Copyright extension and NAFTA

I wrote previously about James Bond entering the public domain in Canada.

I love the idea of work in the public domain – I’ve actually read a number of Ian Flemming’s books since they’ve come out of copyright, I’ve read more of George Orwell, and I’m currently reading a book about the history of rocket fuel.

In Canada, a work enters the public domain 50 years after the author’s death – the MPAA is looking to get this extended to 70 years according to a recent article by Michael Geist:

“The MPAA also wants Canada to extend the term of copyright to life of the author plus 70 years from the current standard found in the Berne Convention of life of the author plus 50 years. It argues that the “extension of the term of protection for copyrighted works has a direct benefit to the creators of these works, as well as consumers.” It does not mention that the creators are long since dead, that consumers face higher prices with term extension, and that the change would lock-down the Canadian public domain for two decades.”

The Government of Canada is soliciting views from Canadians by email at NAFTA-Consultations-ALENA@international.gc.ca or on the web.

Here’s what I submitted:

I am opposed to extending copyright to life + 70 years.

At 50 years protection is already ample – a creator’s children, and their children, already directly benefit from royalties collected from a copyrighted work.

The public benefits immensely from work entering the public domain:

  • Consider the works of Shakespeare and Moliere, and their derivative works, that make up so much of the language programs in Canadian schools and our pop culture
  • Consider how our culture benefits from derivative works, and how characters like Sherlock Holmes continue to be adapted for modern audiences
  • When my grandmother spoke of reading the works of Thornton Burgess when she was a child to my children (her great-grandchildren), I can load up their e-readers with all his books. At life+70, there is no way my children could do this with the authors of their generation, like J K Rowling, Melanie Watt, or Mo Willems.

Works locked up in copyright, particularly out of print, remain trapped and inaccessible.

Life +70 will not promote the creation of work – if anything, it will delay the creation of derivative works.

 

Light Up Earrings

My daughter has been making some really impressive earrings using Sculpey clay and earring hooks and studs sourced from Michael’s.  Lighting them up, like these studs, would take it to the next level.  Light up earrings present an interesting challenge, as size and aesthetics constraints conflict with a battery holder, light, and wiring.

We built a simple design we found on YouTube which uses painted googly eyes to hold the battery and a small container with sparkles to diffuse the light.  There is room for improvement, but they turned out OK – they look great in a darker room or from a distance, but crude up-close.  We may refine them further.

LED Earring
LED Earrings

2017 Balcony Crop

We have harvested our 2017 crop.

This is an interesting year, as we had a late start to the season, and less sun than normal.  We’ll have even less sun in future years, as a new condo building is going up in front of us and will certainly reduce the amount of sun received by our balcony.

  • I’m not sure what happened to our corn, but we only had a couple of very sad looking cobs.
  • As the corn didn’t grow very well, the pole beans didn’t have anything to climb, so they didn’t do very well either.
  • The tomato plants did well
  • We grew more carrots this year – they were amazing
  • All the flowers did well
Urban Sunflower
Tomatoes
Pole Beans and Genuine Baby Carrots
Lone Cob
Loads Of Carrots