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.

Letter to Hon. Stephen Harper Re: signatures for Petition for Users' Rights.

The following is the text of a snail-mail letter sent on Friday November 4.

Dear Hon. Stephen Harper,
Leader of the Official Opposition and MP for Calgary Southwest.

I met you on Thursday November 3 when you and Joy Smith met with teachers about Copyright and the needs of educators. While my wife is a teacher, I am a self employed Internet consultant who has offered to do what I can to help this cause. I have been very active in Copyright revision for the last 4 years, starting in the summer of 2001 when this round of reform was launched.

I have been coordinating a copyright related petition called the "Petition for Users' Rights". While users include the educational community, this petition is broader and seeks to protect the rights of authors-in waiting (who build upon and use the works of others), owners of communications technology (Bill C-60 regulates away many property rights), as well as the general public. I am enclosing a blank copy of our petition for you to read.

Where does Minister Frulla really stand on cultural policy?

The following letter was sent to the Hill Times.

Re: Culture part of Canadian identity goes beyond NAFTA, says Minister Frulla (Page 2, September 7, 2005 issue of Hill Times)

I find it disturbing that federal Heritage Minister Liza Frulla claims that the UNESCO cultural diversity convention is a big personal achievement as a politician. Will she also claim as an achievement the passage of her Bill C-60 and the implementation of the 1996 WIPO treaties, even though Bill C-60 directly conflicts with the UNESCO convention?

Reply from Rahim Jaffer, M.P. Re: Copyright and Bill C-60: stepping on the toes of the provinces + diminishing property rights

Rahim Jaffer, M.P. for Edmonton Strathcona, wrote the following letter in email:

Dear Russell, (you can post it if you want)

I acknowledge receipt of your recent correspondence received at my Ottawa office with regards to the copyright law. It is a pleasure for me to have the opportunity to respond to your concerns.

The Conservative Party believes that we must examine and update our copyright legislation in order to ensure that the rights of Canadian creators are adequately protected by law, that these rights are balanced with the opportunity for the public to use copyrighted works for teaching and research, and that enforcement is applied fairly and in accordance with international standards. The private copying regime in Canada entitles an individual to make copies of sound recordings of musical works for that person’s personal use. Currently, the most important role government can play is one of education in working with industry to develop a public education campaign to better inform users and creators on the copyright laws in Canada . Bill C-60 will be reviewed carefully before given support.

I hope that this information has cleared some of your concerns, if you would like more detailed information I would invite you to contact the Official Opposition critic for -industry, Mr. James Rajotte, M.P. You may also call me directly at my Edmonton office to schedule an appointment; you may contact Ms. Michele Art at 780-495-8404. I look forward to meeting with you.

Sincerely,

Rahim Jaffer, M.P.
Edmonton Strathcona

Petition for an Education Amendment in Bill C-60

Joy Smith, Conservative MP for Kildonan--St. Paul, along with educators from across Canada, has launched a petition that states:

We the undersigned support an educational amendment that will free teachers and students from the worry of breaking the law under the new government regulations outlined in Bill C-60, a copyright law.

A PDF of the petition for people to sign and send to Joy Smith's office is available from the Canadian Teachers Federation website in English and French.

Postage is free:

Joy Smith
MP for Kildonan—St. Paul
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A6

The Truth About Canadian Copyright...

This Slyck News article by Drew Wilson includes:

If you're a Canadian who knows a little bit about Canadian politics today, you may note that the possibility of a snap election is very real. So what does this mean for the feared Bill C-60 and what may happen in the future?

[LAFKON] A movie about "Trusted Computing"

One of the hardest things to explain to non-technical people about the controversy over "technical measures", Digital Rights Management (DRM), and "trusted computing" is the question of "who has the keys to the digitial locks", and "who trust who".

A great way to explain why it matters who has the digital keys and whose idea of trust is being protected by this technology is through an animated short by Benjamin Stephan and Luts Vogel. (See also: Archive.org information on movie)

Why should you trust people who don't trust you, and that use digital locks to disallow you access to and control of your own personal property such as computers and portable multimedia devices?

Sony, Rootkits and Digital Rights Management Gone Too Far

SysInternals.com guru Mark Russinovich has a detailed investigation of a rootkit from Sony Music. The rootkit introduces several security holes into the system that could be exploited by others, such as hiding any executable file that starts with '$sys$'. Russinovich also identifies several programming bugs in the method it uses to hook system calls, and chronicles the painful steps he had to take to 'exorcise the daemon' from his system.

Please write your MP to ensure that they realize that it is Sony and other music distributors that are the ones "cracking" security and breaking into computers, and not people who are circumventing DRM in order to protect their rights (property, privacy, etc).

See also: p2pnet: New: Sony BMG rootkit DRM, The Register: Removing Sony's CD 'rootkit' kills Windows, CNET News.com: Sony CD protection sparks security concerns, PCPro: Sony DRM burrows into rootkit code, BetaNews: Sony to Help Remove its DRM Rootkit, BBC: Sony slated over anti-piracy CD

Do you want your home entertainment system to monitor your private life?

Canadian New Media included an article titled "Lack of education, standards hindering home networks". These are not traditional networks of computers, but networking other devices such as home entertainment. It suggested a new study from NPD Group reports that the interconnected home is still a long way off for many Canadians.

I sent the following letter as additional feedback.

There are more reasons for not wanting current generation consumer electronics devices networked. The legacy content industries want to monitor, meter and control the private activities of their customers in order to extend their past business models and monopolies. They are working with specific technology companies to try to ensure that these devices are not under the control of their owners, but under remote control and monitoring. These technology companies are quite happy to play along as they believe that if they manage the "digital keys" to unlock the digitally encoded content rather than their competitors that it will help them protect existing market monopolies with a captive customer base. The technology companies embed these digital keys in software within their specifically branded access devices, and claim it is illegal for the owners to extract and use these keys in competing software.

What do file sharing and plagiarism have in common?

This Manitoban Online article by Tessa Vanderhart includes:

But Canadian copyright lawyer Michael Geist has called the conclusions drawn about of Canadian youth by CRIA “laughable.”

“Frankly, I think it’s irrelevant — the data is almost silly,” said Geist. “This has nothing to do with file-sharing; it has to do with being a teenager.”

Followup letter to Honourable MP Bill Siksay (NDP) of Burnaby-Douglas

This letter was written by Oscar C. Lee:

Dear Honourable Bill Siksay, Member of Parliament,

Thank you for your kind reply to my last letter. I am very happy to know that the New Democrats will continue to defend Canada’s public domain and to prevent it from being further privatized.

I am writing today to inform you that there will be a special “Breakfast on the Hill” seminar from 7:45am to 9:00am on Thursday, October 27 at the Parliamentary Restaurant, 6th Floor, Centre Block. The speaker is professor Ian Kerr, who holds the Canada Research Chair in Ethics, Law and Technology at the University of Ottawa. The title of the seminar is "What happens when law protects the technologies that protect copyright?" Full details of the event are available at: http://www.digital-copyright.ca/node/1125.

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