I am shocked that both Chow and Charlie Angus are allowed to openly depart from party policy and directive, obviously just to shamelessly buy votes among young people and academics. We intend on taking the NDP [the political party of which Chow and Angus are members] to task over this, and will accept nothing less than a retraction of Ms Chow’s statements and an apology.A quick glance at Angus's interview shows that it is quite moderate. To my great disappointment, Angus doesn't even call for a reduction in the copyright term! He merely states that the previously introduced copyright reform bill, C-61, was ill-drafted, that musical performers need to find new business models, that there needs to be a debate on private file-sharing, and that the U.S. DMCA is not a model to be followed helter-skelter by Canada. Yet the American Federation of Musicians thinks that Angus's moderate statements are inappropriate for a member of a political party that pledged support for "appropriate copyright protection." I think this confirms what I wrote in a previous post: those who have brought U.S. copyright law to its present state (and who wish to bring Canadian copyright law to a similar state) are not all reasonable people with whom one can reasonably disagree. They are, in the realm of the intellect, extremists. Reformers need to keep this in mind.
As a bonus, here is my wish-list for U.S. copyright reform. One wonders what the American Federation of Musicians would make of it:
1) Withdraw from the Berne Convention
2) Reduce the duration of copyright to 60 years maximum for published works. Shorter still would be even better.
3) If the term of copyright in published works is greater than 50 years, require formalities for the copyright to be fully effective beyond the 50th year. If the formalities are not complied with, the copyright would subsist for the full term, but remedies would be much reduced.
4) Repeal the DMCA's "device" and "circumvention" provisions.
5) Automatic termination of all assignments at fixed intervals.
6) Author's successors to be specified by statute. Possibly not even the author would be allowed to will the copyright to anyone else. This, together with the automatic termination, will prevent excessive fragmentation of rights and provide for easy identification of the rightsholder.
7) Provide for more generous margin of fair use. For example: (a) peer-to-peer computer file exchanges to be free, and (b) the judges' distinction between "satire" and "parody" is unworkable: both should be fair uses.
8) Scrap copyright in architectural works themselves. Blueprints will of course remain copyrightable.
9) Amend the law of trademark to focus more narrowly on graphical marks (no sounds.) Burden to be chiefly on mark-holders to inform the public to look for its mark and beware of imitations. Any publisher, for example, should be permitted to publish Beatrix Potter's Peter Rabbit in an edition of the same dimensions as the Warne editions. The public would need to take care to look for the Warne mark if it wanted Warne editions.