Canadian copyright astroturfers own up: front for US labels

Remember Balanced Copyright for Canada, the shadowy "citizen's group" that encouraged members to send form letters to media outlets skeptical about Canada's new, US-style copyright law?

Turns out it's a front for the big US labels.

Michael Geist sez,

After several weeks of delays, the Balanced Copyright for Canada site which has been engaging in astroturfing on Canadian copyright reforms, revealed its funding and advisory board late on Tuesday night, hours before the Canada Day holiday. The primary source of funding is not a surprise: this is a Canadian Recording Industry Association production.

The composition of the advisory board is interesting. First, of the 13 members, more than half are either record company executives, former record company executives, or lawyers who represent record companies. No surprise given the site's backing, but not exactly the promised "employees, unions, artists and creators." In fact, it is notable that there are very few prominent creators and not many representatives from creator groups outside the music industry such as authors, performers, directors, or artists. In fact, despite an earlier claim that Loreena McKennitt would be on the advisory board, those plans apparently changed.

The board also includes one lawyer who just three months ago argued in a paper that form letters carry little value in public policy process, yet is now on the board of a site that requires a form letter that cannot be edited in order to participate.

Balanced Copyright for Canada Board and Funding Revealed


  1. I did a TinEye search on that picture of smiling C-32 supporters. You know, the one under the words “keep jobs in Canada.” Turns out it was taken in Denmark, and is composed of almost all Danish models. But to be fair, there are two American models in there.

  2. And now we all feign surprise, much as we feign when two-year-old children remove their Halloween masks to reveal that BEHOLD!!! It is not really an incredibly short bipedal lion with humanlike limbs and one-piece jammies, but in fact it is your little niece Phoebe wearing a mask!

    We can all rest easy now.

  3. I worked in a state Senator’s office for a session. Every form e-mail we received was essentially discarded. Sure, we wrote a friendly e-mail back, but none had any impact on the decision of the lawmaker.

    Now that I’m thinking about it, pretty much no e-mails or letters had an effect. Hmmm…

  4. Why is anyone still even asking the music industry for their opinion on copyright in this digital world? They have proven again and again that they just don’t get it. Fuck em. Who cares what they have to say.

    To any MPs reading this, don’t take advice from these failures who have watched for 10 years as their entire business model has crumbled before them. These are not the successful types of people you should be taking advice from. They do not have the artist’s best interest at heart and they do not have the people’s best interest at heart.

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