Copyright Board of Canada: “palpable error” in 15x inflated music tariffs

Michael Geist covers the Copyright Board of Canada admitting to having made a “palpable error” in accidentally super-inflating music company royalties well beyond the original decisions for reproduced music in movies intended for personal use:

The Canadian Association of Film Distributors and Exporters had proposed a tiered tariff approach of a maximum of 2 cents per copy containing 30 minutes of music or more (less music would result in a lower tariff). The Copyright Board mistakenly established a tariff of three cents per copy, mistakenly treating three tiers as three cents. As the Board now notes:

CAFDE was seeking a rate of 2 cents per DVD copy containing over 30 minutes of SODRAC music; the Board’s interpretation leads to royalties that are 15 times higher or even more.

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Thou Shalt Pirate Pornography

A few people are pointing this out as an example of some of the religious hypocrisy endemic in organized Catholicism. While they’re making a good case about it — this is in fact hypocritical, if you consider piracy stealing — I’d rather point out that this makes these people every bit as human as anyone else. They are not special, they are not sacred, and they are not better than anyone else in any way.

What am I talking about this time? Another sex scandal, perhaps? Well, tangentially, maybe. But in this case, it’s priests admitting to downloading DVD screeners of yet-unreleased movies, and logs of holy men downloading some perfectly ordinary lesbian and BDSM pornography.

But not just any holy men… the IPs in question belong to people inside the Holy See.

Helped by Scaneye, TorrentFreak decided to take a look at the recent downloading habits of people living in the most religious city-state in the world – the Vatican.

The Vatican is a small place so downloading levels are very low. However, we did notice that one particular IP address came up a number of times, on each occasion linked to TV shows such as Chicago Fire, Lightfields, The Neighbours and Touch. Another IP address showed an interest in The Americans.
[…]
In the interests of science we researched each of the titles (including the curiously named RS77_Episode 01) and discovered that downloaders in the Vatican have one or two unusual ‘niche’ interests. We won’t link to our discoveries here, but feel free to do your own ‘research’ using the titles shown above. There isn’t a commandment that covers these films directly, but some might argue there should be.

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How do you value things that are freely obtained?

Amanda Palmer talks about how she’s monetized her art in a non-traditional manner, and how much success she has had and how much money she has made despite giving her music away for free.

Her husband had some words about piracy that dovetail beautifully with Amanda’s philosophy. They got me to thinking — how much do we really value the things that we get without paying for them?
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US puts Canada on piracy watch list yet again!

Remember how, last time around, Conservative Industry Minister Tony Clement convinced the US to put Canada on a piracy watch list despite us being in last place on a list of 46 countries? Given the circumstances of that particular attempt at sabotaging our country’s standings so baselessly, can you understand why I might be skeptical of the motivations behind this news?

In its yearly report on countries that are not doing enough to protect the U.S. copyright industry, Canada is listed on the Priority Watch List with China, Russia, Ukraine and a handful of other countries.

The Special 301 Report reads:

“Canada remains on the Priority Watch List in 2012, subject to review if Canada enacts long-awaited copyright legislation. The Government of Canada has given priority to that legislation. The United States welcomes that prioritization and looks forward to studying the legislation once it is finalized, and will consider, among other things, whether it fully implements the WIPO Internet Treaties, and whether it fully addresses the challenges of piracy over the Internet.”

Other countries are more lucky.

Spain, for example, has been taken off the list after it implemented a harsher copyright law. Last December the US ambassador threatened to put Spain on a trade blacklist if the country failed to pass a SOPA-style site blocking law.

Weeks later the new law passed.

I maintain that the worldwide copyfight is an attempt to maximize short-term profits for the content middleman industry expressly at the expense of individual liberties. Hobbling Canada’s international standing in a cynical game to force us to pass SOPA-like anti-privacy anti-piracy measures is a wholly unsurprising tactic. Pulling the same tactic twice, though requires that we all forget what happened last time around.

CISPA marches onward with precious little fanfare or opposition

What happens when the government wants to fire a salvo in the copyright war that will, as a function of its broadside, accidentally break the foundation of the internet? Everyone gets upset, from the common folk to the mass media — because, see, everyone uses the internet. Thus, SOPA and PIPA died.

What happens when a whole lot of companies and a whole lot of House representatives want to push a bill that serves as another (more stealthy) salvo in that same copyright war, which indemnifies companies against being sued for any privacy violation that happens when the government demands personal information about customers without a warrant, allowing a completely legal totalitarian Big Brother state that extends far beyond the borders of the state in question? Apparently nothing — because, see, evidently nobody gives a shit about privacy.
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Meet the new internet power grab, same as the old one.

Ladies and gentlemen, I cordially introduce you to the new Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA, sponsored by Mike Rogers (R-MI).

I suspect that in name and in deed, it will remind you a great deal of SOPA and PIPA, the two bills we barely defeated by shutting down half the internet in protest. Only, see, this one is actually WORSE. If you can even believe it.

So, say the government thought you were discussing a cybersecurity threat or IP theft — such as illegal file sharing somehow related to cybersecurity — on Facebook. The bill would not force Facebook to hand you over to the feds, yet CISPA does make it so that Facebook will be completely unrestricted (say, by your rights) to cooperate with Homeland Security to the fullest extent.

The so-called “cybersecurity bill” lets the US government into any online communication if it believes there is reason to suspect cyber crime, or a threat of intellectual property theft. The bill defines “cybersecurity systems” and “cyber threat information” as anything related to protecting networks from:

‘(A) efforts to degrade, disrupt, or destroy such system or network; or ‘(B) theft or misappropriation of private or government information, intellectual property, or personally identifiable information.

“Cybersecurity” is not actually defined in the bill.

Emphasis mine. And if I could make it blink, I would.
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Copyright is forever

This. Everything in this video is exactly true. Especially the stuff about the new Star Wars trilogy.

Thing is, copyright will keep being extended to protect The Mouse. The US will never allow Disney’s one original character go out of copyright. Ever.

When talking about copyright infringement, it’s never about content creators. It’s about companies who appropriate content and use it as fodder for their money-making machines. They just leverage the content creators into the argument to obfuscate the fact that those creators cannot possibly benefit from this arrangement.

Neil Gaiman: Piracy boosts sales

It’s very telling to see someone extraordinarily popular, extraordinarily widely-read, and with a great deal to lose, put his own works up on the internet for free as an experiment, and change his mind about piracy when the empirical evidence proves his original thoughts on the matter wrong.

Just yesterday, I bought a copy of Watchmen — my first ever — despite having read it years ago. Why would I have bought it, if I already know the story? If I already read it for free once before? Because the content is worth it to me, and I never would have known that for certain if I hadn’t read it first.
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Bribery by MPAA in the lobbying for SOPA / PIPA?

Via reader AliasAlpha, evidently Chris Dodd might be attracting a certain sort of unwelcome attention from the White House if this petition catches their ear:

Closing a tumultuous week of wide protest against PIPA and SOPA – two MPAA backed anti-piracy bills – Dodd threatened to stop the cash-flow to politicians who dare to take a stand against pro-Hollywood legislation. Clear bribery, the petition claims, and already thousands agree.

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