The manufacture of consent for change in copyright law

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The manufacture of consent for change in copyright law

Michael Geist exposes how "independent" organization such as the Conference Board of Canada sing a surprisingly similar tune to media industry lobbyists when it comes to copyright reform in Canada. This kind of thing happens on a lot of issues, but it's good to see it so well-documented.

Although there are many groups involved in copyright lobbying, at the heart of the strategy are two organizations - the Canadian Recording Industry Association and the Canadian Motion Picture Distributors Association.  CRIA's board is made up the four major music labels plus its director, while the CMPDA's board is comprised of representatives of the Hollywood movie studios.  Those same studios and music labels provide support for the International Intellectual Property Association, which influences Canadian copyright policy by supporting U.S. government copyright lobby efforts. 

In addition to their active individual lobbying (described here), CRIA and CMPDA have provided financial support for three associations newly active on copyright lobbying - the Canadian Anti-Counterfeiting Network, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce's IP Council, and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (there are other funders including pharmaceutical companies and law firms).  Those groups have issued virtually identical reports and in turn supported seemingly independent sources such as the Conference Board of Canada and paid polling efforts through Environics.

The net effect has been a steady stream of reports that all say basically the same thing, cite to the same sources, make the same recommendations, and often rely on each other to substantiate the manufactured consensus on copyright reform.