Bill C-60

Bill C-60, “An Act to amend the Copyright Act” , with first reading June 20, 2005. Please also see our Bill C-60 specific pages.

Why should I care about the revenues of intermediaries?

(Also on p2pnet, mp3newswire)

Various legacy intermediary industry associations, such as branch-plant versions of foreign industry associations such as CRIA, CAAST, and CMPDA, are often telling us how much of a decline in revenue they are observing. They then ask governments to "fix" this problem.

I don't doubt that the major labels and similar associations have seen a decline in revenue. I also don't doubt that there has been a decline in revenue with the distribution channels that they control, such as the retail of mechanical media.

What About EMI's Copy-Protected CDs? DRM vs. Computer Security

This article by EFF rebinds us of the incompatibility between legal protection for DRM (Digital Rights Management, Digital Restrictions Management, Technical Measures abused by copyright holders) and computer security. This is an issue raised previously by an official of the US Department of Homeland Security. In this case there is a need for security researchers to not only get around the USA's DMCA, but an End User License Agreement (EULA) in order to do required security research on EMI's "Copy Protected" CDs.

Canadians must demand legal protection from technical measures (ab)used by copyright holders. We need to clarify the law to ensure that reverse engineering for compatibility and security research is a protected right, including allowing for the public disclosure of any interfaces and/or vulnerability. What the incumbent intermediaries are asking for with the ratification of WIPO is the introduction of a legal loophole to hide activities that should be understood as illegal, ranging from attacks on computer security to hiding copyright infringements (IE: DRM can be used to hide from copyright holders infringements of copyright committed by the intermediaries).

See also: EFF Calls on EMI to Permit Security Research on Copy-Protected CDs

ITBusiness: New copyright act in limbo

This ITBusiness article by Shane Schick includes:

Philippa Lawson, director of the Ottawa-based Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC), said no matter who wins the election early next year, she expects the tabled legislation to be re-introduced as-is. That doesn't mean CIPPIC won't take advantage of the opportunity to press for changes, however.

Expect PIPEDA debates

This London Free Press article by David Canton includes:

It will be interesting to see if the consumer backlash from the Sony-BMG rootkit will sway public opinion sufficiently to affect copyright reform as it relates to digital rights management (DRM). The rootkit was a form of DRM used to control what people can do with their music CDs.

Bill C-60 -- the copyright reform bill that died at the election call -- had provisions that support DRM. Perhaps the reality is that we need protection from DRM, rather than for DRM.

Mr. Canton has a BLOG with articles on related topics (Example search for DRM)

Sam Bulte -- yet another Liberal scandal?

In an article appropriately titled That's What Friends Are For, Michael Geist describes just what type of friends Sam Bulte has been keeping, and just what type of legislation they can buy from her.

At $250.00 a person, I have my doubts that many of the artists that Ms. Bulte claims to represent will be present. Instead, it will lobbyists and lobby groups, eagerly handing over their money with the expectation that the real value of the evening will come long after Margo Timmins has finished her set.

While the sponsorship scandal never caught my interest, it is this type of corruption that we really need to clean up. Those in the Toronto area or who have friends in riding should do what they can to help clean up corruption by ensuring that Bulte does not get re-elected. If any politician needs to be targeted by the modern creator community, as we fight for our very survival against the incumbent intermediaries, it is Bulte.

Cultural revolution or an invasion?

The following was sent as a letter to macleans in reply to an article by Brian D. Johnson titled "Someone call Karl Marx".

This article asked an important question: "Is the new technology fostering a true cultural revolution, or an invasion of body snatchers?" . Whether new technology will bring a cultural revolution or will be an invasion is not a matter of technology, but public policy. We need to move away from thinking of technology itself as being harmful, and to property focus on the social science aspects of how we as a society decide to embrace these technologies.

The Golden Age of Protection

On Dec. 14, Sarmite Bulte expressed her interest in helping reform copyright in the digital era. To demonstrate her point, she invokes our apparent past success in providing broadband network access across this country. Appeals to national pride aside, I figure this sentiment exactly demonstrates the problem in Ms. Bulte's reasoning: that progress will come by supporting minority controlling interests.

Digital copyright reform is necessary to provide a foundation for new business models, broaden access and encourage cultural production. Bill C-60 is NOT the gateway to this new Golden Age. The reform that is Bill C-60 is narrowing, not broadening. This bill would have introduced new forms of protection that only align with existing models of distribution, further cementing a single, traditional, perspective on digital copyright.

Letter to Toronto Star: Little balance in copyright reform

Chris Smith of Toronto send a letter to the Toronto Star:

In her letter, Sarmite Bulte (MP, Parkdale-High Park) is being disingenuous in her description of the Liberal government's copyright reform actions in Bill C-60. That bill, when seen in the recent light of Sony BMG's approach to protecting music copyrights, left average Canadians potentially open to copyright infringement liability if they tried to restore the security of their home computers.

Sarmite Bulte attempts to defend Liberal record on Internet and anti-new media copyright revision

Responding to the article from Mr Geist, incumbent Liberal candidate Sarmite Bulte (Parkdale-High Park, Toronto) sent a letter to the Toronto Star defending the Liberal record on the Internet and Copyright revision.

Geist suggests that the NDP has tried to achieve a "balance" of rights in this debate, but I respectfully suggest that it is not the NDP but this Liberal government that is committed to a balanced reform of copyright legislation. Our government introduced Bill C-60 in the last Parliament, which embodied such a balanced reform

Technical Measures and non-software copyright related industries.

I had a long talk yesterday with someone from the music industry. His focus was on music and musicians, while I try to be aware of the variety of ways in which copyright law affects different marketplaces and human rights.

There is a critical problem with thinking only about one type of creative work when analysing recent copyright reform. For instance, legal protection for technical measures is not an issue that you can understand without understanding technical measures, and more specifically the software marketplace.

Legal protection for technical measures, often called Paracopyright, is the most controversial aspect of the 1996 WIPO treaties, and these controversial treaties form the core of Bill C-60 from the previous government. Any discussion of paracopyright must include a discussion of the software marketplace.

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