Friday, May 16, 2008

Patry on RIAA - "Canada Insulted Again"

Here is an essential-reading posting from Bill Patry, great American copyright treatise author. It concerns the US Congressional International Anti-Piracy Caucus (IPAC) and the RIAA.

Here's an extract. "Chapter 12" refers to the US Copyright Act, and Chapter 12 is the guts of the dreaded DMCA, which Bruce Lehman, its architect, also now admits "didn't work out very well."
...Once chapter 12 is implemented into domestic law, it is U.S. corporate copyright interests that will shape what consumer goods can be used in your country and how citizens of your country will be able to access and use lawfully acquired copies of works. No legislature that is amending its copyright law should do so without understanding the momentous delegation of power they are handing to U.S. corporate interests.

This is not a piracy issue, it is nothing remotely resembling piracy. It is Orwellian to claim otherwise. The designation of Canada as a scofflaw because it hasn't implemented chapter 12 of title 17 is not only an abuse of language, but also a direct attack on the sovereignty of another country to determine what is in the public interest of its own citizens. Canada has more than adequate laws against real piracy, and as Howard Knopf had pointed out, its laws are more generous toward authors than is U.S. law.
No legislature in the world should abdicate its responsibility to protect the public interest by vesting the private sector with the powers granted in chapter 12 of title 17. But Canadian abdication is exactly what is being proposed by U.S. interests, the false justification being that Canada is a pirate haven because it hasn't implemented the U.S. DMCA.
Canadian policy makers would be unwise not to listen to Bill Patry and Bruce Lehman - both of whom know the DMCA for what is.

Let's hope our Canadian "IP Caucus" is paying close attention.


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