Book review

Submitted by martha on October 17, 2010 – 9:20am

Having read Samuel Trosow’s work for sometime I read with interest his analysis of the educational provisions. He makes an extremely valuable point about the conservative risk averse analysis that appears to operate at many educational institutions. The risk aversion is not unique to educational institutions. His point that the provisions in section 30 are agree that the provisions are overly complex and difficult for most educators is one I agree with. As someone who has spent the better part of the last several months trying to make copyirght understandable to non experts I cannot disagree.. That said his approach and indeed that of many of the commentators in the book is the ease with which they repeat the content producer (content owner) versus user dichotomy. This is not helpful since what it has done is elide the interests of artists and creators whose voices are not heard. Many have transferred their rights to producers but that does not mean that their interests are represented exclusively by those producers. Also users can include the large well funded public institutions whose staff repeatedly bemoan having to “clear copyright” with little apparent appreciation for the reality of artists working lives. They have been one group that has been virtually silent on the massive cuts to the arts sector in BC. Users also include I would suggest commercial distributors of content anxious to cash in on the digital platform. By far the most frequent concerns I hear from artists are around the use of their material by people who have not even bothered to contact them from Shepherd Fairey merchandisers to condominium marketers and ad agencies. Most creators find themsleves unable to address these issues given the virtal absence of legal advice not to mention representation when it matters most.
Many of the writers carefully identify the lack of conceptual consistency in Bill C-32 and there is no doubt that it is incoherent legislation. Worse than what we have now I think because it adds in the TRM’s that whatever the industry says will only make what is already a risk averse environment that much worse.

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