Creative Freedom

NOTE: although “published” I will be working on editing & adding to this post through the day.

Cover art for my novel locked in a jail cel secured with a padlock marked with the copyright symbol
Bill C-32 would lock up my novel

Copyright is a big issue for me, and seems to crop up more often than not all through this, my personal blog.
Because of Bill C-32 and ACTA, my Oh! Canada blog also has an increasing number of copyright posts. And of course since copyright is being used to attack net neutrality, it also features in my tech issue blog StopUBB.

As my personal Software Freedom Day initiative I’ve decided to begin compiling a list of important information about copyright law. As a writer, I am passionately opposed to Bill C-32, the supposed copyright reform currently before the Canadian Government. Written as though by foreign special interest groups, if passed Bill C-32 will place horrendous barriers to Canadian artists, musicians, filmmakers, writers, citizens, and students through it’s ironclad protection of DRM/TPM.

This law will make it possible to stop anyone who uses the Internet or other digital means to distribute/disseminate/share their own creative work. Currently 30% of the Canadian recording Industry is Independent of the big labels. This renaissance of Canadian culture could be stopped dead by Bill C-32. This is bad.

For me personally, passage of Bill C-32 would impede my ability to self publish and distribute my novel.
Copyright symbol with maple leaf

Copyright Links: Bill C-32

My initial StopUBB summary: Copyright Modernization Act: Bill C-32

One of the leading copyright authorities and resources is the University of Ottawa’s Professor Michael Geist who always makes available a good translations of copyright legalese that might be used to choke Canada’s creativity.

Russell McOrmond is my other leading source for copyright information and analysis although he’s not a lawyer, he is very knowledgable about copyright issues. McOrmond’s Digital Copyright provides a Conservative Copyright Bill C-32 page which guides visitors through the Copyright Bill C-32 issues.

Practicing Canadian IP Lawyer Howard Knopf provides insight into copyright law in his blog Excess Copyright

Like me, Wayne Borean is affected by copyright issues on a number of fronts. He’s been putting together some excellent material in the copyright segment of his blog Through the Looking Glass.

Other Great Sites that discuss Copyright issues:
Question Copyright
Project Gutenberg News
Gutenberg Canada
boing boing
Public Knowledge
Knowledge Ecology International


TechDirt always has lots of good coverage, but I particularly liked this one TechDirt: Canadian Music Industry Spokesperson Claims User Generated Content Supports ‘Piracy’ since this is what I believe to be the real purpose: to stop people from putting their own content online. The growth of independent creativity is cutting into the bottom line of powerful corporations.
Jesse Brown is a good resource in general; this copyright podcast highlights the idea that Canadians are tired of fighting the same issue over and over again.Search Engine with Jesse Brown: Audio Podcast #43: So Bored of Copyright
CBC online is the only mainstream news media to cover StopUBB issues. Along with the other mainstream media they seem willing to cover some of the Bill C-32 issue, although none of them seem willing to cover ACTA. I think C-32, the UK Digital Economy Act ( DEAct) and the American Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) are all “warm-up acts for ACTA. One of the key stumbling blocks to completing the ACTA negotiations is that each country will have to alter domestic law in order to be able to ratify it. The DEAct succeeded remarkably well in passing domestic law even worse than ACTA requires, which is why UK

It is disturbing that this has been revealed: Michael Geist: “We Don’t Care What You Do, As Long as the U.S. Is Satisfied”

Michael Geist: DMCA-Style Reforms: “Not a Reasonable Policy To Foster Innovation or Respect for Copyright”

Unexpected Effects

One of the byproducts of laws like this one that have been playing out in the UK (Digital Economy Act) and the USA (DMCA) has been the rampant often specious lawsuits which often have no merit, but can be very profitable when used to extort people into settling them from fear. We can assume that this is one of the things Canadian will have to look forward to as well.

Of course since these negative effects have already happened as a direct result of the American DMCA and the UK DEA, should the Canadian government pass Bill C-32 it will be way past “unexpected” when the same effects ensue here.

Which is why I wanted to include this link The RIAA? Amateurs. Here’s how you sue 14,000+ P2P users

Why I don’t Like DRM:  DRM is BAD


Thank you, Nina Paley, for this cartoon which made my day:


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