Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 4th Sep 2011 15:48 UTC
Legal "Secret U.S. government cables show a stunning willingness by senior Canadian officials to appease American demands (more here) for a U.S.-style copyright law here. The documents describe Canadian officials as encouraging American lobbying efforts. They also cite cabinet minister Maxime Bernier raising the possibility of showing U.S. officials a draft bill before tabling it in Parliament. The cables, from the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa, even have a policy director for then industry minister Tony Clement suggesting it might help U.S. demands for a tough copyright law if Canada were placed among the worst offenders on an international piracy watch list. Days later, the U.S. placed Canada alongside China and Russia on the list." Unbelievable. Suddenly I understand why the SFPD had no qualms about acting as henchmen for Apple goons to violate someone's constitutional rights. If a government is messed up, it only makes sense this is reflected in the corporate policies of its prime corporations.
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Member since:

I'll bite.

While copying is wrong in our society, do you believe it needs to be wrong in all societies?

It's only wrong in our society because our society (speaking of the world in general) is obsessed with the procurement of wealth and power. If something comes along to threaten that, it is quickly struck down by those with vested interests, including our own government here in the U.S.

You may be saying, "But the U.S. government doesn't make creative works so why does it care?" It cares because the vast majority of the flawed humans who make up our government are having their pockets lined by the entertainment and software industries' lobbyists. Follow the money and you'll find the path to the ever-dwindling rights of the people regarding copyright and patents.

Would there still be artists?

Definitely! There are varying opinions on what is considered art and who is considered an artist these days, but the ones who started doing it for the love of the craft will continue. They may have to work day jobs, but they will still create for self-fulfillment. Speaking strictly of music, the superstar acts that you see on the top 40 music charts are but a tiny fraction of the musical talent out there. The biggest chunk of musicians and bands out there are independent acts or were until recently, and most of those live a hard but fulfilling life of writing, recording and touring year round. They do it because it is who they are.

Would there still be performers?

Yes, see above. Live performance would be the primary means of income for performing artists, just as it was before the phonograph was invented.

Would there still be films?

Yes. Keep in mind the very first filmmakers were independent because there was no movie industry. Take away the industry we have now, and you will still have the creative visionaries, only constrained by budget. And some of the best films ever put to celluloid (or hard drive, as the case may be) did it on a shoestring budget.

At heart, I'm in the "information wants to be free" crowd, but I'm also realistic. The state of things today is what we as a society have allowed it to be. If we want change, change will happen regardless of governments and industry interests. But it's going to take another generation or two, I think.

Reply Parent Score: 8

Alfman Member since:


Both sides have merit. We're all very familiar with what copyright has to offer, but I am genuinely curious what a non-copyright society would turn into. It is despicable that the US is actively impeding alternative socioeconomic systems in the world. I want the world to have more diversity, not less.

Reply Parent Score: 2