Episode 108 – Slowly Cooked Gonads with a Side of Digital Lox

Transcript of Live Chat (link to come soon)

This podcast is NSFW which means Not Safe for Work or No Sleep for Wawa

Thanks to Our Man on the Hill, Russell McOrmond (@russellmcormond) for joining us.

Show Notes

Full Dysclosure and Dystractions

The Queen on Facebook

Bill C-32 and how we can WIPO it away

Canada’s brand? Polar Bears and Wine

You Got an American in My Funding

Give My Regards to Broadband

Your Laptop is Cooking Your Gonads

Digitots… there’s a crap for that

Digiteens… there’s a vice for that

RIM’s Playbook has a price on its head

Shout Outs & Music

The Canadian National Day of Podcasting – December 1st

The Mohawk Lodge – Done Fighting – courtesy White Whale Records


  1. Thanks for having me on.

    Quick thought/question about the “arts funding” section of our chat. I was going to dive into this, but we moved onward pretty quickly.

    I guess my feeling is that some things just don’t work if left to private funding. Education is one of those things: education is a public value that in my mind more about citizens being part of society, and not about individuals “possessing” knowledge/etc. I think art is another, where society is more — well — advanced if we fund a portion of society to be able to pursue “art” for its own sake and not just for its commercial/commodity entertainment value. To me it is like science, where pure science allowing for discoveries outside of what has obvious short-term economic value has value.

    Copyright and patents only facilitate a narrow set of transactions in terms of material value, which can never be left as the only — or even the primary — way that art or science is incentivised.


  2. Being a musician my entire life, I have all respect for the arts in our culture and, that said, I completely disagree with arts funding for individuals. If the government wants to spend money on the arts, let the provincial government fund it through education and the federal government fund it through work and display spaces where visual and performance artists can play for free or cheaply.

    I do not feel any artist has the right to make money from taxpayers in order to subsist. I have always created outside of my job and, as such, integrate it into my life. I think you’re right on the ball, Russell, if you’re proposing funding for venues, festivals, etc.. That said, I completely disagree with Canada Council grants to create jobs in the arts.

    As far as I’m concerned, if I have to live my tax money going to fund individual artists (or the CBC for that matter), the content better be public domain to all Canadians. Everything I plan on creating (without government funding) for the remainder of my creative life will be Creative Commons licensed.

    My weekend rant.

  3. In my case I support using public funds in creating jobs in the arts, but lets move away from that area of disagreement and explore possible areas of agreement.

    I am a firm believer in the idea that publicly funded research should be publicly licensed. I believe that a condition of public funding of education should be that the outputs of educational institutions be publicly licensed, both copyrightable works and patentable inventions. This is even greater in the current excessive hypocrisy from educational institutions that want royalty-free inputs at the same time as having royalty-bearing outputs.

    I have suggested that we abolish the current Private Copying regime, and replace it with a royalty-free exemption to copyright as well as a properly managed funding program. http://billc32.ca/faq#cpcc

    I would suggest “public domain” (IE: no copyright regulation) isn’t the right way to go. Copyright is a series of activities that require permission, and it is quite possible to create more narrow exemptions to cover activities with specific public value while retaining copyright regulation on other activities. It is like Creative Commons itself, which allows a variety of licenses to allow for more nuanced pre-permissions.

  4. Interesting question came up at a workshop of mine where someone asked, “Does a student retain all rights to something they created for a class?” One would think so, but I recommended that parents and adult students should be reading the sometimes blanket agreements they sign with school boards at the beginning of the year. They often include the right display, reproduce and copy work, as well as pictures for board publications.

    Maybe a good way to think about it is that anything created through a publicly-funded educational setting can be re-used for free in an any publicly-funded educational setting. A parallel re-use clause could be established publicly-funded media of all types. A Canada Council film should be free to show across Canada.

    That said, aside from my earlier comments about arts funding as a whole, I really have a problem with hybrid funded projects where private companies make money from grant programs.

  5. Neat: You are the first to bring up the rights of students in this context. To try to save space I didn’t clarify, but I was thinking of creations by staff and not those of students. It would be a different analysis for students, but I also question whether students should be able to make money (monopoly rents) from works created in the context of their publicly funded education.

    I also don’t think public licenses should be restricted to publicly funded institutions, but to any non-commercial uses by citizens. I am not a fan of the institutional focus of educational thinking, and believe education should be thought of as lifelong and can happen anywhere.

    I also have problems with public funding of projects benefiting private companies. This is why I prefer the PLR model which focuses on creators, rather than CPCC models which focus on copyright holders.

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