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Manitoba Writers' Guild opposes fair dealing

Thu 17 Nov 2011 by mskala Tags used: ,

I just got a message on the Manitoba Writers' Guild mailing list that disappointed me; it was forwarded from the Association of Manitoba Book Publishers, and opposed Bill C-11's expansions to fair dealing. Here's the original message (I think that's a publicly available posting, but if not, let me know and I'll post a mirror); my response is below. I don't know that anyone over there will read it - I'm not sure who reads the mailbox that is the "From:" on these mailing list messages - but maybe readers here would like to see it.

On Thu, 17 Nov 2011, Manitoba Writers' Guild wrote:
> substantially weaken the position of all creators and publishers. In its
> present form, the bill may be interpreted to allow unlimited, unlicenced
> copying for "educational purposes."

As a writer and an educator, and as a Guild member, I'm very disappointed
to see this message distributed under the imprimatur of the Manitoba
Writers' Guild.  I need to be able to research and reference centuries of
literary tradition in order to write.  I need librarians and educators to
be able to lend and make use of my work, in order for my work to be
valuable and to have a market.  Bill C-11 expands fair dealing -
increasing my ability to work and the value of my work - but Bill C-11
doesn't expand fair dealing far enough, and its "digital locks" provisions
throw away most of the benefits of its expansions to fair dealing by
allowing corporate entities to write their own laws with legal teeth.
Bill C-11 is bad for me, bad for writers, and bad for everyone.  I know
messages distributed on the Guild mailing list are not necessarily
official positions of or endorsed by the Manitoba Writers' Guild, but this
one sure looked like it was being endorsed, and it makes me think the
Guild does not speak for my interests.

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