Music online: U.S. copyright law author concedes failure

by Saleem Khan, CBC News Online

A post on Michael Geist's blog alerted us to a conference on music and copyright [68 kb PDF file] hosted at McGill University in Montreal last week. During the course of the conference, one of the speakers, Bruce Lehman – the architect of the often criticized and much-maligned U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and WIPO Internet Treaties – effectively admitted that his approach had been wrong.

In a session called Musical myopia, digital dystopia, Lehman makes some startling admissions. "Our Clinton administration policies didn't work out very well," Lehman said about the DMCA, adding that "our attempts at copyright control have not been successful."

In the fight for online rights, Lehman largely blames the recording industry's resistance to the internet for the indifferent attitude most young people have for copyright, and thinks the world has entered a "post-copyright" age in which industry patrons will shoulder the yoke of paying for music.

According to Geist, later in the day, he said Canada should experiment with a new approach to copyright that doesn't emulate past mistakes, indicated that he's not a fan of the country's Bill C-60.

In a subsequent blog post, Boing Boing editor Cory Doctorow – a former director of the Electronic Frontier Foundationthrew cold water on some of Lehman's assertions:

I think that Lehman is still out of it. Patronage? Has he missed the fact that there are tons of new, copy-friendly artists who are making a good living from touring (using free copies to bring people to gigs), from direct sales of MP3s, from merch, and so on? Sure, these people aren't supporting a label that takes $0.92 out from every buck they earn, but should the law concern itself with full, permanent employment for middlemen? If they add value, they'll survive. If the market doesn't support them, they'll go broke. The point of copyright is to support creativity, not Fortune 100 entertainment giants.

A Windows Media video and slideshow of the earlier session has been posted online, along with the video stream alone, a Google Video version of the full talk and a clip of Lehman's remarks.

« Previous Post | Main | Next Post »

This discussion is now Open. Submit your Comment.



Please put more copyright stories on the front page! Politicians do *not* get it, and our legislation is consistently written by the "middlemen" Doctorow mentions.

Posted April 4, 2007 01:29 PM



The tech company I worked for (a few years back) had developed a very viable solution, to seriously impede the practice of ripping copyrighted material from CD's, DVD's, and posting its content on P2P networks for all to download illegally.

Essentially, the company spent years developing this very small stealth security engine which could allow a user who bought any CD, DVD protected with this internal security feature, to use the hard copy as intended. It could play in any player.

The security would kick in as soon as the material was introduced to a shared network.

Essentially, anyone who would download the protected material from P2P networks, would simply see the material vanish from their PC, after the file was downloaded and accessed without legal consent.
example: purchase the cd, dvd, or legit online downloads.

There were other well-defined security features available as well, however due to failed attempts to get any major interest in the product, the company decided to venture in different avenues.

As far as I know, this company is still holding on to this technology and is still willing to help and assist the music and movie industry to regain the profitability it once enjoyed.

Posted April 4, 2007 10:13 PM

« Previous Post | Main | Next Post »

Post a Comment


Note: By submitting your comments you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that due to the volume of e-mails we receive, not all comments will be published, and those that are published will not be edited. But all will be carefully read, considered and appreciated.

Note: Due to volume there will be a delay before your comment is processed. Your comment will go through even if you leave this page immediately afterwards.

Privacy Policy | Submissions Policy


World »

Updated British Airways restores 'many' of its IT systems after planes grounded
British Airways says "many" of its IT systems are up and running, but travellers still face cancellations and delays after a global computer failure grounded hundreds of flights.
New 8 dead in Mississippi shootings
Authorities in Mississippi say a suspect is in custody after eight people were killed in a shooting, including a sheriff's deputy.
Mosul civilians in 'grave danger' as ISIS resists Iraqi forces
The United National humanitarian co-ordinator in Iraq says civilians are being hit hardest as the military assault against ISIS militants in Mosul enters its final phase.
more »

Canada »

Who is Andrew Scheer? His rise from House Speaker to Conservative leader video
Andrew Scheer, and longtime Saskatchewan MP, former House Speaker and now the new leader of the federal Conservative Party, is no stranger to making political history.
New Rescue crews hoist 4 from boat in distress off Nova Scotia coast
Both the coast guard and Joint Task Force Atlantic responded to a distress call from a ship about 287 kilometres southeast of Halifax early this morning.
Check your pantry: more flour brands added to national flour recall list
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has added more brands to its recall list of flour and flour-based products, over further fears of E. coli contamination.
more »

Politics »

Analysis Andrew Scheer's unlikely path to victory: Social conservatives and Quebec video
Andrew Scheer's narrow victory over Maxime Bernier for the Conservative leadership can be chalked up to two factors: Bernier's underperformance in his home province of Quebec and a significant showing from social conservatives.
Analysis Trump dominates difficult summit that leaves G7 divided on climate
The stories to accommodate the predictably unpredictable U.S. president filled the global media as the idyllic town of Taormina in Italy braced for Donald Trump's first full international summit.
Analysis Is Andrew Scheer the smart choice or the safe choice? video
Standing at centre stage, Andrew Scheer looked out at members of the Conservative Party who assembled at a Toronto convention centre, raised his eyebrows, let out a small breath and smiled.
more »

Health »

Sorry - we can't find that page

Sorry, we can't find the page you requested.

  1. Please check the URL in the address bar, or ...
  2. Use the navigation links at left to explore our site, or ...
  3. Enter a term in the Quick Search box at top, or ...
  4. Visit our site map page

In a few moments, you will be taken to our site map page, which will help you find what you looking for.

more »

Arts & Entertainment»

Alicia Keys, Canada's indigenous movement share human rights award
American recording artist Alicia Keys is sharing a top humanitarian award with indigenous rights activists in Canada. They were given Amnesty International's "ambassador of conscience award."
Gregg Allman's death prompts tributes from Cher, Keith Urban, Guns N' Roses' Slash
Cher, Keith Urban and Slash from Guns N' Roses are among the many musicians and entertainers paying tribute to Gregg Allman following news of the Tennessee-born rocker's death at age 69.
Southern rock legend Gregg Allman dies at 69
Music legend Gregg Allman, whose bluesy vocals and soulful touch on the Hammond B-3 organ helped propel the Allman Brothers Band to superstardom and spawn Southern rock, died Saturday at age 69.
more »

Technology & Science »

Photos Citizens produce stunning images of Jupiter from Juno spacecraft
Here are some of the most stunning images of Jupiter to come from NASA's Juno spacecraft which has been in orbit around the giant of our solar system since July — and they've been processed by ordinary citizens.
Blog Planting trees can't counter carbon emissions: Bob McDonald
Trees absorb carbon dioxide, but we just can't plant enough to absorb all our fossil fuel emissions.
Endangered turtles saved by citizens of Ontario hamlet
For years, on a 3.6-kilometre roadway in southern Ontario, thousands of turtles and snakes were struck and killed. Then residents of the small town decided to put an end to it.
more »

Money »

Canadian teenagers smarter than most about money, OECD finds
Canadian teenagers are more financially literate than most people their age in other rich countries, but more than one in eight still fails to meet what the OECD considers a baseline level of proficiency in the topic.
People with serious food allergies want impostors to stop faking it in restaurants
People with serious food allergies want others to stop faking allergies in restaurants. They worry the tall tales may compel kitchen staff to stop taking any claim seriously.
Another emissions scandal and dangerous avocados: CBC's Marketplace consumer cheat sheet video
Miss something this week? Here's the consumer news you need to know.
more »

Consumer Life »

Sorry - we can't find that page

Sorry, we can't find the page you requested.

  1. Please check the URL in the address bar, or ...
  2. Use the navigation links at left to explore our site, or ...
  3. Enter a term in the Quick Search box at top, or ...
  4. Visit our site map page

In a few moments, you will be taken to our site map page, which will help you find what you looking for.

more »

Sports »

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Andre De Grasse narrowly misses podium at Prefontaine Classic video
Canadian sprint sensation Andre De Grasse posted a sub-10-second time in the men's 100-metre final but finished just off the podium Saturday at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Ore.
Live Extreme sports: FISE World Series video
Watch live action from the Festival International des Sports Extrêmes (FISE) World Series event in Montpellier, France.
Canada 150 Harry Jerome: Race against time video
He owned a share of the 100-metre world record while still a teenager and went on to win an Olympic medal, but Canadian sprinting legend Harry Jerome struggled to outrun the prejudice of his day.
more »

Diversions »

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
more »