Bill C-61

Conservative government tables Bill C-61, "An Act to amend the Copyright Act" on June 12, 2008. Please see Industry Canada: Copyright reform process.

Canadian DMCA Doomed if Government Follows Through and Triggers Election

An article by Drew Wilson for ZeroPaid offers a bit of history on the death of Liberal Bill C-60 and the possible death of Conservative Bill C-61.

We all need to remember that an election being called is not the death of this policy direction, but an opportunity to educate and influence politicians who will be listening far more closely to constituents during an election.

Those who have been pushing this summer to meet with their MP should expand to meeting nominated candidates for a potential upcoming election. We have started to do that for some Ottawa area ridings (I'm focused on Ottawa South).

Unauthorized music filesharing is already infringing in Canada, clarified under C-61

There is a common claim you will hear in Canada about music filesharing: that the "private copying" regime makes it all legal in Canada. There was a comment to this effect in this blog after an article where I described how the recording industry has thus far chosen not to sue people for infringement in Canada.

While I am not a lawyer (IANAL), and nobody knows for certain what a court will say until after they have said it, all evidence I have seen (the law itself and related court cases) suggests that those who think that unauthorized filesharing (of music or non-music) is currently non-infringing in Canada are working only on wishful thinking.

Read the rest of this entry on IT World Canada's BLOG »

Bill C-61 and Civil Liberties

The following is from the BC Civil Liberties Association, announcing their Bill C-61 and Civil Liberties position paper.

The opposition to Bill C-61 has focused on the protection of technological protection measures (TPMs, also known as digital rights management or DRM), digital locks intended to allow rights holders to control how their work is copied and distributed and to limit infringing use of these works. However, in doing so, TPMs prevent a myriad of legitimate uses, such as time and format shifting, or copies for personal use, educational purposes, review purposes, research, and parody.

Access and use "technological measures" - a legal distinction without a technological difference?

Last Friday I had the opportunity to speak with a lawyer that was trying to understand the differences between "access controls" and "use controls" in the context of technological measures used by copyright holders. Bill C-61, in the definition of "technological measure", makes a differentiation. In our discussions she observed that nearly every technological measure that controls the "use" of a copyrighted work restricts "access" to the work first. It was then asked if if was appropriate to differentiate between the two at all.

I'm a technical person, and while I love to talk to lawyers about technology law, I can't answer why lawyers want to make this distinction. All I can do is share my technical knowledge, and hope that the legal community will author and interpret laws that make sense.

Candian band staples CC-licensed CDs to phone-poles with anti-Canadian-DMCA messages

A BoingBoing article by Cory Doctorow documents how the band The Craft Economy is handing out music CD's with an anti-C-61 message. According to their BLOG they have been handing out / sending / posting a bunch of CDs throughout Toronto and the Hillside Festival in Guelph. Guelph is in the middle of a by-election, with NDP candidate Tom king wanting to make Copyright and C-61 into an election issue.

Score 1 for Cell Phone Competition, Score 0 for Copyright Laws

An interesting article on Conservatism.ca by Paul Holmes that discusses a better way forward copyright law. It focuses on providing incentives (non-enforceability of copyright) to copyright holders to appropriately license their works in standard file formats usable by all devices. I strongly agree with Paul that the core of the copyright sale problem is the lack of the buy me now button for copyright and not that average citizens have turned to "theft".

Technical measures briefing

I was invited yesterday to a meeting hosted at a government office where a private sector lawyer wished to better understand the technical underpinnings of the technical measures we are discussing in C-61. The departments (Heritage and Industry) often do this type of thing, facilitating dialogue between stakeholders.

So that I could move past the basics quickly and get to their questions, I created two handouts. One was a handout based on my "There are 4 things in my hand" explanation I use to help people understand technical measures (OpenDocument, PDF). The other was a set of scenarios involving copyrighted works where we discussed the actual technological measures involved, and what those measures were applied to (OpenDocument,PDF).

Please use these documents in any way you wish. If you have questions or comments, please let me know.

Bill C-61 letter from Pierre Poilievre (Nepean Carleton)

After meeting with Pierre Poilievre, M.P. for Nepean Carleton, a constituent received this very familiar looking letter. If other people have received similar letters, I am curious to hear your stories.


Dear <constituent name>

Thank you for your correspondence on this important issue. Your thoughts and ideas are important to me. I apologize for my delayed response.

Langley MP Mark Warawa and Newton-North Delta MP Sukh Dhaliwal

Langley MP Mark Warawa is quoted in an article by Andrew Bucholtz in the Langley Times as saying that, “We’ve tried to reach a balance, and we’ve done that over the last year and a half by meeting with all the stakeholders”.

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