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[d@DCC] C-36 thoughts
From: mskala _-at-_ ansuz.sooke.bc.ca
I've had a chance to take a more serious look at Bill C-36 now, and some of my thoughts are in my Web log here: http://ansuz.sooke.bc.ca/lw/?id=2003052501 I'm pleased with the bill overall - I think the people who wrote it were paying attention to the right issues, and that's good. It extends copyright in unpublished works, and that's not something I'm happy about, but as long as it's limited to unpublished works I don't think it's really a big deal. It creates special exemptions to copyright allowing the newly-created "Librarian and Archivist" to archive copies of published work, or of Web pages. There is something in C-36 which I think may be quite dangerous, though, and that is a requirement for anyone who publishes anything to send two copies to the national archives. Now... I'm pleased with the idea of building a national archives of published work to be available to everyone. I especially like that idea in the context of some of the TPM discussions we've had - I think I first heard it from Chris Friesen, but it's a fairly common idea in our community that anyone who publishes a TPM-embargoed work should have to put an unencumbered copy on public deposit for purposes of fair dealing, and it would just take a stroke of a pen in the "regulations" to Bill C-36 to create that kind of regime. However, I'm worried about how the current wording in C-36 could be abused. The thing is, it applies to all published works, and published works appear intended to include Web sites and all other communication made to the public, and the two copies have to be provided at the publisher's own expense. The details, and exemption of some classes of works, are left up to the "regulations" to be written later. Does that mean that if I update my Web site, I have to send two copies of it on paper to the National Archives? Every single time I update (which is typically daily)? Does that mean that if I want to publish something anonymously, I can't, because I have to identify myself to the Librarian and Archivist? It seems to me like a hypothetical evil future government could use the provisions of C-36, in the name of "preserving archives", to create a licensing-the-press scheme, or to crack down on dissent, because any political messages would of course be "published" and would then have to be reported to the government. I oppose any law that could be abused in that way. I think there need to be limitations to prevent such abuses. I can see two ways the "must provide two copies to the archives" requirement could be made palatable to me: One, we could exempt non-commercial and political communication. Two, we could say it's entirely optional, but that there is no copyright protection on a communication unless it is either sent to the archives or exempted by regulation. I like plan two better; it allows anyone to publish anything they want without incurring any obligations to report to the government, but it also forces all communications that people want to claim copyright on, to be potentially archivable. What do you think? -- Matthew Skala firstname.lastname@example.org Embrace and defend. http://ansuz.sooke.bc.ca/ -- For (un)subscription information, posting guidelines and links to other related sites please see http://www.digital-copyright.ca
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