Welcome to the website of the Creators' Copyright Coalition. We at the CCC are committed to access to our creative works just as we are committed to copyright: we work for copyright legislation that ensures both. Here on our op-ed pages we will be posting opinion, commentary, links, and news of interest to creators and others engaged in copyright reform. Elsewhere, you'll find our archive of studies, handbooks and press releases. And while we're not currently hosting a discussion forum, comments sent to us may be posted or noted here (unless you ask us not to).

Quoting and the Public Domain

By Op-Ed Editor | January 24, 2006

We don’t run a discussion forum on this website, but we get mail.

“We really need to open dialog between the diverse creator communities,” said one, disagreeing with a recent post.

True, for sure. The Creators’ Copyright Coalition spans a wide spectrum of creator communities. And it and its members have had constant discussions with many who reject some of its basic premises about the importance of copyright to creators: among others, Creative Commons Canada, Professor Murray’s faircopyright.ca, digital-copyright.ca, various academics, and other exponents of particular views about copyright. Hope it continues. Hope it continues respectfully. Let’s talk policy instead of waving accusations about who is on the take.

One of our readers complained:

“I write. I publish. And in order to do so, I need to make use of other people’s work. Quotations. Citations. Comments and criticisms. Allusions. Extensive use of the public domain.
“All of these are VITAL to my creativity.
“Yet you, the self-styled voice of creators, want to take that away from me.
“You want a copyright act without exemptions? There goes fair dealing for comment and criticism. There goes the doctrine of SUBSTANTIAL vs. INSUBSTANTIAL use of work.”

Take that away? This is the kind of misunderstanding that generates such heat. Keep writing, friend. Quoting, citing, commenting, criticizing, and alluding are vital to everyone’s creativity.

The CCC has been deeply engaged with the vital role that fair-dealing uses play in our careers as filmmakers, poets, musicians, and the problems some many of us experience in securing permissions. Copyright and the public domain should reinforce each other; it’s not a zero-sum game. See the “Who We Are” statement at the top of this website for our commitment to access. See the essay Creators’ Rights and the Copyright Debate for a constructive engagement with open source and copyleft ideas by Susan Crean and Virginia Jones. You might glance at these op-eds, but the really vital material on this website, in fact, is in its documents.

Artists have to be committed to the thriving of the public domain. But the principle holds: there’s a boundary between fair dealing and uses where licensing is appropriate. The CCC doesn’t support putting exemptions in the Copyright Act on behalf of organizations that resist rewarding creators for the value they provide.

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