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[d@DCC] Parliament must protect citizens rights in the information age!
From: Russell McOrmond <russell _-at-_ flora.ca>
Letter to: The Honourable Liza Frulla -- Minister of Heritage Bev Oda -- Conservative Heritage critic, Maka Kotto -- Bloc Québécois Heritage critic, Charlie Angus -- New Democratic Party Heritage critic, The Honourable David Emerson -- Minister of Industry James Rajotte -- Conservative Industry critic, Paul Crête -- Bloc Québécois Industry critic, Brian Masse -- New Democratic Party Industry critic, David McGuinty -- MP for Ottawa South (where I live) A recent Toronto Star article by Michael Geist concluded: In fact, the time has come for all Canadians to speak out and to tell the responsible ministers along with their local MPs what is increasingly self-evident. Canada does not need protection for technological protection measures. In order to maintain our personal privacy, a vibrant security research community, a competitive marketplace, and a fair copyright balance, we need protection *from* them. `TPMs': A perfect storm for consumers http://geistcanadiandmca.notlong.com I have been involved in copyright policy since the 2001 consultations, and I have to admit that I am very unimpressed with the government on this issue. In 2001 there were 700 submissions, easily 650 of which were opposed to WIPO treaty ratification, and yet the government seems intent to steamroll forward without even discussing the real issues. We are Canadians who have observed the experience in the United States and know their legislation is is harming their economy by putting a chill on innovation and creativity. We know how the technology works, and would tell you if you were interested that the brochures from the Digital Rights Management (DRM, also called "copy protection", or "technological measures that are used by authors in connection with the exercise of their rights") companies are invalid. We know that the real purpose of these technologies are separate from protecting the rights of copyright holders, given these technologies are ineffective at that specific task. Where did those 650 responses go? If you look at the section 92 report, and the follow-on consultations that lead to the Interim report on Copyright Reform from the Heritage committee you would assume that those 650 responses never existed. Was a single person from the independent technical community invited to talk, people who could give honest answers about the Internet, ISPs and DRM? Were our submissions to the section 92 process considered? There are considerable harmful unintended consequences to the policies being promoted. Harmful policy is moving forward as the special economic interests that have the ear of parliament have tunnel vision about their particular small problems, and are not looking at the bigger picture. The proposals being suggested are like suggesting amputation because of an alleged paper cut. The entertainment industry is an obvious example that is aggressively calling for DRM. A wide deployment of effective DRM (including Trusted Computing platforms) would allow the DRM companies to entirely replace the current content industry as the gatekeepers of culture. With all their attention on non-commercial copyright infringement by audiences (where the jury is out as to whether this is harmful), they have remained entirely oblivious to a far greater threat. The same is true of independent creators who do not realize that when it comes to DRM they have no standing. At the point where the decision is made about whether something is copied there are only two entities which can have control: the owner of the device, and the manufacturers of the device. As copyright holders aggressively *give away* control to the manufacturers they seem to be oblivious to the fact that these manufacturers are a far greater threat to their business models than any amount of copyright infringement by consumers. Many creators also forget a basic fact which is that any technology that can be used to create and communicate works legally can also be abused to infringe copyright. Granting third party control over tools that can infringe by definition means granting them control over all tools use by creators. Where the DRM companies see a new lucrative business model that will be given legal protection by parliament, I see violations of our competition act that will cause considerable harm to both creators and all other citizens. We need to be looking at this issue in the proper context. Any 'hardware assist' for communications, whether it be eye-glasses, VCR's, or personal computers, must be under the control of the citizen and not a third party. We are asking who will have control over the means of creation and distribution of culture in our free and democratic society. How we answer this question will determine Canada's ability to protect in the information age the rights encoded in our charter and in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. As a technology person concerned with creators' rights, cultural rights, communications rights, privacy rights and property rights I strongly agree with Michael Geist: Canada does not need legal protection FOR TPMs, we need legal protection FROM TPMs. Where we disagree is that Mr. Geist focuses only on the harm to consumers from TPMs, and does not talk about the considerable harm to creators as well. I remain available to any member of parliament or other policy maker who wishes to discuss these issues. This issue may be second only to Canada's military roll in the world, so must be given the attention it deserves. Russell McOrmond 305 Southcrest Private, Ottawa, ON K1V 2B7 http://www.flora.ca/#contact -- Russell McOrmond, Internet Consultant: <http://www.flora.ca/> http://www.digital-copyright.ca/blog/2 (My BLOG) Sign the Petition Users' Rights! http://digital-copyright.ca/petition/ _______________________________________________ Discuss mailing list Discuss@list.digital-copyright.ca http://list.digital-copyright.ca/mailman/listinfo/discuss
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