[PGCanada] Re: [BP] Re: In Canada, "Hollywood's MP" sent packing (fwd)

Michael Hart hart at pglaf.org
Tue Jan 24 13:56:01 PST 2006

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 24 Jan 2006 13:47:02 -0800 (PST)
From: Michael Hart <hart at pglaf.org>
Reply-To: Michael S. Hart <hart at pobox.com>
To: Book People <spok+bookpeople at cs.cmu.edu>
Cc: Michael S. Hart <hart at login.ibiblio.org>, hart at pglaf.org, hart at pobox.com
Subject: Re: [BP] Re: In Canada, "Hollywood's MP" sent packing

On Tue, 24 Jan 2006, Stephen Davies wrote:

>        Liza Frulla also lost her seat last night.  She was the Heritage
> minister which made her co-responsible for copyright (along with Industry
> Canada).  She had replaced Helene Scherrer who lost her seat last June.
>        Is there a copyright curse!?!?!?

It would certainly seem so!!!

Just look what happened in Australia just a few years ago.

The Parliament said they would not even consider extending copyrights,
but only three years later, after a long siege of economic warfare,
a new copyright extension was passed, and I think this prevents any
copyrights from expiring for an additional 20 years.

>        I would like to know what direction the government will take in
> deciding whether schools have to pay a royalty to access the Internet.
> This was dropped from a contentious copyright revision last year, but it
> will likely resurface.  The revision died regardless when the election was
> called, because it had not been voted on by Parliament.

It seems as if the corporate world has declared World War III on copyright
through its power via the United Nations.

For those who were not aware, the World Intellectual Property Organization
[WIPO] is now the official arm of the United Nations on copyright issues,
even though it originated as a cartel of the largest publishing companies.

>        There are quite a few loopholes in Canadian copyright.  In Canada,
> we are required to pay a fee, a levy or a royalty to use commercially
> prepared materials in the classroom.  We can buy public performance rights
> for a video, or we can pay a fee for taping a program off the air, but we
> can't show packaged TV shows because there is no law for making
> restitution to the copyright holder.  An example would be if an instructor
> wanted to show a boxed set of "Friends" on DVD.  (Don't ask why; just
> accept that they do.)  When we phone American distributors to negotiate
> the rights for this, they a) don't understand the concept of having to pay
> to show something in the classroom, and b) they often don't want to set up
> a process for this, since we're such a small market.

If you think this is bad, you should visit locales where there ARE
no legal copies for sale, but copying is still actively forbidden.

In these cases the inhabitants are forced to either remain ignorant
or to break the law to get a copy of something the rest of the world
takes for granted as being easily available.

With all the mega-mergers that have been going on since the new world
of Reaganomics began in the 1980's, blockbusters sales are all there is
and small markets are not going to be served.

They SAY it is the "trickle down" theory of economics, but then they
do all they can to PREVENT the products from actually trickling down.

I've been in markets in both Europe and Asia where you couldn't find
a legal copy of nearly anything to buy, simply because the markets
weren't large enough.

>        I wonder what small niche there would be for a book-oriented
> entrepreneur who could exploit the absence of a service in Canada.  We
> sometimes hear of a semi-secret Free-Trade tribunal which pays off
> Americans who want to copy an American practice in Canada, but can't
> because of local restrictions.  If "culture" is brought into the Free
> Trade agreement by the new Conservative government, there could be some
> easy money to be made!  Maybe we should make Jack Valenti the new Heritage
> minister and just give up.  He was constantly railing against the
> restrictions that limited American product to 95% of the market.

Yes, you've hit it squarely on the head.

Microsoft used to complain that so many copies of Windows were pirated
in the locales I mentioned above, yet how hard did they try to sell to
that very same market?

The same was true for books, records, etc., though apparently Playboy
can be bought nearly everywhere.

> Stephen Davies
> Calgary


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