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Canada's Proposed DMCA-Style Law Draws Fire

timothy posted more than 6 years ago | from the sequels-usually-suck dept.

Government 313

litui writes "Michael Geist assesses the problems with new copyright legislation presented today. In short, it looks like unless it's heavily contested, Canadians are in for a worse piece of law than the DMCA." CBC News' story quotes one critic, Scott Brison, who warns that enforcing the anti-circumvention clauses of this legislation would turn Canada into a police state — which, considering the pervasive eavesdropping it would take to make sure that people aren't enjoying their rights to fair use (or "fair dealing") of hardware or media, seems like a fair prediction.

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Mac and Linux users... (5, Interesting)

farrellj (563) | more than 6 years ago | (#23769419)

Would become criminals under the new law...

With the new law, it is going to be illegal to bypass any "digital" locks
that a content creator/publisher puts on their work.

One of these systems that is used by some Record companies prevents you from
coping a CD on a Microsoft Windows machine. The way that it works is that it
automatically loads up a program when you put the CD into the computer that
prevents the transfering of CD's music to either your computer or Ipod. This
is known as Digitial Rights Managment or Copy Protection.

But what if you a Mac, or a Linux machine?

As the software that is automatically loaded from the CD to prevent you
copying only works under Microsoft Window, it would thus be illegal to put
that CD into your Mac, as it would be a "circumvention of the copy
protection" on the CD.

This law is stooopid!

ttyl
          Farrell

Re:Mac and Linux users... (4, Funny)

KillerBob (217953) | more than 6 years ago | (#23769495)

But... but! That's what WINE is for!

Draconian Legislation. (4, Insightful)

twitter (104583) | more than 6 years ago | (#23769665)

Big publishers are buying draconian legislation because only that will preserve their place in the world. They have gotten away with as much as they have because they control broadcast media, but fewer people are paying attention to that [technologyreview.com] . We are in a race to save the internet before big publishers can destroy it. They demand the same kinds of control over the internet that they had over print and broadcast. That is, the ability to limit what can be shared regardless of who creates it. It's not about entertainment and "piracy", it's about control. The DMCA gives them channel control and the nastier provision give them ability to harass other publishers with cease and desist letters. Windows and Mac have have "copy protection" built in that enforces the rest.

Re:Draconian Legislation. (-1, Flamebait)

digitrev (989335) | more than 6 years ago | (#23769695)

Fuck off, twitter. This has nothing to do with MSFT, and everything to do with our rights as Canadian citizens and consumers. Please, take your anti-corporate rants elsewhere.

Re:Draconian Legislation. (-1, Troll)

Odder (1288958) | more than 6 years ago | (#23769721)

Windows users are already hosed [slashdot.org] .

ISPs are cooperating with publishers to kill the internet [slashdot.org] .

Moderators: Please note (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23769843)

twitter and Odder are the same person [slashdot.org] . An earlier thread with examples of how he uses sockpuppets and name trolls can be found here [slashdot.org] .

Re:Mac and Linux users... (2, Interesting)

arbiter1 (1204146) | more than 6 years ago | (#23769723)

"One of these systems that is used by some Record companies prevents you from
coping a CD on a Microsoft Windows machine. The way that it works is that it
automatically loads up a program when you put the CD into the computer that
prevents the transfering of CD's music to either your computer or Ipod. This
is known as Digitial Rights Managment or Copy Protection."

that loading the program on puttin the cd in, Sony tried that shit already and got raped majorly for their effort's. they can't install anything on your computer legally without the owner of the pc's permission

Re:Mac and Linux users... (4, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23769797)

Wouldn't holding down the shift key, and disabling autorun also count as circumventing their DRM?

Re:Mac and Linux users... (4, Insightful)

digitrev (989335) | more than 6 years ago | (#23769893)

Not only that, but if this bill gets passed, you just broke the law by saying that.

Re:Mac and Linux users... (1, Insightful)

Vectronic (1221470) | more than 6 years ago | (#23769913)

No, I don't believe so. the Digital Right Management nonsense is an API thing, so anytime the installer/application runs it will launch/access the API and associated applications...

not allowing auto-run only delays it from starting as soon as a CD is inserted.

Plus, an autorun.ini basically just points windows to A) the icon to display in "My Computer", and B) the setup.exe

Setup.exe when run will still use the DRM stuff, as for movies and music, well thats up to the player, WMP (et al) will still phone home/look for a key if the media its about to play is asking for it, regardless of wether it was "autorun" or not.

Re:Mac and Linux users... (4, Insightful)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 6 years ago | (#23770129)

Even worse.

If they put in one bit and call it a "copyright protection device", you can't copy it or you're breaking the law. It doesn't have to DO anything, just be called a "copy protect flag". If no devices exist that support it, then you have to buy a new compliant device. Otherwise, that's circumventing.

Geist is right. It passes the law onto the companies instead of to the courts.

Re:Mac and Linux users... (0, Redundant)

neoform (551705) | more than 6 years ago | (#23770171)

it would apparently also be illegal to turn off autorun.exe

Re:Mac and Linux users... (1)

Patrick Fisher (1272434) | more than 6 years ago | (#23770261)

Here's what I'm thinking:

Chances are, the MP uses Windows. Record a letter to your MP in sound format and attach a rudmentary linux DRM to it. Email it to the MP.

This way, the MP could only listen to the letter by breaking the laws that would be introduced by Bill C-61.

It's probably more work than it's worth (as if the MP would actually listen to it), but it would be fun to show the MP what life would be like for us after C-61.

frist postt (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23769423)

hahahah

Liberals (5, Interesting)

JebusIsLord (566856) | more than 6 years ago | (#23769425)

I know the NDP and probably the Liberals will vote this down, and we currently have a minority government so the Conservatives won't be able to push this though.

Hopefully... lately the Liberals (our official opposition) have been obstaining from votes rather than trigger an election when they're down in the polls. A sad state of affairs, really.

Re:Liberals (5, Informative)

JebusIsLord (566856) | more than 6 years ago | (#23769453)

Just to clarify for Americans who don't understand the parliamentary system, basically the Conservatives hold the most seats, but not the majority of seats, so they can loose motions. If it is considered a confidence motion, then the goverment is overthrown and we have another election. Usually minority governments are unstable and dissolve after a few months, but this one has been around (IMO) far too long.

Re:Liberals (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23769571)

Not only can they loose motions, which they do with reckless abandon, but they can even lose them.

Re:Liberals (1)

JebusIsLord (566856) | more than 6 years ago | (#23769609)

*Sigh* I saw that right after submitting. I'm just too lazy to preview, ya know?

Re:Liberals (0, Redundant)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#23769719)

Lose dude, not loose.

Re:Liberals (4, Interesting)

digitrev (989335) | more than 6 years ago | (#23769731)

Yeah, but if this bill is considered a confidence motion, then Stephane "The Coward" Dion will just make the Liberal party sit out on the vote, and it'll pass right on through. I'm no fan of the Liberals, but I'll take another 13 years of Liberal rule than deal with the consequences of this bill.

Re:Liberals (5, Interesting)

sayfawa (1099071) | more than 6 years ago | (#23769979)

Exactly! Those cowards just sat out a bill which they were against involving immigration. The bill basically goes over the head of our point system which judges a potential immigrant impartially, based on their skills and instead gives whoever is in charge of immigration at the time way too much power to pick and choose, based on their predilections, who comes in and who doesn't. Similar to how it was in first half of the century when 'Great White North' referred to more than just snow. This bill will have serious consequences for many people and families. The Liberals were completely against it but, because it might have triggered an election, they slink off during the vote and let it through.

If they can't stand up for their beliefs for something as important to Canada as immigration, then no way do they have the guts to make a big deal out of copyright reform.

Re:Liberals (4, Interesting)

MrAndrews (456547) | more than 6 years ago | (#23770415)

My MP has already committed to voting against C-61, but then they're NDP. If you have a Liberal MP, I'd write to them and tell them that if they don't actually show up and shoot this thing down, you'll vote for a party that will. Maybe if the Liberals get flooded with enough mail like that, Dion will stop running from the electorate.

Re:Liberals (5, Funny)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | more than 6 years ago | (#23769749)

Can you send us a little of that "overthrow government" stuff you guys have up there?

pretty please? we promise to buy lots of maple syrup

honest we will

Re:Liberals (3, Insightful)

porcupine8 (816071) | more than 6 years ago | (#23769831)

Uh, we get to overthrow a percentage of our government every two years like clockwork.

It's our own problem if we don't take advantage of the opportunity.

Re:Liberals (3, Funny)

peragrin (659227) | more than 6 years ago | (#23769873)

They will probably ask real nice that we quit making jokes about the Mounties too.

I am not sure if can handle that one.

Re:Liberals (5, Interesting)

Deadplant (212273) | more than 6 years ago | (#23769891)

I wish we had some to spare.
Sadly the Liberals (kind like your Democrats) are performing just like your Democrat controlled congress.
They have decided that their party politics and political strategy is more important than any of the actual issues that have come to a vote.

Write Your MP (5, Insightful)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 6 years ago | (#23769429)

Please write your MP [parl.gc.ca] and let them know you want no part of this bill. Please write a polite and informed message to them, encourage them to check out Michael Geist's page (link in article above). The world does not need another DMCA that empowers big media at the expenses of consumers' rights. Write your MP.

Re:Write Your MP (4, Informative)

PFAK (524350) | more than 6 years ago | (#23770025)

Check out Online Rights Canada's new action alert, "Tell MPs What's Wrong with the Prentice Bill":

http://www.copyrightforcanadians.ca/action/firstlook/ [copyrightforcanadians.ca]

Here's what their website says about it:

"After months of hesitation, Industry Minister Jim Prentice has finally revealed his re-write of Canada's rules of copyright. Tell your MP just what you think of it."

Re:Write Your MP (1)

JeremyBanks (1036532) | more than 6 years ago | (#23770347)

> With your help, 182 have taken action so far.

Surprisingly low, but I guess it hasn't been up that long.

You insensitive clod! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23770081)

I don't HAVE an MP, 'cause I'm stuck here south of the border where "Moosehead" isn't a beer, it's a sex offense!

Re:Write Your MP (1)

sapgau (413511) | more than 6 years ago | (#23770413)

Just did. My first email to my MP :-D

Write Jim Prentice (2, Informative)

salveque (1221584) | more than 6 years ago | (#23770459)

Also, write Jim Prentice, the proponent of bill C-61, at Prentice.J@parl.gc.ca

Fox News: Bush's Poodle (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23769431)

I pride myself on my exactitude. As you'll see from this letter, I provide copious detail and try to be as precise as possible when describing the ways in which Fox News is not afraid to use violence, ruse, shot and shell, poison, or the dagger to shred the basic compact between the people and their government. It may help if I begin my discussion by relating an innocuous story in order to illustrate my point: A few days ago I was arguing with a particularly nugatory pipsqueak who was insisting that war is peace, freedom is slavery, and ignorance is strength. I tried to convince this venom-spouting degenerate that some day, in the far, far future, Fox News will realize that capricious, pestiferous grizzlers have exerted care always to use high-sounding words like "incontrovertibleness" to hide Fox News's plans to damage the self esteem and physical health of millions of young men and women. This realization will sink in slowly but surely and will be accompanied by a comprehension of how I have one itsy-bitsy problem with Fox News's principles. Videlicet, they disarm us morally, make us rootless and defenseless, and then destroy us. And that's saying nothing about how his philippics are not pedantic treatises expressing theories or extravaganzas dealing in fables or fancies. They are substantial, sober outpourings from the very soul of moral relativism.

I have to laugh when Fox News says that he is cunctipotent. Where in the world did he get that idea? Not only does that idea contain absolutely no substance whatsoever but he is not a responsible citizen. Responsible citizens drag Fox News in front of a tribunal and try him for his crimes against humanity. Responsible citizens really do not prevent us from getting in touch with our feelings.

I imagine that it has been said that Fox News cares for us in the same way that fleas care about dogs. I, in turn, warrant that Fox News's maudlin preoccupation with barbarism, usually sicklied over with such nonsense words as "anthrohopobiological", would make sense if a person's honor were determined strictly by his or her ability to cast the world into nuclear holocaust. As that's not the case, we can conclude only that Fox News has certainly never given evidence of thinking extensively. Or at all, for that matter. You are, I'm sure, well aware that even Fox News's least testy chums supplement their already-generous incomes by selling contraband on the black market. But did you know that Fox News loves the truth only as long as it doesn't conflict with his teachings?

Fox News explicitly seeks out situations where his intolerant behavior will be tolerated, condoned, and admired. The same holds true for the most devious ingrates I've ever seen. Common-sense understanding of human nature tells us that he believes that everyone and everything discriminates against him -- including the writing on the bathroom stalls. The real damage that this belief causes actually has nothing to do with the belief itself, but with psychology, human nature, and the skillful psychological manipulation of that nature by Fox News and his damnable cringers. It's precisely because his calumnies represent an inseparable mixture of reason and human madness, but always in such a way that only the madness can become reality and never the reason, that his contrivances are built on lies and they depend on make-believe for their continuation. From a purely technical point of view, whenever there's an argument about Fox News's devotion to principles and to freedom, all one has to do is point out that like other irrational, scurrilous wheeler-dealers, Fox News has a finely honed ability to misdirect our efforts into fighting each other rather than into understanding the nature and endurance of lawless alcoholism. That should settle the argument pretty quickly.

You'd think that someone would have done something by now to thwart Fox News's plans to terrorize our youngsters. Unfortunately, most people are quite happy to "go along to get along" and are rather reluctant to help people see his despicable off-the-cuff comments for what they are. It is imperative that we inform such people that only the impartial and unimpassioned mind will even consider that this discussion is meant to apply to modern Fabianism only. But it goes further than that; if Fox News thinks that the best way to serve one's country is to violate his pledge not to take us all on a completely reckless ride into the unknown, then he's sadly mistaken. Fox News says that he needs a little more time to clean up his act. As far as I'm concerned, Fox News's time has run out.

To Fox News's mind, truth is whatever your grievance group says it is. So that means that the world can be happy only when his gestapo is given full rein, right? No, not right. The truth is that Fox News's machinations have an unsavory historical track record. End of story. Actually, I should add that there isn't a man, woman, or child alive today who thinks that his protests epitomize wholesome family entertainment, so let's toss out that ridiculous argument of Fox News's from the get-go.

It doesn't take a genius to figure out that if you were to try to tell Fox News's toadies that to him, narcissism is a kind of religion, they'd close their eyes and put their hands over their ears. They are, as the psychologists say, in denial. They don't want to hear that Fox News should clarify his point so people like you and me can tell what the heck he's talking about. Without clarification, Fox News's causeries sound lofty and include some emotionally charged words but don't really seem to make any sense. This is well illustrated in what remains one of the most divisive issues of our day: cronyism.

Oh, and one more thing. As long as the beer keeps flowing and the paychecks keep coming, Fox News's lieutenants don't really care that he seeks scapegoats for his own shortcomings by blaming the easiest target he can find, that is, incompetent hypochondriacs. Please don't misunderstand me; I'm not saying that Fox News can destroy any resistance by channeling it into ineffective paths and get away with it. In fact, I see how important his stingy bons mots are to his disciples and I laugh. I laugh because he wants to inculcate the hermeneutics of suspicion in otherwise open-minded people. Personally, I don't want that. Personally, I prefer freedom. If you also prefer freedom then you should be working with me to shout back at his propaganda.

Yes, Fox News may have some superficial charm, but if the past is any indication of the future, he will once again attempt to dam the flow of effective communication. Mutual efforts against brutal anti-intellectualism are not just an educational process designed to teach people that he flagrantly abuses rules and regulations and then complains vehemently when caught. These efforts also serve as a beacon, warning the world of the cruel consequences of his meddlesome ethics. We must bring him down a peg -- not just in the poetic sense, but in the very specific and prosaic terms I am outlining in this letter. I know because I, speaking as someone who is not a putrid worrywart, have experienced that personally. Having said that, let me add that if I had to choose between chopping onions and helping Fox News leave a generation of people planted in the mud of a brain-damaged world to begin a new life in the shadows of phallocentrism, I'd be in the kitchen in an instant. Although both alternatives make me cry, the deciding factor for me is that I clearly hope you're not being misled by the "new Fox News". Only his methods and tactics have changed. Fox News's goal is still the same: to introduce, cultivate, and encourage moral rot. That's why I'm telling you that I, for one, have never been in favor of being gratuitously vengeful. I have also never been in favor of sticking my head in the sand or of refusing to look into the future and consider what will happen if we let Fox News assuage the hungers of his associates with servings of fresh scapegoats.

By my word, Fox News must have recently made a huge withdrawal from the First National Bank of Lies. How else could he manage to tell us that it is not only acceptable but indeed desirable to foist the most poisonously false and destructive myths imaginable upon us? Of course, I'm generalizing a little here. But that's only because his assistants often reverse the normal process of interpretation. That is, they value the unsaid over the said, the obscure over the clear. How can we trust Fox News if he doesn't trust us? We can't. And besides, he justifies his ill-natured, oleaginous fulminations with fallacious logical arguments based on argumentum ad baculum. In case you're unfamiliar with the term, it means that if we don't accept Fox News's claim that antipluralism resonates with the body's natural alpha waves then he will have more impact on Earth's biological, geological, and chemical systems during our lifetime and our children's than all preceding human generations had together. At this point, our task is to protect little children from shiftless pissants like Fox News. Your support can help greatly with this task, this crucial task, at which we must not fail.

Respectfully,
Kilgore Trout

A small piece of hope (5, Informative)

Tragek (772040) | more than 6 years ago | (#23769433)

The government said a second reading of the legislation wouldn't occur until the next sitting of the house. With the government breaking soon for the summer, such a reading would not occur until the fall.
This gives three months to rally against it. Though, Micheal Geist looks at it slightly differently:

The government plans for second reading at the next sitting of the house, effectively removing the ability to send it to committee after first reading (and therefore be more open to change).

Re:A small piece of hope (4, Insightful)

JebusIsLord (566856) | more than 6 years ago | (#23769483)

Or 3 months for the media to get bored with the issue, and then they can quietly pass it without a fuss.

Re:A small piece of hope (1)

Vectronic (1221470) | more than 6 years ago | (#23769779)

Especially considering those 3 months are during the summer, when people are generally watching less TV, reading less newspapers, don't really care whats going on they just wanna go swimming and have parties, or on vacation, and half of those paying attention are to lazy (from the heat) to bother doing anything... "i'd protest, but, I don't have enough iced tea"

Re:A small piece of hope (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23769881)

Not likely. They've been talking about it since last christmas, when it was originally supposed to be tabled. Seeing the actual bill will just bring new interest. The Canadian media doesn't just forget about stuff like this.

Re:A small piece of hope (1)

digitrev (989335) | more than 6 years ago | (#23770039)

You're a bit too optimistic. You assume that
  1. The media will continue to report this. They probably won't, since...
  2. No one really understands or cares about this law, especially because...
  3. There will be much bigger issues that will come up in the intervening time that will wipe this bill from the average Canadian's memory.

We have to stop C-61 cold. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23769471)

When's the first protest? It's time to march the hill.

Re:We have to stop C-61 cold. (2, Insightful)

Vectronic (1221470) | more than 6 years ago | (#23769963)

Why wait for someone else to start it?

Re:We have to stop C-61 cold. (1)

themusicgod1 (241799) | more than 6 years ago | (#23770099)

Canadians tried marching to the hill, once, with a Conservative government, although for different circumstances. Just keep in mind how that turned out [encycloped...adienne.ca] : the march was stopped in Regina(where I am), and blood was shed.

Re:We have to stop C-61 cold. (4, Interesting)

MrAndrews (456547) | more than 6 years ago | (#23770181)

Before you march on the hill, make sure you tell your parents and other boomer friends that this bill will make it so the cable companies can stop them from recording American Idol.

Wait for the look of utter horror to crystallize on their faces, and then you can recruit them into the cause.

It's amazing how fast they go from "meh, it's not really something I'm interested in" to "holy hell, not my Simon!"

Re:We have to stop C-61 cold. (1)

digitrev (989335) | more than 6 years ago | (#23770285)

Excellent speaking point. That's going to turn a lot of heads, if you can make sure someone hears it.

Canada, eh? (1, Insightful)

Slimee (1246598) | more than 6 years ago | (#23769511)

Guess I'm glad I don't live up there for once.

But seriously, this is a scary thought to see a country changing it's laws to match this new digital age. If this gets through it could cause a ripple effect in other countries.

While I realize the likelihood of a law such as this would be difficult to pass in the US, you know there's going to be a "monkey see, monkey do" attitude and there will probably be a bit more of a stronger force trying to push similar bills through Congress.

Re:Canada, eh? (1)

digitrev (989335) | more than 6 years ago | (#23769765)

But seriously, this is a scary thought to see a country changing it's laws to match this new digital age.
Changing the laws to represent reality is not necessarily a bad thing. It's what they're changing them to that scares the crap out of me.

Re:Canada, eh? (2, Interesting)

rdradar (1110795) | more than 6 years ago | (#23770151)

Finland, the country with miss finland decicing about school and copy protection stuff (dunno how they are relevant), already has exactly like this. You are not allowed to circumvent copy protection for any use, and you are not even allowed to discuss the methods or spread software that can do it.

That women who has been pushing it (Tanja Karpela) is quite a big joke here, and she just blogs about stuff like how our capitol city should get more "for elite only" clothing stores. We're in good hands.

Re:Canada, eh? (3, Interesting)

Atrox666 (957601) | more than 6 years ago | (#23770317)

Actually it was the US government who wrote this legislation and told our government that they will sign it into law or your sleazy country will screw us over on trade worse than they already do.

They are already taking the guns away from legal gun owners in record numbers up here.

Welcome to the police state.

In true Canadian fashon we will whine and bitch for a bit and then grab our ankles.

I'd like to see Canada shut down all oil exports to the US until softwood lumber, beef exports and your unwelcome interference in our political system is fixed to our satisfaction. But of course since politicians work for corporations and not voters it will never happen.
IP rights are supposed to compensate the creative people who contribute to society not corporate profiteers like they do now.

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23769517)

It offers a lot of leeway for personal use in regards to ripping media to mp3 & video players.

Oh wait, that's just for non-drm'd media. Any cirumvention is an offense under this beauty.

Current Goverment Talking points (5, Informative)

digitrev (989335) | more than 6 years ago | (#23769543)

I received an e-mail from the Minister of Industry, Jim Prentice (Minister.Industry@ic.gc.ca), presumably because I've e-mailed him about this in the past. In it are the current government talking points. Please, do your best to refute these and point out the horrible, horrible flaws in this bill. Find your MP by postal code [parl.gc.ca] , and give them a good thrashing.

The Government of Canada has introduced Bill C-61, An Act to Amend the Copyright Act. The proposed legislation is a made-in-Canada approach that balances the needs of Canadian consumers and copyright owners, promoting culture, innovation and competition in the digital age.

What does Bill C-61 mean to Canadians?

Specifically, it includes measures that would:
  • expressly allow you to record TV shows for later viewing; copy legally purchased music onto other devices, such as MP3 players or cell phones; make back-up copies of legally purchased books, newspapers, videocassettes and photographs onto devices you own; and limit the "statutory damages" a court could award for all private use copyright infringements;
  • implement new rights and protections for copyright holders, tailored to the Internet, to encourage participation in the online economy, as well as stronger legal remedies to address Internet piracy;
  • clarify the roles and responsibilities of Internet Service Providers related to the copyright content flowing over their network facilities; and
  • provide photographers with the same rights as other creators.
What Bill C-61 does not do:
  • it would not empower border agents to seize your iPod or laptop at border crossings, contrary to recent public speculation
What this Bill is not:
  • it is not a mirror image of U.S. copyright laws. Our Bill is made-in-Canada with different exceptions for educators, consumers and others and brings us into line with more than 60 countries including Japan, France, Germany and Australia
Bill C-61 was introduced in the Commons on June 12, 2008 by Industry Minister Jim Prentice and Heritage Minister Josée Verner.

For more information, please visit the Copyright Reform Process website at www.ic.gc.ca/epic/site/crp-prda.nsf/en/home

Thank you for sharing your views on this important matter.


The Honourable Jim Prentice, P.C., Q.C., M.P.
Minister of Industry

The Honourable Josée Verner, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Canadian Heritage, Status of Women
and Official Languages and Minister for
La Francophonie

Re:Current Goverment Talking points (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23769945)

My reply to him:

Great, that's better, but get back to us once the anti-circumvention measures are taken out.

This one clause means that it will be sufficient for a copyright holder to simply add any type of copy protection to a work, even an ineffective easily circumvented one, to basically invalidate all the other consumer rights you have enumerated.

The industry is already moving away from DRM, why enshrine a reference to it in new legislation?

kthxbai

Re:Current Goverment Talking points (4, Insightful)

MrAndrews (456547) | more than 6 years ago | (#23770049)

I got that one too, and my favourite bit is:

What Bill C-61 does not do:

it would not empower border agents to seize your iPod or laptop at border crossings, contrary to recent public speculation
No, that's in ACTA [canada.com] . How clever of them to sidestep the issue by confusing matters.

Re:Current Goverment Talking points (1)

trevorkjorlien (1281376) | more than 6 years ago | (#23770469)

I emailed my MP (not Jim Prentice) and got the same email (naturally). I don't know enough specifics to refute this letter, though I do understand that this could be a real shitstorm if nothing is done. What are some specific points I could bring up and send back to my MP?

We need to contact the MSM (5, Insightful)

Geof (153857) | more than 6 years ago | (#23769545)

Most people still get their news through the mainstream media. Many of them have published warmed-over versions of the government press release. We need to contact them to let them know how disastrous this law will be. Some examples:

Ottawa brings copyright into the digital age -- The Toronto Star [thestar.com]

The federal government tabled new legislation Thursday morning designed to make it easier to track and prosecute anyone caught downloading copyrighted files, such as music and movies, from the Internet. -- The Globe and Mail [theglobeandmail.com]

Controversial copyright legislation positioned as a made-in-Canada solution to stamp out online piracy -- The National Post [financialpost.com]

Re:We need to contact the MSM (4, Informative)

digitrev (989335) | more than 6 years ago | (#23769623)

Don't forget The Ottawa Sun. [ottawasun.com]

The bill would also allow consumers to record television and radio programs to watch or listen to later. And it would allow Internet programs to be recorded as long as they are simultaneously aired on television or radio.

There would also be limits on the time such recordings could be kept, so consumers couldn't build a library of recordings.

Department officials weren't able to say how long recordings would be allowed to be kept for later viewing.

Re:We need to contact the MSM (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23769817)

mainstream media, like 99% of sane adults, care about the economy, taxes, the war in Iraq, health care and pensions.
Amazingly for 99% of people, DRM on music is not a fucking live or die issue.
Get a grip.

Feeding the trolls (4, Insightful)

Geof (153857) | more than 6 years ago | (#23770213)

mainstream media, like 99% of sane adults, care about the economy, taxes, the war in Iraq, health care and pensions.

Probably 99% of Canadians don't care a whole lot about the war in Iraq. Health care yes, even though we're all covered. But taxes? That's basically what this law is. Allow me to quote Mark Lemley on the faculty of Stanford Law School: "intellectual property is a form of government subsidy". The monopoly protection this law introduces will increase the cost of music, video, computers, cell phones, and so on. So yeah, it's a tax in all but name. But I don't listen to music and I borrow my videos from the library, so the truth is I don't care a whole lot about how much those cost. This law is a whole lot more - and the more is the problem.

I care about being able to use my computer as a I wish. I care about living in a living, vibrant culture which people can engage in, rather than having it exclusively controlled by American entertainment giants. I care about not having a War on Drugs repeat waged against 90% of the population under the age of 35% for listening to music of all things.

If people like you spent half as much time actually doing something as you do criticizing those who do (or whining about those who don't) your country and mine would be a whole lot more democratic.

Re:We need to contact the MSM (4, Informative)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23770091)

At least we still have the CBC [www.cbc.ca]

Drawing Fire (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 6 years ago | (#23769547)

It should draw enough fire to burn it down completely.

Hey, Canada keeps telling their southern neighbor how superior they are in all regards. Here's a way to show it by not being led by the nose by the USA.

Re:Drawing Fire (4, Insightful)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 6 years ago | (#23769727)

If only it was that simple. The opposition is in disarray, which is why a minority Conservative government dares to pull crap like this. Their main opposition, the Liberal Party, doesn't have the money or leadership to fight an election, so they'll pretty much agree to anything in order to dodge one. The other two major parties, the Bloc and NDP, don't have enough seats to do anything about it. The Conservatives will find a way to make the vote a matter of confidence, the Liberals will fold, and that will be that. It has nothing to do with what the majority of Canadians want.

Re:Drawing Fire (1)

KillerBob (217953) | more than 6 years ago | (#23770435)

They're going to have to call an election sooner or later, though: That's the only way they can unseat Dion. They may as well get it over with, and hope that it's while people remember that the Conservatives suck.

Legal music downloads in Canada? (1, Insightful)

link-error (143838) | more than 6 years ago | (#23769551)


  I was thinking yesterday after the discussion about whether it is legal to purchase music from Russian allofmp3.com. It was stated that if you actually purchased the music outside of the US then brought it back without, it would be legal.

    What if I went up to Canada, purchased some blank-media including the music tax and brought them back with me to the US. Legally, I've already paid for any music downloads I do to put on those CD's, and those rights were obtained outside of the US. Right?

Re:Legal music downloads in Canada? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23770207)

Is current Canadian law really diagonally opposite to other countries that also know a copyright levy on empty media?

The way I've always understood it, you wouldn't be buying the right to burn downloaded music onto those media.

You'd be paying for the right to grab a microphone, sing a song, and record that (as long as you don't try to sell it later, as that would require an additional cash stream toward the music mafia).

It would also allow you to BUY a pile of CD's, and copy selected tracks onto those media to create your own compilation so you don't have to listen to the 75% c-rap on the average commercial CD.

Re:Legal music downloads in Canada? (1)

digitrev (989335) | more than 6 years ago | (#23770371)

Umm, we already have the right to sing a song and record it. We are paying for the right to download and format shift media. At least, that is the Supreme Court's current ruling.

Wiser than the public (1)

davegravy (1019182) | more than 6 years ago | (#23769621)

Very little, if any, consultation with the public or non-government experts occured in the writing of this bill; It was all behind the curtains. Perhaps not an uncommon occurence in the US, but we have slightly higher expectations here in Canada.

Re:Wiser than the public (1)

digitrev (989335) | more than 6 years ago | (#23769661)

We think we have slightly higher expectations. Public consultation is pathetic, no matter where you go in the States or Canada.

Political Theatre (4, Interesting)

Citizen of Earth (569446) | more than 6 years ago | (#23769667)

There's a good chance that this is just political theatre. The Conservatives promised their big-entertainment paymasters that they would introduce this bill in this session of parliament, so they are doing so, but this is the end of the session and the bill is hugely unpopular, so it will likely die when the parliamentary session closes.

What I would like to see for is the Conservatives to make the bill a matter of confidence, the Liberals to vote it under thereby forcing an election, and then the Liberals wining a majority government by harping on this piece of unpopular legislation. This would show the politicians that bills of this kind are political suicide for whatever party introduces them.

Re:Political Theatre (2, Funny)

davegravy (1019182) | more than 6 years ago | (#23769755)

This would show the politicians that bills of this kind are political suicide for whatever party introduces them
It would also show the US that they need to step up their level of influence on Canada's politics.

Re:Political Theatre (4, Insightful)

digitrev (989335) | more than 6 years ago | (#23769801)

The Liberals? Force an election? If they didn't do it over Afghanistan or the budget, what makes you think they'll do it over something that the average person knows nothing about? My biggest fear is that this will be a matter of confidence, thus shooing away the Liberals and giving this bill a free ride through parliament.

Re:Political Theatre (1)

T-Ranger (10520) | more than 6 years ago | (#23770023)

Because forcing an election that you are not prepared to fight, or are prepared to fight, but know you cant win, its politically stupid.

Re:Political Theatre (1)

digitrev (989335) | more than 6 years ago | (#23770115)

You know what else is politically stupid? Being Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition and capitulating on every single belief you claim to hold.

Re:Political Theatre (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23769845)

I think the likelihood of a minority government staking its tenure on a foreign lobbied bill is a long shot, but hey. The optics of a confidence motion would not be great. Perhaps the reality is the Tories want this one to die for now, but put a good show on for the lobbyists, and reintroduce in the next session.

I find the justification that we're just satisfying our obligations under WIPO a bit grating. I think 1996 predates a lot of what's in C-61 and when it comes out to international obligations I think the US needs to sign a few documents first (e.g. Kyoto, Land Mines ban, Cluster Bomb ban, International Criminal Court)...

Re:Political Theatre (2, Insightful)

fiendy (931228) | more than 6 years ago | (#23769885)

Indeed, this bill will likely just die in parliament. That does not mean I am not wholeheartedly against it and the US lobbying that brought it. I will consider writing to my MP on this issue (sidenote: No postage is required to send a letter to your MP).

Some copyright protection reform is obviously needed, but only something that does not villify consumers, make a mockery of fair use or bend to the US **AA lobbying agenda.

But Mr Prentice thinks its good! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23769687)

That's funny, the letter I got from the minister introducing these reforms said it was very positive. After reading what he has to say, I'm completely in favour of it, and assume the rest of you to be liars!

I previously sent a letter to Mr. Prentice, which is how he must have gotten my email address.

The Government of Canada has introduced Bill C-61, An Act to Amend the Copyright Act. The proposed legislation is a made-in-Canada approach that balances the needs of Canadian consumers and copyright owners, promoting culture, innovation and competition in the digital age.

What does Bill C-61 mean to Canadians?

Specifically, it includes measures that would:

        * expressly allow you to record TV shows for later viewing; copy legally purchased music onto other devices, such as MP3 players or cell phones; make back-up copies of legally purchased books, newspapers, videocassettes and photographs onto devices you own; and limit the "statutory damages" a court could award for all private use copyright infringements;

        * implement new rights and protections for copyright holders, tailored to the Internet, to encourage participation in the online economy, as well as stronger legal remedies to address Internet piracy;

        * clarify the roles and responsibilities of Internet Service Providers related to the copyright content flowing over their network facilities; and

        * provide photographers with the same rights as other creators.

What Bill C-61 does not do:

        * it would not empower border agents to seize your iPod or laptop at border crossings, contrary to recent public speculation

What this Bill is not:

        * it is not a mirror image of U.S. copyright laws. Our Bill is made-in-Canada with different exceptions for educators, consumers and others and brings us into line with more than 60 countries including Japan, France, Germany and Australia

Bill C-61 was introduced in the Commons on June 12, 2008 by Industry Minister Jim Prentice and Heritage Minister Josée Verner.

For more information, please visit the Copyright Reform Process website at www.ic.gc.ca/epic/site/crp-prda.nsf/en/home

Thank you for sharing your views on this important matter.

The Honourable Jim Prentice, P.C., Q.C., M.P.
Minister of Industry

The Honourable Josée Verner, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Canadian Heritage, Status of Women
and Official Languages and Minister for
La Francophonie

Canada is Already a Police State (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23769689)

You Americans have a fairly shitty healthcare system, but let's remember that here in Canada, there is still no such thing as a right to free speech.

Our Human Rights Commissions (provincial and national) investigate "crimes" like criticizing other people's religious beliefs, opposing gay marriage or refusing to participate in a gay marriage ceremony, and making non-violent racist statements. The extrajudicial tribunals can charge people with these crimes as a result of a complaint being made by anyone-- no police investigation, no warrant, no arrest necessary. There is no jury at the trial, and the sentences include fines and being required to disavow one's "hate speech" and profess agreement with the government.

The defendant has no right to an attorney or to an appeal, although they must pay the court costs. The judges are not elected, and so far have no oversight from any other level of government. Truth is not considered a defense-- a person may be found guilty of speech that "incites contempt", even if it's proven that their speech is purely factual.

The HRC has been caught red-handed tapping into a secured WiFi router, without any kind of warrant or approval, in order to spy on a citizen's internet traffic. Yes, they recently brought a case against someone for expressing criticism of a religion in a comment posted to a U.S.-based vBulletin message board. They suddenly dropped the charges when the story started getting attention-- but refuse to admit wrongdoing, and still claim that they have the authority to fine people for "contemptful" comments posted on the internet.

Re:Canada is Already a Police State (4, Interesting)

Vectronic (1221470) | more than 6 years ago | (#23770107)

Just to add a bit of information to the OP about "...no such thing as a right to free speech."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_speech_by_country#Canada [wikipedia.org]

The constitutional provision that guarantees Freedom of expression in Canada is section 2(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms: ... (b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication

Due to section 1 of the Charter, the so-called limitation clause, Canada's freedom of expression is not absolute and can be limited under certain situations. Section 1 of the Charter states:
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society. (emphasis added)

This section is double edged. First it implies that a limitation on freedom of speech prescribed in law can be permitted if it can be justified as being a reasonable limit in a free and democratic society. Conversely, it implies that a restriction can be invalidated if it cannot be shown to be a reasonable limit in a free and democratic society. The former case has been used to uphold limits on legislation which are used to prevent hate speech and obscenity.[citation needed]

In the landmark Supreme Court of Canada case R. v. Zundel (1992), the court struck down a provision in the Criminal Code of Canada that prohibited publication of false information or news, stating that it violated section 2(b) of the Charter.

In April 29, 2004, Bill C-250 was passed which includes as hate speech propaganda against people based on their sexual orientation. It is now illegal to publicly incite hatred against people based on their colour, race, religion, ethnic origin, and sexual orientation. However, under section 319 on hate speech, a person cannot be convicted of hate speech "if the person can establish that the statements made are true."

Other laws that protect freedom of speech in Canada, and did so, to a limited extent, before the Charter was enacted in 1982, include the Implied Bill of Rights and the Canadian Bill of Rights.
And more...

Charter Of Rights And Freedoms [wikipedia.org]

Bill C-250 [wikipedia.org]

Tell MPs What's Wrong with the Prentice Bill (5, Informative)

PFAK (524350) | more than 6 years ago | (#23769693)

Check out Online Rights Canada's new action alert, "Tell MPs What's Wrong with the Prentice Bill":

http://www.copyrightforcanadians.ca/action/firstlook/ [copyrightforcanadians.ca]

Here's what their website says about it:

"After months of hesitation, Industry Minister Jim Prentice has finally revealed his re-write of Canada's rules of copyright. Tell your MP just what you think of it."

Worse is better. (3, Insightful)

a whoabot (706122) | more than 6 years ago | (#23769737)

So proprietary software, RIAA music, Hollywood movies and television will be more tightly controlled by the copyright holders. Maybe now people will turn the stuff off and be better off in the long run.

Confidence Motion? (4, Interesting)

shma (863063) | more than 6 years ago | (#23769795)

For a year or two, now, the Conservatives have been able to push through almost any legislation by making it a confidence motion. For those of you in the US, all major bills (budgets and any bills involving new spending), double as motions of confidence in the government. Their failure means the government falls. The main opposition in Canada, the Liberal party, has feared bringing the government down (even though they have the votes) because their party is not polling any better than they did in the last election. They either register a vote of 'abstain' or do not show up to vote where major legislation is concerned. The result is that the Liberals have given the Conservative government an effective majority in Parliament. So the major question here is whether defeating this legislation can bring down the government. Because if it is not a matter of confidence, then the Liberals will join with the other opposition parties to easily defeat it.

Re:Confidence Motion? (0, Flamebait)

Dr Caleb (121505) | more than 6 years ago | (#23770385)

"They either register a vote of 'abstain' or do not show up to vote where major legislation is concerned."

Just to clarify - there is no such thing as 'abstention' in Parliament. It's 'yes' or 'no'. Or, like the mighty Dion proudly voicing his parties' values - don't show up.

At least the traitors^w Bloc have the testicles to show up and earn their overpaycheque.

The Sci-Fi Present (4, Insightful)

CopaceticOpus (965603) | more than 6 years ago | (#23769803)

More and more, I'm feeling like the sci-fi stories we've all been reading for years are becoming less far-fetched as time goes on. I'm not talking about the technology of such stories, but rather the trends of governments and societies towards insane laws that stifle freedom and progress, and which make life worse for all but a few of the citizens.

Cory Doctorow's recent story "I, Robot [craphound.com] " comes to mind.

How do these laws keep getting pushed through in the "free world" of democratic governments? Yes, I understand the influence of lobbyists and big business, but still. Is it really too complicated for the average person to understand the significance of these laws? Or do they just not care?

Perhaps it is just a limitation of our systems of government. As a US citizen I hate DMCA-style laws. But I only get one vote for a given office, and I have to find ONE candidate to agree with me not just on DCMA, but on war, health care, economics, and all the other issues. Furthermore, I only get two choices with a realistic shot at victory, and it's likely they've both already been bought by big media.

So what's left to do? I'm asking honestly, how do we work towards change? I'm hoping for something between "angry blog post" and "bloody military coup."

Re:The Sci-Fi Present (1)

digitrev (989335) | more than 6 years ago | (#23769977)

Is it really too complicated for the average person to understand the significance of these laws? Or do they just not care?
Neither. They don't know about these laws. That's the issue, we just don't know what's happening with regards to this. Unless it's front page news, no one really knows what's going on.

Re:The Sci-Fi Present (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23770003)

I fucking hate Cory Doctrow and his obsession with copyright and disney; It's important, we get it. Now fuck off

Re:The Sci-Fi Present (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23770139)

How do these laws keep getting pushed through in the "free world" of democratic governments? Yes, I understand the influence of lobbyists and big business, but still. Is it really too complicated for the average person to understand the significance of these laws? Or do they just not care?
The average person is told what to think by the media, who happen to like laws like this.

So what's left to do? I'm asking honestly, how do we work towards change?
"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." -- Thomas Jefferson

Re:The Sci-Fi Present (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23770157)

1. Support every third-party candidate you can stand. If it is close, I go with thrid-party.

2. Run for office.

3. Write your officials and let them know.

4. Talk to the "lessers" among you to inform them about the issues. Most people don't know, don't understand, or don't care (probably because they don't know).

5. Don't support the companies that push this crap forward. Sony hasn't seen a cent of my money in years. Same for MS, unless you count work. :(

6. Act. None of this matter if you keep lurking on /.

It's even worse than you think (4, Insightful)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 6 years ago | (#23769861)

If you read the bill over quickly, it appears to guarantee certain consumer rights, such as copying CD's you legally bought, time-shifting and such. Closer examination, though, shows that those rights are actually non-existent. All a corporation needs to do is put copy protection on a CD/DVD or tell you they don't want you to reproduce the music or whatever and disobeying their wish would be illegal. So if the producer put "DO NOT COPY" on the cover of a CD, you're screwed...even if you just brought it home from the store.

I won't bother going into detail on the whole police state aspect to this abortion because somebody's already done so. But it's scary as hell.

On purpose? (1)

skeeto (1138903) | more than 6 years ago | (#23769889)

Hasn't this happened before? I thought the idea in Canada was that they propose a DMCA-like law, but even worse, simply so that it gets tossed and nothing even like it can be proposed anymore. Then later, when some copyright-nazi comes around complaining, they just point to the history books and say, "Hey, see! What are you complaining aboot? We tried to make such a law before but no one would pass it, eh."

I might call it the Jack Thompson approach. You make sure the side you oppose has some example in it that is so crazy no one takes them seriously. This law is that example. Imagine the situation, "You think 'obscene' video games should be banned? You are just like Jack Thompson then!" Instant win.

Note: I am not Canadian.

Re:On purpose? (0, Redundant)

Jabrwock (985861) | more than 6 years ago | (#23770161)

Hasn't this happened before? I thought the idea in Canada was that they propose a DMCA-like law, but even worse, simply so that it gets tossed and nothing even like it can be proposed anymore. Then later, when some copyright-nazi comes around complaining, they just point to the history books and say, "Hey, see! What are you complaining aboot? We tried to make such a law before but no one would pass it, eh."

No, in order to block future DMCA-like laws, they'd need to pass something. They did it with the animal cruelty laws, two versions were proposed, and the weaker one got fast-tracked to "block" the more restrictive one.

And the Conservatives aren't known for putting out bills designed to outrage you so they can replace it with a softer one later. If they introduced it, it's because they intend to pass it.

Phoning In and Mailing In (4, Informative)

Tiberius_Fel (770739) | more than 6 years ago | (#23769915)

I already phoned in to my MP, Prentice, Verner, Dion, and Harper. Use this to get your local MP's mailing and phone information.
http://www2.parl.gc.ca/Parlinfo/Compilations/HouseOfCommons/MemberByPostalCode.aspx?Menu=HOC [parl.gc.ca]

I plan to write some letters tonight.

This bill is not designed to pass (5, Insightful)

duketor (140373) | more than 6 years ago | (#23770033)

The bill still has to go through committee (LOL that will be fun) and back to the house, and then the Senate. I can see an election happening long before this becomes law.

Politically, this is pretty stupid to roll out, but I think Harper is feeling heat from American business interests and bowing to them - SOP for this government.

In the scrum at the announcement, there were deflections over questions over whether a kid remixing and uploading a song to YouTube would be slapped with a $500 fine. I think they know they are vulnerable on this: Vernier suddenly developed a hearing problem and Prentice was a bot, repeating carefully scripted talking points. Watch the video, it's quite amusing: http://tinyurl.com/3zvmjn [tinyurl.com]

Let me assure you, while Canadians are mostly passive, people will hold this one against the government Some of you may remember when there was that outrage over Rogers Cable's negative-option billing scheme. The lesson that all governments should heed is that it's not wise to mess with a Canadian's media. :)

What's a device and what can I do with it? (2, Interesting)

davegravy (1019182) | more than 6 years ago | (#23770079)

the new bill would allow consumers to make one copy of each item per device owned, such as a computer or MP3 player.
What's the definition of a device? Is a CD a device? Is a hard drive a device? Is a usb key a device? After a copy has been made and exists on a device, can the device be legally in the possession of another person (on loan, indefinitely?)

My letter to Jim Prentice (5, Insightful)

Digital_Quartz (75366) | more than 6 years ago | (#23770193)

The American DMCA has many faults, but one of the more serious faults found within is the so-called "anti-circumvention law". This law essentially makes it illegal for Americans to bypass electronic locks, or "DRM", on content they own. Such a law gives unlimited power to content owners, and strips any and all rights from consumers, even rights explicitly laid out in law. This is not a "fair and balanced" approach to copyright.

Before we pass a similar law here in Canada, we must first ask ourselves what the purpose of such a law would be? The industry groups tell us that these locks are meant to protect against piracy, and that anti-circumvention legislation is therefore required to protect their intellectual property. If the goal is to prevent consumers from copying software, movies, and music, then we need pass no further legislation, for these acts are already illegal in this country (with the obvious exception of the private copying act of 1998). The act of copying such intellectual property is already illegal, and there is little sense in making it "more illegal".

DRM has extremely dire side effects. DRM stands for "Digital Rights Management", and that's exactly what it does; it controls what rights a consumer does and does not have over the media the consumer has purchased. But these are rights determined by the content provider, not by law, and the revocation of these rights becomes the province of private industry, which has already demonstrated a total disregard for consumer rights.

For starters, there exists no DRM scheme which does not also generate vendor lock-in as a side effect; music purchased on Apple's iTunes Music Store can only be played on computers running Apple's iTunes software or on Apple's iPod line of portable music players. Some DRM schemes, such as Microsoft's now defunct "PlaysForSure", are lice sensed to multiple manufacturers. However, even though you can buy multiple players from different hardware manufacturers that support PlaysForSure, when purchasing one of these players you are essentially locking yourself into Microsoft's music store.

Microsoft's PlaysForSure is an excellent example, by the way, of the problems inherent in a DRM scheme, because Microsoft has recently closed its authentication servers down [4]. This means that millions of people who bought music from Microsoft can no longer move that content to new audio players. If these consumers loose their existing audio players, or their players or computers break or are sold, then all of the music these people have purchased - music which they own - will be irretrievably lost. The only option these people have is to buy the media they already own a second time.

By enshrining digital locks and DRM in law, you ultimately give license to the content industries to write their own laws where copyright is concerned, because any rights given to consumers, even rights given explicitly under law, can be revoked by the application of a digital lock. Rights such as the "first sale doctrine", the ability to enjoy content on the player of your choice, the ability to format shift media from one format to another; all of these are taken away by almost every existing DRM scheme.

Many DRM schemes, especially in the realm of computer software, do not explicitly enumerate which rights they revoke in a clear and transparent manner to the consumer. Many times consumers are not even aware of the restrictions imposed upon them until they attempt to breach those restrictions. Rarely are consumers trying to breach these restrictions with criminal intent.

It is also important to point out that most such electronic locks are ultimately pointless; as soon as a single user bypasses the lock and posts the content to the internet, the content can easily be copied by all. Such locks will also always be easy to bypass because, from a technical standpoint, the underlying principal of such a lock is inherently flawed. All DRM schemes are based on encryption. Encryption, at it's most fundamental, involves one party sending a message to a second party without the message being intercepted by a third party. With DRM, the message is a movie or music or software, the first party is the content producer, but the problem is that the second and third party are both the consumer [3]. If media is protected by a digital lock, then the key to that lock must be provided to the consumer in order to watch the media. However, if the consumer has the key to the lock, then he or she may use that key to copy the media as well. DRM is as impossible as perpetual motion machines, or faster than light travel. Anti-circumvention laws, in effect, are laws which tell consumers they are only allowed to use the keys given to them for specific purposes outlined by the supplier of the key. This also leads to bizarre situations, such as the legality of publishing certain numbers [5].

Finally, I will touch briefly on the chilling effects such a law has on security research. As already noted, all DRM schemes are ultimately based on encryption. Some notorious breaches of DRM technologies in the past, such as breaking DVD-CSS - the protection scheme used on movies distributed on DVDs, did not involve the use of the key hidden in the player, but instead relied on breaking the underlying encryption algorithm. The DMCA makes the breaking of such encryption algorithms a crime. Security research is a critical part of keeping this nation and its people safe, and it is often the case in this field that critical advances are made by finding flaws in the existing state of the art. The American DMCA certainly does not make this impossible, but it also certainly makes this more difficult [1][2].

The anti-circumvention provisioned of the DMCA are almost universally panned as being some of the worst legislation ever written. Please do not hobble Canadian industry, innovators, and consumers with similar legislation.

Jason Walton
2327 Baseline Rd
Ottawa, On
K2C 0E2

[1] http://www.isoc.org/briefings/008/
[2] http://news.cnet.com/2009-1081-954554.html
[3] http://www.dashes.com/anil/stuff/doctorow-drm-ms.html
[4] http://www.engadget.com/2008/04/23/microsoft-turns-the-drm-screw-on-msn-music-owners/
[5] http://www.thinkgeek.com/tshirts/generic/947f/zoom/

Re:My letter to Jim Prentice (1)

digitrev (989335) | more than 6 years ago | (#23770449)

Do you mind if I use this letter to e-mail to my MP? It's very well thought out, and points out many of the major issues.

Video casettes only??? (4, Informative)

Digital_Quartz (75366) | more than 6 years ago | (#23770223)

"With respect to audiovisual material such as films, the format-shifting provision would apply only to videocassettes and would not allow you to make copies of material stored on other media, such as DVDs."
-http://www.ic.gc.ca/epic/site/crp-prda.nsf/en/rp01158e.html

That's a bit obtuse. Why does it matter what media format the source is on?

As the bill stands, format shifting from old laser discs or Video-CDs would be illegal. Format shifting DVDs to your video iPod would be illegal (even for the few DVDs without copy protection). Once DVD becomes an obsolete format, it would still be illegal to format shift your content onto more recent media.

Format shifting music DVDs onto your iPod also would be illegal (which totally sucks).

What about the "media levy" in Canada? (5, Insightful)

databank (165049) | more than 6 years ago | (#23770277)

Does the mean the Recording Industry can no longer collect taxes on any and all CD/DVD recordable media once it passes since it'll be completely illegal to record anything for private use?

If this gets passed, it would mean that the primary use of CD/DVD recordable media would be for data backup purposes of which the Recording Industry has absolutely no involvement and the excuse that the media could be used for private duplication is out the window since it would be illegal to do so.

I bet the Recording Industry would back off if they knew their "free money" from media cds were cutoff.

Call/mail your MP. Send my letter if you want. (3, Informative)

rhpenguin (655576) | more than 6 years ago | (#23770289)

I posted this on another forum this afternoon.. Though I should paste it here as well.. ---- So, after doing some reading, I learned that our government is back at the Copyright Reform table yet again trying to pass a bill very similar in nature to America's DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act). The long and short of it is if this is passed we're going to lose a lot of the freedoms we enjoy with our media today. I suggest you read the proposed changes at the following website: http://www.ic.gc.ca/epic/site/crp-prda.nsf/en/h_rp01157e.html [ic.gc.ca] - Recap version http://www2.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?DocId=3570473&Mode=1&Language=E&File=48 [parl.gc.ca] - Entire bill Once you've done so, I'm going to bet that you will be angry that our government would heavily favor the big media corporations so heavily in this bill while taking away the rights that we currently enjoy like copying a DVD we own for personal use, etc. I strongly advise you write your MP if you do not support this bill after reading about it. If you need to know who that is or find their contact info, visit the following website: http://www2.parl.gc.ca/Parlinfo/Compilations/HouseOfCommons/MemberByPostalCode.aspx?Menu=HOC [parl.gc.ca] The following is the letter I've written. You can feel free to send it, or come up with your own. But I urge you to do something and make your voices heard if you do not support this bill. ------- Greetings, I am usually not one to make waves when it comes to political issues, however this one effects me personally and just about every technology using Canadian. After reading through the "Copyright Reform Process - Fact Sheets" (http://www.ic.gc.ca/epic/site/crp-prda.nsf/en/h_rp01157e.html) I have several issues with your proposals. Below I am going to go through each section of the "Fact Sheet" and state my issues with them. With regards to Format Shifting (http://www.ic.gc.ca/epic/site/crp-prda.nsf/en/rp01158e.html): "With respect to audiovisual material such as films, the format-shifting provision would apply only to videocassettes and would not allow you to make copies of material stored on other media, such as DVDs." This scares me. Looking at this statement, if I understand it correctly, and taking it for face value means that I could not take a DVD that I have purchased and put it on my iPod or other digital media players without breaking the law. It would mean that I'd have to purchase another copy of said film (that I had already purchased on DVD) for the media player of my choice. Having to buy the same thing multiple times does not bode well with me. I work hard for what I own, and do not believe that the laws of this country should dictate how I use it. "You could not circumvent or hack a technological measure (digital lock) to make a copy." This is 100% flawed. 99.9% of commercially produced DVDs have a digital protection on them called CSS and an increasing number of audio discs have content protection on them as well. If I wanted to make a backup of media that I own, that means that I would have to break some kind of Digital Rights Management (DRM) to do so, thus making me a criminal under the law. With regards to the Private Copying Of Music (http://www.ic.gc.ca/epic/site/crp-prda.nsf/en/rp01160e.html): On this page, you mention: "What could be copied? -- You could make a copy of music you have accessed legally onto devices you own and onto media to use with these devices. However, you could not copy music you have borrowed or rented." Further down the page you mention: "You could not circumvent or hack a technological measure (digital lock) to make the copy." I'm looking at the last ten CDs I've purchased and eight of them mention they have some form of anti-piracy measures on them. So, even though I've purchased them legally from an old fashioned record store, to put them on my computer, iPod or other media player, under the law, I'd be considered a criminal. The only way I can see getting around this (legally) is to purchase the same thing twice, or even more than twice depending on my uses. That frankly isn't right. I work a modest job and not can not afford to buy the same thing over and over again to use in different ways and I'm sure the majority of Canadians will feel the same way. With regards to Limitations on Statutory Damages (http://www.ic.gc.ca/epic/site/crp-prda.nsf/en/rp01162e.html): "However, if you hack a digital lock to enable any kind of infringement, (e.g., hacking the anti-copying mechanisms of a computer game to make an unauthorized copy), you would be subject for up to $20 000 in statutory damages." This statement is something else. All video games and some software contain anti-copying measures. If I want to make a backup of my video games, I have to make/obtain a "crack" for that backup to run. Even if only for personal use. That makes me a criminal under this proposed law. Also, sometimes I like to play my games on the go and remove anti-copying measures so I can play the game without optical media, giving me greater battery life on my laptop. Under your proposed law, I could not do that and would be a criminal for doing so. With regards to "New Rights and Protections for Copyright Owners" (http://www.ic.gc.ca/epic/site/crp-prda.nsf/en/rp01163e.html): "Break or provide tools designed to hack a digital lock (password, anti-copy device, time-limited trial system) placed on a copyright work without the authorization of the copyright owner. (Technological measures)" I'm sounding like a broken record now. How does one go about making a backup of his personal media when pretty much all modern purchased media has copyright protection on it?! If you want to make a back-up of a video game, you need a "crack" to play it. Here's another example; iTunes and the like (on a Macintosh, anyway) skirts the media protection because it is written for a Windows based machine. Does that make iTunes on the Macintosh platform illegal? The way I read this line, it does. With regards to "Technological Measures (TMs) or Digital Locks" (http://www.ic.gc.ca/epic/site/crp-prda.nsf/en/rp01166e.html): "Users could not circumvent or hack TMs (e.g., passwords, time-limited trial systems) that protect copyright material." I keep repeating myself here, but, content creators are putting digital locks and measures on pretty much all new media coming onto the market. This means that unless a user want's to break the law by sidestepping these measures, he/she can not make a backup legally. "Users could not provide, market or import devices or provide services to enable hacking." I have a mod chip in my Playstation 2 to play imported Japanese games that are not on the North American market and will not play in a North American Playstation 2. Under this proposed law, this would be illegal. If I'm buying the game legally, with my own money, why can I not circumvent technology in a machine that I bought and own to play a game that is not available in the market that I live in without being a criminal under the law? It makes no sense to me. These are my issues with the proposed bill as taken from the "Fact Sheet" (http://www.ic.gc.ca/epic/site/crp-prda.nsf/en/rp01166e.html) on the Copyright Reform Process webpage. I find this bill to heavily favor the big media business of North America vs. Joe and Jane Canadian. I see a lot of the freedoms that I enjoy today being stripped from me and do not want to see this bill passed. I'm sure that I would find a lot more that I do not agree with in the actual bill itself vs. the "Coles Notes" version, however, I am not a lawyer, and a lot of the speech used is beyond me. In short, I do not support this bill. Sincerely, -Your name here.

I always thought Canada was a great (1)

LM741N (258038) | more than 6 years ago | (#23770333)

refuge from the US. Especially BC which is just North of here. But Canada seems to be falling in line with Bush lately. Perhaps if Obama is elected, we won't see any more of that in Canada. Where the US goes, so does a lot of other countries. But we have to see Obama's relation to the music and movie industries first.

Stupid old politics party (1)

RichMan (8097) | more than 6 years ago | (#23770429)

I lean somewhere liberal/green/labor. I am glad the out of touch conservatives proposed this. It will cost the conservatives a lot of points next election. They do not appear to connect with the current generation. Notably I am "old" and I don't agree with this either.

$500 fine per download, $20,000 per upload. Of what is nominally a $0.99 or less item. This is not constitutionally valid as it is a violation of fundamental justice. Still it looks pretty normal for the new police state to act ignoring citizen's rights in favor of corporations.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_Bill_of_Rights
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fundamental_justice

They sold us out (4, Interesting)

why-is-it (318134) | more than 6 years ago | (#23770441)

How much longer before we give up the pretense of being a sovereign nation? Out of economic considerations, our foreign policy is written with US interests in mind, and now the same can be said of our domestic policy. We have a branch plan economy, and now a branch-plant government. I know it has been that way for some time, but previous governments at least tried to give the appearance of being a little independent from time to time. I guess with Tony Blair retired and John Howard defeated, Steven Harper has chosen to make his move and become the US' new bitch^H^H^H^H^Hbest friend.

OK, that is perhaps a tad over-dramatic, but it is clear that this proposed law was not written with my best interests at heart. The same cannot be said of the US-based media cartels who probably had more to do with the authoring of the bill than any particular civil servant or party hack.

I would like for the opposition to show some spine and vote this bill down, but I doubt that will happen. The Liberals have abstained from so many votes on issues they claim to be fundamentally opposed in order to not cause an election. As a result, I do not believe that they have the moral authority to vote down government legislation until after the next election.

It's not like the Liberals would have done anything different - this legislation is quite similar to what Sam Bulte was preparing when she had that ministry.

It sucks when your nation's legislation is written by foreign corporations, for the benefit of foreign corporations - and it really doesn't matter which party introduces it. I fully expect the government to claim that this is a great day for the Canadian consumer and how the enhanced copyright protection will benefit any Canadian shareholders of those foreign media cartels. It probably isn't good politics to tell the voters the truth at the best of times...

BTW - I wonder if the phrase "public domain" appears even once in this bill which supposedly modernizes and improves copyright?

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