Bill C-32: Creating value for artists?
Submitted by martha on November 3, 2010 – 11:01am
On November 2, 2010 Bill C-32 went to 2nd reading in the House of Commons. When asked a direct question by Carole Lavallee of the BQ about the difference between a tax and a levy the Minister replied: “I would say that we are trying to be fair to people, and that means being fair to consumers. We have to be fair to artists too, but there are other ways that we can help artists maintain the value of their creation without taxing everyone who decides to buy a smart phone, an iPod or another device of that sort.” On Saturday I was on a panel discussing Bill C-32 for Media Democracy Day with Geoff Glass and Hart Snider. It was great to hear Geoff speak so powerfully about the value of creators works. Hart showed us Back and to the Left and reflected on how much of that work would be compromised by Bill C-32 and how little the mash-up/ you tube provision would change the status quo (except for parents posting videos of their toddlers with Prince playing in the background). Most creators will have no more guidance than they have now. He wondered how he would access work with TPM’s in place that essentially make access a figment of the imagination. It is unclear how exactly this bill helps artists maintain value especially when it creates so much uncertainty in the minds of artists. This cannot be a good thing for artists who have barely accessible legal advice as it is. How do individual artists and creators maintain value for their creativity where there is little funding available and less every year – for artists and arts and culture organizations. The US example that it follows presumes the capacity to litigate – fair use continues to be a terrain of litigation in the USA notwithstanding its potential flexibility – is this really the model we want to impose? I hope consumers and users will think twice about this before signing onto such a fundamentally flawed bill.