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While the left-wing media is just as biased as the right-wing, and filter out messages they don't like, I still occasionally attempt letters to the editor of StraightGoods.ca. I did so yesterday by submitting a reply to John Degen's "Renaming Copyright". http://www.straightgoods.ca/2011/ViewArticle.cfm?Ref=941

I find John interesting because we come from a similar mindset of focusing on the motivations and interests of authors in Copyright, but we most often come to opposite/opposing conclusions. Policy which he sees as good for authors I generally see as bad, and vice versa.

My reply in this case focused on the multiple debates currently underway in relation to educational works. He suggested that exceptions to copyright where authors are not paid are offensive. I wrote that exceptions to copyright that mandated payments to Access Copyright are equally offensive, just to different authors. A focus of the relationship between authors and their works should consider the full spectrum of interests of authors, not only those who happen to be motivated the same way as John.


I could have spoke about his justification for using the word "theft" in relation to copyright infringement. While I don't feel the same emotions some authors have with respect to copyright infringement, I understand the emotion as I feel something similar with respect to IT property rights. I consider infringements of IT property rights to be morally equivalent to theft, whether that be authors imposing brands of access technology (DRM lock 1) or non-owner locks on our technology which disallow owners from making their own software choices (DRM lock 2).

When John or others say "If you don't like DRM, don't buy it", I hear something equivalent (if not worse) to saying to authors "If you don't like people, including educational institutions, using your works without permission, then don't write it".

Or heck, I could have simply discussed his first sentence:
"The copyright wars are as much about intentional confusion of terminology as they are about bad-faith theorizing about free culture."

I agree, but doubt John was being honest about his intentional confusion of terminology as it relates to his abuse of the term "free culture". For most of the people I know who use that label for themselves, it means "free as in speech, not free as in beer".

It is about the type of things that the Canadian Journalists for Free Expression are focused on -- the right to author. This includes private citizens being in control of the tools needed to create, communicate, and access creative works. It includes avoiding government imposed intermediaries in communications, and freedom of choice in business methods and respect for a full spectrum of motivations for creativity.

It is not, as John intentionally confuses people by falsely claiming, about creators not getting paid.


BTW: Always looking for feedback to my rants on G+. Some of these less filtered thoughts eventually turn into articles....
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