Showing posts from June, 2008

Proposed copyright amendments fall far short

It's been a couple of weeks since the federal government introduced its long-awaited—or dreaded—amendments to the Copyright Act. As was feared, the bill is inconsistent and leaves Canadians vulnerable to pay outrageous damages for activities that no one could reasonably confuse with piracy.

To give one example, you come home with a new CD and a new DVD. You load them both on to your spacious hard drive to play them on your computer or to transfer them to an iPod or other mobile device. Under the proposed new law, you're probably okay with transferring the CD, at least for most CDs now in stores (record companies could decide at any time to change that—it would now be entirely up to them). With the DVD, on the other hand, you could face a lawsuit for at least $20,000 in damages, and possibly several times that, depending on who sues you. And those are just statutory damages—there could be punitive damages as well. Even the tools you used to copy your DVD to your hard drive or …

Why start a startup?

The third StartupCampWaterloo will be starting soon—kicking off with a panel discussion of "why start a startup?" Maybe some startup founders will say that they needed some convincing on that question, but I suspect that if it's something you need to have answered, then maybe creating a startup isn't the best thing for you.

It's always going to be easier being employee #57 or #5,700 where you can have your job description and be given tasks to perform—maybe in a skillful way, but within a framework that is planned and managed by others. Every two weeks, money gets deposited in your bank account, even if you've been in a rut and have only been moderately productive. Want to go to a business event? Feel too sick to work? That's fine, you still get paid your full salary—no money comes out of your pocket. On top of that, you're guaranteed a paid vacation every year and probably have at least a basic benefits package.

It's a pretty good deal and one that…