics In The 'Balanced Copyright For Canada' Facebook Group

I’ve been hanging around the ‘Balanced Copyright For Canada‘ Facebook group recently. The name of the group is a misnomer. Balance has nothing to do with what the founders of the group intend. In fact the impression that I get is that they think that the ACTA treaty is too lenient.

And curiously those who supply most of the replies really do not seem to have been educated in copyright law. In fact I’m willing to bet that less than one in ten have read Bill C-32, based on the comments I’ve read.

There’s also of course a website, which lists a board, which is heavily weighted toward the corporate side of the street.

John-Paul Ellson – Chair of the Canadian Council of Music Industry Associations

Stephen Ellis – President and CEO of Ellis Entertainment Corporation

Stephen Stohn – President of Epitome Pictures Inc.

Jeff Rogers – Music Director with Aux.TV

Laura Nenych – was the Director, Legal and Business Affairs at EMI Music Canada/Capitol Records/Virgin Records.

Grant Dexter – on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Independent Music Association (CIMA) and the Foundation to Assist Canadian Talent on Record (FACTOR)

Bernie Finkelstein – founder of True North Records, now president of Finkelstein Management Company

John Cotter – Partner at Osler, Hoskin, Harcourt

Steven Ehrlick – partner at Stohn Hay Caffazo Dembroski Richmond LLP

Richard Owens – counsel at Stikeman Elliott (see previous article)

Rob Brooks – EMI Records

Janis Nixon – Universal Music Canada


Like wow man! Who doesn’t work for the ‘Entertainment Industry’?

Roger Mooking – Executive Chef (he appears on TV according to the blurb)

Andy Stochansky – Singer/Songwriter

So the majority of the board doesn’t represent the artists viewpoints. Note that I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with representing your company. I just have an issue when you represent your company, but pretend that you are representing artists, which Balanced Copyright tries to do.

As to the panics which are going on in the Facebook Group, it seems that the vast majority of the people in the group have only a limited knowledge of what they are actually doing. They think that they are selling music, when what they are really doing is supplying entertainment. As a result they are looking for profits in the wrong places, and this is causing them problems. Artists who understand the business do better financially than those who don’t of course, because they know where their earnings really come from.

It’s like an automobile dealership. If you ask at a dealership, they will tell you that they sell cars. This is incorrect – what they actually supply is personal transportation devices and services for them. Seriously. I can go to my local Ford Car dealership, and buy a truck. A truck is not a car. Nor is a minivan, or an SUV. The sales person you talk to knows that they sell more than cars, and will actually ask what you need, but they say they sell cars if you ask, which is only partially true. Oh, and of course they are quite happy to service your car, and sell you parts for it, but they won’t mention this when you ask what business they are in, and that lack of attention to the parts and service end of the business is why Canadian Tire does so well.

In closing, I’d like to refer you to a couple of interesting posts I’ve found:

Serving the Public by Laurel Russwurm

Zeropaid Interviews Russell McOrmond – Part 1 at Zeropaid

An Interview with Peter Keleghan – TV-Eh

Future Tense: A Pirate’s Life For Whom by David Gerald

Clay Shirky’s COGNITIVE SURPLUS: how the net lets us share and do more than ever by Cory Doctorow

Form Letter from Heritage Minister James Moore by Russell McOrmond

Which ebook sellers will allow publishers and writers to opt out of DRM? by Cory Doctorow

Check them out, there’s some really interesting viewpoints expressed.


Wayne Borean

Wednesday September 1, 2010


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