Copyright Gone Mad in Canada

The Copyright Flag of Canada.Any monopoly over public information is questionable, but we cast an especially gimlet gaze on attempts to monopolize publicly-funded information.  That's what the government of Canada is doing to GeoCoder.ca right now (well, "doing to all Canadians" would be more accurate, but GeoCoder.ca is the lucky proximate target).

Canada Post is upset over GeoCoder's freely-licensed database of Canadian postal codes.  Since 2004 GeoCoder has crowdsourced the creation of a geo-coded Canadian postal code database.  That is, members of the public have entered postal codes (public data) linked to location information (also public data).  The resultant dataset is useable by anyone, and saves people from having to pay Canada Post $5000 CAD for an official copy.

So what does Canada Post do?  Naturally, they sue.

(Plant face firmly in desk here.)

No, really.  It's not April Fool's Day anymore -- we wouldn't make this up.  Here's a quote from Canada Post's lawyer-gram:

Tags: 

Our New Headquarters.

 

The new QCO headquarters.

Well, it's been a long time coming: we moved into our new headquarters this weekend.  As you can see, at last there's room for all our staff -- no more doubling up at desks, no more working in shifts, no more waiting lists for parking spaces.  We're really looking forward to finally being able to fit everyone at the all-hands meetings!

Many thanks to the recent donors who made this possible, especially the RIAA, MPAA, and Disney.  Without their steadfast support, we wouldn't be where we are today.

Modern, state-of-the-art buildings like this don't come cheap, of course.  Although we're convinced the new headquarters is the right decision for the organization, we thought it would be wise to start a capital campaign now to cover grounds maintenance, heating and cooling, electricity, and, of course, the snack budget.  There's a full kitchen on every floor -- our dedicated associates will need fuel to fight for your freedoms effectively.

If you'd like to support us in our new home, please donate today!

Tags: 

Sing it, Leah Day! Standing Up Against "Copyright Terrorism" in Quilting.

Example of quilt designs from Leah Day.

There's a terrific article by Leah Day entitled "Copyright Terrorism", over at the Free Motion Quilting Project.

While we usually try to avoid the T-word over here at Question Copyright, so as not to inflate the language in an already loud debate, the substance of Day's article is right on.  The growing problem she describes in quilting is the full-grown problem we already have in literature, music, and elsewhere:

Copyright issues seem to be cropping up with increasing frequency in the quilting world and I for one would like to try to stem this flow, or at least open your eyes, to the very real threat looming for our craft.

What is this threat?  Where is it coming from?

It is coming from within our own ranks. Quilters with a certain penchant for copyright and legal wrangling are turning our open, creative craft into a mine field of rules, regulations, licensing, attribution, and copyright lockdown that it's enough to make anyone set down their rotary cutter and sell their sewing machine.

My favorite passage:

My question is this: is this the world we want to create? 

Is this the industry we want to build, where quilters who quilt for a living must live in fear that they will be sued for the designs they use?  That a blogger trying to teach and spread the love of free motion quilting can be threatened for using the wrong design? That quilters who quilt for show must credit every designer involved in their quilt, down to the fabric and thread manufacturer?

She then goes on to give an example, and points out the insidious positive feedback loop that happens once people start suing.

Read the whole thing.

Pages

Subscribe to QuestionCopyright.org RSS