Canada’s Copyright “Protection”

Intellectual Property- comments on Bill 32

George S. Zimbel, Photographer/Artist

In Canada, land of the good, the parliament will soon vote on a revision of the copyright law. It’s called Bill C-32. Sound good? Intellectual property. Sound good? Prevent the exploitation of the educational marketplace by greedy artists and their families? That doesn’t sound so good. How about giving everybody in Canada the right to use words, pictures, music etc., all that creative stuff, free for the benefit of the educational system. That sounds like a politician at work. How about textbook companies not charging for their product. How about the owner of a school bus company not being paid for the use of his fleet.

Let’s start again. Simon Alwin (fictiious name) has worked hard in business, paid his taxes, and put away a considerable fortune in stocks and bonds which he plans to give to his grandchildren so that they will be able to follow a career path that hopefully will benefit mankind. He’s that kind of guy. Grew up poor, matured rich..good. However, the government of the day has decreed that anything he made before1988 won’t belong to belongs to everybody. You can just hear him yelling on the phone to his lawyer “IT’S MY PROPERTY” THEY CAN’T DO THAT!!”

That’s what I am saying. “IT’S MY PROPERTY” THEY CAN’T DO THAT!!” After more than sixty years as a photographer/artist, I am in a harvesting mode. I want to get benefit from my work for myself, my wife and family. I want to control how it is used and what is paid for that use…and I want to pass the benefit on to my family. In the case of successful capitalists, they pass on money. Artists, pass on their work which may or may not have monetary value. Time tells and they understand that. But in our society, artists are suspect. Of what? That’s a little obscure, but it ain’t good. If I have the audacity to demand payment for my intellectual output, I am accused of being a money grabbing aesthete. Not true; I am a worker.

Simply put an artist’s property should be treated with the protection of any other property. That is a simple concept that members of parliament of all parties should be able to understand and respect. Bill C-32 does not do this.

George S. Zimbel
Montreal 2010

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