It was with great interest and mixed feelings that I watched the Harper Government fall today. While I have never liked Stephen Harper, I have a fair bit of respect for some people on his team, including Tony Clement. I also have a fair bit of respect for some people on the opposition benches including Carolyn Bennett and Charlie Angus.
Which doesn’t mean I agree with them. In fact I’m a rather disagreeable person. I’m confident in my own opinions, and I’ll tell you if I think you are being an idiot, no matter who you are, EVEN IF I RESPECT YOU. But that’s me.
Considering the number of times I’ve railed against Barry Sookman for the mistakes he’s made, you’ll no doubt be surprised to find that I actually do respect Barry. I disagree violently with what he’s doing. I’ve told him this in ways that have made him rather uncomfortable. But I do respect him.
I also respect Michael Geist, even thought I disagree violently with him as well.
And this all ties together. Since we are heading into a Federal Election, Bill C-32 is dead. As both Barry Sookman and Michael Geist have observed, this is the third time that Copyright reform has failed in Canada (Michael’s article is here, Barry’s article is here). What both have ignored, and continue to ignore is that in all three cases, the law was not written to benefit the creators, but instead was written to benefit the corporations that exist like leeches off the work of the creators.
That must stop now.
To that end, I’ve registered the website Copyright For Artists, and once the DNS resolves I’m going to get it up and running as a place for artists to discuss exactly what WE need, so that we can lobby as a group, for a law to benefit us, and our customers.
I think that one of the major points should be that copyright should be non-transferable except by inheritance, as I proposed during the Canadian Copyright Consultation. I understand the suggestion upset Graham Henderson, the President of the Canadian Recording Industry Association. I wonder why…
Remember, Bill C-32, like Bill C-60 and Bill C-61 before was driven by the agenda of dying corporations. The death of Bill C-32, and the additional visibility that the issues surrounding copyright and artistic business models have gained in the community, mean we have a better chance to reach those of us who have been ignoring the issues, and get them involved.
We don’t want to make the mistake of building a new copyright law around the outdated WIPO treaties. We want to design a Made in Canada copyright solution to lead the rest of the world into the 21st century.
Friday March 25, 2011