The copyright row is heating up, after the Conference Board of Canada nearly wholly plagiarized the recommendations of the International Intellectual Property Association (IIPA) with regard to what Canada should do about infringement of copyrighted materials. Ignoring every recommendation of the report commissioned for this study, written by Law Professor Jeremy DeBeer, the IIPA — err, sorry, the CBC — instead recommended several restrictive actions. Please note that in this quote, “closely approximate[d]” means “copy and pasted verbatim”.
It also acknowledged “that some of the cited paragraphs closely approximate the wording of a source document.”
The report’s recommendations closely mirrored those advocated by the property alliance.
* Protecting measures aimed at preventing unauthorized copying.
* Outlawing devices that enable such copying.
* Providing strong civil and criminal penalties for violations.
* Carefully defining exceptions to the rules.
Think for just a moment how much technology would be outlawed if everything capable of making a digital copy of an already digital format (CDs are not analog, remember). Beyond that, there’s always the analog “hole” — if you can play it, you can then record it being played via voice recording devices. Just because the digital format is locked, doesn’t mean the contents are at all protectable — if you can decode it to listen to it, you can also record it afterward.
Here’s an itemized list of every exception necessary to these rules:
That’s the exception used right now by every single “pirate”, bought and paid for by the levy applied to every single blank media bought in Canada (regardless of the legal arguments made on Wikipedia, that levy either insulates against copyright violation charges or it’s unconstitutional — you pick). By fair use, as long as you’re not making money off someone else’s work without the person getting a cut, you are within your rights to do so — whether via iPod, computer, DVR, satellite radio recording devices, blank CDs, DVDs, VHS tapes, cassette tapes, reel-to-reel or a vinyl record generator. The reality of copyright today is that the vast majority of people trade music and movies around to one another, buy what they like, and don’t buy everything they’ve sampled. GOOD movies make more money today than they ever had, with the industries making record-breaking profits annually, and likewise with GOOD music. If you have the right to inspect the entire product before making the decision to purchase it, then you have the ability to filter out the crap and only purchase those movies and music that are worth your money. No longer can the industries shovel onto consumers horrible tripe and still expect to make a profit.
Make no mistake, those are the stakes — it’s not about the industries being cheesed off that all sorts of people are hearing or watching stuff without paying, because that’s always happened from day one; it’s all about protecting the industries’ rights to rip you off by selling you crap that you wouldn’t pay for otherwise.