Balanced Copyright For Canada Website (http://balancedcopyrightforcanada.ca) – Attack Of The Corporate Welfare Bums

As a believer in Copyright, I decided to join the Balanced Copyright for Canada website. While my views on copyright tend to be different than everyone else, I know that mine are right. So here was a chance to promulgate them. Signed up, decided to invite some other people who I know are interested. And found something curious. The ‘Please come join me’ message can’t be edited. Seriously. I had a choice of using what the founder of the website put in, or nothing.

So I invited myself (the joy of having multiple email accounts) so I could actually read the message (it was grayed out on the site). Here it is:

Hi:

I’m taking action to support changes to Canada’s copyright laws, and I’m hoping you will too.

The federal government has announced Bill C-32, which is a good starting point to achieve balanced, modern copyright.  But these proposed changes won’t happen unless elected officials hear directly right now from people like you and me.

Please join our community at Balanced Copyright for Canada, where you can instantly send a message to your MP and play a big part in making these needed reforms a reality.

I’ll see you there.

Thanks!
Wayne Borean

So I decided to look at the option to send a letter to my MP. Same thing. You can’t edit it. But here’s what it says if you click the ’employee’ box:

My name is Wayne Borean and I am a voter who lives in your riding. I am writing to express my support for robust copyright reform in this Parliament.

I support a balanced, modern and effective Copyright Act in Canada. The recent introduction of Bill C-32 is a starting point to achieve this long-overdue goal.

As the employee of a business that depends on sales of creative content, I urge your support in Parliament to enact the copyright reforms our country needs. My job, and many thousands of other jobs, depend on it.

Canada produces some of the best movies, music, TV shows, software and books in the world. Like many Canadians, I am proud of that. But the creative industries we have built are increasingly at risk in the face of widespread digital piracy.

I believe that artists, other content creators and the people who invest in them have the right to be compensated for their creations. People like me, who work in the creative industries and pay taxes, earn our pay as well. We all deserve a law that protects creative works from theft and unauthorized use on the Internet. Our customers deserve a law that respects and promotes the legal purchase and enjoyment of copyrighted works.

With the tabling of Bill C-32, Parliament has a real opportunity to bring our copyright rules into the digital age. With the right amendments, we can get there.

In the absence of clear rules, Canadian consumers lack a clear signal that downloading digital products from the Internet without payment is not allowed. The operators of Canadian-based websites that encourage and profit from much of the world’s online piracy seem to act as if there were no law at all. As a result, Canada has become a global destination of choice for the operators of pirate websites.

It’s embarrassing. Canada has been singled out on the international stage for its failure to uphold intellectual property rights, joining the ranks of copyright rogue countries. Our brand has been compromised with our largest and most valuable trading partners, and their investors.

Copyright reform is about fairness and balance: fairness to artists and other content creators balanced by fairness to consumers who enjoy and use their work.

As a voter in your riding, I urge you to build on the start provided by Bill C-32’s introduction. I urge you to advance the passage of Copyright Act amendments that work not only for me and the many others who work in Canada’s creative industries, but for all Canadians.

Sincerely,

Wayne Borean

The same basic letter is displayed if you click the General Letter check box, with a few minor changes.

Employee:

As the employee of a business that depends on sales of creative content, I urge your support in Parliament to enact the copyright reforms our country needs. My job, and many thousands of other jobs, depend on it.

General:

As a voter who lives in your riding, I urge your support in Parliament to enact the copyright reforms our country needs.

Employee:

Canada produces some of the best movies, music, TV shows, software and books in the world. Like many Canadians, I am proud of that. But the creative industries we have built are increasingly at risk in the face of widespread digital piracy.

I believe that artists, other content creators and the people who invest in them have the right to be compensated for their creations. People like me, who work in the creative industries and pay taxes, earn our pay as well. We all deserve a law that protects creative works from theft and unauthorized use on the Internet. Our customers deserve a law that respects and promotes the legal purchase and enjoyment of copyrighted works.

General:

I believe that artists, other content creators and the people who invest in them have the right to be compensated for their creations. They deserve a law that protects their work from theft and unauthorized use on the Internet. The law should also respect and promote the legal purchase and enjoyment of copyrighted works by consumers.

Employee:

As a voter in your riding, I urge you to build on the start provided by Bill C-32’s introduction. I urge you to advance the passage of Copyright Act amendments that work not only for me and the many others who work in Canada’s creative industries, but for all Canadians.

General:

As a voter in your riding, I urge you to build on the start provided by Bill C-32’s introduction, and to advance the passage of Copyright Act amendments that work for all Canadians.

I’m me. Since I’m never 100% in agreement with anyone, the attempt to enforce the sending of a single message to our parliamentarians makes me less than happy. And as a matter of interest, this is exactly the same thing that lawyer Richard Owens was complaining about!

Let me get this straight Richard – if TorrentFreak does this, it’s not OK. If the CRIA member companies do it, it is OK? There is NO security on this site, to block out someone from using a fake address and postal code. For all we know, a million of these messages have been sent to parliament, and NONE of them are real.

And that doesn’t even consider the most important point. The written message is a lie. Bill C-32 isn’t designed to protect artists. Bill C-32 is designed to protect the Corporate Welfare Bums that prey on the artists. Bill C-32 will be a disaster for artists, as well as being a disaster for Canadian Culture, because it effectively hands control of our culture to a bunch of foreign multinationals.

Oh, it’s nice that they are finally adding some artists to the Advisory Board, however it appears that they are leaving the industry reps in place. And this is an ‘Advisory Board’, there is no explanation of how much control they actually have. One of the most worrisome concerns I have is this sentence on the about page:

The lead funding source is the Canadian Recording Industry Association.

The impression this gives me is that the CRIA controls the Balanced Copyright Group, not the artists. In my opinion, the artists should be in control. After all, the industry would not exist without them.

Another issue is that there is no list available of who actually are CRIA members. I’ve gone through the CRIA website, and then back to Google, and all over the net. So what we have is a shadowy organization, which is ashamed of it’s membership, trying to control the Canadian copyright debate. We don’t even know that a majority of the CRIA member companies are Canadian owned, they could be owned by Martians!

Richard Owens (mentioned above) argued that only Canadians should take part in the Canadian Copyright Consultation. I’m of the opinion that only Canadians should take part in the debate about Bill C-32, and when I mean Canadians, I mean Canadian owned and operated companies, Canadian citizens, and Landed Immigrants in Canada. We are adults. We don’t need outside help to decide what is best for Canada.

Regards

Wayne Borean

Friday September 10, 2010

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