Let’s Get Free!

Those lawyers who are on the side of reinforcing copyright laws have well-honed arguments. They really do. In fact, they ought to, it’s their job. But something greater is at stake here. Creativity.

The music biz’s lawyers have notoriously argued for more copyright legislation. Take Lyor Cohen, for example. He’s Chairman and CEO of Warner Music Group. Responsible for signing the likes of Jay-Z, DMX, Slick Rick, EPMD, Ja Rule. Oh yes, he was also the road manager of Run-DMC (btw, love them… huge fan). He is credited for having played an integral part in hip-hop for the last 25 years. Rightly so.

In an interview Cohen gave to Complex, a glossy life-style magazine, he was asked about the viability of free music as a business model. The answer: “If it’s free, then how would record labels pay their staff and sign new artists?”

Pay the staff? Packed in nice top-floor offices in NY and LA? Is this what copyright is all about? How does that protect the artist? Seriously. We all know that copyright only moderately protects the artist but wholly enriches the supporter and enabler of a dated business model that seems to leave out any practical understanding of the web.

On the other hand, Berkman Center Professor and writer David Weinberger says “that the web enables us to rediscover what we’ve always known about being human: we are connected creatures in a connected world about which we care passionately.” And that goes for creativity too. Everything is connected. “Whether it’s Walt Disney recycling the Brothers Grimm, Stephen King doing variations on a theme of Bram Stoker, or James Joyce mashing Homer up with, well, everything, there’s no innovation that isn’t a reworking of what’s already there.” To not recognize this and not be transparent is hypocritical and leads to loss of credibility.

Let’s be transparent about Canada’s bill C-32. It’s irrelevant.

Here’s Weinberger again: “So, I don’t know how the law should change. I’m not a lawyer or legislator. But what’s at stake isn’t whether some of us get music without paying for it but the type of world we’re building. We have the chance to move from a world based on scarcity and greed to one built on abundance and generosity. And the effect will be evolutionary growth ….unless we stay really stupid about it.”

Let users decide what to do. We’ll break the authority all the institutions, government and corporations have had.

My web is your web is our web…

CFC Worldwide Short Film Festival Comes to a Close


Director Jérémie Saindon and Producer Valérie d’Auteuil hanging out at the Radio-Canada Toronto office waiting for an interview  to discuss L’Anniversaire in competition at the CFC Worldwide Short Film Festival.

The CFC Festival has a phenomenal selection of shorts featuring the very best from around the world. It’s really cool to be part of the 2010 selection. We’d like to thank Danny Lennon (Prends ça court and relentless promoter of Quebec Shorts) and of course Festival Director, Eileen Arandiga.

Hearty congratulations to Jean Malek who got the nod for best Canadian Short with his very poetic Les Poissons (Vanessa Pilon, Stéphanie Lapointe).

Jérémie Saindon’s L’Anniversaire @ CFC Worldwide Short Film Festival


Julie Le Breton donning makeup to play a lonely single mother in Jérémie Saindon’s dramatic short L’Anniversaire (Birthday).

Le Breton and her two boys anxiously await the afternoon’s family birthday party. But a moment of passion for one ignites a moment of irrevocable change for the other.

After screening at Cannes’ Short Film Corner, it is playing at the CFC Worldwide Short Film Festival.

“A six day celebration of the latest and greatest in short film and video from around the world,” says this quote lifted from their website. It kicked off June 1st.

Stephan Dubreuil, Valérie d’Auteuil and Jérémie Saindon are off to Toronto to represent the film in competition.

As well as catching this year’s selection of the world’s best short movies and meet upcoming directors.