Tag Archives: copyright

Canadian Copyright Reading Guide

Geof Glass: How Canada’s new copyright law will affect you


Canada is about to reform its copyright law. Our government is holding a public consultation, and we need to be involved.

Big media companies are pushing hard to make more activity illegal and to institute extraordinarily harsh penalties. They want your Internet provider to spy on your private communications to make sure you aren’t sharing anything you shouldn’t. They want to terminate your Internet access on the basis of mere accusations of infringement—with no need to prove you did anything wrong. They want to outlaw DVD players capable of playing legally purchased movies from Asia, Europe, or South America. They would allow teachers to critique popular culture without asking for permission—but then force them to destroy the lesson materials, and ensure that all students’ copies are also destroyed.


All the evidence from around the world is that draconian copyright laws do not work. They fail to stop freeloaders. But they are devastatingly effective at restricting artists and innovators—because they operate in the public eye. People see this. When they see copyright blocking the creativity it is supposed to promote, they lose respect for the law. For copyright law to be effective, it must be respected. To be respected, it must be fair.

I am a member of the Vancouver Fair Copyright Coalition. We want a fair law that benefits all Canadians—artists, innovators, educators, citizens, consumers. At faircopy.ca/, you can find more details. You can download a guide that makes it easy to write a submission reflecting your interests. Please participate in the consultation. Please help our government write a good law.



About the Vancouver Fair Copyright Coalition

The single most important thing you can do right now is to submit a comment in the government’s copyright consultation. We have written Copyright Consultation Made Easy, a simply guide to writing an effective submission to the consultation.

Download Copyright Consultation Made Easy, our simple guide to participating in the federal consultation.


Charlie Angus: Will the Conservatives get the message on copyright reform?


Over the last five years, there has been a slow but steady movement between the various “armed camps” on copyright. When I speak with artists groups or consumer advocates, there is a growing recognition of the need to move beyond the rhetoric and get the legislation rolling.

Needless to say, the corporate lobbyists continue to attempt to define the debate as in apocalyptic terms. To them, Canada is a haven of “pirates”, “thieves”, and “bootleggers”. But the Chicken Little approach to copyright is wearing thin. Put simply, people aren’t buying it anymore. All we have to do is look south of the border to see the results of corporate-driven copyright legislation. Earlier this summer, an American single mother was smacked with a US$1.92-million judgment for trading a batch of Gloria Estefan and Green Day MP3s.


Elizabeth May and Griffin Carpenter: Canada needs principled approach to copyright

By Elizabeth May and Griffin Carpenter


Indeed, the time has come to move beyond commonly repeated rhetoric that either inaccurately describes so-called pirates who “steal” media or else falsely advocates for free copyright and performance-based business models. The issue of copyright extends much farther than this rhetoric and deserves focused attention. In fact, even distinctions between creators and users fail to reflect an accurate picture of the nature of innovation. In the digital age of blogs and remixes, the lines between creators and users have become even more blurred.

Thus far, no political party has offered a positive vision on copyright. Such a vision must reflect simple truths. Information-sharing technologies are here to stay. These technologies are beneficial to all sectors of the economy. A thriving information commons is one that yields sustainable artistic innovation.

From these truths a principled approach to copyright emerges:

  • User rights must be defined and extended through a flexible fair-dealing mechanism;
  • Current laws on Crown copyright and public domain must be reformed to build a healthy information commons; and
  • Protection and compensation for creators must be ensured through a statutory-damages provision based on reasonably demonstrated loss.


Bill Henderson: Voluntary music file-sharing fee would benefit songwriters and fans

By Bill Henderson


The Songwriters Association of Canada believes—and Internet technical experts agree—that unauthorized file-sharing cannot be stopped without actually shutting down the Internet. Attempts to sue it out of existence are futile. They alienate our audience, and earn us no money.

Canadian songwriters don’t want to sue file-sharers. In fact, we like file-sharing. It’s the most efficient distribution system of the largest repertoire of music ever assembled, and it’s available to virtually everyone. What’s not to love about that? We don’t want to stop it; we just want to get paid for the use of our work. We think that most music fans agree with that, and that millions of Canadians would welcome a legal way to share any and all music files.

The Songwriters Association has proposed a way to do just that. It would be voluntary for consumers, voluntary for songwriters and rights holders, and it would be administratively light. A small fee from file-sharers would be collected and distributed on a pro rata basis to all the creators and owners of the music shared.

SAC Songwriters Association of Canada


To have a universal recognition that songs play a spiritual and intellectual role in society which is of profound and lasting benefit to humanity.


To protect and develop the creative and business environments for songwriters in Canada and around the world.


Advocacy – Education – Community

An association led by active professional and amateur songwriters, the S.A.C. is committed to the development and recognition of Canadian composers, lyricists and songwriters by pursuing:

* their right to benefit from and receive fair compensation for, the use of their work;
* the advancement of the craft and enterprise of songwriting through educational programs, networking opportunities, dissemination of business knowledge and other services;
* a more favorable environment through the provision of a united national voice when dealing with government, the music industry and the general public; and
* the development of activities which allow members to reach out and enjoy the sense of community shared by songwriters.

Copyright Royalty Board

Copyright Royalty Board

Are You Worthy? Publishing from Greeks to Geeks: Recap – Wordcamp Whistler 2009

Analog stuff at WordCamp Whistler by Miss604
Analog stuff at WordCamp Whistler by Miss604


I was pleased to present at WordCamp Whistler 2009 organized by my good pals Duane & Dale (of Brave New Code) and John and Rebecca (of sixty4media).

My spiel was called “Are you Worthy?” or ‘history of publishing from Greeks to geeks’. I also previewed my upcoming Moose Camp and Northern Voice presentations a wee bit.


Are you Worthy? DaveO’s spiel from Wordcamp Whistler (.mp3, 56M, approx 51:00)

Continue reading Are You Worthy? Publishing from Greeks to Geeks: Recap – Wordcamp Whistler 2009

Greeks to Geeks Spiel from WordCamp Whistler – video by KK

My WordCamp Whistler cohort and ace Vancouver photographer Kris Krug shot video of my entire “Are you Worthy?” spiel with his new Flipcam and posted it in a YouTube playlist in 5 segments for your viewing convenience – huge thanks!

Video of Dave Olson Presentation – NerdCamp Whistler 2009 playlist

Here’s part 4 to whet your appetite:

Kris’ blurb:

‘From Greeks to Geeks’ or ‘Are You Worthy?’ http://uncleweed.com/ Dave Olson (@uncleweed) gave a mind-blowing presentation at NerdCamp Whister (AKA WordCamp) about censorship, copyright, content creation, history, beauty, art, and the internet.

These 5 videos are the 5 10 minute segments from his talk. If someone wants the pieces to string together please let me know and I’ll get them in your hands.

(Krug shooting Olson by Peter Andersen)

(Olson and Krug by John Bollwitt)


See KK in this sweet fisheye crowd stroll by John Biehler

KK Interviews me at WordCamp Whistler (video)

Be sure to catch KK and Bev Davies in the Rock and Roll photo panel at Northern Voice

Canadian Legion threatens White Poppies for Peace folks

White poppies for peaceThis is a case of copyright gone wild. The Peace Pledge Union based in the UK sell white poppies to citizens around the world who wish to show their abhorance and refusal to support war for any purpose. You can read more back story about the white poppies and red poppies for that matter at Remembrance Day Activities in Vancouver.

But the Canadian Legion decided it owned the rights to sell poppies of any kind or colour and threathened the peaceniks with legal action. However, they aren’t giving up and surrendering to the bully who is claiming an absurd trademark right though a Canadian supplier has been forced to stop selling the wee plastic mementos.

Here’s Peace Pledge’s quick overview:Cenotaph in Vancouver

Last year The Royal Canadian Legion through it legal representative demanded that Canadian groups stop distribution them and that the PPU stop making white poppies available in Canada, or else. That was the gist, though expressed in more formal language. According to the RCL’s legal representatives, the white poppy infringes the Legion’s poppy trademark. The PPU replied at length; our central point was that we disagreed with their argument. We have not heard from them since but the Canadian shop at the centre of this complaint regrettably had to acquiesce. You can read more about this at http://tinyurl.com/2mc7pq where you can also find out about the white poppy project and the PPU.

Following the legal threats both the promoters in Canada and Canadians who bought the poppy from us hoped that white poppies would again be available in Canada this year.

White poppies in any quantity are available from us for dispatch anywhere in the world including Canada.

In case you missed it, i recorded a spoken word podcast series based around the White Poppies i received last year and my brother’s involvement in the conflict in Iraq (now home safe – wish i could say the same for the rest). Still one more episode to go – trying to get it all done in less than a year ;-).

You can also subscribe to Postcards from Gravelly Beach in iTunes.

Be sure to order white poppies early (shipped across the Atlantic) and read the loquacious discourse on this most critical of topics. Make no mistake, the way to honour ultimate sacrifice is to ensure no such future bloodshed is required from man’s inability to get along. And we (all of us) have a right to respect the fallen in a manner which suits our conscience and not a method prescribed by the Legion or anyone else.

Honor by not fighting“The power of the white poppy lies in its questioning of the dominant – and fundamentally dishonest – view of war. More than that, it carries the hopes and demands of the mothers, wives, daughters and girlfriends of the men who for whatever reason and in whatever way were diminished by their participation in war. Their hope was that we would find less brutal social institutions to solve problems and resolve conflict. It remains for us to fulfill the wish.”

Asking SOCAN whassup with Podcasts

Thank You, Below is the information that you submitted to SOCAN. Thank you for your inquiry. We will get back to you shortly.

The SOCAN offices are closed from noon on December 23, 2005 until 9 a.m. on January 3, 2006. Your e-mail will be processed once the offices have been re-opened. We apologize for any inconvenience. Season’s Greetings from SOCAN!

–> First Name: Dave
Last Name: Olson
Email: dave@olsonboys.org
City: North Vancouver
Province: BC
Comment: I produce original spoken word audio podcasts and am considering adding music. With some music i use, the artist has provided direct permission however I am interested to find out how I can play SOCAN licensed artists on my podcast. The shows are free (i do not make any money from ads or otherwise) and the audience less than 1000 listeners. I look forward to your advice. dave

Good afternoon Dave,

As Socan does not yet collect licenses and distribute royalties for Internet performances, there is no fee to be paid to Socan.

However, you must seek permission directly from the author(s)/composer(s)/publisher

(s) to use the works. I also recommend that you contact the Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency (CMRRA) as they may be collecting a fee for Internet performances.

CMRRA: (416) 926-1966 or website www.cmrra.ca

I hope this helps.


Sophie Buonvino Hart
Information Officer/Agente d’information
1-866-307-6226 (Eng)
1-866-317-6226 (Fran)