Content-type: text/html ~ Stephen's Web ~ A Barenaked Guide to Music Copyright Reform

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community
The big news in Canada on digital rights has to be the formation of the Canadian Music Creators Coalition. Launched by some of Canada's top artists, the Coalition has taken a stand against the music publishers' lobbying for tougher copyright protection. In particular, the Coalition says (a) it is destructive and hypocritical to sue music fans, (b) DRM locks are risky and counterproductive, and (c) Canadian policy should support Canadian artists.

Steven Page of the Barenakedladies writes of the publishers' lobbying campain: "Much of their lobbying, however, is not about protecting artists or promoting Canadian culture. It is about propping up business models in the recording industry that are quickly becoming obsolete and unsustainable. It is about preserving foreign-based power structures and further entrenching the labels' role as industry gatekeepers."

The same view has been expressed with respect to educational content and software in these pages, and for the same reason. Sure, if we want companies Disney and Microsoft to do our teaching for us - and to, incidentally, define our cultural and national values - then sure, let's set up a system that favours multinational corporations. But if we want anything like genuine learning along with genuine cultures and values, we have to allow small voices to emerge, and this only happens in an environment of sharing and exchange, not one based on mass market commodities.

More coverage from D'Arcy Norman, Digital Copyright Canada,, and Michael Geist.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

Copyright 2024
Last Updated: Jul 25, 2024 12:00 a.m.

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