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.

CBC: Thousands of recalled Sony CDs sold in Canada

This CBC News update includes:

About 120,000 recalled Sony BMG CDs that create security glitches were sold in Canada, the company said Friday.

The discs contain XCP software, which is used to stop music piracy. But it leaves behind spyware, making computers that play the disc susceptible to hackers and viruses.

I sent the following as feedback:

It is a myth promoted by marketing people that Sony-BMG's dangerous malware was "used to stop music piracy". The fact that they likely infringed the copyright of many software authors as part of this software is clear indication that this wasn't about protecting copyright.

Reply to CBC's Sounds like Canada - podcasting, bad copyright law, and major label malware...

The following letter was sent as feedback to the CBC as well as to Marie-Chantale Turgeon.

I am excited to hear fellow creative Canadians talking with excitement about things such as "podcasting". Sounds Like Canada interviewed Marie-Chantale Turgeon about how she is now able to very cheaply create and communicate some of her own work without needing the very expensive, and very centrally controlled, infrastructure from the past.

In economic terms, new communications technologies have allowed the marginal cost -- the cost per additional unit -- for the reproduction and distribution of creativity to approach zero. Using peer production techniques we are also able to greatly reduce the fixed costs of production as well.

Security Vendors Clueless Over Rootkit Invasion? Policy makers are worse!

This eWeek security article by Ryan Naraine includes:

Dan Kaminsky, a security engineer for DoxPara Research, has already seen evidence of the Sony DRM rootkit installed in places it should not be.
Even more worrying, Kaminsky argued, is the fact that a legitimate company like Sony would attempt to legitimize the use of rootkits.

"It's no longer about detection and removal when the big companies with the big lawyers get involved. The difference between a good anti-spyware application and a bad one is whether your vendor will stand up to the lawyers. I don't know if we realistically can stand up to Sony's lawyers," Kaminsky said.

November 15 meeting with David McGuinty, MP for Ottawa-South

I set up a meeting with my MP, Mr. McGuinty, earlier this morning. We met in the Lobby which is part of the parliament buildings I had never been to before. It is a room immediately behind where the government-side parliamentarians sit in the House of Commons Chamber.

I wrote up a 1-page (2 sides) summary so that I would have something to hand to him and to reference during conversations. (OpenDocument format, PDF format)

Summary: I started by suggesting that this is an economic policy and competition issue, not a moral, property or "theft" issue. When new communications technology reduced the marginal cost (the cost per additional unit) of the reproduction and distribution of creativity. With techniques such as peer distribution (P2P) this marginal cost is brought near enough to zero to not being worth metering.

House of Commons and Copyright issue update from Joy Smith (updated)

The following two letters were sent out to educators on Monday November 14. Routine business went forward, and the petitions were tabled as quoted from Hansard below.

I will be tabling the petitions I have regarding the educational amendment today in the House. We do need to reword some of the petitions for further use, but the ones we have will be tabled today.

The business of the House is being held up by the Bloc's motion.

Protecting Creators' Rights in the Digital Age -- letter to the CRA.

The Creators' Rights Alliance sends out a monthly news briefing. In the November issue (#31) there was a report from the conference entitled Copyright Reform in Canada: Meeting the Challenges of the Digital Age held at the Old Mill in Toronto in September 15-16.

I sent the following letter as a reply to that section of their briefing.

Defining paracopyright...

I created a stub entry for Paracopyright on Wikipedia, and it has already been greatly improved.

Paracopyright is a term that refers to an umbrella of legal protections above and beyond traditional copyright. It is also sometimes called "pseudocopyright" or "metacopyright".
Technological measures are used in combination with contractual license agreements as a substitute for copyright. As a a concept, therefore, paracopyrights are perhaps better understood as a part of contract law and not copyright law. Unfortunately, important regulations regarding consumer protection and the "freedom to contract" are not imported directly into paracopyright laws, potentially creating imbalances in the law and harmful unintended consequences.

See also: The Word Spy

Why does parliament wish to legally protect authors of malware (Rootkits, Viruses, Trojans, etc)?

The following letter was sent to many MPs, including the Heritage and Industry Ministers and critics.

As the Webmaster for, I have received many letters from Canadians about malware being used by the content industry. They are very concerned about the desire of the Canadian Government to legally protect the perpetrators in Bill C-60.

Example letter from Thornhill, Ontario constituent Larry Lean

It is critically important for legislators to be aware of the type of "technical measures" that are being falsely claimed to protect Copyright.

Copyright Act Amendments and Rootkits

The following letter was sent to me by Larry Lean (Personal contact information removed), a constituent of Thornhill, and was copied to the leaders of the 4 parties with seats in parliament.

Hi Russell,

I am just one of likely a zillion Canadians who occasionally send you an email out of the blue of good wishes, or bad tidings. This is good wishes.

Briefly, I am a government auditor by day who has recently specialized in intellectual property, particularly Copyright, in the past 3 years and over the past 12 years have held strong interest in the area (post my degree in economics where I studied well "information theory", etc.).

Globe and Mail: Pay-as-you-surf

This Globe Technology article by Jack Kapica includes:

Are you willing to pay to surf the Internet?

Well, prepare yourselves, because there are forces that want you to do just that.

Two forces, to be precise: The educational community and its political wing, the Council of Ministers of Education in Canada; and Access Copyright, the non-profit agency that collects royalties on behalf of copyright holders and disburses the funds.

My Letter was published on the Globe website.

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