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DMCA Worldwide: Canada, New Zealand, USA

michael posted more than 13 years ago | from the spreading-faster-than-Sircam dept.

The Courts 248

cdlu writes: "Citing the need for up-to-date digital copyright laws, the Canadian government is starting hearings into our own version of the US's DMCA. Do you still wonder why people protest at the G-8 and other such summits?" Meanwhile, New Zealand is also planning to reform its copyright laws to include DMCA-like restrictions, and in the USA, Congress is planning to double the number of FBI agents and Federal attorneys devoted to pursuing copyright cases.

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Re:Why people protest at the G-8 (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2186453)

Yet for me preventing ridiculous laws from spreading as a result of globalisation is good enough a reason.

However, as far as I am concerned biotech, for instance, is OK. This is what politicians tend to miss when they're talking about the anti-globalisation people. We are a very diverse bunch of people but the mainstream politicos don't see this because in traditional parties and pressure groups the official line is practically forced upon the party members.

Anti-globalisation people on the other hand don't really care if you're an anarchist or a tech geek as long as you oppose globalisation.

Re:Why you ask? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2186454)

But something like that's covered by existing copyright law. DMCA and the like is just a naked power grab by the media companies to erode what rights we have now.

Canadian DMCA (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2186455)

I think, I hope, the main difference here is that the Canadian government is requesting comments on this Law. This is in stark contrast to the US who passed the DMCA with little or no public discussion. I am hoping that this will result in making any ammendments, if any, much more balanced than the DMCA. I urge you to visit the Canadian web site on this matter, and if you are Canadian to contribute to the discussion.

IANAL but in Canada copyright law is very similar to what it was int he US prior to the DMCA. You are able to make archival copy's of work that is copyrighted for your own purposes. Other basic premises of fair use are also recognized, and we need to maintain this.

I am personally going to respond to this request and submit my position on this. I urge all Canadians who feel strongly about this to do the same. I for one do not want to see any Professor Felten, or Dimitri Skylarov's in Canada.

As to the questions I saw about corporate control of Canadian government. I do not believe the problem is as pronounced as it is in the US as we do not have the same level of campaigning, and thus not the same level of campaign contributions as US does. We also have a multi party system and a lot stronger provincial power in the governing of Canada. However proponents of stronger copyright controls do have a strong lobby in Ottawa and we have to meet that challenge.

Together we can keep bad laws like the DMCA and their stifling effect on innovation and research out of Canada.

Thank you

Stepping off the soap box now

Re:I'm hacked off! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2186456)

Ah, the wonders of the two-party system.

But I guess it must be at least two times better than the one-party system in the former communist regimes...

Re:World Government (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2186457)

The current western world is a continuation of the fascist Roman empire which was a continuation of the fascist Babylonian empire.
Moral of the story, kids: never get your "History of the Western World" from the back of a Cracker Jack box.

Guess China isn't so bad after all. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2186458)

Citing the need for up-to-date digital copyright laws, the Canadian government is starting hearings into our own version of the US's DMCA. Do you still wonder why people protest at the G-8 and other such summits?" Meanwhile, New Zealand is also planning to reform its copyright laws to include DMCA-like restrictions, and in the USA, Congress is planning to double the number of FBI agents and Federal attorneys devoted to pursuing copyright cases.

As far as I know, China won't have any version of DMCA on their books anytime soon! ;-)

A dumb quote (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2186459)

"If someone crashed the international banking community, it wouldn't be too funny," Schroeder said. "The Department of Justice wants to send the message that this is not a joke. You really could put someone out of business."

What the hell does this have to do with copyright violations? The DOJ can't even make a proper analogy.

Re:Extridition (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2186460)

(and the poor fools commonly known as voters)

Slightly OT, but this reminds me: Am I the only one who gets worried when politicians insist on calling people "taxpayers", not voters or citizens?

Where's Electronic Frontiers Canada? (EFC) (1)

farrellj (563) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186465)

This is supposed to be Canada's version of the Electronic Freedom Foundation...but their website has used to be at, but I can't even ping the place.

This is the group that should be at the forefront of attacking this piece of stupid legislation! Where the Fsck are they?!?!

Farrell McGovern
Who still wonders what happened to my EFC membership...

Canada already has some dumb laws (4)

Sanity (1431) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186472)

For example, currently all CDR sales are taxed, with the proceeds going to copyright holders. Of course, the real question is who gets the money, who wants to bet that it goes straight to the RIAA or a similar organisation which, no doubt, ensures that the little-guy gets his fair share </sarcasm>

This idea is laughably broken - and anti-capitalist - what is next? Perhaps they will tax walking and give those taxes to Exxon, after all, it hurts oil companies when people don't drive.

Why should someone who uses CDRs for, say, duplicating software such as Linux, have to pay money into the coffers of the record industry?

Where is the competition that is supposed to drive capitalism when companies are being paid directly from government imposed tarrifs?


Re:Why is this happening? (2)

Glytch (4881) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186474)

Yes, I know. But he'll still whine. :)

Re:Why is this happening? (4)

Glytch (4881) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186475)

It's not so bad, when you allow for the fact that the media up here will cheerfully crucify any politician who shows any weakness. Witness Stockwell Day.

Also, our ruling party, the Liberals (who are actually conservatives) doesn't have that big a majority in Parliament. If the four opposition parties ever get their act together, and if some Liberals vote against their party, the opposition could defeat the government's bill.


But the Bloc will just argue over what the bill gives to Quebec, the Alliance will continue to commit suicide, the NDP will give very eloquent speeches but will end up making no difference at all, the Conservatives (who may or may not be conservatives, depending on whether their flipped heads or tails that morning) will do nothing, and John Nunziatta will whine.

And the bill will go through, and Teflon Jean will get away with everything.

Hey, kids! Let's play "guess which of the opposition parties the poster is a bitter member of!"

Re:Thats good. (2)

Brian Stretch (5304) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186476)

Oh yeah, silly me... So that's why DVD's cost about 50% more in the UK than they do in the States.

Or because of VAT taxes, import duties, the high cost of doing business in general...

According to my expat coworkers, EVERYTHING is more expensive in the UK. They'll typically buy computer gear here before returning home, just a few small items that'll make it through customs.

Not that I'm excusing the asinine DVD regional encoding scheme, but hey, it was designed by Hollywood liberal control freaks :-).

Re:Why is this happening? (1)

m0nkyman (7101) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186477)

We had neither a constitution nor bill of rights until 1980 -- they were controversial at the time and many Canadians still think them unnecessary.

And don't forget the notwithstanding clause, whereby the governement can pass a law that violates the Bill of Rights simply by invoking it. Canadians do not have any inviolate rights under our constitution. Another unforgivable act by Trudeau's Liberals.

*raises her hand* (1)

cyberwench (10225) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186483)

Ooh! Ooh!

NDP? Or was that a rhetorical question?

<--- US citizen trying to get the hang of all these darn parties while I wait for Immigration to let me the heck in.

At the very least... (1)

cyberwench (10225) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186484)

... retain a good lawyer, in the U.S.

If there's no way for you to avoid coming over here, make sure you have legal representation before you come and make sure they know what the issues involved are.

Honestly I don't think it's safe right now. While the Sklyarov case is more extreme (he at least helped author the tool, you only distributed it), the potential for you to be arrested and tried is definitely there.

Just a note... (1)

cyberwench (10225) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186485)

The site says they are looking for comments specifically from Canadian citizens. While this doesn't stop anyone else from responding, be aware that your opinions may be discarded.

Which seems fair enough, I wouldn't want a bunch of say, US companies' comments on the matter to be considered.


FreeUser (11483) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186489)

...while Japan for various cultural regions isn't a bastion of democracy...

Ugh! I need to proofread better. The above should read

While Japan, for various cultural reasons isn't a bastion of personal freedom,it remains a democracy ...


Re:Yeah (and the answer is obvious) (3)

FreeUser (11483) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186493)

Did you forget the sarcasm tags or do you really feel that way about our country? Calm down.

Having lived in the United States most of my life (including the last 8 years or so), and having lived for many years elsewhere (including Europe and Japan), and having travelled around the entire globe on two seperate occasions, I am under no illusion whatsoever that our country is the "freest" country on Earth: it isn't by a very long shot. Nor is it the worst place on earth.

It does, however, have much more in common with most "third world" countries I have visited than with the democracies of western Europe or even Japan. Western Europe (the Netherlands, Scandinavia and Germany in particular) has a much higher level of personal freedom than is accorded Americans by our government, and while Japan for various cultural regions isn't a bastion of democracy, it joins western Europe in providing basic amenities to all of its citizens (that dirty word "socialism" again).

The squalor one sees in the major cities of the Unites States (including tens of miles of it not too far south of my own home in Chicago) is matched only in places like Delhi, Mexico City, Istanbul, Sao Paulo, and the like. Not by Tokyo, not by Berlin, not by Paris, not even by London.

Corruption? Yes, it exists everywhere, but not with the flagrance of the United States. Again, to come close to matching the kind of things one sees here, such as the DMCA and dissappearance of engineers who upset large corporations, you must travel to places like Indonesia, El Salvador, and Russia.

The only thing keeping the United States out of the list of "third world" nations is our raw wealth, 98 per cent of which is controlled by less than 1 per cent of our population.

Factor in human rights, political corruption, environmental policies and by many people's reconing the United States would already qualify for third world status, our notorious wealth notwithstanding.

"Calm down." Good Lord, that is what Americans have been doing for over thirty years, and that is why we have become fat, slothful, and too lazy to even consider speaking out to defend our own basic rights, much less the rights of foreign visitors taken into custody by our own, home grown, secret police, and then held incommunicado for days, weeks, months, sometimes years, and in at least one instance executed in direct violation of international norms and the Geneva Convention without having ever been allowed to speak with his consulate.

Don't believe me? Do some research. The information is there, it just isn't being spoon fed to you on the evening news by Dan Rather.

Once you've informed yourself a little bit I suggest you get out and see a some of the world outside of this one country you seem to place so much blind faith and trust in (and no, the hotel room, the lobby, the taxi, and the office of your branch office in Madrid don't count, any more than they would if that were all you'd seen of the United States. Then again, perhaps it is that very deficiency which prompted your knee-jerk reaction to my earlier post. Or perhaps it hit a nerve, being so close to home.)

Yeah (and the answer is obvious) (4)

FreeUser (11483) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186495)

Now it has turned out that I'll be doing my post-doctorate studies in the US next year and the Sklyarov case got me thinking if I might be in trouble because of my DeCSS mirroring. After all the MPAA lawyers argued that I was in breach of DCMA.

Why on earth would you do something so foolish as to come to the United States, particularly after Dmitry Sklyarov has disappeared into our Gulag for violating the very same law?

Any ideas?

Yes. Go somewhere else to do your graduate work. Do not risk imprisonment in the United States ... unlike most civilized countries we are very bad about letting foreign nationals see their consulates or government representatives (we have even executed people without ever granting them this right, which is supposedly guaranteed by the Geneva Convention). We may be wealthy, but in most respects we are very much a third world nation, one whose corrupt politicians now have it in for programmers and free speech proponents such as yourself.

Unless you would like to become another martyr for the disappearing liberties of a fat and lazy people who couldn't be bothered to care for themselves, much less some foreigh "troublemaker," I would strongly suggest finding a less oppressive country in which to study and not take the risk.

Dead Tree Time (2)

SurfsUp (11523) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186497)

I'm a Canadian, this time I can make my voice heard. Err, I mean I can help kill some trees by putting it in writing.

As has been pointed out on many occasions, snail mail is the only thing that gets through to a pol. I guess this is because the letter actually lands on their desk, they have to account for it, respond to it, file it, whatever. Then they have to think, "hey, if this insect^H^H^H^H^H person feels strongly enough to write me a letter, what might they feel like doing in the next election?"

Would somebody be so kind as to supply some addresses?

The Canadian link (1)

The_Sock (17010) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186505)

The Canadian page makes no mention of the DMCA so hopefully not use it as a template, but from reading the site and linked sites, I highly doubt it.

It should be submitted as "What not to do when making digital copyright laws" but it not the source of the problem. New WIPO treaties are the source.

The WIPO treaty (signed by many contries, someone already posted a link to them) requires laws to be put in place for the following:

1) create a new exclusive right in favour of copyright owners, including sound recording producers and performers, to make their works available on-line to the public

2) prevent the circumvention of copyright protection (i.e., as technology is developed to protect copyright, circumvention of such protection would be made illegal

3) prohibit tampering with rights management information.

Canada has signed this treaty and said it will honour it, so we will have the Canadian DMCA.

There is a link on the Canadian site to the framework for the law that will be passed. []

From the framework:

The Government is committed to ensuring that copyright law promotes both the creation and the dissemination of works.

This sounds like the reverse engineering portion. Say bye to free Satalite television soon.

Other parts seem to cover some of the other issues brought up on here before:

by allowing specific exemptions to aid users such as libraries, schools and archives to fulfill their vital institutional roles in Canadian society

Hopefully they do this part right, and we don't have corporations going after libraries, etc, but I have no faith in my elected officials.

Copyright lasts only for a defined period of time. In Canada the term of copyright, in most cases, is set at the lifetime of the author plus fifty years after the author's death. The issue is whether or not the term of protection ought to be extended to life plus seventy years

It will be extended, there's little doubt about that. The United States and the EU have both already increased theirs to this, Canada will follow suit.

I do not expect all of this to come in under one law. That's not how the Canadian government works. It will create a law that's tolerable. Then they will begin ammending that law. It will mutate over time and will become the DMCA.

I'm moving to Russia, the new land of the free.

Re:My Letter - First Pass (1)

MeanGene (17515) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186506)

Just one suggestion - the very first part of your letter should be a so-called "Executive Summary."

Paragraph 1:

In 1 (one!) sentence state your position on the subject.
In 1 (one!) sentence state what is it exactly you want from the recipient(s) of your letter.

Paragraph 2:

In 3-4 sentences that can be used as a "sound bite" recap your core arguments.

After you're done with this "Executive Summary" you can proceed to explain your position in a long-winded, logical and tedious fashion.

Re:Yeah (and the answer is obvious) (2)

Arandir (19206) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186508)

we have even executed people without ever granting them this right, which is supposedly guaranteed by the Geneva Convention

Can you cite any non-wartime examples? I can't think of a one. The US has done some pretty dumb things in the past but I can't recall anything like this.

Some hope in Canada (3)

alteridem (46954) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186520)

It appears that there are some rational minds in the decision making process in Canada which leaves some hope for reasonable changes to the law. We must all get involved though and make our ideas known. Read CONSULTATION PAPER ON DIGITAL COPYRIGHT ISSUES. [] The following bit from it is what gives me some hope...

Domestically, some copyright stakeholders have indicated that in the absence of a prohibition against the manufacture and traffic in circumvention devices, would-be infringers can legally access the means that enable infringement. With respect to the possibility of sanctioning acts of circumvention alone, these stakeholders have also expressed the concern that attempts to seek legal recourse on the basis of such acts are costly and may not always be effective in providing a strong deterrent to infringement in a globally interconnected world.

The departments acknowledge the concerns of these copyright stakeholders, but must consider these concerns within the framework of Canadian copyright law, where certain uses of works and limitations on copyright protection are recognized as serving legitimate and important public policy objectives. Such limitations are evidenced by the finite term of copyright protection, the fair dealing provisions and the exception provisions. These elements of our copyright law have been the outcome of extensive debate, consultation, jurisprudence and legal obligation, both domestically and internationally. Any attempt to affect that balance may require a reconsideration of the current extent of the exceptions provisions.

The departments have considered the possibility of restricting or prohibiting the traffic in circumvention devices, while at the same time permitting devices that have, as their primary purpose, an activity that qualifies as legitimate, such as the enjoyment of an exception or access to material in the public domain. The difficulty is that devices which are suited to infringing uses are, by and large, equally suited to non-infringing uses. For example, a device used to circumvent a measure that prevents unauthorized copying will not distinguish between materials that continue to benefit from copyright protection from those that have fallen into the public domain.

Under these circumstances, the departments question whether it is possible to establish a legal framework which, on the one hand covers virtually all activities that undermine the use of technological measures, but at the same time continues to reflect the policy balance currently set out in the Act. Such a change in the Copyright Act could potentially result in a new right of access, the scope of which goes well beyond any existing right, and would represent a fundamental shift in Canadian copyright policy. It could serve to transform a measure designed for protection into a means of impeding legitimate uses. In essence, a change of this nature would be tantamount to bringing within the realm of copyright law, matters (e.g., restrictions on use) which may be more properly within the purview of contract law. Given the rate at which the technology underlying protection measures is changing, it is difficult, under present circumstances, to evaluate the public policy implications of such a step. Perhaps the role of technological changes warrants a careful study to examine what will be the dimensions of the intersection of anti-circumvention measures with the current Act.

Canada to Charge Tarrifs to ISP's (5)

alteridem (46954) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186521)

It looks like Canada is going to start charging tarrifs to ISP's for transmissions of copyrighted materials such as songs. This was started in 95 by the Canadian version of the RIAA, SOCAN and it slipped quietly through. This is really scary that this stuff is going on with little public input. For more info, read CONSULTATION PAPER ON DIGITAL COPYRIGHT ISSUES [] and more specifically Liability of Internet Service Providers (ISPs). [] For the lazy, here is an interesting bit from it;

In 1995, the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN) had filed a proposed tariff (Tariff 22) whereby ISPs were asked to pay royalties for the communication of the musical works in SOCAN's repertoire over digital networks such as the Internet. In its decision of October, 1999, the Board asserted its jurisdiction to certify such a tariff. The decision is currently under review by the Federal Court of Appeal.

Re:Back in england.... (1)

t_allardyce (48447) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186522)

Apparently there was a law (very old) that allowed an Englishman to kill a Welshman with a crossbow on a wednesday (i think you had to be in a specific place or something) but no-one had gotten around to changing it because everything in politics takes years (except when theres a *financial* gain involved... cough _cough_ DMCA cough cough choke.. ahhhhhh i have something stuck in my throat

Back in england.... (3)

t_allardyce (48447) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186525)

Blair: Ohhhhhh, but mummy, i want a Digital Millenium thingy law too...

Mum: No dear, you already have the millenium dome and look at it, you played with it for 5 minutes and now its just sitting in your city making a mess. We're not getting anymore millenium buzzwords OK?

Blair: Ohhh ohhh but please! pleaeeeeese! all my friends at school have their own copyright laws - look even canada is getting one. And Mr Gates and some people from the MPAA said they would give me loads of money if i got one.. and, and i promise to look after it and feed it lots of criminals.... PLEEEEEASE!

Mum: NO! we have enough laws already, look at that "killing welsh people on wednesdays with a crossbow" law, you _still_ havn't got around to clearing it up yet.

Blair: Bloody monarchy


Re:Why is this happening? (1)

GwaiJai (50059) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186526)

The problem here in Canada is not with "canadian big business" because in the sense that every-one understands that term, big-biz comes from the US. Yes, there are a few "big-ego" businesses such as Rogers, Bell Globalmedia, and Canwest Global (Nortel doesn't qualify anymore), but Roger's is subsidized by M$ (you know it's true) and Bell and Canwest are at least partly foreign owned (I'm not 100% sure about this...) and are just outlets for the Big 4 Networks of the US. Even Molson Canadian isn't (I AM CANADIAN, one of the greatest lies of our times). One of my old man's favorite beefs is the progressive Americanization of our country. Our curency is all but pegged to the US $, and 79% of our trade is with the south. And 80% of that? Auto parts from GM, Daimler Crysler and Ford to be assembled up here.

The point about fragmentation is well founded as well; I live on the West Coast, and my general feeling is that I'm still living in the HBC NorthWest territories. "Canada" is really the old Upper and Lower Canada (above and below the Ottawa river.) Just take a look at the last fed. elections. Quebec and Ontario decide the elections, the other provinces and territories don't even swing the vote.

The point of this rant; Canadian national identity is rapidly being blured by a new ideology. Product theory is the socio-political system of our generation, whereby corps compete for the mindshare of the population in order to squeze the most out of your disposable income. Gov't just sits at the top and makes sure they get first crack at the pot. It's more than capitalism, since natural monopolies are favoured.

A true sign of US dominance over Canada. My Dell Canada PC corrects me when I type "colour", "grey" and "metre". On a whole, we just don't give a rat's ass. I don't think we ever did. Up until after the 2nd War we just did what Britain advised, then until the Commonwealth began to disintigrate we followed that (still the Crown), now Uncle Sam lets us play with a few of his old, obsolete rockets whenever we let him take our lunch money and brand new toys.

I'm thinking of moving to Taiwan. I just wonder if they have good high-speed internet?

Cynical; damn right! I'm Irish!

I only take a drink on two occasions - when I'm thirsty and when I'm not.

Re:World Government (4)

Louis Savain (65843) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186533)

There is really nothing wrong with the idea of a a world government as long as it is not a fascist one. Fascism has had a long history. The current western world is a continuation of the fascist Roman empire which was a continuation of the fascist Babylonian empire. Only the seat of power has moved over the millenia.

Computers and the internet are the latest tools in the arsenal of the fascist. Record keeping has always been the true basis of their power to control the masses. Now that we have all been numbered (social security numbers, driver's license numbers, etc...) it a simple thing to spy on the citizens of supposedly free countries. By forcing ISPs to spy on everybody, the governments of the world are in fact instituting Big Brotherism as the de facto form of modern government. Why? Because we are all slaves and the slave masters need to have control over their slaves.


Coolfish (69926) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186535)

Don't let the DMCA happen to Canada! Think Canadian politika are any better? READ THE LINK!

-set out a new exclusive right in favour of copyright owners, including performers and record producers, to make their works available on-line to the public;

-prevent the circumvention of technologies used to protect copyright material; and,

-prohibit tampering with rights management information.

Do you REALLY want this!? Hell no! Don't submit a reply here, don't respond to the /. article, WRITE TO THE PROVIDED EMAIL ADDRESS:

The departments would appreciate your comments on any aspect of these documents. We would ask that you provide written responses by September 15, 2001.

Written comments may be sent by e-mail (WordPerfect, Microsoft Word or HTML formats) to:

Re:World Government (1)

uncadonna (85026) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186538)

When I was younger, the star-trek propoganda in me had me convinced that someday we would have a quote "world government" unquote. Nowadays, I'm beginning to realize how undesirable that really is...

It's too late, like it or not. The choice is between world government by corporate oligarchy alone (the dominant current trend) or world government that includes other sources of power.

Re:DVD Consortium to punish China 4 hackable playe (2)

Ryu2 (89645) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186540)

Does the DVD forum specs specify explicitly how hard the DVD regional code must be to defeat? I assume that if the company wasn't explicitly publishing these instructions, but somehow, some non-company "hacker" found them, that it shouldn't be an issue. Like how Xing was not held accountable after its player was cracked by the DeCSS people.

Re:A dumb quote (2)

Ryu2 (89645) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186541)

How many publishers have going out of business that can be attributed to piracy? Where are all the sob stories?

Re:Unconstitutional? (1)

Kwikymart (90332) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186542)

2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:

a) freedom of conscience and religion;
b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and
d) freedom of association.

Computer programs are written by people, so it is a form of self expression. Self Expression is protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (entrenched in the Canada Constitution Act). Any computer program meant to break encryption, or not, is protected under free speech. Therefore if a DMCA law is enacted, it will be unconstitutional if being applied to computer programs.

I dont think I should have to do this...but.. (2)

Kwikymart (90332) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186543)

If you add your comments to the Canadian Copyright suggestion thing, PLEASE DONT TROLL. And please, actually read provided documentation so YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT.

Thank you for your time!

(Just trying to make the world a better place)

Sometimes we bring these things onto ourselves (1)

debaere (94918) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186544)

How many times have we heard the defense of "Rights of Freedoms" spewed out of the mouths of people when they defend downloading music, commercial software, and movies? They say that the prices are immoral and unfair to artists. All the while proud as hell that they haven't paid for a CD or movie in 2 years. This is supposed to justify illegal acts.

The MPAA and the RIAA may be immoral, and it may be oppresive... but downloading songs that you have not paid for is illegal, and it is theft. And it gives the MPAA and the RIAA's arguments for stronger controls amazing amounts of credibility, while completely destroying the argument against.

The facts are that Napster was one big theft machine, and the RIAA and MPAA fought back the only way their corporate mentality would allow them... stronger controls over copyrights and distribution. Why? Because lawmakers took a look around, saw that people were stealing music at an amazing rate, and said "Yeah, your right, we need stronger controls".

Don't get me wrong, I wholeheartedly agree that the MPAA, RIAA are control-freak pirates, and the DMCA is the ultimate weapon for them, and should be abolished at all costs. However, continually downloading their stuff illegally is the WRONG WAY to do it.

A boycott of purchasing CD's is a good way to fight, but it is only effective if a boycott of accessing the music in all its forms is in effect.

If you don't buy music, but still listen to it, the lawmakers won't have any cause to look beyond the RIAA's claims of rampant theft because their is rampant theft, and the message of the RIAA being oppresive is not heard. Conversly, if you avoid the music completely, you force the lawmakers to ask why, and to listen to the arguments against oppression.

I know there are many people who do fight the RIAA without resorting to theft in the process, but the majority do not, and they are IMHO the worst enemy we have.

I am sure I have some facts wrong here, but think of the concept. You cannot gain the credibility needed to get the attention of lawmakers if you are breaking the very laws you are fighting against.

Flame away


DOS is dead, and no one cares...

I'm wondering that myself (2)

debaere (94918) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186545)

I am Canadian... and big business didn't seem to be that big of a factor in Canadian legislation, at least not as bad as it seems to be in the US. We don't really have lobby groups etc. (at least if we do, they are low key).

What we do have is an inability to elect people who actually understand the concept of governing a country.

I think the problem is that Canada has a political body has a hard time standing on its own on any given issue. We tend to bend to the will of others. Since we are basically an extension of the US as far as marketing products and the Media, our leaders (like the fucking sheep they are) look to the US for guidance.

Don't get me wrong, I am proud to be a Canadian in almost all respects... politics isn't one of them.


DOS is dead, and no one cares...

Criminal Court is the Wrong Venue (1)

ronmon (95471) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186546)

I suppose that by now, it has become obvious that these laws are inevitable. After all, big business and big money are what really influence lawmakers (always have) and this is all about protecting their profits. Joe User doesn't hold much sway in the scheme of things and unfortunately that's just the way it is.

What really bugs me about the whole thing is the criminalization of what should be a civil issue. Why should the government spend taxpayer resources to investigate and prosecute an essentially civil dispute. Just like nearly any other property law action, the plaintiff should bear the burden and not the general public. Consider too, that the defendant faces the threat of imprisonment, above and beyond mere financial penalties, and it's clear that the punishment does not fit the "crime". My third point is sadly illustrated by the Sklyarov incident. It's clear to most everyone now (of course /.ers have always known) that it was a mistake to arrest him. Protests, negotiations with Adobe, etc. convinced them to withdraw their complaint against Dmitry, but the government has grabbed the ball here and they aren't ready to quit playing just yet. Now it's out of control.

So my point is, we're going to have to deal with this crap one way or another. Let's get it into civil courts where it belongs.

Re:I'm hacked off! (2)

Benley (102665) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186551)

While I agree completely with your first and second points, and I find your third to be an interesting proposal, I think it is flawed thusly:

Consider the previous US presedential election. It may have worked well here (discounting extreme minority parties such as the Libertarians), because we can assume that almost nobody would have voted for {Gore,Bush} nor {Bush,Gore}. Most of the people that voted in this system would have used it to place {Nader,Gore} or perhaps {Nader,Buchanan} - or {Gore,Nader}, {Bush,Nader} (the last one sounding quite unlikely of course).

What would happen when the votes were tallied would be iterative - the primary votes are counted. Whoops, Gore wins, even though N number of people voted for Nader. So, all those who secondary-voted for Nader get their votes changed. Now perhaps Nader has a majority somehow. But wait! What about the people that voted for {Nader,Bush}? Now their votes drop to Bush because their 'minority' choice didn't win. Now perhaps Bush has a majority. Ooh, what happens next? All the people that voted {Nader,Clinton} drop their votes to Clinton, because Bush won after the first iteration.

Now Nader is completely out of the running, because a majority of voters simply did not vote for him as their primary choice. The vote returns to the in-place two-party system once again at this point, and we have the same problem. Nobody wins except the politicians.

Now, in reading this over I see that my logic is slightly flawed, but I hope you can understand what was trying to come out of my head here. The situation would get even more confusing (I think) if there were three candidates that each earned roughly 1/3 of the popular vote.

My Letter - First Pass (2)

kreyg (103130) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186553)

This is a (very) rough overview of the letter I am writing. It doesn't flow particularly well right now, but the ideas are there. I thought I would throw it to the wolves to get some feedback before I finish it:


I am a computer programmer with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the University of Calgary. I am currently employed as a software engineer developing entertainment software.

My current position exists almost entirely because of the existence of copyright law. Under existing laws, I can and do make a respectable living. I obtained this position because I am an inquisitive and creative person. The desire to figure things out or to take things apart and figure out how they work is the main driving force behind advancement in all fields.

I am gravely concerned that the introduction of laws to "prevent the circumvention of technologies used to protect copyright material" will undermine the rights of those who which to use the materials.

Copy Protection vs Access Prevention

Copy protection has been used by producers of copyright materials to prevent the copying of materials in a manner that would violate existing copyright law. Such measures, unfortunately, also prevent the users of copy protected materials from freely using the materials within the bounds of the Copyright Act. Additionally, copy protection also inhibits, or entirely prevents, such materials from ever entering the public domain, even when the copyright has expired.

All computer data is merely numbers. These numbers are interpreted to represent different things, such as words, pictures or sounds. It is impossible to prevent the duplication of simple numbers, and generally counterproductive. For instance, that is how information travels across the Internet. Data copied several times as it passes through systems on the route to its final destination, where a copy of the data is stored for use. The Internet is all about copying. At its most basic level, that is the only thing it does.

Attempts to "copy protect" data that is transmitted via the Internet, and most other forms of copy protection, would be more accurately referred to as "access prevention." Everyone is free to copy the data, but it is useless to anyone without the appropriate "key" to access the data.

Access prevention is commonly achieved through software, by "scrambling" data in such a way that it is not usable without performing a "reverse scrambling" process. A simple form of "scrambling" is the "secret decoder ring" method. A message can be "protected" by substituting one letter of the alphabet for another. For instance, if we substitute each letter of the alphabet by its preceding letter, the word "Hello" becomes "Gdkkn." To reverse the process, merely replace each letter with each successive letter of the alphabet. More intricate methods exist to "protect" data more effectively, but the general procedure is similar.

The problem with criminalizing circumvention technologies should be obvious: it is necessary to circumvent the copy protection to use the material at all.

This raises some very important questions: Who is authorized to create "circumvention technologies?" Who is authorized to use them, and when? Who dictates the terms under which such technologies may be used?

Freedom to develop software.

The skills that make me valuable as a software developer are the same skills that could be used to circumvent copy protection. Presently, there are no laws restricting the type of software I may write or possess. Current copyright laws restrict what I may do with this software, and need no further extensions.

Copy protection programs are no different from other types of software, they are merely a set of step-by-step instructions. Computers allow these instructions to be carried out very quickly, but the instructions could be performed with simply paper and a pencil.

Freedom to explain how specific copy protection methods work.

This is a fundamentally a matter of freedom of expression. It is also necessary to ensure companies providing copy protection are not making false claims about their software.

Beyond this, as there is no difference in functionality between software "authorized" by the copyright holder and "unauthorized" software, it does not seem reasonable to draw a distinction between the two.

Freedom to use materials within the bounds of the existing Copyright Act.

Access prevention technologies obliterate all fair-use aspects of copyright and deny the ability to use materials freely within the limits of the Copyright Act.

For example, if "secret decoder ring" style protection is used, it must remain legal for me to study how the "decoder ring" works and to build my own, should the device break or be inadequate to allow me to use the material in otherwise legal ways.

Securing the transition to public domain.
Public domain tools to permit access are not allowed to exist, even after copyright expires. This prevents materials from entering the public domain.

Additionally, current software is frequently only commercially viable for less than five years, often closer to six months. As technology advances rapidly, software becomes obsolete very quickly. This software is not able to benefit society in the public domain under the current duration of copyright. Extending the copyright duration would merely make this problem worse.

It may be worth considering substantially reducing the copyright on specific works, but allowing copyright to be maintained on individual components of characters, music and artwork to promote the continued creation of new works.

A Call to Canadians (1)

ParisTG (106686) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186554)

This is your chance to send in comments. Don't let the same thing happen to us. We still have a chance to stop this, so SUBMIT YOUR COMMENTS! Or we will be sorry later.

Europe (2)

heikkile (111814) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186555)

Anyone know what is the situation in EU? I have heard rumours of bad things coming - could someone provide hard facts so I know what to write to local politicians.

Re:Why is this happening? (1)

infra-red (121451) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186562)

The simple answer is treaties. If you read a bit further in the page, you will see a list of treaties, which include the need for the participants to provide some legal framework to protect the copyright holders.

Basically, yes, this is coming, and frankly, I don't have a problem with the intent, so long as the implementation is done properly. It really shouldn't be too hard to see the faults with the American implementation and to create one that is much more accomidating. Also, if we can do it properly, it would create a haven for development in Canada just like encryption is now.

Why is this happening? (2)

Logic Bomb (122875) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186563)

I'd like to hear from some Canadians who are more familiar with their own political system on this one. In the US, one of the main reasons the DMCA seemed to have happened in the form it did is the ridiculous influence of corporate money over our elected officials. Do politicians in Canada face a similar environment? (It was my understanding they did not, or it at least wasn't anywhere near as bad.) If not, why would they be persuing this?

stop right there (2)

ArchieBunker (132337) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186564)

"98 per cent of which is controlled by less than 1 per cent of our population."

Redistribution of the wealth eh? At least the US can give anyone the chance to start a company or win the lottery or get rich somehow. It makes perfect sense to take money away from rich people and give it to the poor.

Say you worked all your life to make a very successful business, now you find out the government wants to steal 50% of YOUR income and give it to people who refuse to work. Hmmm decisions decesions. Work hard and get money or sit on my ass and get money. Which would you pick?

Re:Reason to be optimistic in Canada (1)

theancient1 (134434) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186567)

I recommend that everyone -- not just Canadians -- take a little bit of their time to ensure that laws like the DMCA don't become a reality here. If one country takes a stand against DMCA-type laws, it will make it that much easier for other nations to say "no" to corporate protectionism.

I read an article the other day saying that the CRIA (Canadian-RIAA) was quoting American rulings against Napster in their attempts to shut down internet accounts of people using services such as OpenNap. If you take that in the other direction, and say "other countries have rejected the notion that copy protection should go so far", that's extra ammunition for you.

I believe the DMCA to be undemocratic, by allowing corporations to essentially create their own laws. What's that, RIAA, you hate the idea of fair use (the ability to copy CDs for your own personal use), but can't get government to pass a law making it illegal? No problem -- just add a trivial encryption scheme to your CDs, and voila -- anyone who bypasses the encryption to make a legal copy of the CD has broken the law.

Public commments (2)

theancient1 (134434) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186568)

Note that the Canadian government is looking for public comments [mailto] on these new proprosals... (see article [] for details)

I believe you all know what to do...

Re:Why is this happening? (1)

hidden (135234) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186569)

simply put: the Canadian government tends to be quite happy to tag along after the US in financial & business matters... Certainly there are some notable exceptions, but...

DMCA is apparently viral (2)

WhiteWolf666 (145211) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186573)

Wow---maybe we can get microsoft to start bashing it.

But seriously, what exactly is the justification for these up-to-date copyright laws? Are all these countries really just the subject of mad lobbying by the RIAA and the MPAA, because I really don't know who else could possible support these idiotic laws.

And isn't it also funny that the bastion of freedom (USofA) in some ways now has more restrictive personal rights than Russia?

The ironies of History.

Re:Why you ask? (2)

Sheetrock (152993) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186574)

I agree that those new laws (DMCA and alike) is unfortune and it would be better if they was not needed.

The problem is that copyright law are so horrible abused by huge amounts of people that the situation just has to be dealt with.

The DMCA is not needed to criminalize copyright infringement in a digital environment (despite what U.S. lawmakers appeared to believe when they helped it coast through our system) -- existing laws do this, and they aren't harder to enforce than the DMCA. Even if you believe that society is abusing copyright law and not vice versa, the DMCA is just lumping groups like 'people who make tools with the potential for being used for copyright violation' and 'people who give details publicly about a scheme to restrict access to copyrighted material' in with the same group as 'copyright infringers'. In the sense that it is more likely for a corporation looking to threaten potential copyright infringers to find someone to make an example of in the courts, I suppose one could say enforcement is easier... but creating an atmosphere where free speech is no longer tolerated is IMHO more immoral than letting minor cases (or even Napster-sized cases) of copyright infringement slide.


Why people protest at the G-8 (3)

Glowing Fish (155236) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186576)

Do you still wonder why people protest at the G-8 and other such summits?

There are many issues involved in anti-globalization rallies...wages, sweatshops, environmental laws, police brutality, corporate dominance, biotechnology, racism, classism. Of course, next to all of these, the ability to watch DVD's on Linux computers is also present, but it isn't what has been drawing hundreds of thousand of people into the streets since the Dedication in Seattle.

Re:Of course.... (2)

gilroy (155262) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186577)

Um, I'm not the original poster, so maybe I'm wrong... but it seemed pretty obvious to me that the line
Do you still wonder why people protest at the G-8 and other such summits?"
was referring to the growing power of transnational corporations to impose their will and agenda on formerly sovereign nations... which is exactly one significant reason people protest at the G8 and such.

I don't think the original poster was asserting that protestors are all Free-DVD agitators; just that they're expressing their frustration with the same root causes as we do, even if the issues involved are superficially different.

Re:Dead Tree Time (2)

DeeKayWon (155842) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186578)

Here you go:

Comments - Government of Canada Copyright Reform

c/o Intellectual Property Policy Directorate
Industry Canada
235 Queen Street
5th Floor West
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0H5
fax: (613) 941-8151

Reason to be optimistic in Canada (5)

DeeKayWon (155842) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186579)

In the first /. story about the Sklyarov situation, someone posted this link [] to an article by an Ottawa law professor. Here's a juicy exerpt:

The Canadian proposal acknowledges the need for protection against acts of circumvention, but suggests that the U.S. approach goes too far. It notes that prohibiting the mere distribution of circumvention devices is often unworkable, blocking legitimate activities and altering the copyright balance. It also points out that technical-measures legislation may create the need for a new positive obligation on copyright holders to provide consumers with access to their work under certain circumstances, so that encryption can't be used, for example, to thwart copyright exceptions such as "fair dealing" that users rely upon to make copies of small portions of a work.

So while it is important we get our comments in, it looks like the government already sees the real problems with the DMCA. So let's fire up our word processors and clinch the deal, shall we?

Re:Why you ask? (3)

rneches (160120) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186580)

Ha ha! We know who you are. You are Craig Mundie, aren't you? Admit it - You've been exposed!

Now, you're suppose to post something like "I would have gotten away with it if it hadn't been for those pesky, meddling kids and their van!"



Extridition (5)

rneches (160120) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186581)

Well, maybe the US government (and the poor fools commonly known as voters) will get a wakeup call about their own nation's DMCA when a US citizen gets extridited to or detained in New Zeland or Australia, like Jon Johanson and Dimitry Sklyarbov were in the US. The law, in any country, is wrong. Unfortunatly, it seems that the prominent victims of the DMCA have been forginers, and the US is known to be particularly callous towards forgin nationals (especially those from non-english speaking contries).

It really sucks that this would be the case. Let's just hope that the poster-boy US citizen who gets nailed by a forgin version of the DMCA is appealing enough that the press will run the story as front-page news.


DCMA and getting arrested on arrival to the U.S.A. (3)

Kryptonomic (161792) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186582)

I was chatting about the DCMA and the Sklyarov case with a friend and he asked me if I had participated in mirroring the DeCSS code. I live abroad and gladly mirrored the DeCSS thinking I was safe from any kind of prosecution and laughed at the letter addressed to me by the MPAA lawyers.

Now it has turned out that I'll be doing my post-doctorate studies in the US next year and the Sklyarov case got me thinking if I might be in trouble because of my DeCSS mirroring. After all the MPAA lawyers argued that I was in breach of DCMA.

Any ideas?

DVD Consortium to punish China 4 hackable players (4)

SlushDot (182874) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186599)

See this Register story about the DVD Forum upset at many Chinese made players that have easily defeatable region coding. []

But the worst the DVD Forum can do, according to the article, is bar the Chinese companies from using the DVD name or logo on their product!

Fine with me. Big whoop. I'll buy a "DVD compatible" player or a "binary video disc player" anyday. Yeah! Then maybe we can get some firewire outputs on 'em too. DVD could be so much better if it wasn't so closed, proprietary, s3cr33t, and litigous at any 3rd party innovations.

This is like the start of the PC clones all over again. And we all know the clones won out in the end and made PCs into deeply discounted commodoties.

It is unconstitutional...but... (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186600)

Yes, but that didn't stop them from passing the law in the US now did it?

You are correct with the points of canuck law, but there are several things in the last few years up here that should not have happend and have all in defiance of the constitution, ever since the old PC days, things have been going down hill here.

CISIS is a good example, exactly like the NSA but can spy on canadian citizens, and doesn't require a warrent to do anything at all. They are exempt from 90% of all canadian laws, and the only people they are acountable to are themselfs.

Re:Why is this happening? (1)

blindbat (189141) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186601)

Canadian politics is as corrupt as American but in a different way.

American politicians are influenced by money businesses give them.

Canadian politicians are influenced by giving government contracts to friends and relatives that own businesses.

They both are self-serving.

Of course.... (2)

TheOutlawTorn (192318) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186604)

You're right cdlu. I'm sure the DMCA was on the forefront of all the G-8 protesters' minds. Things like human rights, third world debt, worker exploitation, that's all secondary.

What a joke.

Moderators, you're DAMN RIGHT this is flammage/troll, but it needs to be said.

Re:Thats good. (3)

mickwd (196449) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186610)

Oh yeah, silly me.....

So that's why DVD's cost about 50% more in the UK than they do in the States.

So tell me again, who's paying ?

Re:DCMA and getting arrested on arrival to the U.S (2)

Peter Dyck (201979) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186612)

I don't know if EFF can provide you any advice but you might want to mail and ask them anyway.

If nothing else it will remind them how high profile of a case they've got in their hands. DCMA not only complicates the lives of American professionals but also may cause significant grief to highly educated foreign visitors.

It might also improve their response time/effort if in the same mail you'll ask if non-US donations are welcome... ;-)

Good idea, but... (2)

AstynaxX (217139) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186620)

We need to go farther. Perhaps /. or some other geek friendly site will sponsor a bit of web space to organize a simple campaign, centered around the following:

[Joe/Jane] Doe Congresscritter[yes, be more polite in the actualy letter]:

In recent months, it has become blatantly obvious that the act of Congress generally known as the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) is unfair, unreasonable, and quite likely unconstitutional. Considering those facts, this letter is a call for the immediate and unconditional repeal of the DMCA, as well as a call to never again pass such an odious law. It is my intention to keep an eye on the progress of anti-DMCA efforts, and if the law is not repealed by the next election in which your term is up, I will not vote for you under any circumstances, and will encourage others to do the same. Upon this point there is no negotiation. The DMCA must go, or those who allow it's continued existence will go in it's place.


[Joe/Jane] Q. Voter


Re:Sometimes we bring these things onto ourselves (2)

AstynaxX (217139) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186621)

You cannot gain the credibility needed to get the attention of lawmakers if you are breaking the very laws you are fighting against.

Well, you have the wrong idea on two counts.

Firstly, breaking an unjust law IS a way to get the lawmakers' attention, it is known as civil disobedience, and has some rather successful precendent in U.S. and international law.

Secondly, the issue with RIAA/MPAA is, essentially, the hijacking of the culture of a people for the sake of making money. What they do is analogous to extortion, similar to a street gang charging a 'toll' to walk on 'their turf'. Perhaps boycotting all music outlets save those not aligned with the RIAA would get some attention, but it will also represent undo loss in quality of life for those involved. Now, suffering for what one believes in is certainly to be expected, but not when the likelihood of success by that suffering is smaller than the likelihood of success down a more comfortable path. Rosa Parks made her impression by riding the bus, not walking instead.


The world does move on... (5)

nick_davison (217681) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186622)

"the Canadian government is starting hearings into our own version of the US's DMCA."

Much as we may hate the idea, copyright is a part of the way the world currently works. Take a look at the bottom of this page, notice the "The Rest(c) 1997-2001"? The existing laws were written before they had any idea of what computers would one day be capable of. Updating them to include [to the same degree of fairness] digital forms only makes sense. Otherwise you are left with unequal protection, depending on the media.

The problem with the DMCA is that it was slipped in by the copyright holders and is way too heavily in their favour (including ignoring various other constitutional concepts). The DMCA isn't bad for simply being an extension of copyright law - it is bad for being a biased extension.

All Canada is doing at the moment is starting hearings about their own version. The idea of hearings is that they give everyone the chance to speak up and prevent the kind of abuses that are in the DMCA. So, instead of complaining that it's happening - it will almost certainly happen whether you like the idea or not - start making your opinions heard; block the copyright holders from simply writing their own law; ensure fair use remains a concept; and produce a sensible version Americans can point their simple minded government towards as a good example.

Re:Thats good. (1)

An Onerous Coward (222037) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186623)

You're absolutely right. Instead of paying $20-$50 every time their media gets scratched, those blasted freeloaders are making backup copies. What incentive do corporations have for creating and marketing their fine products in such an unfriendly, anti-business environment?

question (3)

unformed (225214) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186625)

What's going to happen to Bleem! ? That was one program that would've been definitely illegal under the DMCA, yet they won the court case against Sony. So what happens there?

Re:I'm hacked off! (1)

mother_superius (227373) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186626)

Let's just get the Parliamentary system. ms/systems.htm


The DMCA makes it illegal to question... (3)

Futurepower(tm) (228467) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186627)

The DMCA effectively makes it illegal to question bad encryption.

The DMCA is an attempt to accomplish by putting people in prison what should be accomplished by improvements in software quality and in copyright law.

The DMCA artificially ends, or severely hinders, extremely important technical and legal discussions. It is a breach of the U.S. constitutional law of free speech.

Governments not waiting for legal testing of DMCA (2)

hillct (230132) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186632)

How is it that governments throughout the world are now considering measures similar to the DMCA without waiting for chalenges in the US and to see what the effect of public outcry will be here before risking the same thing in their countries?

Is it that these issues aren't getting enough visibility in other countries (or parhaps not getting enough visibility in the US) or is it that corporate proponants of the DMCA foresee that it will be ruled unconstitutional in the US and they want to have similar legislation enacted in other countries before it goes down in flames in the US. This way a portion of the market control aforded by the DMCA can be maintained by international corporations who have operations in countries where DMCA-like legislation was enacted before it was deemed unconstitutional in the US - with the assumption that after it is ruled unconstitutional in the US, getting backing for similar legislation in other countries would be untenable.

This brings us back to the point of presenting a unified front in opposition to such things as the DMCA. There was an editorial on K5 [] mostly discussing .NET but that souhed on this issue of lack of coordination of the groups opposing various corporate and government initiatives (mostly Microsoft Hailstorm but it applies equally to our response to the DMCA).

I have been sugesting in various places that our reliance on the EFF and other such organixations to fight these battles should be re-evaluated and was planning on writing an editorial on the subject but it looks like I was beaten to the punch [] .

On the bright side, at least the canadian covernments is soliciting public comment [] before proceeding with their legislation.


Re:Reason to be optimistic in Canada (1)

evvk (247017) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186635)

But the EU doesn't see the problems.
2. Member States shall provide adequate legal protection against the manufacture, import, distribution, sale, rental, advertisement for sale or rental, or possession for commercial purposes of devices, products or components or the provision of services which:

(a) are promoted, advertised or marketed for the purpose of circumvention of, or

(b) have only a limited commercially significant purpose or use other than to circumvent, or

(c) are primarily designed, produced, adapted or performed for the purpose of enabling or facilitating the circumvention of, any effective technological measures.

So, the directive specifically prohibits free software such as DeCSS but might allow writing unlicensed commercial software to perform the same task.

(See [] for the directive.)

Re:Europe (2)

evvk (247017) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186637)

See [] . The directive articles themselves are at the end of e.html [] and it really looks like that bad things are coming our way. Especially bad looks the part "(b) have only a limited commercially significant purpose or use other than to circumvent, or ". Also, the recitals say that "In particular, this protection should not hinder research into cryptography. " but nothing like this is ever mentioned in the articles. The page mentioned above also links to Wiki site with some discussion on this.

Won't it be funny? (4)

fmaxwell (249001) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186639)

I can just envision a scenario where countries all over the world, under pressure from the U.S., enact DMCA-like laws only to have the U.S. DMCA law overturned by the Supreme Court. Then the U.S. can point to the DMCA-like laws in those other countries as being examples of how those countries don't respect free speech like the U.S. does...

Canadian Policy (1)

rohar (253766) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186640)

I scanned through the first couple of documents from the link, and found them kinda long...
I could have summed it up in one sentence: "Watch what the Americans are doing, and do that"

Of course, that wouldn't get me the big ol' consultant fee that whoever gurged up that report got, but whatever I live cheap.

It's easy to write songs, you just sit down and write them.

Re:DVD Consortium to punish China 4 hackable playe (3)

jsse (254124) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186642)

Well, I doubt any one of these "DVD compatible" player could be imported to US, in view of the fact that merely 'discussing' an encryption algorithm would violate DMCA.

I'm currently located in China and we use full-region DVD player for viewing more expensive US and Japanese version of Hollywood's movies, because far east version are always not available.

They delay the release of far east version so that US people wouldn't be able enjoy cheaper version even if they could get a full-region DVD player. So your plan wouldn't work. :)

Americans want full-region DVD players for saving cost in buying DVD, while Chineses buy them for viewing more expensive US version. Irony isn't it?

Re:Europe (1)

MulluskO (305219) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186648)

What, are cows copyrighted?

Oh shit, they are. I forgot about genetic science.

Re:Damn (1)

MulluskO (305219) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186649)

I could of gotten away with it too, if it wansn't for that large, black man and his fast custom van!

Mr. T throws helluva far...

Unconstitutional? (2)

MulluskO (305219) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186650)

Most of us agree that the DMCA is unconstitutional, and/or just wrong here in the United States, does anyone that know anything about constitutional law in Canada?

Mullusko kisses his big plans to move to Canada, ex-patriot style goodbye.

Re:Europe (2)

MulluskO (305219) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186651)

Now would be the time for Texas to pull it's trump and secede from the union.

I'm hacked off! (2)

MulluskO (305219) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186652)

What really hacks me off is the fact that we don't really have a choice. So far as I know, both Democrats (Clinton was president) and Republicans (they controlled the legislature) supported the DMCA when it was passed into law. The system presently in place makes it next to impossible for a third part to get into the action, and often to the detriment of the process. Vote for Nader, and Bush gets in. It doesn't make sense. So here, I outline my proposals of election reform.

1. The Electoral College is out, votes are counted outright.
2. We spend the money needed to provide every district with new, standardized voting machines, and we don't complain about the cost because this sort of spending defends our freedom much more efficiency thean military spending.
3. Voters are allowed to cast primary and secondary votes. (this is the original part) For instance, under the old system a voter wanting to vote for a third party, say Green Party and Ralph Nader, regrettably assists the candidate with the opposite political ideoligies into office. (George Bush) Under my system, the voter could select Nader without fear or apprehension because he or she also has a secondary vote. In the likley event that the minority candidate doesn't win, the secondary vote is tabulated, and in this way a voter is given a more effective way to express his or her intent.

Candidates represent a set of ideas, and it is sad that although a majority of people in our system may support an idea, the minority may still win, just because of the way the system is designed. I really hope that one day my plan will be implemented, I've already wrote to my congressman.

Re:World Government (2)

MulluskO (305219) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186653)

Does this mean no more Monkey Knife Fighting in international waters?

Does this mean no more international waters?

Re:Europe (3)

MulluskO (305219) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186654)

Yes, it's called the European Union Copyright Directive [] .

As a future ex-patriot I'm beginning to wonder where I'm going to go.

There you go (2)

MxTxL (307166) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186655)

It's happening as we sit and speak. Our crappy laws are becoming the models that the rest of the world is using. First it will be Canada and New Zealand, then on to Europe.

I've seen in other topics that some europeans are reluctant to get involved in the Free Dmitri debacle or have much of a stance on the DMCA. This is absurd, they must also take action to get rid of this stupid law while it's still young, before it spreads to their countries.

Some people say that open source is a virus, that's a lie. The DMCA is a virus! It will spread to the underside of every inch of the globe. It has to be stopped NOW!

World Government (2)

number one duck (319827) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186662)

When I was younger, the star-trek propoganda in me had me convinced that someday we would have a quote "world government" unquote. Nowadays, I'm beginning to realize how undesirable that really is...

Re:World Government (1)

meta-monkey (321000) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186663)

Agreed. A "World Government" would probably be the greatest enemy to liberty in history. Really, it all comes to down to the fact that power is a zero-sum game. My city, county, state, and federal governments also all have power over me. If I say I want to do X, and one of these governements says, "No," and uses force to prevent me from doing X, they win. My power over me can't coexist with their power over me, my liberty has been ceeded to the government.

This really isn't so bad at the local level. Obviously, we need to have laws to prevent people from taking others' liberty. But if I don't like the laws in my city, it's not that hard to change. I'm one of my mayor's 10,000 or so constituents. Organizing 5001 people isn't very hard, and, worst case, I can pack up and move to the next town over where people think more the say I do. It isn't even so bad at that state level. Again, if I don't like a state, I can leave. Maybe, if I'm really motiviated, I can escape from the U.S. federal government but would have to leave the country, and unfortunately, there isn't any place better (Canadians, hold the flames please, I'm not leaving one nanny state for an even more overbearing one). Changing laws at the federal level is an extreme proposition. I'm just one of millions. Now imagine a world government. Great, I'm one of billions and there's no WAY I can leave! I have very little authority over my own life as it is, the last thing I need is a world government in addition to my city, county, state, and federal governments telling me how to live my life and run my business. Why can't they just leave me alone?

Re:World Government (1)

meta-monkey (321000) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186664)

Agreed, a world government would most likely be more bloated and ineffecient than even the current U.S. federal government, but to say that a local government would be more oppresive than a large government just isn't facing facts. First off, there's a lack of resources. You talk about the war on drugs, well, who blows that out of proportion more, the local cop who pats you down for weed, or the federal government, spending billions of dollars to maintain a fleet of interceptors, spying on your house with IR imagers to spot your grow lab, and raiding family farms with jack-booted DEA goons because their helicopters thought they spotted some plants in the woods at the back of your property? Who raided the branch davidians for no good reason? Was it the local Waco P.D., or was it the ATF? As for minority rights, that's what we have a Constitution for. I never said we should do away with the federal government, I just want it to do much, much less. And again, if you don't like your little "kingdom," move to the next town over and start your own kingdom.

Re:Why is this happening? (1)

s20451 (410424) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186668)

John Nunziatta will whine

Probably, but he's no longer in parliament. I wonder if he's still bitter?

Re:Why is this happening? (3)

s20451 (410424) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186670)

The Canadian government is influenced by business, as is any government. However, this is complicated by a few things. Firstly, the government has been dominated by one party for nearly a decade, while the opposition parties have basically crumbled -- so there is virtually no effective opposition at the federal level. Secondly, information technology issues get little attention from the public -- there are a number of more pressing issues currently facing the government such as aboriginal rights, the poor state of health care, and regional discontent. It's hard to get anyone to pay attention to anything else. Thirdly, US policy has influence over Canadian policy -- since the US is our biggest trading partner, it is difficult for us to pursue economic policies that come into direct conflict with theirs.

Finally, and possibly most importantly, us Canadians don't have a culture of defending rights and freedoms. Many British loyalists settled in Canada after fleeing the American revolution. We were granted independence from Britain peacefully in 1867, under the motto of "peace, order, and good government" (note the lack of mention of liberty). We have gun control and socialized medicine. We had neither a constitution nor bill of rights until 1980 -- they were controversial at the time and many Canadians still think them unnecessary. Sure, we get uptight about freedom of speech and so on, but there's no tradition of "live free or die" -- we like consensus, getting along, and doing what is in the public interest over what is best for the individual. I suspect that new regulations on copyright enforcement will recieve a relatively easy ride in Canada.

A Sphincter Says "What?" (3)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186671)

"Congress is planning to double the number of FBI agents and Federal attorneys devoted to pursuing copyright cases."

Is this the same FBI that lost all those books full of evidence in the McVeigh case? The same FBI that has managed to lose God knows how many government-issued and government-bought pistols and computers (with who knows what on the hard disks)?

The FBI's reputation is going down the tubes right now, and any Congresscritter that actually goes along with this idea is shooting themself in their political foot.

Re:Europe (3)

KilljoyAZ (412438) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186672)

The DMCA was written so the United States could be WIPO treaty compliant. Basically, if your home country's name is on this list [] , you're in deep trouble.

Thats good. (1)

codeforprofit2 (457961) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186686)

I'm sick of paying more to make up for all the freeloaders!

Why you ask? (1)

codeforprofit2 (457961) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186687)

Because people are giving away peoples work to houndreds of thousands of others (napster for example). Something has to be done, thats why.

Re:Thats good. (1)

codeforprofit2 (457961) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186688)

I'm certainly not naive.

If a bunch of people don't pay for a product and the product costs X amount of money to make the other bunch who DO pay has to pay more. As simple as that.

If the prices are still up there is a cartell, and thats illegal and means prison for whoever doing it.

Good competition always drives prices to market level, they wont stay to high in the long run.

Damn (1)

codeforprofit2 (457961) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186689)

I would have gotten away with it if it hadn't been for those pesky, meddling kids and their van!


Re:Why you ask? (1)

codeforprofit2 (457961) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186690)

The problem is that those laws are hard to enforce.

I agree that those new laws (DMCA and alike) is unfortune and it would be better if they was not needed.

The problem is that copyright law are so horrible abused by huge amounts of people that the situation just has to be dealt with.

Re:Europe (1)

mimbleton (467957) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186697)

And then watch all enterprise and industry leave Texas because lack of copyright protection laws?

Re:DCMA and getting arrested on arrival to the U.S (1)

mimbleton (467957) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186698)

Sure as hell, as soon as you show up here you gonna get your ass canned.
Be afraid, be very afraid ...


Re:Why people protest at the G-8 (1)

mimbleton (467957) | more than 13 years ago | (#2186699)

"wages, sweatshops, environmental laws, police brutality, corporate dominance, biotechnology, racism, classism"

Wow , you are missing quite a few things like ...
Cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, Alcoholism, Tornados, bad breath in the morning, the fact that I have and you don't, etc ...
Hell man, your anti-G8 buddies will be busy for a while there ....

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