So I’m finally getting around to writing up my submission to our government’s public consultation on copyright…
There are five key questions to answer:
- How do Canada’s copyright laws affect you? How should existing laws be modernized?
- Based on Canadian values and interests, how should copyright changes be made in order to withstand the test of time?
- What sorts of copyright changes do you believe would best foster innovation and creativity in Canada?
- What sorts of copyright changes do you believe would best foster competition and investment in Canada?
- What kinds of changes would best position Canada as a leader in the global, digital economy?
Here’s the first draft of my answer to Question #2. Any feedback is welcome, as I won’t be making my final submission until the end of the week.
2. Based on Canadian values and interests, how should copyright changes be made in order to withstand the test of time?
I strongly believe that any changes to Canada’s current copyright regime should be technology-neutral. As the explosive growth of file sharing clearly demonstrates, digital locks do not work. Further criminalization of file-sharing will most certainly not stop it; rather, it will simply drive those who are doing it further underground, where opportunities for even more nefarious activity will no doubt be present.
Intellectual property peddlers can figure out on their own how to make their wares more competitive. As for the rest of us, without the financial resources to enforce our rights in court on a case-by-case basis, Canadians need government to be on our side in ensuring fair access to our shared culture.
It is also vital that changes to Canadian copyright be ISP-neutral. Just as big media companies in this country have no right to keep our culture under lock and key, our Internet providers have no business providing anything but usable bandwidth to their paying customers.
To be honest I was a bit disappointed that there wasn’t more feedback for my deliberately inflammatory answer to Question #1 — maybe you didn’t catch it because I posted it so late in the day?
Anyway, comments are always welcome but especially so in these posts…