We Interrupt this Blog Spotlight…

Whenever I link to a video or anything a major thought goes through my head I hope it’s okay and not against copyright.  The Simpson’s Game of Thrones parody is a prime example.  I think it’s funny and therefore share the funny.  Fox already took down clips from many sites, some people on YouTube even changed some aspect of the upload to evade capture.  I don’t want to make money, nor assume to make money on showing one of many couch gags featured on the show.  In Canada, Universities and Colleges labour in limbo until a new copyright bill, C-11, goes through parliament.

Before the election, hearings on copyright went on and on.  The time spent meant everyone had some kind of voice from the creators of the content to schools wanting to still use content.  Personally I have a vague idea about a few things; It’s mostly the basics like what percentage of a book can get photocopied and what digital locks do.  I also understand why people are adamant about charging those distributing context without permission.  Bill Maher called pirating ‘caucasian looting’ while during the SOPA blackout The Huffington Post ran an article from filmmaker Matthew Chapman.  Mr. Chapman wrote and directed a film called The Ledge starring Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy), Liv Tyler (Lord of the Rings), and Patrick Wilson (Watchmen). Here’s why any discussion of copyright needs this view:

I wrote and directed a movie called The Ledge. It took me seven years to get it made. It was in competition at Sundance last year and subsequently made a little money. Far, far less than it should have because if you search the internet for The Ledge Free Download you’ll find many places where you can download it for nothing. If you do so, you are not just stealing from me, you are also (by making films less profitable), ultimately stealing from the production designer and his staff, the cinematographer and his crew, the composer, the editor, the actors, and the carpenters, grips, assistants, sound recordists, extras, drivers, all of whom gave their brains, their time, and their muscles to this risky “piece of work”.

On the other hand the idea my blog, or any site, may find itself blacked out without due process scares the daylights out of me.  It’s why news Michael Geist will deliver the keynote address at this year’s Manitoba Libraries Conference made me one happy Library Technician.  If you have not checked out his site, go here right now:


 Michael Geist is a lawyer with a speciality in Technology Law. He writes for the Toronto Star and the Ottawa Citizen, in addition to appearance on programs discussing issues from Bill C-11 to Bill C-30, and everything in between.  He’s the other view needed on this issue as what can look good for people may end up as the opposite.  Copyright already proves tricky in a cut-and-paste world, with imitation as the sincerest form of flattery on YouTube.  How does one negotiate the issue.

In a word:  Knowledge.

I am not an expert.  I feel perfectly comfortable with the words ‘I don’t know’ as a number of people do know and will happily answer questions.  This year’s conference also has a session on Bill C-11 to further clarify how this legislation will impact libraries in a given setting.

I had wanted to talk about Michael Geist’s blog from the start.  It’s rich with information, a link lover’s delight for the sources drawn into his entries, and unfolds like a  closing argument.    I had to wonder why I stopped, started, and kept hitting the back button.  It’s not just the expansive nature of the website, but the expansive nature of the issue itself.

What we face with the internet gave me an inkling about the impact of the printing press in the past.  It took a while before people figured the post-print world.  Now we have a digital world with anyone placing their 95 Theses with the touch of a button. I guess it’s why this ‘Blog Spotlight’ turned into a spotlight on a much broader topic.

 See Also:

Canadian Library Association-Copyright Information

Other Articles of Interest:

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