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Adding to research links - need research on "Fair Dealing"

From: Russell McOrmond <russell _-at-_>
To: canada-dmca-opponents (at)
Date: Sat, 4 Aug 2001 16:15:57 -0400 (EDT)

  One of the problems with writing submissions on the Canadian situation
is the fact that many of us are more familiar with discussing the US
situation.  To help with this I have been wanting to set up an extensive
links section referenced via:

  One area I'd like to find out if there is existing commentary on is
Canada's situation on "Fair Use", as this is the part of copyright law
they seem intent on making unbalanced (IE: in favor of copyright holders)
changes to.  What court cases exist that we can use as precedent?

There is references under "exceptions" for "Fair Dealing"

Under: 30.1 "Management and maintenance of collection"

It suggests: "(c) in an alternative format if the original is currently in
an obsolete format or the technology required to use the original is

  This applies to libraries, but either suggests that thing such as eBook
formats cannot be used for library storage because they are dependent on
proprietary technologies, and forcing Libraries (Especially government
libraries such as the Library of Parliament) to use such format would be a
breach of both Competition laws, as well as NAFTA/AIT.

  There are provisions for computer programs, but the question becomes: is
the decryption of an encrypted file format such as an eBook entirely a
matter of a "computer program" or not?
  An eBook cannot be made human readable without a computer program, and
the deciphering of proprietary file formats should not be considered a
matter of copyright but of computer software where 30.6(i) states that it
is not an infringement of copyright (even of disassembling an existing
decoder, leave alone reverse-engineering a file format) if it is
"essential for the compatibility of the computer program with a particular

  As an example from the DVD case, a free software (GPL compatible)
version of DeCSS <> is essential
for allowing DVD's to be played on Free Software based Computers, such as
Linux.  No proprietary binary-only alternatives can be considered a valid
alternative in this case, so the publishing of source-code to enable the
decryption is essential.  This is very similar to the eBook situation
where circumvention of the proprietary nature of the file format will be
necessary for reading eBooks on non-proprietary (especially Free Software)
based computers.

32. (1)  also suggests that the decoding of an eBook to allow for
screen-reading is also not an infringement of copyright.

 Russell McOrmond, Internet Consultant: <>
 RMS clarifies Freedom
 Free Sklyarov Oppose DMCA in Canada!

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