Saturday, June 21, 2008

Busy weekend coming up, so here's your homework assignment.

Things here at CC HQ are going to get thoroughly hectic shortly, starting with a trip to the vet to see if the kat is still alive and with us, at which point the madness will truly begin, so here's what you can do to stay busy. (And I'll leave it in PSA's capable hands to collate results and figure out what to do with them.)

As James Bow points out in a longer article regarding the pernicious Copyright Law:

... I fear that this legislation does not fully address the interests of Canadian consumers, or even individual copyright holders, while favouring quite strongly large corporate interests at the expense of individual privacy and individual property rights. For instance, though your legislation expressly allows individuals to copy CDs to other media, such as iPods, it does not extend that same provision to DVDs.

You do realize that Apple’s iTunes has the capability to copy DVD movies into a format that can be viewed from an iPod, don’t you? Why do you believe that this activity, performed by ordinary Canadians, should be criminalized?

Quite. And this is how the nefarious details of Bill C-61 should be exposed -- by using plain and simple language to describe what will now be illegal. Do not get into sweeping histrionics about draconian limitations on freedoms or rubbish like that. Most people are interested in only one thing -- what will they still be allowed to do? -- and that's how the opposition to C-61 should be framed.

Imagine asking simple questions that most people would think have a similarly simple answer, such as:

Dear Music Industry:

A while back, I bought "REO Speedwagon's Greatest Hits" on vinyl. But I've pretty much worn out the album, and now I want it on CD. Since I've clearly already paid for the rights to that music, don't I have the right to just copy that CD from someone else and finally throw out the vinyl? I mean, it's the same music, right?


To which the disturbing answer might be:

Dear Chet:

Fuck you, you little freeloader. We don't care if you purchased that album on vinyl, 8-track and cassette. Every time you want it again, we expect you to cough up for it again. And if you end up paying for the same music 13 times, that suits us just fine.

The Industry

Or perhaps:

Dear Industry:

I've purchased almost every Eddie Money album ever put out, but I want to get one of his "Best Of" that I missed. Since every song on that album is already on one of the albums that I bought, can I just download that album off of the Net or copy it from someone else? After all, technically, I've paid for all of those songs already, right?

Sincerely (again),

And a possible response?

Jesus, Chet, what is with you? No, you can't just download that album, even though you've paid for every song on it. Every time we put out another album, we expect you to pay retail, even if all we did was re-order the songs! How the hell do you think we've managed to sell that piece of crap "Two Tickets to Paradise" 17 times already? We don't care how many times you buy a song. It's never over. You hear me? NEVER!!

Yours capitalistically,
The Industry

Well, maybe not phrased exactly that way, but you get the idea. What we need is a simple list of what will now be against the law that most regular folks would find rather surprising (not to mention really, really annoying).

So I'll leave that with you, and I'll check back later. I expect to see some results.


That guy said...

Well, those weren't exactly my questions, but yeah, there's the problem, isn't it?

Also, REO Speedwagon? Blech.

DoubleDeckerBusGuy said...

A while back, I bought "REO Speedwagon's Greatest Hits" on vinyl. {-- Snip! --} Since I've clearly already paid for the rights to that music, don't I have the right to just copy that CD from someone else and finally throw out the vinyl?

You forgot and will pay the levy that is on all blank media, which is in place to allow me to copy this album, on the CD I will use to copy it...

You forgot the infamous C-61 "Double-Dip"!

Gube said...

I recorded an episode of Yu-Gi-Oh! on my PVR for my son to watch. Can I keep it after he's watched it once?

No. Tell your son to grow up and stop playing a children's card game.

M@ said...

Dear CPC-sponsored media industry,

My father-in-law is a 69-year-old Chinese immigrant and enjoys watching Cantonese-language movies. Although these are readily available in Toronto, in order for him to watch them, I am forced to rip them and convert them to a region-free format that will play on his home player. Since he is the only person who watches them, and since he owns both the factory-produced original and the format-shifted copy, is there anything wrong with that?

Dear valued consumer,

Of course not! Simply pay a $20,000 fine for each movie for which you've broken the copy protection, and we're all square. Thanks for playing!