Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Canadian Music Creators Speak Out

Today a new voice was heard in the debate over copyright reform in Canada: a group called the Canadian Music Creators Coalition was launched to represent the views of artists. Which artists, you ask?

How about Barenaked Ladies, Avril Lavigne, Sarah McLachlan, Chantal Kreviazuk, Sum 41, Raine Maida, Billy Talent, Broken Social Scene, and Sloan, for starters? These are some of the biggest names in Canadian music. Some are signed to major labels, and other to independents. They've banded together to clearly reject the notion that the major labels and their lobbyists speak on their behalf, and to advance a decidedly fan-friendly agenda.

Here are their three guiding principles for the copyright reform process:
  1. Suing our fans is destructive and hypocritical
  2. Digital locks are risky and counterproductive
  3. Cultural policy should support actual Canadian artists.
They expand on these principles to oppose the RIAA-style lawsuits and the harsh statutory copyright damages that make them possible, as well as DRM and DMCA-style legislation that protects it. Moreover, they advocate the notion of fair use to protect consumers, in place of our current, more limited fair dealings provisions, and call on the government to strengthen initiatives that really benefit Canadian artists, like The Canada Music Fund and FACTOR.

This couldn't come at a better time. The new federal government will be taking a fresh look at copyright reform, after Bill C-60 died with the previous session of parliament. They will now be faced with a strong voice putting forward these principles, and I'm sure they will find it difficult to ignore the artists.

C-60 may have seemed quite civilized compared to the DMCA, but viewed through the lens of these principles, it looks positively draconian. Hopefully copyright sanity will prevail in Canada, and the Canadian music will continue to flourish.

And now, I shall go listen to Train Wreck with glee.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

What would you do? What would you do?

I think I had my first celebrity encounter today. Well, sort of celebrity, anyway.

Kevin and I were walking down Queen Street today, just approaching Yonge, when we saw a familiar face. Well, it's been familiar only recently, since we started watching VJ Search on MuchMusic a few weeks ago. It was Sean! I held in my squeal, and Kevin and I just looked at each other. Then we noticed that he was walking with Nikki! We actually walked right behind them for a few steps before I couldn't hold it in anymore, and I squealed like a little girl.

They turned around and Kevin said "hi." There was an awkward silence before I stammered out, "so you guys don't know yet? Is it, like, in real time?" And she said yeah, that they'd find out on Monday, and the voting's still going on. I said that was exciting and that it seemed I was more nervous than them. Sean said he was waiting for them to announce, "and the person with the least number of votes is...Sean!" But then, he's been underselling himself the whole time.

I don't really remember everything that was said, but I do know that Nikki pointed out a couple of times how cute I was. "Cute" as in "freaky, scary, get-this-stalker-away-from-me cute," I guess. Sean didn't really say much. Maybe he was kind of annoyed by the attention, or maybe he's just not used to thinking of himself as a celebrity.

They both looked really good, like maybe they got to keep the clothes from the show and use the stylists on their off time. Nikki was gorgeous; she has a great smile.

I quickly ran out of things to say. We somehow got in front of them at a traffic light (we were in a hurry) and walked off. I didn't even think to wish them luck!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Camera Update

I just heard from the camera shop, and it will be $180 plus tax to repair my camera. A new camera would be about $450 and wouldn't be much of an improvement (6 megapixels instead of 5, but otherwise not terribly different), so it's a bit of a no-brainer.

I should have my camera back in 2-3 weeks. Of course, I haven't updated my photo site in months, so sadly that doesn't do you much good.