Wednesday, January 16, 2008

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).

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