gordon.dewis.ca - Random musings from Gordon


Archive for February 21st, 2008

Photos from last night’s lunar eclipse

February 21, 2008 @ 11:59 By: gordon Category: Astronomy, Current affairs, Photography

IMG_0452 - cropped - closeup So, the viewing conditions in Ottawa for the lunar eclipse last night were very good.  Clear skies and no weird thermal distortions blurring the sky.

Though I only had my point-and-shoot camera with me, I was able to take a number of photos with it by bracing it, holding my breath and clicking the button.

To the right is a cropped photo of the moon as it was a couple of minutes after totality.

I’ve got a few more photos that I took with my digital SLR that I haven’t processed yet, but you can view what I’ve taken so far in my gallery.  I’ll post the photos from my SLR there when I’ve processed them.

Darin has posted a few pictures he’s taken in his blog.

Hey Songwriters Association of Canada: I DO NOT AGREE!

February 21, 2008 @ 02:11 By: gordon Category: Current affairs, Music

The National Post published a story on Wednesday about a proposal by the Songwriters Association of Canada, to collect $5 every month from every Canadian Internet subscriber. In return, you would have the ability to download as many "illegal" music files as you want. Their theory is that this would make sites like iTunes unnecessary because it would be legal for people to pirate music. They’re proposing an amendment to the Canadian Copyright Act they’re calling the Right to Equitable Remuneration for Music File Sharing.

If adopted, this would allow the lobby group to collect $500 million to $900 million per year. Compared this to the music industry’s own estimates of losses due to piracy in Canada of only $118.8 million and you’ll realize they would be collecting a minimum of almost 5 times as much money as they’re losing.

We’ve been paying 21 cents/blank CD since January 1, 1999. It goes to the Canadian Private Copying Collective (CPCC) who then distributes the funds collected to the various societies that represent authors, performers and those who make sound recordings. Those societies are the Canadian Mechanical Reproduction Rights Agency (CMRRA), the Neighbouring Rights Collective of Canada (NRCC), the Société de gestion des droits des artistes-musiciens (SOGEDAM), the Society for Reproduction Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers in Canada (SODRAC) and the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN). (linky)

In 2005, Micheal Geist blogged about Tariff 22 in which SOCAN seeks a 25% levy on iTunes and other music download services and 15% for webcasters. You should read his article that appeared in the Toronto Star.

SOCAN even proposed a download tax of 3.1 cents per individual track and 1.5 cents per track on a complete album that are bought online.

There are other surcharges, too, but I’m not listing them here.

I’ve gotten used to 21 cents/blank CD and it’s below my annoyance threshold. I don’t go through a huge amount of CDs, so it doesn’t really affect me. Whatever.

But, $5/month crosses the line. I buy my music legally from iTunes. I don’t use peer-to-peer programs to illegally download music. I am not a pirate.

I have two Internet accounts: one for my broadband connection on which it is feasible to download music because I have the bandwidth and a second that I use for dial-up access when I’m on the road or at the cottage, which it is not feasible to download any large files, let alone music. So, I’d pay $10/month or $120/year for doing nothing wrong.

You can view the Songwriters Association of Canada’s proposal on their website. There’s a box on the form that you can fill out and submit by clicking a button labelled "I Agree". Please do not click it! Instead, send an email to advocacy@songwriters.ca and tell them how you feel about their proposal.