Friday, July 02, 2010

The “Balance” Brand in the Balance

It’s kind of interesting, though hardly surprising, that the so-called “Balanced Copyright for Canada” coalition has finally admitted that “the lead funding source is the Canadian Recording Industry Association” (i.e. CRIA).

A few years ago at the Fordham conference, a prominent international content industry lobbyist, in a funny Freudian slip, referred to CRIA as the “Canadian Recording Industry of America.”

I wonder if the so-called “Balanced Copyright for Canada” coalition will admit that it is, at the very least, ironic that its name is arguably confusingly similar to that of the Balanced Copyright Coalition (“BCC”) (which I started in 2007) which morphed into the Business Coalition for Balanced Copyright (“BCBC”).

The BCC and the BCBC indeed were based on a genuine attempt to achieve real balance - the notion that blue chip corporate giants in the communications, internet, broadcasting and retail sectors (e.g. Google, Yahoo, Rogers, Telus, the Canadian Association of Broadcasters and the Retail Council of Canada) inherently need to see copyright from the various standpoints of consumers, users, owners, and creators - and that their views are thus very much more “balanced” than the much smaller purely content industries which see things from one purely parochial side only - namely their owner based interests - which don’t necessarily and often emphatically do not reflect the interests of actual creators.

There is not much that is “balanced” about CRIA’s latest lobbying front. If it were truly grass roots, it wouldn’t even need funding. The basic cost of website is about the same or less as a case of beer. Starting a blog such this one or a Facebook site is free. However, the so-called “Balanced Copyright for Canada” coalition apparently needs the weight of corporate lobbying lucre behind it.

I would say that the word “balance” is now being bandied about badly.


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this.

    I'm of the opinion that the wrong axis is being focused on when discussing balance in Canadian copyright law. It's not creators vs. "consumers" or even "users" of copyrighted works. Nearly all the disagreements I've had as a creators' rights advocate has been with other creators who have policy positions I believe are harmful to creators.

    I included this in my C-32 FAQ.