A free CD — and a Bill C-61 protest

From the excellent Torontoist blog comes news that a Canadian band — The Craft Economy — has one-upped their previous CD experiment, in which they stapled free CDs to telephone poles, and has included with their new batch of discs a statement criticizing the proposed federal copyright bill, C-61. The packages started showing up this week on poles in Toronto and Guelph, with copies of a CD containing demo versions of two Craft Economy songs (Menergy and The Crash, the Wagons and the Dying Horses) as well as a typed statement about the evils of the proposed copyright legislation. The statement says in part:

This is far and beyond and more bizarre than the heavily criticized DMCA in the USA. Copyright should protect the rights of artists and producers of creative content, but it should not suppress creative and artistic expression.

The Craft Economy has licensed our music, including this CD, using the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.5 license. This license gives you the freedom to share our music with your friends and enemies, and remix and use it in new and creative ways, provided you attribute the work back to us, and you don’t make money off our work.

It’s fair for you and us. This is the way art should work.

In the post on the band’s blog announcing the project, they go on to say that they oppose the bill because:

“It will make it illegal for you:

– to backup your DVDs
– to circumvent any ‘digital locks’ on media you pay for
– to retain recorded programs for an extended time
– to record / retain shows broadcast with a ‘no recording’ flag
– and that’s not all.

Here’s something that’s simple: This law is *fucked*. You need to fight it.”

Kudos to the band for taking this approach. Yes, there were only 150 CDs stapled to poles (although they can be ripped and shared, provided it is without charge) and yes, it is also marketing for the group’s upcoming EP (which they freely admit). But it’s still a great message.

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