Toronto Fair Copyright Meetup

27 Feb ’08

I spent yesterday evening at a meetup at the Gladstone’s Melody Bar for members of the Facebook group for the Toronto chapter of Fair Copyright. We had a nice turnout, and the evening was a great opportunity to engage with people who are concerned about copyright law and eager to learn more and connect with people of like mind.

My main takeaway from the evening was much more than I’d expected – I met several young people who are deeply interested in this issue and startlingly well-informed. Honestly, if you’d told me 20 years ago that a day would come when copyright reform would figure prominently as a public policy issue for young Canadians I’d have scoffed. But here we are, and here they are, and they’re bright, focused, well-informed – and they care. I left the event with a spring in my step, convinced that tomorrow is going to be a better day. The best idea I heard last night: a campaign to inform Canadians that the “Canadian Recording Industry Association” is more or less ironically named.

Next takeaway? It’s been said before, but if your business involves selling media to young people, chances are you need to rethink your business model much faster than you think. There’s a Thelma and Louise moment approaching. Oh, and while you’re at it, hands off their internet. They are going to have no patience at all for games. It’s not merely a source of media, or entertainment – it’s becoming the intermediary for every important relationship in their lives. They are simply not going to tolerate any gamesmanship with something so important.

Thanks to my group co-admins Jason Crocker, Ren Bucholz and Mike Craigen for the effort in making last night happen.

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