Laurel L. Russwurm

a writer, the copyfight and internet freedom

Posts Tagged ‘creative commons

Happy GNU Year

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Happy GNU Year!

This virtual card is the best gift I can give my readers and online friends this holiday season. Not just because its the best and most awesome Happy GNU Year card you’re likely to find online, but because I created it entirely using free culture and free software.

The Free Software Foundation‘s GNU operating system led to the adoption of the gnu as its symbol.  Free software is incredibly important for a host of reasons, and yet I very much suspect it wouldn’t exist at all any more but for the efforts of Richard Stallman and the FSF.  I highly recommend that you use free software as much as possible, not just because it’s usually free of charge (gratis) but far more importantly, because it respects our personal freedom (libre).

The penguin “Tux” is the mascot of the Linux kernel, is the heart of the free and open source software operating systems we use today. (MacOS and Windows are the non-free software used in personal computing devices (computers, cell phones, tablets, PVRs &tc.)

Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0)) LicenseIf you click on the card, you’ll find a higher definition version suitable for printing.  And you are allowed to print it, because this card carries a free culture license, specifically a Creative Commons  Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0) License  This license gives you the freedom to use this creative work in any way you like, even commercially, with only 2 restrictions.

  1. The “Attribution” restriction means you must credit the creator(s) as specified.
  2. Second, whether printing it out and selling physical copies, mailing it to you your friends, or modifying it to create something completely different, it must carry the Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike License, or a similar license that requires attribution perpetuation of the license terms.

Attribution is simply giving credit where credit is due. I try to provide attribution for everything I use, even work in the public domain. The “share-alike” part of the license exists to prevent creative works from being removed from free culture and locked behind copyright.

Below you can see the steps that led to this card. Click on any of the images below for a larger/printable version.

Happy GNU Year Green (cc by-sa)Modified "Powered By GNU/Linux" Free Software  sticker set Happy GNU Year STENCIL

On the left is my first try, which I like a lot. It could make a good poster, but it’s too difficult to see and read in small formats because it’s too cluttered.

In the centre is the “wallpaper” background I devised. I modified the Powered by GNU-Linux sticker set originally created by deviantdark and published on deviantArt  under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0) License.  There are many free software operating systems not included, so I added Trisquel and centOS when I made up the wallpaper background. You can download the printable sticker sets from the deviantART Powered by GNU-Linux page and make your own sticker for your computer.

On the right is the first draft of the red card. I loved the simplicity of Rasmus Olsen‘s gnu meets penguin titled GNU/Linux licensed Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0) that I found on Flickr.  I altered the image by bringing the penguin close enough to touch noses with the gnu, and stood them both on the lettering. In the final version, I changed the lettering because it was hard to read when the wallpaper was added.

CORRECTION: Rui Damas is the originator of the GNU/Linux artwork I reused, and it was actually released under the GNU Public License. I’m not entirely sure what that does to my licensed usage. [Thanks to Mike Linksvayer for pointing that out!]

Free Software & Free Culture

It’s no harder to learn to use free software than it is to learn to use a windows computer or a Mac.  Many Apple and Windows users are already using free software with Firefox or OpenOffice (I prefer LibreOffice).  The coolest and best ebook conversion software is called Calibre (it comes with a good e-reader so you can read eBooks on your computer).  And of course my favorite blogging software, WordPress is free software.  Wikipedia runs on free wiki software (which is why there are wikis popping up all over) and if you’re into video production, you could so worse than the amazing Blender 3D animation software or Kdenlive for video editing.  You can use social networking with GNUsocial and Friendica.   If you do switch to free software, the biggest difference you’ll notice is that you don’t have to pay for things again and again and again.  Other advantages include better security and a much lower incidence of spyware and other malware.

It was difficult for me to unlearn Photoshop so I can learn to use GIMP, but I keep trying.  I still look for a lot of the features where they would be in photoshop, but its getting easier.  I have yet to find anything Photoshop can do that can’t be done in GIMP; the challenge is finding out how to do it.   That’s why I’m so pleased I made this card entirely with GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) on my computer, which is currently runs on Linux Mint in a MATE desktop environment that has the  Ubuntu Studio plug-in.

As the copyright maximalists successfully lobby to lock up more and more of our culture for longer and longer terms, the importance of free culture has become more apparent.   Sites like the Flickr photosharing site and deviantArt make it easy for users to give their work Creative Commons licenses, so they are often the easiest places to find images licensed to share.

All versions of my GNU year card are licensed Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0) License.  If you’re interested in finding out what free culture is out there, I’ve been growing a list of Free Culture resources (in the right sidebar).    And if you have some spare cash left over from last year, please consider making a donation to the two non-profit organizations that have been instrumental in ensuring the continued existence of free software and free culture:

The Free Software Foundation and Creative Commons

And have a Happy GNU Year!

Owning A Copy Does Not Confer Copyright

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William Lyon Mackenzie King and friend on railway platform, Montreal, QC, about 1930
Anonyme – Anonymous
About 1930, 20th century
Silver salts on glass – Gelatin dry plate process
12 x 17 cm
Purchase from Napoleon Antiques
© McCord Museum

An anonymous person took this vintage photograph, which found its way to Napoleon Antiques.

Because one of the subjects of the photograph was a Canadian Prime Minister, William Lyon Mackenzie King, the photograph has some instrinsic value. It certainly isn’t a Karsh portrait, but either the photographer or the person who commissioned the photograph would be the copyright holder under Canadian law.

The fact we don’t know who that was makes this an “orphan work”.

When this photograph was sold to the McCord Museum, the antique shop had the right to sell the physical property of the photograph, but did not own the copyright.

The fact that the photograph wound up in an antique shop suggests an estate sale, so there is reason to believe the work may be in the public domain. 1930 was over eighty years ago, after all.

Clearly, though, Napoleon Antiques would have bought the physical photograph. The name of the photographer would most certainly been known had there been an assignment of copyright. And in 1930, Canadian copyright terms were much shorter than they are now.

Wikipedia tells us that the Canadian copyright term:

“For anonymous works, 50 years from publication
or 75 years from creation,
whichever is shorter.”

So how does the McCord Museum come to own copyright in this work? Clearly a photograph taken by an anonymous photographer in 1930 would be in the public domain now, so the McCord Museum can’t own the copyright.

If owning a physical copy of a work conferred copyright, well, anyone who bought a CD would be able to take down the recording artist’s MySpace page…

I really don’t have any problem with McCord, or any museum, educational facility or even private individual selling copies of historic works that they physically possess. This is an acceptable business model. But I do take issue when they lay claim to copyright of public domain images.

Because work in the public domain belongs to all of us. As our history belongs to all of us.

If McCord actually owned the copyright in these works, then placing a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada (CC BY-NC-ND 2.5) would be reasonable, perhaps even generous.

But the museum does not own the intellectual property in this work. Since the image is in the public domain, placing such a notice is horrendously and unreasonably restrictive, and the McCord has absolutely no legal or moral right to impose such restrictions.

Worse, this is actually a case of copyfraud. I don’t think that is the McCord’s intent, considering that its founder:

“David Ross McCord wanted to make history accessible to all. His dream has become the McCord’s mission – a mission whose importance is reaffirmed each year by thousands of visitors.”

McCord Museum: A Museum for all Montrealers

Locking up our history in copyright, preventing us from using historic works — works in the public domain — whether to create derivative works, or even commercially, is the very antithesis of making history “accessible to all”.

I don’t think David Ross McCord would approve, do you?

Jamendo … music makes my soul dance

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Allison Crowe photo by Adrian du Plessis

Canadian Singer/Songwriter Allison Crowe

Jamendo gives us back the ability to discover music through sharing.

Because everything on Jamendo is Creative Commons licenced.

I’m emailing my nominations for the Jamendo Awards, but I thought I’d share them with you too. I don’t think this music is every bit as good as what you would hear on the radio.

It’s better. :D

My Jamendo Awards Nominations

Allison Crowe (pop)

ALÓ DJANGO (world)

Distimia (España) (Instrumental)

Revolution Void (Electro)

Josh Woodward (rock)

The James Quintet (urban)

i am this (experimental)

Because the music on the radio all started sounding the same.

Can you differentiate between Justin Bieber and Brittney? I can’t. That’s why I stopped listening to the radio.

So for a long time I was only listened to my vinyl, cassettes and CDs. My only possible introduction to any new music was been what I hear at venues like the Beaches Jazz Festival or Uptown Waterloo Jazz Festivals. If I like it, I buy the CDs the artists are selling.

But I found Jamendo just when my record player pooched and I’d worn out Paul Simon and Huey Lewis cassettes.

Since I’m a wee bit older than the average university student, I had to research what was currently hot for my novel, “Inconstant Moon.” and frankly the only new mainstream music that I could find worth listening to is Black Eyed Peas. The E.N.D. is the only Big Six CD I’ve bought in years.

In the normal course of events, it takes hunting and sampling to find the music that resonates with me. I’m not about to stop listening to the old music I’ve grown to love, but I find it far easier to find great new music on Jamendo than on the radio.

More than any other single source I am aware of, Jamendo is the source for music that can be freely downloaded for personal use.

Which means that, since discovering their website, I have been able to discover new music again. And I know full well that I have barely scratched the surface of what awaits me on Jamendo. That’s why I love Jamendo, even though technical difficulties have sometimes prevented access, or as now, voting in their contest.

It’s crazy. At a time when the technical barriers to people being able to share culture are at an unprecedented low, and the large distributors that have been milking and funneling culture into homogeneity have been seeking to prevent it with copyright law.

Yay Jamendo.

Image Credit:

Allison Crowe by Adrian22 at en.wikipedia
under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License (cc by-sa)

Politicians: Publicity Photos need a CC License

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Copyright symbol with a Maple Leaf embeddedCitizen journalism is on the rise and playing a much larger role in the political arena.

As a blogger, I make use of images in all of my blogs. But when i can’t take my own, I look for photos online. But © copyright, all rights reserved means I can’t use an image. And Canadian copyright law makes every photograph copyright © all rights reserved as the default.

Both Google and Flickr offer an Advanced Image Search option. When looking for images to use in my blog, I choose to search “labelled for reuse.” I can tell you right now that Google returned zero labeled for reuse image results for the incumbent in my riding.

[I would have screen captured the Google page to show you here, except that I can't, because the page is "protected by copyright"copyright. Isn't copyright fun?]

Canadians can’t even use images included on Government of Canada web pages paid for with our tax dollars because they are protected by Crown Copyright. And if you haven’t heard, CBC does the same thing. They don’t allow citizens to reproduce anything from their website, even when it is of a non-profit public service nature.

blogger legality

That makes it copyright infringement to reproduce the photo without permission. As a blogger, I don’t have time to ask, so it is easier for me not to not use photos unless they are licensed for re-use, rather than risk legal ramifications (EFF calls that the chilling effect). So people who want to include your photo – and provide you with needed publicity – won’t.

The flip side is that when you are in public life, total strangers can legally take your photograph and publish it without your permission. So what is likely to happen is that unflattering images will appear on flickr or WikiMedia Commons that are licensed for reuse. Unflattering images make attack ads possible.


Privately granted permission can easily be withdrawn, disavowed or legally challenged. Most bloggers don’t have legal departments, nor pockets deep enough to risk spending the rest of our lives in court arguing this.


Wikipedia is not an advertising medium, which means that famous people or political parties can’t make their own (presumably biased) pages.

One photographer who takes photographs of politicians to include in Wikipedia explained how he was forced to include an incredibly unflattering photograph of a highly placed Canadian politician in Wikipedia page. He had never been able to get a good picture of the man, and an unflattering photograph is better than none.

Which is an excellent reason for famous people or political parties to license images they can live with for reuse. You can post licensed images anywhere online, on your website, blog, even as an avatar, or on a free Flickr page.

If you don’t, someone else will.

Creative commons double c enclosed in a circle, with black text at right reading Creative Commons and in red dot CA

Creative Commons

There are other ways of licensing to get around the over-stringent copyright law we have today, but the one I know about is Creative Commons on licenses. I’ve blogged a bit about it in CC is for Creator’s choice.

Creative Commons Zero or Public Domain logo

The photographer owns the © copyright, and can license a good image through on the Creative Commons license choosing page.

For the widest possible dissemination of any information, the best license is CC0.

Written by Laurel L. Russwurm

April 25, 2011 at 2:15 pm

“Inconstant Moon” update ~ CC by-nc-sa

with 5 comments

Inconstant Moon BANNER

Glyn Moody directed me to an article taking aim at non-commercial Creative Commons licenses, miscellaneous factZ: Creative Commons and the Commons.

Rufus Pollock makes some interesting arguments, and points out a possible problem in the Creative Commons organization: that it is an independent hierarchical organization, and unaccountable to anyone, really. Still, what was most ironic to me was his interest in removing data(base) material from the public domain (which impacts on his work) while advocating elimination of the noncommercial option from CC licenses (which impacts on mine).

my choice

As a writer about to self publish my first novel, I have considered carefully, and chosen to license it with a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 Canada, or CC by-nc-sa.

Creative Commons by-nc-sa button

This license allows any type of remix desired save commercial. I think all cultural material should be absolutely free for personal use.  Personal use must be sacrosanct for culture to grow.

Since I’ve been mulling over and learning about copyright over the past few years, I’ve become an advocate of free culture. I’ve learned a lot, beginning with the copyright consultation submissions made by thousands of Canadians (who were led to believe that the government was interested in what citizens felt to be important in any new copyright law*), and from reading, and having online discussions with many people.

challenging perceptions

Drew Roberts is a multi-disciplinary creator who passionately champions free culture, going so far as to publish his NaNoWriMo novels as he writes. His credo is “Free the Art and Free the Artists.” Although I admire his bravery, for myself, no one reads a word I write until I am satisfied with it. In his inimitable way, the eminently reasonable Drew has gently encouraged me to release Inconstant Moon without the non-commercial restriction.

I’ve also had discussions with copyright abolitionist Crosbie Fitch, who naturally looks askance at the very idea of self publishing, as he feels that all published art and creativity rightfully belongs to everyone, and should be firmly in the public domain. Not that he thinks artists should be denied the opportunity to make a living, just he thinks that they should be paid properly first, but once art is released into our culture, it should be free to copy.

Both Drew and Crosbie are highly intelligent, informed, committed and passionate about the issue, and I’ve learned a great deal from them both. But still, these are radical ideas. Change is difficult. It takes time for new ideas to be understood, and take root. So like many other independent creators today, I am feeling my way in an attempt to decide what combination works for me.

Yet I believe very strongly in the importance of the public domain and the commons.

I may at some point decide to venture the release of a novel without the noncommercial restriction, but not this time. The law of my land (Canada) places all IP under full copyright by default, and contrary to what our American neighbors contend with their absurd USTR propaganda, existing Canadian copyright law is both “stronger” and more restrictive than is good for our culture. Canadian culture is fighting its way to freedom from all the restrictions imposed by both corporate special interests and copyright collectives wanting to lock down our culture even further through the imposition of bad laws and DRM.

If creative commons licensing did not exist, the only choice available to me as a creator would be to publish my novel under full copyright restrictions. I don’t want that. But again, I am trying it on, seeing what’s what, whistling in the dark.

Creative commons double c enclosed in a circle, with black text at right reading Creative Commons and in red dot CA

Lately there has been talk floating around that Creative Commons licensing is too confusing. It is certainly more confusing than outright copyright abolition would be. Some people feel more strongly about various elements of Creative Commons licenses. Like Rufus Pollock, many people think that the Noncommercial restriction should be dropped altogether. Others, like @openuniverse, believe there is no place in the Creative Commons for a “no derivatives” restriction. Others feel share-alike is too restrictive.

Rufus suggests that since most Creative Commons licenses are designated noncommercial, we should be dropping it altogether. He thinks people are dazzled by the Creative Commons “brand” and thinks that it should all be perfectly interoperable. But what Rufus doesn’t look at is the only way for all IP to be perfectly interoperable is Crosbie’s way: through the abolition of all forms of copyright. Crosbie is perfectly correct: the only perfect cultural interoperability is to be found in the Public Domain. Because for some, even a compulsion to provide attribution is too onerous.

[I confess I am looking forward to sinking my teeth into Crosbie's "The 18th Century Overture · A Crescendo of Copyright, Natural Finale and Reprise" as soon as this novel distraction is in hand.]

Inconstant Moon Cover Art

The point is, it shouldn’t be up to Rufus or anyone else to tell me how I can or cannot release my own creative work.

Existing copyright has long since ceased to be beneficial to creators (if it ever really was). And it is because existing copyright law is both dictatorial and stifling that creators have begun to reject it. Creative Commons licensing offers a work-around that allows creators to get free of the yoke of copyright.

The reason Creative Commons is so successful is precisely because it offers all these choices. It is the variations in licensing that gives creators the confidence to release our work in this fashion, in the way in which we feel most comfortable, rather than allow the status quo of full copyright.

Something to remember is that once work is licensed, the license can only be altered to make the work more free. So in many ways, it seems more natural to begin with a more restrictive license. After all, it can always be lightened later.

As beneficial as I believe Creative Commons licensing to be, my concern is that restrictive license provisions will remain in place as long as the current copyright terms. Which can only be a disaster for the Public Domain.

And one of the most harmful aspects of existing copyright law is the ridiculous terms. It shouldn’t outlive the creator, nor should it be transferable, particularly to inhuman corporations. That’s a large part of why copyright has become such a problem today; corporate interests do not coincide with creator interests.

So I’ve decided to put my money where my mouth is. I really don’t know what will happen.

Although I believe it to be good, “Inconstant Moon” may or may not generate income.

Either way, it is my test case. Regardless of how well it does,

“Inconstant Moon” goes into the public domain 5 years after publication.

Creative Commons Zero or Public Domain logo

I want to do this for two reasons.

First: because I truly believe that a strong and healthy public domain is essential for all of our shared culture as human beings.

But my second reason for emancipating my work is far less altruistic: I want to give my creative works a fighting chance of surviving me.

* The later unveiling of Bill C-32 indicated a total disregard for the feedback provided by Canadians in the Copyright Consultation.

Image Credits
All Creative Commons logos licensed by Creative Commons with a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License

Inconstant Moon banner and cover art Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0)

My Submission to The Legislative Committee on Bill C-32 (CC32)

with 4 comments

Canadian Copyright Law

January 31st, 2011

To: The Legislative Committee on Bill C-32 (CC32)

As a writer, one of the people copyright law is supposed to serve, I’m concerned with effects of Bill C-32 on my ability to use technology to create and disseminate my work.

I was willing to trade my creative sovereignty for the opportunity to have my work produced and distributed on television when I was young, because it was the only game in town. That was then. Today, advances in digital technology and the Internet have made a host of new options available to creators. And even though Canada’s current copyright law is problematic, Creative Commons has introduced work-arounds which make it possible for creators to release our “Intellectual Property” as we see fit.

Canada’s current copyright law is harmful to me as a creator, and there is evidence that it is harmful Canadian culture as a whole from aspects like copyright terms that are so long they are detrimental to both creator and public interest. Yet Bill C-32 doesn’t reduce copyright terms or protect the creator’s right to share.

There is also no justification for the existence of Crown Copyright in a democracy. Why doesn’t Bill C-32 follow the good American copyright example of releasing of government funded work directly into the public domain (on the understanding that taxpayers have already paid for it)?

Culture grows through sharing. It used to be Canadians bemoaned the lack of a Canadian “identity.” This cultural void was certainly tied in to the limited exposure Canadians had to our own culture since a few corporations controlled all of our culture.

Today’s combination of hardware, software, media devices, and the Internet makes it possible for creators to create and distribute our work directly to our audience. The new technology has been an incredible boon to both creators and consumers.

The independent Canadian music industry is ushering in an incredible golden age, in spite of the CD levy which penalizes independent creators. Canadians are leading the world with Independent music production and distribution. And nobody is looking for a “Canadian Identity” anymore since Canadian culture is thriving– through sharing– on the Internet. For the first time in more than half a century, Canadian musicians don’t have to sign away the rights to their music to get recorded and distributed.

Special Interest Groups
The major record labels find this a problem because as more musicians choose independence, the established record industry loses market share. CRIA used to own 99% of the recording industry. Now they’re lucky if they have 70% of it.

It’s a challenge for corporations. Historically it would have led to corporate adaptation or demise. Today’s conglomerates have instead chosen to influence legal change.

But copyright law should not be employed to force creators into unsatisfactory arrangements in an attempt to prop up an industry unwilling to adapt.

What is Copyright Law Supposed to Do?
Isn’t copyright supposed to recognize and support the creator’s authorship?

Where did the idea that copyright law was somehow responsible for monetizing the ‘intellectual property’ industry came from? It makes no sense at all. Isn’t it customary for Industry to establish business practices through negotiations and contracts?

If we are to accept this as a valid premise, and proceed to impose Bill C-32 legislation that runs contrary to societal expectation, why stop there? Wouldn’t it be reasonable to apply the same thinking to all other Canadian business endeavors? Instead of contracts and negotiation, the government could legislate precise terms for all industries. The government could set the rates of pay for each job, define the responsibilities. Is that what we want? I suspect we don’t. Why is copyright treated this way?

Copyright Control
The needs and best interests of corporations are almost always very different from the needs and best interests of human creators. Copyright should not be transferable, certainly not to corporations. At most, corporations should be limited to licensing copyright for a limited time. A great many of the current problems with copyright law are directly attributable to undue influence of corporations and copyright collectives. We have seen little or no input or consideration for the two most important copyright stakeholders: creators and citizens.

Copyright Collectives
Like corporations, the interests of copyright collectives can differ from the interests of the people who are members. But if membership needs would be better served by removal/reduction of the collective, the existing collective will work to ensure continued existence, even if it is contrary to the best interests of the membership.

Yet some copyright collectives have been vocal in claims they speak on behalf of their entire membership, while others have claimed to speak for all Canadian authors.

There has been copyright collective support for both the CD levy, as well as expansion of it, as well as opposition to the expansion of fair dealing in Bill C-32. That isn’t surprising because the collectives benefit financially from both of those misguided initiatives. That is my perspective as an independent writer, consumer and parent.

Canadian DMCA logo

Technical Protection Measures, Digital Rights Management, Digital Locks
Regardless of what term you choose, digital locks should not fall under copyright jurisdiction for the simple reason that creators have no control over them.

As written in the current incarnation of Bill C-32, technical protection measures are the most important provision.

This effectively strips all authority from creators. Because creators– and most especially independent creators– don’t hold the keys to these locks.

As an independent writer I oppose digital locks that can be used against me.

Cover art for my novel locked in a jail cel secured with a padlock marked with the copyright symbol

Digital locks can be employed to prevent my utilization of digital media, devices or Internet protocols to distribute my work as I see fit.

The freedom technology has lately made available to creators will taken away by Bill C-32.

As a consumer I can’t support a law that allows digital locks to prevent citizens from legitimately using media and devices. It should be illegal for digital locks to impede access to digital material that is in the public domain.

NO Canadian DMCA

Made In Canada?
Canadian cultural sovereignty should belong to creators, not corporations.

There have been some very persuasive arguments that Bill C32, like Bill C-60 and Bill C-61 before it, has been written to appease our American neighbors. In itself, sacrificing Canadian sovereignty to appease foreign interests would be problematic enough if Canadian copyright law were made to conform to the contours of the American DMCA.

Worse: Bill C-32′s digital locks go far beyond the terms of the American DMCA provisions, so it would not simply be a case of leveling the playing field, Bill C-32 as will effectively put Canadians at a distinct disadvantage.

Iceland is contemplating putting all Icelandic literature online to foster and spread their culture. I submit this would be a better model for copyright emulation than the American DMCA.

Unintended Consequences
The American DMCA contains provisions for mandatory adjustment every three years, and over time it has in fact been lightened up as unintended consequences have been addressed. Yet Canada’s Bill C-32 simply contains a suggestion to look at it every five years. In terms of the speed of digital change, 5 year suggested revision term is horrendous. Bill C-32 would require annual review as a feature.

Independent Creators
Copyright needs to be simple enough for all citizens to understand, because more and more people are participating in our shared culture. Many artists believe things must change. The existing law is too strong, but rushing to enact legislation as flawed as Bill C-32 because we are tired of copyright is not the answer.

There are many reasons to use Free-Libre Open Source software for our endeavors. Yet the primacy of digital locks will impede access to such software for all of us.

I want to be able to make my work freely available. My right to do so should not be sacrificed to special interests. Canadian copyright law must support all Canadian creators, even those of us who believe in the importance of sharing.

I cannot support Bill C-32 as it is.

Perhaps I could if you were to remove TPM/DRM/Digital locks altogether. Some people think amending the Bill to permit circumvention for lawful purposes would solve the problem. I disagree. I don’t think consumers should have to circumvent digital locks. If digital locks are applied, it must be up to the parties holding the keys to guarantee the locks will be opened for lawful purposes.

Thank you for the opportunity to be heard. I will of course post my comments to my personal blog. [ ]

Laurel L. Russwurm

CC: The Right Honourable Stephen Harper email:
CC: The Honourable Tony Clement email:>
CC: The Honourable James Moore email:
CC: The Honourable Michael Ignatieff email:
CC: Legislative Committee Members
(Charlie Angus email: , Sylvie Boucher email: , Peter Braid email: , Gordon Brown email: , Serge Cardin email: , Dean Del Mastro email: , Marc Garneau email: , Daryl Kramp email: , Mike Lake email: , Carole Lavallée email:,
Dan McTeague email: and Pablo Rodriguez email: )
CC: Harold Albrecht email:

[Image Credit: the copyright jail from Question Copyright Sita Distribution Project remixed with my “Inconstant Moon” cover art by laurelrusswurm]


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Like any good writer I am a firm believer in procrastination.

Blogs can be supremely helpful in that they provide a wide variety of features just begging to distract us. Not only can blogging itself provide a choice procrastination activity, but all the related bits can lead to hours of procrastinating fun. Links, and blogrolls and pages– oh my!

For instance, instead of working on my 2010 NaNoWriMo outline today I’ve added a new page to the sidebar, called CC Licensed. It’s sort of a companion page to the free culture page, which lists material I’ve found online that qualifies as free/libre under Richard Stallman’s definition.

These pages are my little contributions to helping people find and share content online. Legally. Actually Book Resources has some good stuff too.

And also a great form of procrastination. All good things must come to an end, though, so now it’s back to the outline. :D

Written by Laurel L. Russwurm

October 26, 2010 at 11:52 am

ACTA is…

with 4 comments

I have written a lot about ACTA mostly in my other blogs. But this little film distills it’s into an easily digestible morsel which beautifully explains what the fuss is all about.

It’s important to spread the word.

The world wears Mouse ears and reads ACTA attacks Internet is the La Quadrature Du Net ACTA Logo

ACTA Stop the Kraken

For free software users I’ve loaded the highest quality
ogv version I could get here

along with a smaller version here.

And this is the transcript of the text from the film.

Or you can watch it on YouTube

[Thanks Wayne & ppi!]

OGG transfers via TinyOGG
Released under a Creative Commons
Attribution Non-Commercial Share-Alike License (CC by-nc-sa)
Video & Audio: Anonymous
Music by Wasaru – New Andromeda Theory

Written by Laurel L. Russwurm

September 21, 2010 at 12:31 pm


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