Michael Geist shares a reaction from the Writers’ Union of Canada in the wake of MP Charlie Angus’ proposed copyright reform bill. Introduced last week, the draft primarily suggests tow things: expanding the existing blank media levy to digital devices, a problematic idea at best, and liberalizing Canada’s rules for fair dealings, critical limits and exceptions to copyright.
The proposed rhetoric from the union is more of what we have seen before from big content and a new gem of tortured reasoning. There is the usual hand wringing about loss of income in the entertainment industry and for creators. The equation of proposed new allowed uses under fair dealings with theft is a step too far.
What is really irritating is that this smear campaign is being launched despite evidence to the contrary. We have much more liberal fair use rules here in the US and the entertainment industry continues to produce more new content. There isn’t any reason based on empirical data to expect the changes Angus has proposed would lead to the creative wasteland this moral panic predicts.