Laurel L. Russwurm's Free Culture Blog

a writer, the copyfight and internet freedom

copyrightconsultation.ca

with 7 comments

In reading through the submissions, one of my favorites would be this one:

Goos, Aaron

“1. How do Canada’s copyright laws affect you? How should existing laws be modernized?
Satire and parody are essential for democracy. Whether it’s legal or not, it will be done by many so it’s better to be on the right side of history on this issue. Also, fair dealing should be changed to fair use so people won’t be confused.

2. Based on Canadian values and interests, how should copyright changes be made in order to withstand the test of time

Remember that copyright was originally designed to be 7 years and expired. That was enough for the creator to make a profit before others could start too. A liberal and expansive copyright promotes innovation.”

Aaron Goos

(I so admire people who can say so much in so few words!)

Mr. Goos reminds us that copyright originally expired after seven years. In my submission I thought copyright term reduction to twenty years would be good, but really, seven years is probably plenty long.

Canadians were asked to submit our thoughts, feelings and advice to our government’s Copyright Consultation process. This is why so many of us put so very much effort into our submissions. This was to be participatory democracy at its finest.

Thousands contributed.

Putting thoughts into words is easy for some but not most of us.
(This is why politicians hire speech writers).

Yet the copyright consultation website where industry canada is posting these submissions seems to have missed quite a few. I know that mine went in just in the nick of time. I personally know of two other submissions I’ve read that are also not evident on the September 14th page Nor is it on the page following.

I was led to believe that my government actually wanted to hear what I had to say.

We were led to believe that our government would actually listen.

The very few submissions posted on the site for the last few days open for submissions seem to have footnotes. If this is something that they want to do, fine. But only AFTER all of the submissions are posted. Considering that email submissions are submitted electronically, I don’t understand what is taking so long.

Canadians want to be sure that our submissions were received, not lost or inadvertently destroyed.

If they have been damaged or misplaced, we will want the opportunity to re-submit, because we have all put in a lot of work on this. We want to make sure that we are heard.

Luckily so many of us have posted online.

Google found me these insightful copycon submissions:

Blaise Alleyne: Unity Behind Diversity

Denver Gingerich: A Better World

Scott Elcomb: Libertatia Canada

Andrew Currie: Scribd

Todd Howe: Aleatoric

Cory Doctorow: Submission to the Canadian Copyright Consultation

Cory Doctorow’s reference to the “You wouldn’t steal a car” shorts put me in mind of this very funny anti-piracy parody clip from Britain’s Channel 4 comedy series “The I.T.Crowd”

I hope that they will make some kind of announcement as to why so many copycon submissions are not visible. Perhaps the best thing at this point would be for the government to let Professor Geist know what’s happening so that he can spread the word,

O Canada copyright consultation

O Canada copyright consultation

Written by Laurel L. Russwurm

September 25, 2009 at 2:36 am

7 Responses

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  1. […] copyrightconsultation.ca […]

  2. […] than 8,000 Canadians made written copyright consultation submissions answering the handful of questions posed by the Ministry. Michael Geist provided a nice breakdown […]

  3. […] Canada from being been victimized by bad copyright reforms.   Last year’s Canada wide copyright consultation process seemed very positive.   Yet there have been indications that the magnificent outpouring that […]

  4. copycon submissions update:

    Thanks to Michael Geist for passing along the news that the copyright consultation submissions are in fact coming.

    It seems that there were more than 8,000 submissions, many of which are PDFs, which is not exactly an accessible format. So for accessibility (bravo! this is something that every level of government should be doing every time) all the PDFs are being retyped into html.

    This will take a while. Of course it would have been a good thing for the copyright consultation folks to have mentioned this sooner– like before the submissions began.

    Personally I hate PDFs and never use them voluntarily. I hate finding them on the internet because the only civilized way to read them is to print them… hardly environmentally friendly. And if you do find something good in a PDF you have to retype it. Not what I look for in digital media. I can understand limited uses for PDFs for legal contracts and such.

    In this instance all the people who used PDFs because they wanted to ensure that what they said would not be altered are now in the position of having their words altered due to typos rather than philosophical differences.

    Laurel L. Russwurm

    September 25, 2009 at 7:30 pm

    • Seems weird that they’d have to retype the pdfs by hand. There are many tools out there to extract the text automatically. I guess they’d still have to manually look them over, but it should be a pretty quick process.

      Strangely, my submission wasn’t a pdf but still isn’t up on the official site. It is posted to my site, if you’re interested.

      640k

      September 26, 2009 at 6:31 pm

      • You’re the second person who’s told me that there are tools to extract text from pdfs– I had no idea. Of course in that case I can’t see any justification at all for ever using such a cumbersome format as a pdf.

        My copycon submission wasn’t a pdf either and also isn’t on their site yet. Patience is called for at present; we need to give them time to get it all up there.

        But now that we know that the missing submissions weren’t lost it’s not such a bad thing that it ‘ll take some time to get them all online. Keeping the discussion going out here can only help the process. Particularly since the initial stages were clearly dominated by an over-representation of the corporate players (not creators, or consumers) it is now it’s time for both the artists and consumers to be heard.

        Posting your copycon submission online was an excellent way of getting your views out there. I would suggest that anyone who has made an official copycon submission and not posted it themselves publicly do so.

        (If you don’t have an online outlet, you can sign up for a wordpress blog and have it posted in minutes. )

        If you didn’t get a submission in and now wish to have your say, this is a good time to do it. Canadians need to get talking about this.

        I enjoyed reading your submission, and especially liked your Kyoto reference. There are all kinds of issues that I wasn’t aware of when I made my submission that I’m now having the opportunity to learn about by reading other Canadian submissions. The new “resale right” idea you mention is is horrendous.
        (Purely from an environmental standpoint alone: think how much would end up in the dump? Wouldn’t take long for Canada to be a coast-to-coast landfill!)

        Instead, wouldn’t it be awesome if our government actually listened to us and Canada led the world in copyright reform?

        ===============================================
        [You might be interested in my public service
        Stop Usage Based Billing blog since the
        CRTC ruling will certainly have negative effects on all Canadian internet use.]

        Laurel L. Russwurm

        September 26, 2009 at 11:28 pm


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