Monday, January 28, 2008

Search, download and play over 25,000,000 songs ...

Qtrax Beta

Search, download and play over 25,000,000 songs ...

Free and Legal Music Downloads ...

P2P ...

The catch? There must be a catch. Spiral Frog has a catch. Log in and download what you want, if you can find it, then login again in 30 days or your songs won't play anymore ... on your MP3 player, on your computer. No Burning allowed.

No worries for Spiral Frog. Sort of. The P2P is hype in my opinion. They may use P2P like BitTorrent to share my downloaded copy with others, and to find black market copies to block, and white copies oddly on a "shared folder" to allow, but other than that connection, it seems rather um, advertising and an attack on the iTunes model by allowing five free plays and then pay for it or lose it. Spiral Frog is not that bold.

Read on the business model from a 2006 Primenews PR wire piece:

At launch Qtrax will provide fans with free, advertising-funded access to high-quality, high-fidelity digital music files, as well as the option to subscribe to a premium version of the service or to purchase music tracks and albums on an a la carte basis.

Qtrax will offer two tiers of service: the first is a free, advertising-supported tier designed to work with and filter copyrighted content from existing peer-to-peer networks. The second tier is a premium subscription service which will require a monthly fee. The two-tiered business model is intended to attract a broad base of consumers to try out the service, and then graduate those consumers to purchase music permanently or subscribe.

In the ad-supported, free tier, users will be able to search the network for specific tracks, and those tracks registered with Qtrax will be made available for download in Qtrax's proprietary ".mpq" file format. Users will then be able to play the downloaded .mpq file in full-fidelity sound quality for a pre-defined number of times. Each time a consumer plays a track, the Qtrax player will also offer fans click-to-buy purchase options, as well as the opportunity to upgrade to a premium subscription service for a flat monthly fee.

Now the NY Times cuts to the chase:

From the user’s perspective, Qtrax works much like any file-sharing program, and it will search the Gnutella network. But Qtrax will only display files that it has permission to play, then bring up relevant advertising, much as Google does for search terms. Although advertisers will not be able to have their messages appear with the name of only one particular artist, Mr. Klepfisz said that they would be able to buy “buckets” of a particular genre. Listeners will be able to hear songs a certain number of times — probably five in the case of most major label acts.
All of this brings into my mind a few things: Spiral Frog has no fears. Its a different service, using stocked files, and a different bargain made, with greater permanence to the downloads.

Qtrax uses the Gnutella network, the heretofore black market filesharing network, and that will mean a lot of tracks will not be high quality, as they are amateur conversions of the real thing, and will be marked as such to Qtrax users. It may mean though that Qtrax seeds the Gnutella network with good copies, usable in Qtrax, that pushes out the "bad" copies.

It likely also means that Qtrax will be a "honeypot" and an industry mechanism to kill files in your shared folders for otherwise use on the Gnutella network. Like what does happen to your collection of music you already have in that shared folder? Is it counted? Spoiled? Or evidence?

It not said what will happen to that information, in the hands of the RIAA members, through this intermediary.

To me, it feels like its a "honeypot," a server the "white hats" set up to attract the "black hats".

Who is wearing the white hat here is though tougher to say than if this was setup 8 years ago, before 28,000 RIAA pre-legal settlement letters were sent to alleged US filesharers. Using copyright law on non-professionals is just so gauche and bodacious.

P2P though is just as these folks have caught on, is not a substitute for a purchase of music. The fans will buy. Its for music lovers to taste, develop into fans, and then buy. Very much like radio did to develop mindshare, and then purchase.

Oddly, they are setting up a business model to do the same thing, except to better control the sampling of the artists' wares, like radio, and make a buck off it, expecting the same effect as the Industry Canada study shows exists, to make final sales. This is where Apple iTunes may finally have some competition in the digital sales it has made to date.

Professor Leibowitz may need to revisit his consulting for future work. This effort supports what Birgitte Andersen and Manon Frenz found. The industry is finally getting on board.

Update: Qtrax has no deals it claimed to have with the majors!

It "misrepresented ongoing negotiations and expired deals as official major label sign-off."

Read this. Ouch for them!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Brain food: Charles Nesson , Evidence and Second Life

I found a video posted by Charles Nesson on YouTube of interest. This came about from my quest to find some good "brain food," something that might cause a paradigm shift to past thoughts or a change in thoughts already connected to the future, as one knows it likely to be from present knowledge.

The Berkman Center (sic) faculty at Harvard has always sourced interesting perspectives on the edge where the law and the Internet are concerned. Considering its mandate it makes perfect sense:

The Berkman Center's mission is to explore and understand cyberspace, its development, dynamics, norms, standards, and need or lack thereof for laws and sanctions.

The friendly looking Charles Nesson was a founder (at least friendly from one side of his face ...).

Its also interesting the Harvard Law School professors published an open letter suggesting their University to tell the RIAA to take a hike.

An interesting read itself, Charles has added to his Evidence 2008 course, this assignment:
University and RIAA

frame a motion to quash a subpoena from a copyright holder to the university for the identity of a student downloader on grounds of undue burden
He clearly does not believe in using the shift key. maybe i should follow his lead from now on ;-).

Following my original quest, I pierced into the public life and times of Charles Nesson as he in his thoughts brought to mind a very powerful thinker in comparison, the late Canadian Northrop Frye, in terms of causing a serious reevaluation of your collection of conscious thoughts, with fewest words. For Charles, its not yet in my discovery, the evidence for such comparison. Sorry, Charlie.

His Cyber One wiki, Evidence 2008 is though now on my audited courses of guaranteed "brain food," the type that makes you think harder at what is true. Many "at-large" courses also appear from Harvard and were hosted at Second Life on "Berkman Island." They found usefulness to a virtual world education. Its something to check out for the so inclined, as a prestigious law school attempts a footing in the virtual world.

For a visual of Second Life work, and some of the Berkman work, check out this video:

But that was then.

See this video for the problems of a virtual world owned by a for-profit corporation, a benevolent dictorship, that could also be a ruthless dictatorship, and where it is more likely to lead: Croquet.

Friday, January 25, 2008

ISP's Should be Neutral: Time for a Different Takedown

The critical question to come is the passivity of the transmitter currently in Canadian copyright law: damn them if they do spy on traffic (Where would it end? Know anyone who wants spyware or a keystroke monitor on their PC? ). Damn them if the don't spy on traffic (infringement of copyright, kiddie porn, hate, terrorists).

My belief is that ISP's should remain passive in law.

To arguments of criminality, the government has agencies with the electronic snooping mechanisms, with or without warrants in law, appropriate to the crime. Those agencies, independent of each other, can likely read/sniff packets with the best of them. See the CSIS Act for the terrorist hunt (no warrant). Don't see RCMP Act (warrant please). MS in fact developed technology and gifted it “free” to police departments across North America for chasing down kiddie porn (runs on Windows only ... I don't know but I would not expect anything “free” from MS otherwise). The Toronto police asked, and got what they wanted (its a great story to look up for the law abiding).

To me, it would be an abuse of copyright law in my humble opinion, to add any ISP responsibility (for Northworthy watchers, see I do disagree with Michael Geist on occasion: he is wet on this). It is a demand really to push the costs to third parties, to delay the modernization of the affected copyright industries that are hurting at the moment by their decision not to stay up with the market, black or otherwise.

This push at the ISP to me, is totally offensive, and it covers up the past indecision by the industry to invest in digitization and to properly market music or movies, to compete with bad copies -> we are not "one copy" people here. We are the law abiding good people that we are, and we should never forget it, or let anyone say otherwise without a good proverbial slap in the head, or straight to a neighbour face, to decently say, straighten up.

To suffer any further cheesy threats that says we are not the good people we are, with specious evidence, is insulting, and should be totally intolerable to free people, claiming nationhood or freedom itself. We need backbone here to tell the honest truth: the inactions of those RIAA/MPAA companies to get on with it, to be competitive, have caused the decay of some people’s respect of intellectual property. If anything for this abuse of the public's chosen reward of copyright protection in term length, obtained questionably, unimaginable otherwise by the foundation and interplay of this law in free market economies, they should be punished.

I will say this: they are damn lucky that sods like me are not "in power" because I would break their very apparent industry trust even before natural market forces do the job.

Its poisoned politicians. Its broad brushed good nations and their citizens wrongly. Its caused the weakest and least powerful to be accused, to cower, in fear. With no evidence of any moral high ground to rightfully do so, more and more evidence of their utter immorality comes to light.

Its unchecked greed and power abused that decays much more than mere copyright law. I fear the just deserts a society is due for the tolerance of such decaying forces.

Yeah I liked Teddy Roosevelt.


This is a first Northworthy blog editorial with no links or sources necessary, dedicated to that Presidents' remarkable and courageous actions in the face of the decay caused by the first takeover of America by industrial trusts.

A moment in cyberspace, without a link.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Downloading by Students Overstated by MPAA!

Downloading by Students Overstated :MPAA OVERSTATES 2005 Study

Its not clear what to make of this. From 44% of revenue lost to piracy by college students to just 15% now being blamed on the US "college student".

"44 percent of the money the industry lost within the United States that year was attributable to peer-to-peer file sharing by college students. It now appears that the figure was closer to 15 percent, or $243 million."

Did Doug Firth resign over this you wonder? He certainly would be useless as lobbyist after a publicized affair and this? Have to watch what Michael makes out of this. This could get real ugly.

Read the original revised summary of data prior to the next revision. Yep says 44% today with no special effects ... page 12 ... probably been repeated a thousand times and more in the face of University Presidents across North America.

The students ain't gonna be happy when the news breaks. The Faculty may be outraged for what they have had defend, consider, debate, counsel, or worse, be coerced by this study to abet enforcement, to a very small problem on tight analysis. Uh uh. Not a happy week for the CMPDA to come or the good folks at the Universities and colleges.

Update #1: Jack Kapica's take P2P Net's 2006 story on this (!!!) not tightly authoritative (nice hoax the other day!) and the current one. Huge Hollywood mistake in student download rates. In Slashdot, it rages on.

Update #2: Can't lose this link. There are a lot of fallacies here. Too many. At this time, its scary to think how this story has spread today let alone over the weeks ahead. In some ways, it will be usefull to see which MSM carried the breaking AP story, and if so, when and where. Might be a very interesting pattern.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Balance Interests Fairly!

Dr. Michael Geist is a law professor, respected worldwide for his work in Canada and throughout the World. His is Canadian content and I am very sorry, in my little (c) Canadian way, but I pay attention to that content first on considering any issue of national Canadian interest. Canadian, eh?

His Fair Copyright for Canada Principles are not minimalist to copyright protections. You will not find "free goods" or "free dealing", despite weak attempts by opponents to merge some of the fringe ideas that get exposed from his actions with his own work.

His principles are not maximalist either, sensitive to the real legal environment we are in, the technology marketplace circa 2008, and the broad scholarship on this matter.

For Canadians it is no longer the age of access scarcity or protecting content from fair use. There is no fear of some Info-cracy developing where access to good information and content is only available to those who can afford it. That was then, circa 1995.

This is 2008.

To grab a tagline from here:

Today, its about protecting creators and the innovation process and the resulting creations from unintended legal harm while balancing the interests of authors, holders and users. Not an easy task if you really want Phase III of "copyright reform."

"Do no harm" - Dr. Michael Geist

More than 10 years in fact have passed since the WIPO treaties were signed by politicians who knew that this was not a binding act (Sheila Copps, Heritage Minister, John Manley, Industry Minister). Read their joint press release December 18, 1997.

Starkly, it states that Canada needs a "strengthening of copyright protection in a digital environment" because the Information Highway Advisory Council, born in 1994, said so in 1995.

The Copyright and the Information Highway subgroup, that included as chair Claude Brunet (the Brunet of the Keyes-Brunet Report of March 29, 1977, Industry Canada), and members like Andrea Rush and Peter Grant, in their 1995 final report did not make any recommendation of the sort on copyright law.


The current Copyright Act provides sufficient protection for new and existing works, including multimedia works, created or distributed in a digital medium. The current copyright legislative and policy framework is, for the most part, sufficiently flexible to provide the means to effectively enforce copyright on the Information Highway and, at the same time,to provide users with reasonable access to protected works."

Antiquated? Old? Read the remark again by the subgroup above. (Read the summary too if you like.)

For the background, this was a pull down, world they were observing in rapid development, if you read the reports and some of the submissions, of dial up, of single tasking, of read, not write, of just just 2,738 websites to browse when the Information Highway Advisory Council was struck. Lots of buzz. No high speed in sight. The browser was Netscape and IE 1.o was an extra cost in the Windows 95 Plus Pack (39.95 or so in Canada).

The WIPO treaties in that light may in fact be understandable to the protections desired for copyright holders, to serve such a uniquely, professional publishing opportunity envisioned.

The fringe elements were making their own dial up BBS's available and gasp, software could be shared. And the MP3 was about to be born.

But somehow we got to 2008 and the sky did not fall in. You could conclude today that the lawyers of the Copyright subgroup had it right.

The "job" referred to by successive and unsuccessful governing politicians, in marching orders from somewhere, on these December 20, 1996 Treaties might have changed, you think, to the needs of the Canadian public now, in 2008 and the future?

The orders may have stayed the same but the ground and the medium has obviously changed. Too obviously to be noticed? It seemed to be before ...

And now? With Web 2.0 here, and with who knows exactly what on the horizon?

For those who missed the changes since 1996, we are on the cusp of an affront to my own small "c" Canadian principles, felt shared by many others, that may feature a slander to past and current Canadian legal scholarship, to our toils for independence, and to some of the core values the Canadian public mind has on the subject of how Federal law should apply inside their homes.

Simply, Mr. Minister, you will need a respected message to come forth that is intelligent and shows wisdom. Anything less from the closed door "black box" debate, based on foreign thoughts from the a now distant past, and just watch out. The fan this will go through will be a lot bigger than you might expect. The 40,000 or so Facebookers have not been that provoked yet, or their friends, and their friends, let alone all of the families involved.

Their influencers are tuned in, patiently waiting for a message.

The perceived need in this message is for a thorough public discussion by all persons having rights presently under the Copyright Law of Canada, including the rights that every Canadian has to use a copyright work they purchase in the manner of their own choosing.

By my count this includes maybe 50,000 Canadian 'professional' copyright creators (we minus the double or tripled membered, subtract the non-productive, add a few, take a few and guess). Add another 300,000 feeding off those creators or who work for companies that own their creative efforts from employment. Add maybe 2,000 companies, including elements of some of the biggest ones, and less we forget, another 50 or so that are foreign controlled. Monetize this by old standards, and you get about 6.5 % of your tax paying economy. Right?


Add about 23,000,000 Canadians who are eligible to vote. Most of them do not know it yet, but they have rights here at stake. I would guess half will know it soon enough. And likely that special set, includes more of the voter class. Those that show up and vote.

From my perch, the situation this government is faced with is kind of like what faced the Judge in "Miracle on 34th St" about to rule there is no Santa Claus.
"You go on back in there and tell them that you rule there is no Santy Claus."
If I was an editorial cartoonist, I would hope the picture would show Stephen Harper as the Judge, and have someone whispering in his Chambers, about his electoral chances here if he makes the wrong move. The "who" person might be his wife Laureen. "I" don't see a point of brilliance coming from anywhere else.
"C'mon Stephen. You tell Jim he is to announce that there is no Web 2.0, and that the kids of all those voters are pirates just like the Ambassador said. You tell him to tell all those Facebookers, that all they want is for everything to be free, and that he knows what they want and will give them the WIPO Treaties. Tell all the lawyers that our copyright laws are antiquated, haven't been useful for 100 years, and you will reform it to make it modern just like the U.S. has done."
The bottom line here is that most interested party here is every Canadian family, in how we want our lives influenced by the fundamental laws in our country on how we communicate amongst ourselves in private and how we extend ourselves to the broader world. If Canadians want to be threatened in their homes (here, here, here, ...) by the application of unwise laws of other countries to our own, I will be shocked if we do anything less but throw this and any other political party out of power that attempts to do so.

Fair? You better believe the law must be fair and the process had better be perceived as fair.

My .02 cents for political survival AND fairness?

Its time for a Royal Commission. Nothing less will do unless its tinkering in plan. Tour. See. Hear. Feel. Report. Empower the masses from their keyboards, out of their college dorms, and from their kitchen tables. Let the interests all speak. Creators. Holders. Users. All the associations. All the collectives. All the corporate interests. And them foreigners? We are fair. Let em speak too but in front of us, not behind our backs in private receptions.

("state your current association members and the number of members")

Balance interests fairly.

It might be cheaper too than the polling we are paying for.

The Harper government commissioned 546 opinion research projects, 2 polls per business day, $31 million in 2006-7.

Or if the good government wishes to save a buck, do little to nothing. Read the 1995 Copyright subgroup report's conclusion above. Its short, already paid for, seems eternal in advice, sensible, and is not funded by one side or the other. And beauty (Canadian aphorism, eh! Ed.), it is not academic in nature, if you don't trust your own academics' voices.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

"Relationship Marketing? Try Creep-Out Marketing!"

From the "What is the (Next) Message?" Blog: "Relationship Marketing? Try Creep-Out Marketing!"

This is creepy. For privacy watchers. Ouch. Right in your local pharmacy. The Federal Information police should be taking this lead and running hard with it.

Whoops. No Federal Information police. Yet?

PIPEDA appears toothless. Is it?

This post by Mark Federman has to hit the blog of the Privacy Commissioner. And the radar of those interested in privacy in Canada.

You have a Rx with Shoppers? Or other drug stores? Make haste.

Friday, January 18, 2008

musicmesh - a new way to discover music

musicmesh - a new way to discover music

musicmesh is one of those things that seems too good.

Very cool discovery thru the website on some of the new music 2.0 works in the percolator of the combined genius of humankind!

How one can go from Nelly Furtado thru to the Byrds while hearing and watching YouTube Music Videos of the songs, seeing track listings, wikipedia references, and an Amazon tag to buy it, to boot. With sometimes the released Video ... sometimes a TV show ... sometimes a concert performance, who knows ... sometimes into an ominous looking "video no longer available".

So far ... nah, I don't want to go back. I want to keep playing with this! This is my newest, coolest thing found on the web by far, in while.

Mr. Tambourine Man, Chimes of Freedom, ... now to find the linkages ... hmmm ... stuck in a corner ...

Time to bust out ... search "The Clash" ... yep. Then Sex Pistols ... couple of clicks ... Avril Lavigne .... bunch of kid CD's and good company ... Madonna ... Christina Aguilero ... over to Coldplay ...

While I think Pandora had the same gee whiz feel to it, this is much more interactive, spatially and visually, showing the 1 to 5 or 1 to 6 relationships from each album ... not as good as Pandora in those relationships I feel ... but "something" seems to be linking the albums that appears genre/influences related.

Now if musicmesh had access to the Music Genome Project and built in all that data. And you put it up on your "Home Theatre," with the clicker, a very cool music night with the friends could come back into vogue. As is, you could still have a blast!!!

Even better is the "Killer" Web 3.o potential here, should "it" eventually learn you never pick "disco" connections, that you dislike the singing of Neil Sedaka, and it can dig out new relationship content, real time off the Net, with a lazy autoplay fuzzy ambient intelligence mode, to pick off your mood, it would be, well 2015 or so!

Pandora, I am still missing you, and this is not quite your own radio station but this musicmesh is a very addictive "Video-Musical" game that is fun to play, listen and watch.

BTW I think old and new artists and even "album labels" (the remnants of the known recording companies of today) will get paid very well in 2015 off of all these microplay impressions generated. Its the long tail of enormity making up for relatively few who ever bought music.

Back to CBC 3. I am going for something autoplay for the moment.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The music industry | From major to minor |

The music industry | From major to minor |

What the Economist has to say for the next few years.

In Internet Time this article appears ancient at only 6 days of age with EMI's change in strategy. Wonder why I gave up my subscription years ago. Not!

BTW Does "Comes with Music" include Music that you actually want or just the releases that the "Major" has available?

The key to me that this article misses is the digitization of the catalogue of sound recordings they own, ex of the artist that did not buy back their masters, that these companies have in millions.

I would pay for access to that and so might others. Not just the best of stuff that others think are the "best of's". The real music is lost in vinyl. Lost in the vaults, collecting dust.

Hopefully while we all cast easily stupidity upon this industry, we will realize that maybe we should be bottom fishers or worse, buyers of the likely survivors. If the financial and legal specialists continue their drive of this industry into the dust, maybe the real moguls of the 21st century will come along, and see a bargain in the making?

Time for another spin out Edgar? Its probably too late.

Lefsetz Letter � Guy Hands/Terra Firma/EMI

Lefsetz Letter
Guy Hands/Terra Firma/EMI

This is one of those *must* reads, if you want to know where the music biz is today worldwide.

This is a dust bowl situation without an apparent known self-cure.

This week in Canada, 19 employees got pink slipped from Universal. Who is left in Canada doing any work for the majors? Some EMI, Warner, and Sony/BMG layoffs were done earlier, to the Universal announcement this week, and yet this was a branch plant industry reporting only 1,600 full time employees in the foreign controlled sector (CRIA) v. 681 in the Canadian controlled sector, in 2003.

In 2003, that group had a total of 100 new Canadian artist releases. Now? Take a guess from Statistics Canada data yourself.

(202 in 1998, 166 in 2000 using census survey types)

In 2005, from we can guess thanks to a change in methodology and coverage by Statistics Canada, that employment dropped 16% in 2005 from 2003 using salaries as a poor proxy. Project the line. Tack on announced layoffs, and you are left with maybe a bit over 1,000 employed people left, in the foreign controlled sector. That is a drop of almost 600 people.

Major doubt is present however when Statistics Canada reported 904 new Canadian artist releases in a census report on the sound recording industry in 2003, but now backcasts using its new methodology from sample data, in its 2005 report released November 16, 2007, only 479 for the same year?

Is Canadian Heritage paying attention?

This is a big shake of my head here.

Maybe Michael Geist can take a look at this and ask for some answers? If we have garbage statistics as to judge our industry, if we are going to help it along as we ordinarily do as fine Canadians, and this is culture, what is Statistics Canada up to? It appears to be a very legitimate question only few would know to ask. Michael is one of them.

Whatever many employees are left, this is a very nervous bunch of mostly Canadian music diehards I would guess without any hope for an answer in any copyright reform, at anytime, anytime soon from the Canadian government. Copyright reform was a huge red herring and total waste of energy in my opinion for the CRIA.

Some may find that fine and dandy, and we'll let the market forces decide. Big bad Music is getting its just deserts, blah, blah, blah.

Just remember for whatever it is worth, it was not an indie or domestically controlled label that launched worldwide "our" Canadian Music poster children on the world stage. It was Sony/BMG, Universal, EMI and Warner.

Yes, Nettwerk has its share and others likely do too.

It hurts to watch this play out.

Canadian Coalition for Electronic Rights

Canadian Coalition for Electronic Rights

As groups form up on the impending Copyright reform, you sometimes get of hint of where they are coming from by their membership or their founders.

In the case of the biggest group known, the Facebook Fair Copyright for Canada, the founder has a statement, and he has a blog to refer to. The members there however are from anywhere and everywhere. You cannot fairly take from the odd member statement what this group is about.

In the case of the Canadian Coalition for Electronic Rights, you scan member websites and the imagery of rogue actors could come to mind. All Canadian but all apparently doing activities that free people do in the face of what the established may frown on, or tell people not to do with their own property after sale.

In my mind came though a commonality, and the imagery of business people pulling up the ladder of success and innovation from the masses where it belonged.

It also brought into mind the story of Rod Canion, the founder of Compaq Computers who "modded" the IBM PC including its BIOS. If he was not successful in his clean room reengineering of the IBM PC BIOS, there would not be ... a PC Clone you could add your components to or remove them. Would there have been a PC Industry? Compaq was an upstart pitted against Big Blue, fought and won. You won't find the full story on Wikipedia (associated with Rod) but here is some of the story from the Computer History Museum.

On a further dig, Wikipedia posts the following under IBM PC Clone on a redirect (tells you ancient I am):

"was the first essentially 100% PC-compatible computer. The company could not directly copy the BIOS as a result of the court decision in Apple v. Franklin, but it could reverse-engineer the IBM BIOS and then write its own BIOS using clean room design. Compaq became a very successful PC manufacturer, but was bought out by Hewlett-Packard in 2002."

What would have happened to Rod Canion in the DMCA world? Its frightening. Truly.

Apple's award winning commercial comes to mind ... notice the athlete is wearing Canadian colours who sticks it into Big Brother (Big Blues) face?

Copyright is about standing on the shoulders of those who were before you. If you cannot stand on those shoulders fairly, its no longer copyright law but Combines law in Canada, i.e. unfair competition, industry trusts, and the stifling of a fair and free market, for the gains of the few.

courtesy of the American Heritage Dictionary:

Being of such a character or nature as to engender a feeling of stultification, repression, or suffocation: “The scholarly correctness of our age can be stifling” (Annalyn Swan).

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Canada, Welcome to World 2.0

Clashes likely to redefine Canadian identity

Roberto Rocha, of the Montreat Gazette has an interesting article in the paper on how Copyright Reform in 2008 might go or should go.

Its a tough subject area to connect to the Canadian identity but who else but a Quebecker can bring up such subjects so easily. With the Quebec music market thriving nicely without apparent attention from the CRIA, and the rest of Canada's music market painted by the CRIA piracy claims, its refreshing to have it stated frankly, that yes, its a kitchen table issue for Canadians.

In the tumbling blocks, we have Michael Geist's initiative to start a Facebook group for Canadians to easily join. Then chapter initiatives perculating from the bottom up, then chapter people like Evan Prodromou having his voice heard.

I agree with Roberto: yes by whatever forces, it has put the events in 2008 to come in the grasp of re-defining a Canadian identity. Oddly, its going to take a National Citizen's Coalition founder, a grass roots organization that started up when one individual disagreed with what was happening in Ottawa. Now that person is Prime Minister and he will face the music of a similar group, with similar roots, only in a Web 2.o world.

Canada, welcome to the World 2.o.

An interview with the misguided RIAA | The Digital Home - Don Reisinger's take on the tech closest to home - CNET Blogs

"An interview with the misguided RIAA" | The Digital Home - Don Reisinger's take on the tech closest to home - CNET Blogs

Well, if you read enough, eventually you are going to come across the stuff right from the horse's mouth.

The RIAA is a brother organization to the CRIA in the "IFPI", the latter an organization that is at the least reluctant to state what its letters stand for: driling into its webpage Membership of IFPI:

IFPI, International Federation of the Phonographic Industry is a non-profit-making Swiss Association, with its registered office at Utoquai 37, 8024 Zurich, Switzerland.
There is some commentary generating from this. And likely more.

From what I read, nothing here is new, only that it is stated in one place, and the source of what is stated is the RIAA. Usually the statements are what is ascribed to what the RIAA is doing in pejorative. In this interview, it is self-stated.

It will be interesting to see what comes of this.

The IFPI itself has a very interesting web masthead, with two prominent artists' covers: Avril Lavigne and Nelly Furtado, garnering Canada a 20% share

Of course this is delicious irony with Avril Lavigne apparently a member the Canadian Music Creators Coalition who at the same time is appearing as a poster child for the IFPI.

BTW, I used the Windows Vista snipping tool to gather the image above for my commentary: "copying" otherwise was disabled, an example of the overuse of technology to prevent what should be lawful, for commentary or research. A case of paracopyright protection gone wild?

Striking down the iPod tax

Striking down the iPod tax

The National Post editorial hits at the main points on the failure of the CPCC to get through in law the changes it sought with the economic regulator, the Copyright Board of Canada.

Quite rightfully the Copyright Board should not have entertained a levy on a device without the change in law. Now there are winds of an appeal being filed but again, how do you expect the Supreme Court to take a different stand than it did before?

Something is definitely not right here.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Debating with Facts

Resolution #5: Show Leadership - Thursday, 10 January 2008


Professor De Beer does not make light statements in his work. He suggests politely, to quote his article to insert some script that results in the above.


Since he was polite, direct, simple and fair.


Now though I have a problem that may be in following the instructions.

1) His use of the old universal copyright symbol: Why?

2) It appears associated with a mere title, that cannot be copyright protected?

3) And by linking this way, through to his article, by putting this on the page I am writing, is he expressing a claim of ownership of a derivative work?. I.e is subsequent or consequent expression of an idea fixed "south" of his, also his claim?

4) Is it the link he is claiming protection of?

Well I draw a line.

Above too.

Above that line, is what Prof. De Beer asked for and got. Below the line are my ideas expressed somewhat originally but confessing to some taste or subtlety I wish descendant from the line of thought sparked partially by the excellent book written by Anne Wells Branscomb (what a lady so far ahead of the times! 1928-1997), Who Owns Information? (New York, NY: Basic Books, 1994).

Now, I won't quote from his article but just quote the title, and see what happens.

In thought space, I did not get sued. I still feel safe. At least for now.

I did read another of his works, in draft form, on the use of levies like the Private Copy Levy and its constitutionality and potential for use to solve some problems we face. References everywhere, perhaps exceeding his content is what I remember. Every word, backed up. Not necessarily to his whole line of thought in my humble opinion, but to his supportive arguments, he was faultless.

A person like me in a debate with a "killer" like him, would have to fight dirty and make up rhetoric that would be as crispy as a just picked MacIntosh Apple irrefutable as to fine taste.

At least that first bite.

So while I read his writings like a student, with skepticism, very often his points make it into the rare "what is" department v. the very common "what might be" department. He is on my digital law guru list but he would also be on my short list of people I would like to sit down with and just probe his thought space for the tenacious, pugnacious yet just spirit I sense. His has to be the stuff of youth and of truth, my highest value.

Read all of his 5 New Years Resolutions he suggests for the Government of Canada to take into consideration on copyright reform, to figure out where this worldwide respected Professor and teacher of digital music law is figuring where we have been, are, and where we ought to be heading. He makes an overall case, not yet in my "what is" department but rather close.

Private Copy Levy to be on Devices?

There is a lot of funky thought out there on the Canadian blogosphere and social groups.

I am going to say one thing: music should be worth the money you pay for it and yes, it should be paid for.

Somehow a solution to that problem is well overdue, and for once, I appear to agree with the CRIA on this: the base level in Canada for paid digital downloads is far too low, from known sources, to use growth statistics too much as a measure of success.

On the other hand, the creation of advertising models has arisen where for monthly sign-ins, you can have access to all the sound recordings you like, for "free". Or the rental model, where you are spared the advertising. The CRIA does not talk about these revenue streams.

But as far as agreeing on what caused the problem of the decline in CD sales, I think a fair conclusion is the decline by the big 4 music groups in artist development has to be part of the their problem. The rest of Canadian industry appears to be growing nicely.

That said, I wonder how many Canadians think that the Copyright Board of Canada is out of control and has erred in interpreting the Private Copy Levy as applicable to the iPod? Few know of the nuances I would argue, but hopefully that changes.

The Federal Court of Appeal has already said it had erred, and the Supreme Court of Canada turned down the appeal to that decision, with apparently no lesson learned by the Copyright Board.

The Copyright Board in I gather defiance of the Federal Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada, had hearings again, and now seems to think the CPCC still has a case, ruling at its Federal Court level, in their favour, again.

Since the decision was again appealed to the FCA, next up you would think would be the FCA on the matter. If it gets to opine again, will be interesting itself, for no doubt that court will be unhappy to see the same issue again, in perhaps a different cloth.

I suspect it won't have to make a decision.

And this just in: the FCA quashed / wiped out, the Copyright Board decision to assess a levy on the iPod.

With my sleeves up, not finding this elsewhere, we take a look at what is and is not in Section 80 (Part VIII) entitled "Where no Infringement of Copyright".

First up it refers to "audio recording medium" a term itself subject to regulation, that is defined in Section 79's "interpretation."

There is no "blank" in Section 80.

The law says with respect to infringing actions with respect to doing only one action:

80(1) ... Reproducing ... all or substantially all ...

(a) a musical work embodied in a sound recording,
(b) a performer’s performance of a musical work embodied in a sound recording, or
(c) a sound recording in which a musical work, or a performer’s performance of a musical work, is embodied

onto an audio recording medium for the private use of the person who makes the copy does not constitute an infringement of the copyright in the musical work, the performer’s performance or the sound recording.

It says if you do any of the acts in subsection 80(2),

(a) selling or renting out, or by way of trade exposing or offering for sale or rental;

(b) distributing, whether or not for the purpose of trade;

(c) communicating to the public by telecommunication; or

(d) performing, or causing to be performed, in public.

subsection 80(1) will not apply, restoring the rights of the copyright holder to otherwise have their infringement rights.

Combine (1) with good behavior at (2), and making a private copy of a), b) or c) will not be an act of infringement.

Pretty straightforward.

["distributing" appears to be from US Copyright law, said to be equivalent to publishing with 'or' thrown in where it is otherwise used once. This is entire other matter as the term is foreign to the rest of Canadian Copyright Act and has no "interpretation" given.]

For surrendering the right to infringement actions against those wily private users, those named in a), b) and c) get to collect a levy assessed on "blank audio recording medium," whatever by regulation, that is termed to include, "outside" of the statute itself.

The "Interpretations," Section 79 of Part VIII, state the helpful things here:

"audio recording medium"
«support audio »

"audio recording medium" means a recording medium, regardless of its material form, onto which a sound recording may be reproduced and that is of a kind ordinarily used by individual consumers for that purpose, excluding any prescribed kind of recording medium;

"blank audio recording medium"
«support audio vierge »

"blank audio recording medium" means

(a) an audio recording medium onto which no sounds have ever been fixed, and

(b) any other prescribed audio recording medium;

Right now, there are no regulations on that "audio recording medium," I can find in the regulations. The Governor in Council makes those according to the law, right there at Section 87(b)

The Governor in Council may make regulations

(b) prescribing anything that by this Part is to be prescribed;

Hunt yourself if you like:

Related Regulations

  1. Book Importation Regulations
  2. Certification of Countries Granting Equal Copyright Protection Notice
  3. Cinematographic Works (Right to Remuneration) Regulations
  4. Copyright Regulations
  5. Definition of "Wireless Transmission System" Regulations
  7. Definition of “Small Cable Transmission System” Regulations
  8. Educational Program, Work and Other Subject-matter Record-keeping Regulations
  9. Exceptions for Educational Institutions, Libraries, Archives and Museums Regulations
  10. Limitation of the Right to Equitable Remuneration of Certain Rome Convention Countries Statement
  11. Local Signal and Distant Signal Regulations
  12. Programming Undertaking Regulations
  13. Regulations Defining "Advertising Revenues"
  14. Regulations Establishing the Period Within Which Owners of Copyright not Represented by Collective Societies Can Claim Retransmission Royalties
  15. Regulations Prescribing Networks (Copyright Act)
Does then the Copyright Board have on plain reading the power of the Governor in Council, the Cabinet, to make such regulations to the Statute?

It says it has this mandate:
The Board is an economic regulatory body empowered to establish, either mandatorily or at the request of an interested party, the royalties to be paid for the use of copyrighted works, when the administration of such copyright is entrusted to a collective-administration society. The Board also has the right to supervise agreements between users and licensing bodies and issues licences when the copyright owner cannot be located.

Stay tuned. It should not. The Federal Court of Appeal already said that this was for Parliament to decide. And it said so again today.

Does the iPod fit the interpretation in law of a "blank audio recording medium"? Stay tuned. It should not. A device yes. A blank audio recording medium no. Ditto said in the same FCA case that the Supreme Court of Canada did not accept to hear on appeal (no big question to solve, no big legal error, nothing in the national interest beyond what was already stated ...).

So then if Parliament is silent, and the Cabinet and the relevant Ministers continually punt the issue, well, we have what is written, and that is it (I get to play the Supreme Court on my blog).

Should the Copyright Board of Canada act for Parliament and make its own regulations to the statute? I hope not. Not ever. If they had, honour they would voluntarily offer their resignations. Especially when the law on plain reading says the power to do so is solely in the Governor in Council's hands.

Can this happen all again? It is a living deja vu to the actors of the courts.

To this lay observer, this is as fine an instance of a regulatory vacuum pressing as hard as is legally possible to get filled, by all parties to this case.

In final analysis, it is caused by the absence of the Ministerial guidance to and a Cabinet decision on a suitable regulation, that one industry says it wants, in competition with other industries opposed to it.

As an innocent bystander, complicit now in knowledge, what is my position from this statutory law, not industry largess, if I rip a track to my computer from a CD I have purchased from HMV, and I do not do anything of 80(2)?

It would appear in law that I have the right to reproduce a sound recording on any audio recording medium, regardless of its material form, "that is of a kind ordinarily used by individual consumers for that purpose." To reproduce a sound recording on a credit card strip I gather might be unlawful but popular audio recording technology has moved on such that consumers ordinarily use hard drives, MP3 players, iPods, USB keys, and the like.

There is clearly no provision in Section 80 that anyone has to rip a track to a blank audio recording medium that a levy has been assessed on.

Case dismissed.

Has the right regulation maker here been slow? You bet.

It would be a very sorry day, if anyone would take any consumer to court for following in Canada Section 80 and the rest of Part VIII of the Canadian Copyright Act as is. With $200 million+ collected and counting by the CPCC, they know it, and the CRIA "gifted" also that they won't sue. Very generous gratuity for one who would lose in court on plain reading.

So enjoy your private copy rights. Somewhere along the way, you likely have paid extra for it under Canadian Copyright law. Stack of CD's, the odd CD-A by accident, other purchases totally unrelated to the recording of sound recordings. The law says that is the way it is.

[Aside: did you get your iPod refund from the last unsuccessful court case of the CPCC on this matter? A succinct statement of the first victory at is still available. These guys seem to be coming together again. ]

Now though comes the tougher political questions here.

The Conservatives did not say in their election platform but did say in their policies before the election they were going, at 35. iv)
"eliminate the levy on blank recording materials."
In their most recent Throne Speech they said they were going to "improve the protection of cultural and intellectual property rights in Canada, including copyright reform."

Is the Private Copy Levy going to be axed in its entirety or will the levy be assessed on something else for the rights at 80(1) in their policies?

The Record labels, foreign and domestic, as much as they are so 90's (70's if you are old enough), and so easily bashed now, if 80(1) is struck, do they have a right to some compensation with this stated also in the Conservative Election Platform:

Enshrining property rights in the Constitution

The plan

A Conservative government will:

• Propose an amendment to the Constitution to include the right to own property, as well as guarantee that no person shall be deprived of their just right without the due process of law and full, just, and timely compensation.

• Enact legislation to ensure that full, just, and timely compensation will be paid to all persons who are deprived of personal or private property as a result of any federal government initiative, policy, process, regulation, or legislation.
I know I don't like being associated with "pirates" as a willing music consumer who buys all their music, but I certainly don't want to be accused of being a "Bolshevik" which may be next by my nationality (taking something without compensation to whom it was taken from). What can the Harper Government give the composers, authors, publishers, performers, record labels and the CRIA members too, for their rights? A 100 million a year?

To me its the wrong slippery slope to go down in my opinion for some parties in this industry have little sympathy from me for not offering up quality downloads at a fair price, to push out inferior tempting, substitute goods, while suing little people in neighbouring countries, calling lawful people pirates, illusioning a customer as a thief, and pushing country representatives to fill nonsense into other countries leaders and its public mind.

In a weasel way [I better finish this post fast ;-)], I predict the Conservatives will scrap the levy on blank recording materials (sic) to keep their policy promises intact but choose instead a levy on blank audio recording devices, just as the CPCC is trying to do, but in the wrong forum.

To what would a shared folder be worth? Consider many have paid dearly for medium shifting, and revenue models based on advertising are developing fast with the voluntary consent of all parties, how could a proffered P2P levy work?

As a matter of fact, "I" would expect to pay big bucks for this right, more than an annual drivers licence , but there are other factors, like how many times do you pay for something you already appear to own? Or if you bought the LP, then the CD, and then the iPod version of your favourite album, why pay again, at all?

Copyright law is are about balance and this is very, very tricky. Markets are at stake, and new developing business models are at risk, along with the old ones that might fairly or not, appear to have dropped their own ball, appearing to create this problem in the first place.

In addition to how this boils out shortly, for what they might get from consumers in the future or the Government itself, why not offset some of whatever fair compensation is put out there, to a Canadian Recording Production Credit? Produce a recording in Canada with a Canadian artist, and get some of your development costs back? Make it generous.

I think some serious out of the box thinking is way overdue on this national matter for all lovers of culture, including music. Canadian music is just too important to let it down.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Consultations for the Brits

08/01/08 Press Release

Format shifting exemption, plus other fair dealing rights being made explicit.

Monday, January 07, 2008

A Personal Exemption

William Patry is still a most generous man but apparently something was bugging him enough for him to dig into his garage archives. A very interesting *must* read.

FYI: The US Audio Home Recording Act ("AHRA") = Private Copy Levy legislation, at Section 80 in the Copyright Act of Canada.

We have here perhaps the genesis to a fair solution to end the real burning question: can you 1) legally copy a CD/LP you own, 2) to your own MP3 Player or 3) Computer? Stay tuned as the solution, a personal exemption, not fair use provisions, evolves. He may be going to his 'back garage' for more (amazing what you can find).

Julianna Yau’s blog � An Experiment In Deconstructing Copyright – Part 7

I just discovered this little gem in the blog wilderness. Blogger Julianna is trying a very interesting non-legal, free form reconstruction (and dissection!) of the Copyright Act of Canada.

The Blog otherwise has a refreshing vibe to it, is lively in writing style, and will be looked to for some perspective, as the copyright reform unfolds.

She also started a Facebook Group "Canada needs a public inquiry into Copyright!" and has published a very good primer on selecting your Privacy Options on Facebook.

On to Plan B ...

Like Canada has to rush onto something like the U.S. DMCA, and what follows.

The European's are trying to come up with a solution on a consumer friendly, economic maximalist approach they call "Creative Content Online".

"Consumers will be given a strong voice in this platform." Hmmm.

Commission adopts strategy for "Creative Content Online"

Public consultations for the next 2 months. Hoped for EU policy by mid-2008 ... oddly the the stakeholder "discussion and cooperation" platform is called "Content Online Platform" or C.O.P. (constable on patrol?)

A serious look is warranted here for what the rest of the Western World is up to ... and not a breath for WIPO treaties here (the major European nations are not ratifying this treaty, at the moment). A very interesting approach is being suggested using "Codes of Conduct" - for squealers and informants - rather than formal legal provisions to deal with file sharing and P2P networks. How is a poor ISP to recognize that the sharing going on is of non authorized copies or authorized copies????

Evidently, non-authorized copies are sort of ok, as long as they are not shared. That is an 'almost given' according to Cary Sherman, head of the RIAA, per The Patry Blog. According to the legal brief, the allegation is that the poor guy, for him and his wife, burned CD's to their computer making unauthorized copies. They then did the big no no with the unauthorized copies: they put them on a shared folder. Would it have been different if they were authorized copies? Not evidently in the charitable lawyer to lawyer banter. So why the point of unauthorized copies? Legalspeak? The statements by the lawyer in the case itself should stand as the brief they make to the Court ("C. Defendant possessed unauthorized copies of Plaintiff’s copyrighted sound recordings on his computer and actually disseminated such unauthorized copies over the KaZaA peer-to-peer network." at Page 15 ) actually ties in with her answer in court, comments that Sherman says later were not correct as the lawyer apparently answered a question she did not hear correctly. William Patry is a most generous man.

Update: William Patry is still a most generous man but apparently something was bugging him enough for him to dig into his garage archives. A very interesting *must* read. FYI: The US Audio Home Recording Act ("AHRA") = Private Copy Levy legislation, at Section 80 in the Copyright Act of Canada. We have perhaps the genesis to the solution of the real burning question: can you 1) legally copy a CD you own, 2) to your MP3 Player or 3) Computer? Stay tuned as the solution, a personal exemption, not fair use provisions, evolves. He may be going to the back garage for more (amazing what you can find).

The bottom line to me: if people could cooperate here, creators, owners and users of copyrights, both commercial and non-commercial, and get access to universal digital watermarks, maybe there can be a middle ground solution in reasonable fees or advertising offsets to those fees for actual non-personal connected use. More laws are not the answer.

PS "Europe", its a supra national body only and not a country. The European Community does not mess with nation state level perogatives, particular in light of the failure of the European Constitution to be ratified (it was signed by all 27 states). The French and the Dutch rightfully put it to their electorates, and they rejected it. The UK did not even bother with its referendum. See ... signed but not ratified. Its easy. On to plan B ...

PSS I just learned that prior to Mark Russinovich's disclosure of the SONY Rootkit in October of 2005, that he was not the first independent finder of it. It was found by PhD student J. Alex Halderman at Princeton almost a month prior to Mark's discovery, but Mark was not aware or was immune to any legal consequences (do you drive at the speed limit?). Halderman and Edward Felton because of the DMCA and their experience with that law, they had to get legal council first prior to Mark's disclosure. Their sensible plea: "researchers should busy themselves with discovering and disclosing security threats and not with engaging in protracted discussions of the DMCA with their attorneys."

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Talking To The Music Industry Again, The Aspen Live Conference at FISTFULAYEN

This is the cusp edge, the one right after the bleeding edge. You get this or you don't.

If you don't, you appear irrelevant. Sorry.

It is a challenge of the truth, of culminating concepts and experience, to a music industry confab spelled out rather nicely, slowly, and with care.

If an exec does not get this, and have it on your desk, by Wednesday, citing applied Long Tail analysis, fire them!

To a Minister of Industry or Minister of Heritage, your minions should have this on your desk a week Wednesday. If you don't understand it, or get it on your desk, you have been reading or hearing the wrong people, for too long. This is where we are at today.

Its worth a second and third look. And serious thought, for the policy implication of serving up the mechanisms of the past, or serving up the mechanisms of the future.

This one slide by the way, is for a pal:

(From Talking To The Music Industry Again, The Aspen Live Conference at FISTFULAYEN, Presentation by Ian Rogers, VP, Video & Media Applications, Yahoo! Music)

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Cultural Industries Policy: Objectives, Formulation, and Evaluation

Canadian Journal of Communication - Vol. 19, No. 3 (1994): "Cultural Industries Policy: Objectives, Formulation, and Evaluation"

By Paul Audley and Associates

Has an interesting history of past Canadian studies, nicely summarized. Not inclusive as oddly he did not feel that copyright policy development affected cultural policy development. The two were not delinked in Pearson's and Trudeau's cabinet.

In fairness, he recommended more research on the historical examinations he could not review. The Ilsley Royal Commission for example did not get a peep.

In further fairness, the Cabinet Decisions were likely not available on the Internet (Gopher, Telnet, FTP "Internet") as they are today, to 31 years back.

Radiohead's Web venture spooks Wall Street

Radiohead's Web venture spooks Wall Street. Seems not everyone is buying what the Music industry is selling.

The Web 2.0 Blog catches up with some analysts views.

Webware : Cool Web apps for everyone

Thursday, January 03, 2008

In the Fight Over Piracy, a Rare Stand for Privacy - New York Times

In the Fight Over Piracy, a Rare Stand for Privacy - New York Times

Kudo's to the author for suggesting strongly that it is time to reign in Copyright lawsuits in the U.S. The CRIA lost a similar case in Canada: BMG Canada Inc. v. Doe, 2005 FCA 193 (CanLII)

With Media Defender's e-mail disclosed and Media Sentry's abilities exposed (hearsay by Music execs) the doubts expressed by our courts without any amendments of anything required, just maybe the State of Oregon can win a case for the people of Oregon. Some of these emails indicated that it might be that there could be no affidavits by the employees of Media Sentry, the weak link in the CRIA case. Exposing those employees to cross-examination of their sworn statement, might be very, very unrevealing, or worse, exposing of perhaps some illegal snooping, spoofing, fraudulent activity, in PIPEDA abiding Canada. Hence the hearsay evidence proferred, in what, a legal gambit, by the CRIA, tried and lost? Oh well, they say they won't sue in Canada ... who and when?

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

To Canadian Cultural Interests

The 2007 is over. Yee hah. Its 2008.

The year in review: it was a relatively quiet year for copyright law. The biggest case was over a chocolate bar, and oddly, not in anyway in relation to a reproduction act, but rather a purchase and subsequent sale. It was almost the case to discriminate in Canadian law if ever a trumping exclusive distribution right. Phhfffttt. Too many US educated lawyers applying Canadian law?

The Fall throne speech and the promise of a round of copyright reform to bring Canada into line with the WIPO internet treaty, was the defining event in 2007.

In the national interest? Very, very questionable.

"Canada's imports and exports of culture goods declined in 2006. The trade deficit widened to its largest level since 1999, as imports, especially from Canada's largest trading partners – the United States and China – continued to surpass exports.

Canada imported $3.9 billion worth of culture goods from the world, a 3.2% decline from 2005. At the same time, exports fell 12.7% to $2.1 billion, the third consecutive decline.

As a result, Canada's trade deficit in culture goods expanded from $1.7 billion in 2005 to $1.8 billion in 2006, the largest deficit since 1999.

The trade deficit with the United States, Canada's largest trading partner, expanded by $236 million to nearly $1.2 billion. This was the result of a 12.4% fall in exports, which far exceeded a 0.9% decline in imports."

The threat in a political vacuum, was simply to throw out of balance the fairness in copyright law, in my opinion, for temporary circumstances to focused trade partner pressure. Canada is still with France, Germany, the UK, and other countries, in signing but not yet wed to the WIPO treaties.

Oddly, for a lesson on the need to ratify the treaty, one should only look at the behaviour of the United States on another copyright treaty, the Berne Convention. The US after plying barriers to entry to foreign copyrights, finally when it felt secure about its dominating position, acceded in 1989. Canada 75 years prior formally in an act independent of the UK. France, Germany, UK, in 1887. A mere 100 plus years. The United States is indeed a "Joe lately."

Ratification of this treaty is one of those decisions that Canada has to make, in full calculation by its own people and for its own people, in its own interests. The notice and codified reluctance is now in law, not to give away Canadian cultural imperatives, is embodied in the Free trade agreements we sign. The US knows Canadian culture is hands off but yet pokes Canadians once in while to see the sensitivities and awareness here. The 36,000+ people today in the Facebook Fair Copyright Group, without much prodding, demonstrated, we are not quite the sleepy lumpenproletariat to march over.

For us, its not a decision to make lightly on the push of successive US Ambassadors or the "Canadian" arms of the foreign music or motion picture industries.

Yes we believe in fair trade but as the farmers of Nebraska or the lumbermen of the US Northwest demonstrated, when we compete fairly to us, we can still get our heads snapped off by the US if we are too successful.

Well Culture is also slightly different than hogs, logs, and black gold. It is the embodiment of a nation, in its intangible medium, that causes us to be different and a nation itself. The Canadian way is different than the US yet we share a common language, in part, yet our cultural depth, in benefiting from First Nations, French and English, is well deserving of the wide recognition that we are a relatively nascent country to the world.

Our culture grows from free expression, mostly of an artistic nature, through the arts and sport, that we must jealously guard our rights and cultivate our culture as we chose. If we fail to dictate our own terms, embodied in our own laws, we are not deserving of being a country with a distinct nationality.

While some may say "Its just copyright law", copyright is through which artistic expression is sustained in a country, through a grant of limited rights. Damage copyright law, or make it too strong or too weak, and you will not have a viable cultural industry, or culture for that matter. Its the nation building stuff folks.

In my read of the Canadian copyright law, we are fortunate to have chosen terms carefully that allow for changing circumstances that competing Canadian interests can readily solve their differences privately, or if necessary in court. One wonders about some cases, over matters such as the authorization right, or the neutrality of the telecommunications companies to copyright owners, if the wisdom in the law on plain reading should have been sufficient to say "enough". Greed appears to push this particular law through the courts as well as a misreading of the law and how the courts will likely interpret that law.

Greed also seems to push the changes in the law requested by foreign interests. Greater domination of markets. Greater legal recompense. Greater lock-in ability.

Privacy? So what. Lets make lots of money.

So to multinational interests, this Canadian says "NO". We do not want your changes in our laws. We do not agree that a person's privacy should be sacrificed in exchange for licensing a mere movie or MP3. We are not a big brother nation and don't plan on being one, anytime soon.

The Canadian film industry with less than a 2% market share in Canada, is but a service industry to the US Studios: is that going to be linked to the reform? The Canadian dollar's rise has killed that industry. WIPO or not, it was to be hard times. Are they going to provide production guarantees, and if so, why sweeten the film production credits? Are the unions involved, used to good times, now in bad times, going to push for stronger copyright laws in line with US interests, to become even more dependent, without any work to do?

The Canadian recording industry? The foreign controlled portion is in the same toilet as the rest of the tech lagging, Wall St. run, music industry. The DMCA did not save the US recording industry in the US and a similar reform in Canadian law won't save the "Canadian" recording industry.

In the "content is king" world, Madison Avenue gets it as outfits like Spiral Frog take off with ad supported models. Maybe, just maybe, it was the worldwide consolidation and M&A related cost cutting, that led to what killed the music business, with severe cuts in artist development, on both sides of the border, and not P2P? A 2007 study for Industry Canada demonstrated a positive relationship between P2P use and CD sales. Makes sense that if you give a music lover a drink, they will want the bottle. DOH!

Could Canada demand 10% of the new releases in Canada by CRIA member companies that meet the MAPL logo (for Music - composer, Artist, Production - recording location, Lyrics - lyricist) in trade for the WIPO amendments they want? Right now, it is likely below 2% the new Canadian artist releases by the foreign controlled companies the CRIA represents: a 2% level is not just unacceptable, its outrageous (it was 4.2%, 3.6%, 2.7% in 1998, 2000, 2003, respectively, per Statistics Canada).

When its in Canada's interest, maybe then that is the time to accede, and if we cannot get a domestic industry, get the trade benefits, in writing, thank you very much but for now, lets just say no. Let us take the US example on the Berne Convention (or the Rome Convention for the Protection of Performers Rights), and do what we do best, study the issue via a Royal Commission, and gain us both some time and industry as a consequence.