John Degen on Copyright

Hey folks.

I don’t have a lot to say this week. On a personal note, I’m very excited about not having to work night shifts anymore on account of a promotion at the ol’ office. I will also make more money, work flextime, and have to listen to fewer people. A win on all three counts. I’m also excited that pre-sales will open soon for my second collection, but more on all that next week. I will try my best to not let this blog devolve into a kind of self-promotional love-in with the publication date, March 2011, as its finish line. Note, I said “try”, not “accomplish”.

I wanted to briefly turn people’s attention to novelist and OAC employee John Degen’s lonely quest to describe electronic copyright law to authors in a way that’s neither hyperbolic nor oversimplified. It’s a tough quest. I admit that copyright reform is something I’d LIKE to know more about, but find the task quite impossible. Every essay or review or op-ed I read just falls apart after, say, paragraph two as the author’s urge to evangelize takes over and my urge to nap does likewise. I’ve even gone so far as to try and read Bill C-32 itself, a task foiled by the tendancy among such documents to be written in such a way as to render them unreadable by us laypeople. Anyway, John Degen’s been bringing me as close to the truth as I’ve gotten so far, and I think he’s done so by admittig that this stuff is brain-chokingly difficult from the get-go, and to pretend otherwise in the service of some easy analogy (“Electronic copywright law is just like ____, you need to ____ and _____ or you’re ____ed”) is foolish and dangerous. He’s not beyond the quick editorial, either, but he at least sets that table before eating off of it. I like.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Book Industry, Canadian Literature, Fellow Bloggers, Good Works

One Comment on “John Degen on Copyright”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    If you support censorship and attacks of freedom of expression and free speech well then C-32 is the law for you. It is chock full of lovely charter violations. Particularly it loves to ignore 2(b) of our charter. It also wants to pretend that certain works cannot be considered expression. For instance a lowly programmer could never want to express an idea, censor the programmer, force him to say things he doesn’t want to say (in code), but leave the artists and poets alone.

    C-32 pits creator versus creator.

    Code can be art, code can be expression, to censor code (as C-32 does with code that could break Digital Locks (even protest code!)) is to censor formal expression. It is like censoring the creation and distribution of Chinese-style paintings that are too phallic (you know those great big mountains oh boy).


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