Monday, November 26, 2007

The Dire Dozen

How many presidents and other senior honchos of big trade associations and collectives does it take to write one op-ed purporting to refute "bloggers like Michael Geist" (hopefully, this includes me) and the increasingly noticed landmark, independent Industry Canada study on downloading and file sharing based upon an independent and fully professional survey of 2,100 Canadians?

The answer is literally a full dozen. A whole dozen VIPs comprising a Who’s Who of the entertainment and copyright collective world in Canada, including some strange bedfellows in the music industry who - when they aren’t fighting with each other at the Copyright Board or in Court or on other fronts - usually try to close ranks at copyright revision time. Which is now.

(The complete list of apparent joint authors is: David A. Basskin, Jesse Feder, Doug Frith, Graham Henderson, Jackie Hushion, André LeBel, Guy Mayson, Duncan McKie, Danielle LaBossiere Parr, Catharine Saxberg, Stephen Waddell and Carolyn Wood)

They have published an op-ed in the November 26, 2007 edition of the influential Hill Times aimed at Michael and the Industry Canada file sharing study. It’s interesting that it takes all twelve them to come up with such a an unconvincing piece of spin, doubtless aimed at persuading the PMO, the responsible ministers and committee members that stronger copyright laws (which may result in RIAA-style mass lawsuits against children and dead grandmothers and put digital locks on our culture and technology) will restore Canadian investment and innovation.

They also repeat the litany about how Canada has failed to honour its decade old WIPO "commitments." So, I will repeat that we have no such commitments, since signing a treaty is a far cry from ratification. It's the difference between dating and marriage.

So, without these stronger laws, we apparently face a bleak future of the "lost jobs, growth and prosperity we can expect as a result of reduced investment and innovation."

A dire dozen indeed.

Now, who is "escalating the rhetoric?"

BTW, the Barker study upon which this op-ed relies to a significant extent does, to its credit, contain the following disclosure in footnote 5:
This work was supported by a grant from the Canadian Recording Industry Association. The views expressed however are those of the authors. No responsibility for them should be attributed the Canadian Recording Industry
Speaking of the Hill Times, I have a modest offering of my own in the November 26, 2007 edition, to which I will link to and reproduce shortly.


1 comment:

  1. In 1931 Germany published "One hundred authors against Einstein" as part of a propaganda campaign against him and against the theory of relativity. He replied by saying that if he's wrong, it should only take one, not hundred.

    Maybe you, or Michael Geist, should use this quote :) would be amusing to see those presidents and CEOs reactions.