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).

Ontario Budget — SoA/DoA

By Christopher Moore | March 30, 2007

Mostly positive reaction to Ontario’s budget from the cultural community, and with reason. Funding for the Ontario Arts Council, museums, the Media Development Corporation, festivals, and the Trillium Foundation. After the federal budget, it’s good to see a government that believes in supporting the arts.

But they are promising a bill called the Status of Ontario’s Artists Act, and it ain’t Status of the Artist legislation.

Okay, “Status of the Artist” is a mealy-mouthed phrase. But it has always been used (this is from UNESCO’s guiding principles on the subject) to “make it possible for organizations representing artists to participate in the formulation of cultural policies and employment policies including the … determination of conditions of work.”

That is, SoA is about labour relations and bargaining rights. Ontario is redefining it to cover the usual subsidies for the arts.

Good to see spending in culture. But on SoA, still a lot of heavy lifting to do.

Permanent Link | Send Us A Comment

Another one drinks the [brand-name sugary flavoured beverage]

By Op-Ed Editor | March 23, 2007

Russell Smith, a terrific novelist and a smart guy, had a column in the Globe and Mail on Thursday supporting American novelist Jonathan Lethem who recently declared he is “giving away” film options on his recent bestseller. Smith sees this as a creatively anti-copyright stance by writers. [We'd link to Smith's column, but, ah irony, it's behind a paywall.]

Mostly it’s a writer and his agent using copyright creatively to promote themselves. Best antidote to this “give it away for the exposure” theory is from another smart Canadian novelist, SF guy Robert J. Sawyer. He too gets asked to give away options to his work. Here’s what he said lately at his website www.sfwriter.com.

Permanent Link | Send Us A Comment

Monetizing digitizing

By Christopher Moore | March 14, 2007

Remember when information wanted to be free and cyberspace was going to be the new frontier beyond law and beyond commerce? When young IP law profs assigned themselves the task of creating a new ethos for a whole new universe where no one would own anything and everyone would share?

Today the big legal news is the fight between the gazillion-dollar behemoth Viacom and the other gazillion-dollar behemoth Google over rights to what’s on YouTube — see Globe & Mail coverage here.

Can you remember which of these company is new-economy and which is old? Neither can I.

What matters here is that the day when digital information could be valued at Zero is dead, dead, dead. It’s valuable. It’s becoming the most valuable commodity in the world. YouTube ain’t free — it’s a moneyspinner. The question here is simply whether Google’s people get all the money or Viacom’s get a share too.

And the way to handle it is to monetize it. It’s unfortunate that the Viacom-Google battle is still construed as Viacom forcing Google to take down copyright material, to make copyright material unavailable. That’s playing into the IP lawyers’ obsolete idea that everything must be free so everyone has access. That’s not where this is really headed.

Where it’s heading is licensing: make it available — and licence it. Digital access has immense benefits for everyone. Licensing means the benefits will shared with those who create the value, and then there will be more of it.

The solution to digital copyright doesn’t lie with IP profs anymore. It’s with the economists. The lawyers are stuck with utopian concepts that expired in the 1990s. The economists are ready to assign and distribute real value.

Permanent Link | Send Us A Comment

Op-Ed Pages Op-Ed Archives