Laurel L. Russwurm

a writer, the copyfight and internet freedom

Posts Tagged ‘Nina Paley

WIPO and EU and Libraries ~ Oh My!

with 2 comments

Like most people, I’ve spent most of my life not actually thinking about copyright law. I bought into the idea that copyright “protects” creative works and encourages creativity. At least I did until I started actually thinking about copyright law when I sat down to write my submission to the Canadian Government’s Copyright Consultation. That was when I first began to question copyright. Over the years since, I have found less to like and more to dislike about copyright law.

A large part of the problem is that governments take advice and direction from copyright “experts” who represent the special interests that would benefit from perpetual copyright. So the industry that will benefit from increased copyright have been invited to the table, but for the most part no one is asking, let along listening to the public. Every expansion of the copyright monopoly comes at the expense of the public interest by eroding the public domain. Cultural works used to come into the Public Domain within our lifetimes, but that is no longer the case. When copyright terms extend for as many as a hundred years after the death of the creator, our own culture is increasingly outside our grasp.

copyright chainsBecause the public domain should be protected, and free culture should be shared, I very much support the work done by the good people involved in the OpenGLAM initiative (run by the Open Knowledge Foundation) that promotes free and open access to digital cultural heritage held by Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums. These institutions exist to promote art, culture, history and heritage, so it’s a big problem if copyright law prevents them from achieving their mission. In many respects, because these cultural institutions exist to serve the public, they are increasingly standing up for the public interest.

The recent trend of copyright maximalists has been to take copyright discussions away from lawmakers and out of the public view, instead cloaking international copyright negotiations in secret trade agreements. One of the stunning things about the secret ACTA negotiations was the exclusion of elected government representatives from even knowing the terms of the treaties being discussed. Once such treaties are signed, naturally lawmakers are pressured to rewrite domestic law to accommodate the treaty.

The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) has been working to make sure the needs of Libraries are taken into consideration at WIPO. Unfortunately the EU seems more interested in supporting corporate special interests than the public interest.

EU flag“The EU made no attempt to address the wide range of problems, particularly relating to non-commercial cross-border activities, identified by library and archive NGOs. It seems to value only internal commercial interests, ignoring and its own interests in culture and research.”
— Mr. Tim Padfield, speaking on behalf of the International Council on Archives (ICA)

As Mr. Padfield suggests, the human rights and cultural needs of the world should be be addressed and protected, not cast aside to support commercial special interests.

The following is a press release issued by the The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA)

EU REJECTS INTERNATIONAL SOLUTION TO LIBRARY AND ARCHIVE COPYRIGHT PROBLEMS;
CAUSES COLLAPSE OF WIPO MEETING

Tuesday 6 May 2014

Discussions by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) Standing Committee on Copyright & Related Rights (SCCR) broke down in the early hours of Saturday morning 3 May, after the European Union (EU) attempted to block future discussion of copyright laws to aid libraries and archives fulfill their missions in the digital environment.

Library and archive delegations from Europe, Latin America, Australia, the United States, Canada and the UK attended the 27th meeting of the SCCR from 28 April – 2 May 3014, to push for an international treaty to help libraries and archives preserve cultural heritage, facilitate access to essential information by people wherever they are in the world.

The meeting ended in disarray at 1:30am on Saturday morning, after the EU tried to have crucial references to “text-based” work on copyright exceptions removed from the meeting conclusions – a move viewed by other Member States and library and archive NGOs present as an attempt to delay, if not derail, any progress on copyright exceptions at WIPO.

Dr. Stuart Hamilton, Deputy Secretary General of the International Federation of Library Associations & Institutions (IFLA) commented:

“For the past three years, Member States have been looking at draft texts on copyright exceptions for libraries and archives. The EU is now trying to pretend these don’t exist. We’re frustrated, and deeply disappointed. It appears the EU came to WIPO with one goal in mind: to kill the discussion.”

The EU’s attempt to sideline discussion of copyright exceptions at WIPO is particularly concerning in light of the ongoing review of copyright laws at the EU level.

Dr Paul Ayris, President of LIBER, the Association of European Research Libraries, expressed his disappointment:

“The position taken by the EU delegation in Geneva contrasts strongly with current discussions at European level, where it has been recognised that copyright exceptions for libraries are essential, and must be harmonised in order to facilitate international research and innovation in the age of Science 2.0. The conservative position taken at SCCR 27 in Geneva this week is therefore deeply disappointing. It does not support research and education and hampers European researchers in their use of new tools and services.”

The SCCR has been discussing a possible legal instrument to safeguard copyright exceptions and limitations for libraries and archives since 2009. It is due to submit recommendations to the WIPO General Assembly in September 2014.

“We must act now, and engage at WIPO to make sure the EU and other developed countries know just how inadequate copyright laws are for libraries and archives in the digital, global world,” said Dr. Stuart Hamilton.

Ellen Broad
Manager, Digital Projects & Policy (IFLA)

Book Shelf ~ Kelly Library

Additional quotes

“Libraries in developing and transition countries seek a level playing field to provide people with information needed for education, research and development. Talks at WIPO, where international copyright law is shaped, must urgently get back on track to advance the goal of equal access to knowledge for all.”

— Ms Teresa Hackett,
Electronic Information for Libraries IP Program

razor wire

“In Europe we have introduced a mandatory copyright exception specifically to enable and promote cross-border online access to library and archive collections, and yet the EU delegation at the WIPO negotiations repeatedly denied the need for such solutions within an international context. For many, the EU’s position will smack of hypocrisy and economic self interest.”
— Professor Ronan Deazley,
Copyright Policy Adviser to Scottish Council on Archives

These Doors Are Locked

“We had just spent a productive week discussing several specific examples of legal inconsistencies and ambiguities that block archival preservation and service across borders. After all that valuable dialogue, it was heart-wrenching to see an elite sector at WIPO obstinately thwart efforts at a global solution to a global problem. It is also disappointing that the United States is not ready to assume a leadership role in working with the delegations of Brazil, Ecuador, India, Iran, Kenya, and others to craft a compromise. Nevertheless, those delegations showed that progress will not happen through unbalanced compromises, but by forthright adherence to a treaty that serves the world’s knowledge needs through the service of archives and libraries.”

— William Maher,
The Society of American Archivists (SAA)

NO TRESPASSING

“The EU’s hostility to any substantive discussions that might lead towards an international copyright treaty for the benefit of libraries and archives is reminiscent of its opposition to a treaty for the benefit of blind, visually impaired and print disabled people for most of the five years of talks that concluded in the Marrakesh Treaty 2013. Ironically, the EU signed the Marrakesh Treaty at the same WIPO meeting last week where it sought to wreck discussions concerning libraries and archives.”

— Ms Barbara Stratton,
representative of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP)

Don't Lock Up Our Culture!


Image Credits
With the exception of Nina Paley‘s copyright jail graphic (she has deeded to the Public Domain) that I remixed into my book jail, all images in this article are my own, and as such are released with a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Although WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) has a published Flickr photostream I didn’t use any of them, since all of these images are Copyright All Rights Reserved, not licensed to share.

C-11 ~ Canadians Don’t Know From TPMs

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Forget that TPMs/DRM/Digital Locks have radically shifted the foundations of property law … legal precedents that have evolved over centuries.

Or that Bill C-11 will make circumventing digital locks illegal.  Even when copyright is not being infringed, so Canadians can be prevented from using/watching/playing/reading the software, movie, music or book that we have legally purchased.   It will even be possible for manufacturers to prevent us from accessing works that are in the public domain.

Don’t worry that C-11 has within it the legal authority to stifle innovation, and worse, impede Canadian Independent production by raising artificial barriers.  Artificially making it difficult or impossible for Canadian creators to self publish our own work.

The worst thing about digital locks is that most people don’t even know they exist and worse,

most Canadians won’t even realize they are breaking the law.

Although I dislike polls on principal, I did a few this past week to try to get a handle on the the issue.  So I asked a “question” on Facebook, and got a few replies before deciding to give PollDaddy a try. I asked the same set of questions in both places so would be able to combine the results.

Keeping it simple the first question was “Do you know what DRM is?”

pie chart 61.9% voted "Yes" 28,57% "No", the rest don't know.

DRM has been getting a bit of press every year.  Even so, nearly 30% of my respondants don’t know what DRM is.

I think it was just this past year that animator Nina Paley turned down a Netflix distribution deal for her animated feature film “Sita Sings the Blues” because Netflix would only carry it with DRM.

Although self publishing authors have been able to choose whether or not our digital editions would be encumbered by DRM for some time now, most mainstream publishers have routinely applied DRM to all their offerings. Baen Books has been publishing DRM free for 13 years, and J.K.Rowling‘s Harry Potter ebooks were launched DRM free through her Pottermore site earlier this year. Just this week science fiction publisher TOR announced that it would be going DRM free.

DRM stands for “Digital Rights Management,” although I’ve also read “Digital Restrictions Management” and “Dishonest Relationship Misinformation,” all of which refer to digital controls placed on media and devices that control how the consumers who purchase them can use them.

The right to read – publishers who drop DRM

Imagine if each book in your library had a padlock with a different key for every single book. DRM – Digital Rights Management or Digital Restriction Management – are such padlocks. Not the best library solution you have heard of? Well, you are beginning to get publishers on your side. eBooks published by science fiction publisher Tor UK drops DRM. Tor UK, Tor Books and Forge are divisions of Pan Macmillan. They are not alone – science fiction publisher Baen Books, genre publisher Angry Robots, and even J.K. Rowling offer her Harry Potter books DRM-free. If you know of other publishers, please add them below. Protecting the right to read, we need to encourage publishers who drop DRM and use the open ePub-format and buy our books at their stores.”

Haakon Meland Eriksen

To understand why mainstream publishers are beginning to reject DRM read Charlie’s Diary: More on DRM and ebooks

My first Day Against DRM was in 2010. And May 4th — Friday next week — is this year’s “International Day Against DRM — May 4, 2012

My second Poll question was “Do You Know What Digital Locks Are?”

Pie chart: 36.6% Yes 36.6% No and 27.7% Not Sure

Anyone who has been following the Canadian government’s push for copyright reform will have been hearing and reading about digital locks for more than a decade. Canadian governments have been trying to change the Copyright Act since the American government passed the the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA). The first attempt at a “Canadian DMCA” was the Liberal Bill C-60, and when the Conservative Party formed the subsequent government they carried the torch with Bill C-61, then C-32 and now C-11. But until now Canada has been blessed with minority governments. Unfortunately, now that we have a majority government determined to appease the Americans there is every reason to believe that this time it will pass, even though the majority of Canadians oppose the digital lock provisions.

And you guessed it, a “Digital Lock” is another way to describe “DRM.”

The final question in my poll was “Do you know what TPMs are?”

pie chart: 77.27% said NO 9.9 13.64% were NOT SURE and 9.09% said YES

Wow.

Bill C-11 doesn’t talk about DRM or Digital locks, but rather TPMs, which are “Technological Protection Measures”.

Technological Protection Measures take a step beyond digital locks, or DRM, because they encompass DRM/digital locks but can also be applied to non digital locks.

Some appliances or hardware are screwed closed with specialty screws that require proprietary screw drivers. Without the proper screwdrivers, these things can’t be opened to modify or repair them. Since this is a “technical protection measure”, it is reasonable to assume that Bill C-11 will make it illegal to repair any such equipment unless you have the proprietary tools.

This is a Poll

I’m not a professional pollster and my poll sample is very small. With only 22 responses, it isn’t very scientific poll. Still, it gives an idea. Because I’m a free culture advocate, a lot of the people who read my blogs or talk to me online, or even read my novel are going to be much more aware of these issues than the average Canadian. So I’m surprised; I would have expected more people to understand the terms. Or at least think they do.

77.27% said they don’t know what TPMs are.

<hr.
[Correction of fact: "Technical Protection Measures" has been amended to the term used in Bill C-11 "Technological Protection Measures"]

Legal Today, Not Tomorrow? ~ Bill C-11

with 6 comments

Canadian DMCA logo

Bill C-11, Canada’s so-called “Copyright Modernization Act” has passed second reading in the House of Commons and is now before the parliamentary committee.

Since I am preparing my debut novel for eBook release, I’m trying not to pay attention, yet I find myself reading Russell McOrmond’s Bill C-11 Legisative Committee coverage.  Russell is both Live tweeting and blogging about each meeting day.   This legislation is simply too important to ignore, not just for me, as a self publishing writer, but for Canada, and the heritage and culture that is so much a part of who we are.

I can’t actually watch the proceedings myself, even though they are being broadcast online by CPAC.  Beginning with cable TV coverage, CPAC has provided Canadians with a ringside seat to Canadian parliamentary proceedure since 1992.   The problem is that this video is provided onsite in Windows Media Player format.

Problem: In order to watch video in the proprietary Windows Media Player, you need to have Windows, and I don’t.

It seems I can’t watch the livestream of the actual parliamentary committee meetings because I have chosen to use free software. I don’t use Windows anymore, nor do I use any of the various Apple computers. My operating system on *this* computer is Ubuntu, and the one on my desktop computer is Trisquel.

But of course, that’s the point.  Proprietary digital devices and content try to force the user to use the software or device specified by the manufacturer. Once you buy into any proprietary system, it is difficult to switch to another.  In this case it’s Microsoft, although it could as easily be Apple, or Sony, or any one of a plethora of rich and powerful companies that make proprietary software and hardware.

And why not? Microsoft built the Windows Media Player, and they want people to use it in their operating system.

In the past, circumventing proprietary formats might have resulted in a voided warranty. But it seems to me that Bill C-11 will make it illegal.

I expect CPAC paid rather a lot to be able to license the Windows media player.  But since Windows is still the dominant OS, it seems like a reasonable choice to reach the most people.  And CPAC wants all Canadians to have access to the video they create. That’s what they do.

And CPAC understands, because it attempts to circumvent the problem by  advising  us to copy the link below the video into our own video player if we are having problems.

I tried that, but it didn’t work on either the Ubuntu Movie Player or Banshee Media Player.   Even so, I wasn’t positive it was a proprietary issue the problem was until a friend tried to resolve it.

Apparently Flip4Mac WMV program converted the proprietary Windows video format to a proprietary Mac video format.

The other solution that CPAC offers is to use a program called VLC. Ironically I used that free software video player back when I still used Windows, but haven’t managed to get it to work in either of my gnu/linux machines.

The long and the short of it is that, because I am not able to run the proprietary Windows Media Player, I am effectively locked out of the digital government video CPAC routinely shares with Canadians.

An Illustration of Bill C-11

In a strange way this demonstrates why legal protection of TPMs — regardless of legality — is the central point of Bill C-11 that has Canadians concerned. As written, Bill C-11 would criminalize Canadians who circumvent TPMs (technical protection measures) even if we are legally entitled to access the content that is locked by these “digital locks”.

Although I’m neither a technical person or a lawyer, I think Bill C-11 would make software like the VLC player illegal in Canada because it circumvents proprietary TPMs.

And Bill C-11 will make both tools to circumvent and the act of circumvention of TPMs illegal.

It wouldn’t matter that CPAC wants to share their content with me, Microsoft would have to grant permission to convert proprietary formats into free formats, or else it would be illegal. Microsoft’s current policies indicate any such permission would be unlikely, but even if it did, the tools to circumvent the proprietary TPMs – like VLC – would be illegal, so I wouldn’t be able to do it anyway.

Lawyers like Michael Geist and Howard Knopf and tech folks like Russell McOrmond, Wayne Borean, Bob Jonkman and Cory Doctorow have said Bill C-11 would not be such a problem if TPM circumvention was only illegal if tied to copyright infringement.

the shape of things to come

But if they pass Bill C-11 as written, it will become illegal for Canadians to circumvent TPMs so we can watch our government in action. Or to back up our software, Or format shift so we can watch DVDs on MP3 players.

Depending on what TPMs manufacturers employ, it may become illegal to read public domain eBooks on our e-readers, or play DVDs that aren’t region encoded.  Which would mean that independent film makers wouldn’t be able to put their original movies on DVDs.  Independent musicians might be prevented from distributing their original work digitally.  The range of consequences are appalling.

How long until it becomes illegal to load free software on our computers?

If Bill C-11 passes, not long at all.


[Edited for readability (replacing a bit of awkward phrasing) but content remains the same.]

Image credits
Screencap cc-by 1111aether

Against DRM cc-by Nina Paley

“Writers Groups” presume too much

with 2 comments

A letter to Industry Minister Tony Clement and Heritage Minister James Moore purports to speak:

 

on behalf of all professional writers in Canada”.

http://www.writersunion.ca/pdfs/letter_clement_moore_0810.pdf

I’m sure the signatories represent many professional writers, but I am a professional Canadian writer

Canadian DMCA logo

and they certainly do not speak for me.

I am not very happy they claim to speak on my behalf.

You might consider them a wee bit arrogant.   Presumptuous even.

I suspect that some or all of the other professional writers in Canada may be a little dismayed by this as well.

Funny thing about writers: we like to choose our own words.

Even assuming that every member of each of the collectives actually represented by this “coalition” understand the issues and agree with the letter’s stated  position, surely the signatories are aware there are other writer collectives in Canada.   Like, say, the Writers Guild of Canada.   Further I would hope that they are also aware that there are professional Canadian writers who do not belong to any collective at all.   Like me.

Who are these “writer’s groups”?   Frankly I don’t recall ever hearing of any of these collectives until the other day.   Back in the day I was a member of the ACTRA Writer’s Guild (now known as the Writers Guild of Canada).   When doing a bit of research for my article on Access Copyright‘s bid to raise the post secondary Tariff on Canadian students on the order of 1300%, some of the names on the this letter were familiar.

Interestingly, five of the six organizations who signed this letter are also
Access Copyright Member Organizations.

Of course the other fourteen Access Copyright Member Organization Creator Groups are not signatory to the letter either.

The letter claims,

 

Canadian writers are collectively ready to support appropriate amendments that will meet the laudable goals of Bill C-32.”

laudable? …ahem

My opinion on Bill C-32 has been well documented:

C-32 Endangers My Rights
digEcon backstory (Bill C-32)
Copyright Modernization Act: Bill C-32
Astroturf: promoting Bill C-32
Professor Geist exposes Bill C-32

It’s safe to say “laudable” is not a word I have used or would use for Bill C-32’s goals.

Does this coalition of “writers groups” speak for me?

I don’t think so.

Phone wires run thought a dramatic purple and pink sunset

Nor do I agree with the letter’s fear of the expansion of fair dealing under education.   Michael Geist deals with the legal ramifications in his blog Writers Groups Attack Fair Dealing Reform in Copyright Bill

From my dual standpoint as writer and parent, education is one of the most important places for fair dealing exemptions.

Clearly Access Copyright does not grasp the ramifications of the technological changes that have dramatically reduced the costs of copying and distribution.   If collectives and corporations were smart they would be applying themselves in adaptation to the market.  

Instead most are pouring all their resources into attempts to legislate against progress.  

The technology genie is out of the bottle.

Although I doubt it will have much of a shelf life, bad copyright law can do serious short-term damage.   As a parent I believe that putting one young person in jail for sharing is one too many.   The long term will render these attempts futile.

As it stands C-32 will hold back Canadian creators with the over-the-top Digital Lock provisions of Bill C-32. At the same time the original DMCA is tempered by legal challenges brought by concerned groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation.   The problem is these “writer’s groups” seek to place Canada’s creators and knowledge economy at a disadvantage.

Still, I’m a live and let live kind of person. I think there should be choice. If these collectives and corporations wish to continue pretending it’s still the 20th century in the way they do business, more power to them.   Of course I believe their way of doing business dooms them to eventual failure.   I suspect they are too, which is why they are trying to use legislation to artificially turn back the hands of time.

If they want special rules for themselves, perhaps they should follow the advice of one of the commentor’s on Michael Geist’s blog and set up their own secure server. [Great idea, tom!] They can charge what they like and control their material as they wish without impeding any one else’s rights. Those who choose to use the service would have the choice that is taken from them by a tariff.

Our students deserve the best education we can give them. That makes sound economic sense for Canada. Even better, it’s important for freedom and culture.

This “Writers Group” letter also says:

 

We will have constructive suggestions to address this and other issues affecting professional writers, including exceptions for non-commercial user-generated content, the digital delivery of material held in libraries to library users across Canada, and secondary uses of our works on the Internet.”

Why did they choose to reserve these suggestions rather than submitting them to the Copyright Consultation?

Why should “professional writers” have any particular influence over exemptions for “non-commercial user-generated content”.   Presumptuous.

Also I’m a little concerned about their mention of ‘digital delivery of material in libraries’. This is way over the line.

If copyright restrictions limit what our children can and cannot be taught in our educational institutions, copyright law needs to be fixed.

When they claim to speak for me they abrogate my right to speak. Worse, claiming I support Bill C-32 is the opposite of what I believe. This letter most certainly causes me harm. That’s a problem

This coalition of “writers groups” does not speak on behalf of all Canadian writers.

Panel 1: My Business Model relies on extorting, criminalizing and punishing children.  2: Maybe you should find a new business model.  3: But It's How I feed My Children!
Reprinted from Nina Paley’s Mimi and Eunice



Image Credit: (thanks for the link pat donovan)
http://ninapaley.com/mimiandeunice/ Creative Commons (by-sa 3.0) attribution share alike license by Nina Paley.

2010 IP3 Awards

with one comment

When I began this blog a little over a year ago I had no idea about what was happening in the world of Intellectual Property Law. But I’ve been learning. Some of the amazing people and organizations I’ve come across who are spending a great deal of time working to fight against changes that will be detrimental to us all are linked in my sidebar.

One such organization is the Washington based public interest group Public Knowledge, who work hard to defend citizens’ rights in the emerging digital culture. Public Knowledge emailed subscribers asking for suggestions for nominations for their 2010 IP3 awards:

Let us know who you think should be honored for their good work in any or all of the “three IPs”: Intellectual Property, Information Policy, and Internet Protocol. The IP3 awards are our way of paying tribute to the thought leaders who inspired us and our supporters during the past year.”

Of course, being me, even though I am seriously new to all of this, I simply could not resist throwing in my two cents worth. Like this:

The speech balloon I added to Sita says "No DRM for Me" - Sita created by Nina Paley.

Nina Paley's endearing Sita

My Nominations

Nina Paley

I’m willing to bet that Nina Paley‘s decision to fight for “copyleft” by releasing her wonderful animated feature film Sita Sings The Blues under a creative commons license has done more to raise the specter of true independent film making than anything else could have.

Add to that her vocal advocacy for expanded fair dealing and copyright reform, topped by her recent decision to turn down what would certainly have been a lucrative Netflix distribution because they refused to distribute Sita free of DRM.

I believe Nina Paley’s efforts are instrumental in demonstrating the value of legal file sharing which can help to preserve an open Internet.

Cory Doctorow

Doctorow medium shot in front of blackboard

Cory Doctorow

As a writer returning to writing after a long childrearing hiatus, I’ve been doing a lot of learning about copyright, and Cory Doctorow has become one of my personal heroes. His ability to clearly explain and inform about the history of Intellectual Property, as well as his radical new ideas about IP reform have helped educate me on these issues. Cory Doctorow makes good use of his popular boingboing website to raise public awareness about IP3 issues, as well as his place in the UK’s The Guardian.

Even more brilliantly, Cory Doctorow’s book “Little Brother” brings these issues to life in a fictional world, which more than anything else helps to shine a light on the possible abuses we will face if we don’t pursue “the copyfight”.

More than anyone except my family, Cory Doctorow is responsible for the many long hours I have invested in both IP3 self education and advocacy through my blogs and any other appropriate forum I can find, either on or offline.

Michael Geist

A year ago I was learning to make web pages and just starting my first blog. As I learned about the Internet and what you define as the IP3, Professor Michael Geist very quickly became a key source of accurate and informed online information.

Michael Geist’s various websites have both directed me to other excellent IP3 excellent resources, like Public Knowledge, as well as providing me with a strong enough grounding in the IP3 fields to help me to advocate for intelligent copyright reform and against dangerous public policies like ACTA in my own blogs.

Geist speaking on Fair Copyright at the University of 2008

Public Knowledge instituted the IP3 Awards to say “thank you” to those who:

“have advanced the public interest in one of the three areas of “IP” –Intellectual Property, Information Policy and Internet Protocol.”

Public Knowledge Presents Seventh IP3 Awards to Samuelson, Crawford, Geist and Paley

So, two picks outta three ain’t bad for a novice.

And of course, I can still keep my fingers crossed that Cory Doctorow will be the super secret recipient of the “President’s Choice Award” that will be announced at the IP3 awards ceremony in Washington, on October 13th, 2010.

I haven’t heard of the other two recipients, Pamela Samuelson and Susan Crawford, but then I am, after all, very new to all of this. They certainly sound as though they’ve more than paid their dues in the legal and political IP trenches from the PK article.

Congratulations to all on being chosen, and a very special thank you to Public Knowledge for the important work they do.



Image Credits:

  • Sita Sings the Blues – Nina Paley’s Sita, remix by laurelrusswurm
  • Cory Doctorow, University of Waterloo – Independent Studies – Scholar in Virtual Residence – photo by laurelrusswurm
  • Michael Geist, University of Calgary, 2008 – photo by D’Arcy Norman

creators fight back

with 4 comments

Creative Commons logo

Just thought you might like to know that I’m not the only weird creator who thinks the idea of copyright needs some help here. So I thought I’d share a few important links:

In Locus Magazine Cory Doctorow explains Why I Copyfight [Cory Doctorow licenses his books under Creative Commons.]

A blog called Techrisk (The vulnerable information society) Mathias Klang has published a list of books released under Creative Commons licensing cc books.

My brother Larry Russwurm’s blog post this week uses/reviews a creative commons licensed cartoon making software in Playing With Bitstrips.

From May 16th, 2000 Salon.com has an unedited transcript of Courtney Love’s speech to the Digital Hollywood online entertainment conference about the record industry Courtney Love does the math

And on her own website, you can read terrifically talented singer/songwriter Janis Ian‘s stunning article the THE INTERNET DEBACLE – AN ALTERNATIVE VIEW

Sita stands in Copyright jail

But the best is from Nina Paley’s Sita Sings the Blues Webpage. because Nina Paley’s explanation of why she had to use the music she did drives home precisely how the changes made to copyright law over the past decades actually impede the creation of art. Because most of us aren’t as brave as Nina Paley.

Most of us make the changes required by copyright law.

Real or imagined or feared, because we don’t have the time or energy or money to fight lawsuits or pay extortionate amounts of money to use the creative works of artists that should have been in the public domain. We just want to make art.

And that is bad for art, bad for culture. For all of us.



acknowledgments:
Thanks to Adrian du Plessis for directing me to Janis Ian
Thanks to Jonathan Fritz for directing me to the Courtney Love piece

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