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).

How Copycamping works

By Christopher Moore | April 30, 2008

So I’m having a beer at Copycamp’s Worldcafe last night, and I find myself being introduced to Marcus Bornfreund, project leader for Creative Commons Canada.

This reminds me, I say. T’other day, I’m listening to CBC Radio One’s “Spark,” a program about new technology. And at the end of the program the announcer says, more or less, “All the music on Spark today is covered by Creative Commons licenses.”

Which makes me wonder. The CBC has union agreements to ensure musicians, composers and others get negotiated rates when CBC uses their work. How do CC licenses work with that? Given that many people associate a CC logo with “it’s free,” and blur over all that commercial/non-commercial use thing, could Spark simply be taking this music as free stuff? It’s not my music, I don’t know, I’m just curious.

But when I mentioned it to Marcus, he was curious too. So now he is going to look into it, and then we will all know more.

Late update: And talking to Sam Trosow, my friend tho’ last month I was, ah, looking sceptically at some of his work, I learned he helped ensure that his organization, the CAUT, joined with artists and creators in urging the Senate to kill C-10, the bill that say the government will only invest in films that it finds nice. Bravo. The government funds university professors too — if it wins on C-10, will it start to vet their opinions next?

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Legislating sharing? asks John Degen

By Op-Ed Editor | April 29, 2008

Just for the pleasure of watching someone smart and thoughtful as he disembowels fuzzy thinking, it’s worth looking at John Degen’s observations about Professor Mark Perry on copyright reform.

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Canadian Federation of Students on copyright reform

By Op-Ed Editor |

The CFS has released a set of ideas about copyright and copyright reform. It’s pretty interesting, and it’s downloadable from their site.

They express the conventional alarm about someone imposing a dreaded “American-DCMA” regime on us. But most of their thinking is American-derived. They want a fair use version of fair dealing, They assume big education needs a free ride. They have nothing to say about WIPO obligations and no interest in how Canadian collectives could provide access and rights. When they call for an end to Crown copyright, they follow the American theory that copyright is about payment, not about the integrity of documents.

Still, lots of clear writing and interesting thinking here. Note their perception of the importance of moral rights — an escape from the American all-up-for-grabs paradigm.

And they are talking about their ideas at Copycamp in Toronto www.copycamp.ca

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Copycamp Tuesday, Wednesday

By Op-Ed Editor | April 25, 2008

Copycamp returns to Toronto Tuesday, April 29 and Wednesday, April 30. Details at www.copycamp.ca. Special rates if you are a member of one of the Creator’s Rights Alliance member organizations.

Copycamp triumphed in September 2006 as an unconference: emphasizing conversation among participants, sessions built in real time, lightning-fast SpeedGeeking, and an enthusiasm for new technology and new approaches. Let’s see how the second one grows. Misha Glouberman reprises his role as host and raconteur. Julianna Yau, Kristian Clark (of Car/Fac), songwriter Don Quarles, Michel Beauchemin, and others will inspire sessions.

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Professor Vaver on rewriting copyright law

By Op-Ed Editor | April 16, 2008

David Vaver, longtime prof of intellectual property law, thinks one reason that judges of the Supreme Court of Canada disagree so much when interpreting copyright law is that the law itself is incomprehensible. The judges don’t know where the government is coming from, let alone where it’s going, he says. He presents the arguments for rewriting IP law from the ground up in a 35 page essay in Volume One of the new Osgoode Hall Review of Law and Policy .

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Company Unionism at CAUT?

By Christopher Moore | April 11, 2008

What follows is full text of an invitation to BC academics for today:

The Faculty Association of Simon Fraser University (SFUFA)
The University of British Columbia Faculty Association (UBCFA)
Access Copyright (Not!):
Obstructing Teaching and Learning at Canadian Universities

Do you know what “Access Copyright” is and how it affects or impinges on your day-to-day work? Do you have issues or disputes with copyright laws/rules and how they are being implemented? Are we being intimidated into a narrowing of the definition of “fair dealing”? Join us for a discussion of these topics:

Friday April 11, 2008 at 1:00 PM
SFU Harbour Center Room 1430
(515 West Hastings St. Vancouver)

Our guest speaker will be Dr. Sam Trosow, an associate professor at the University of Western Ontario who holds dual academic appointments in the faculties of law and information and media studies, Dr. Trosow has joined CAUT as the association’s 2007-2008 visiting scholar. One of Trosow’s primary actions at CAUT is to bolster advocacy efforts to ensure any reform of the federal Copyright Act reflects the concerns of the academic community.
SFUFA and UBCFA thank CAUT for their generous support of this event.

That’s the text. I’ve been trying to unpack it ever since it was sent to me.

Now SFU and UBC have licenses with Access Copyright to cover their uses of copyright material. The licenses are negotiated by the two sides as to what they cover and what the cost should be, with the option of an appeal to the Copyright Board if either side feels the other side is not bargaining in good faith. Is any faculty member inconvenienced by that? Does any faculty member incur any cost or “intimidation” by their employers’ agreements with Access Copyright?

UBC and SFU are large organizations, with lots of money, lots of lawyers, lots of connections to power. It is difficult to see them being intimidated by one single licensing collective, with perhaps one-millionth of the universities’ revenues. So why do they need CAUT or the faculty associations to rush to their defence?

Now it is true that UBC and SFU could save money if they did not license rights and pay licensing fees to the
collective. But how is that a concern of CAUT or the faculty associations? Have these somehow become company unions, the employees shilling for the boss?

More deeply, why are salaried professors so opposed to having universities actually respect intellectual property. They know how eager university administrations are to undermine the independence of faculty, to appropriate their teaching, to repackage and sell it for the university’s benefit. Surely CAUT and the faculty associations should be defending the rights of faculty members to own and control how their own intellectual work is used. And one way to advance that agenda is to stand in solidarity with other who create the intellectual work that the university enterprise depends upon. Instead we seem to see CAUT and the faculty associations rushing to emphasize their dependent position, to emphasize that faculty are employees, that their status as scholars and intellectuals depends on their employment status and their loyalty to the boss, adn their willingness to give away their own work in exchange for being able (as a condition of employment) to take the work of others.


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