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).

Writers’ Day in Court

By Op-Ed Editor | February 25, 2008

Montreal’s Electronic Rights Defence Committee, a coalition of writers resisting the plundering of their rights by the Montreal Gazette and the corporate empire behind it, go into court today to seek authorization to proceed with their class action lawsuit. Montreal writers were gathering at the Palais de Justice this morning to support them.

Interesting to note that last week lots of those big corporate interests were jumping on the “free” internet bandwagon, hoping to widen their ability to appropriate the work of others with impunity. For this 40,000 Facebookers are cluttering up the networks?

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Copyright humour?

By Christopher Moore | February 22, 2008

Copyright humour is where you can find it, but look at John Degen’s post on the copyright on Kate Winslet’s nipples here for February 15.

There’s actually a serious point behind John’s takedown of Darryl’s notion that buying a work makes you its co-author. In the ancient Greek world of Sophocles and Euripides, there were theatre organizations called choregoi, who put on plays as a civic duty, and had authority to prevent unauthorized productions and corruptions of the text. In T’ang dynasty China, there were plagiarism decrees against messing with the texts of literature.

These resemble moral rights protection more than the economic side of copyright. But it’s because of them that reasonably intact texts of Sophocles and Confucius have come down to us.

Forget what they tell you about copyright being invented by the Statute of Anne. Protection for the integrity of works is as old as creativity itself. Even Titanic deserves it.

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Friedland Report

By Op-Ed Editor | February 18, 2008

In an effort to address the endlessly festering dispute between publishers and creators over distribution of royalties raised by Access Copyright, the collective commissioned an independent factfinding study from Martin Friedland, emeritus professor of law at U of T and veteran of many commissions of inquiry and other disputed territories.

Friedland’s report, delivered February 15, 2007 was kept secret for a year by Access Copyright but is now a public document (as Friedland’s agreement with the collective required). The Writers’ Union of Canada distributed the Report with a press release on February 15. It is available at www.writersunion.ca.

Update: Following the Writers’ Union distribution, Access Copyright made both the report and its response available on its website.

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Montreal freelancers’ day in court

By Op-Ed Editor | February 7, 2008

The Electronic Rights Defence Committee is a group of Montreal writers and journalists. Years ago, they refused to let electronic rights to their work be appropriated without payment or permission by the Montreal Gazette. Their longstanding class action against the Gazette and its owners, the Southam chain and its corporate successors, resembles the “Heather Robertson” class action against the Toronto Globe & Mail and Thomson Corp. The ERDC case is finally heading to a court room.

If you will be in Montreal Feb 25-27, you could drop by the Palais de Justice to support the ERDC. Details to follow.

We hear the Robertson case is also back in court soon. Robertson’s 2006 Supreme Court of Canada victory was only on some preliminary motions; the case can now go to trial.

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Freeman on creator copyright

By Op-Ed Editor | February 4, 2008

Bill Freeman’s February 1 think piece on copyright and creators from the Financial Post here

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When they say they don’t want a free ride, you know they want a free ride…

By Christopher Moore | February 1, 2008

… and when they say it’s a no-brainer, they don’t want you to think it over.

The Council of Ministers of Education (all the provincial governments except Quebec, which is more enlightened) is trying to sell the idea of more special loopholes and privileges in the Copyright Act here.

When you make personal use of other people’s material, no problem. When you build your business, including your educational business, on other people’s intellectual property, it’s fair to pay for it. It’s more than fair. When you have $40 billion a year in taxpayers’ money, you should be determined to support the people who create the material you teach with. But the Ministers just want a free ride after all.

It’s not complicated; it’s not difficult. The licensing collectives already exist, the agreements can be negotiated, fair dealing and sampling and free uses and such can be accomodated. They just want to take it, and they want the law to privilege them.

Note that by claiming they can run their businesses on anything they can take digitally, they are bullying rightsholders into retreating behind paywalls, TPMs, DRMs, the whole panoply of lock up and exclude and make unavailable.

And they then campaign for laws to encourage them to break down the protections…..

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