Friday, March 28, 2008


Here's a very sensible Guardian article by Victor Keegan on the music piracy argument. He remarks:

"If the industry had spent more time devising a payments solution for the digital age instead of suing customers, it could have cleaned up. The younger generation supposedly nurtured in a culture of non-payment is the same one that pays £3.50 a shot for ringtones. Why? Phones had an easy payment system.

"The latest - global - gambit of the industry is to persuade governments to make internet service providers (ISPs) do their dirty work for them by disconnecting repeat offenders. This must be resisted, even though it is bound to have some effect: an Entertainment Media Research survey found seven out of 10 people would cease illegal downloads if they received a warning. That's not the point. To force unwilling ISPs to take powers to cut off internet connections (a priceless tool for education) without even a judge involved would not only not do the job (there would be an upsurge in ISPs based abroad) but would be a precedent for ISPs to police any other activity that happens in their conduit (cue in MI5).

"One good thing about the industry's misbegotten attitude is that it has spawned a discussion about the nature of copyright."

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Saturday, March 01, 2008


An all-Canadian opera, Lloyd Burritt's Dream Healer, based on Timothy Findley's novel Pilgrim, will have its world premiere on 2 March 2008 at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts in Vancouver. It is a production of the Chan and the University of British Columbia, marking the university's centenary and the Chan's 10th anniversary.

There's no knowing what Findley would have thought of the opera, but it seems fitting that this is the novel Burritt chose after that long-ago trip to Little Sister's. Findley dedicated Pilgrim to a composer, Michael Tippett. Tippett died in 1998, a year before Findley published his novel about dying and not dying.

For Pilgrim's dedication, Findley quoted Tippett's oratorio A Child of Our Time - for which Tippett himself wrote the libretto.

"Here is no final grieving," the dedication reads, "but an abiding hope."

UBC is also holding a Dream Healer Symposium on Psychiatry and Mental Health beginning Monday evening 3 March. Details at

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