DRM

Digital "Rights" Management, Digital Restrictions Management, Dishonest Relationship Misinformation

This is a generic acronym used to describe a system of software, often including technical measures, used by copyright holders who "claim" that this stops or reduces copyright infringement. DRM in fact does not affect those engaged in unlawful activities, and can only impose hidden digitally encoded contract terms on law abiding citizens.

Please see: Alphabet soup of acronyms: TPM, DRM, TCPA, RMS, RMI, Protecting property rights in a digital world.

Players or pawns: Big Copyright's war on technology?

One of Canada's best technology journalists, Jesse Brown, interviewed Techdirt.com editor Mike Masnick on the U.S. Stop Online Piracy Act. While I agree with most of the discussion, I want to challenge some of the conclusions made at the end of the interview. It was discussed how "big copyright" had a history of lobbying, while tech firms were part of a start-up culture and until recently didn't play that game. This was behind why "big copyright" has been so successful at pushing forward laws which break some of the best features of modern technology, while at the same time not helping copyright holders.

This is based on the idea that there is only one tech sector involved, and that "big copyright" are in control of this game rather than being pawns of a more powerful player.

House stands adjourned until Monday, January 30, 2012

As the Hansard reads, Parliament is now adjourned until Monday, January 30, 2012.

MPs are in their electoral districts, which is the best time for people to contact their MPs and let them know what they think about Bill C-11.

Most MPs, regardless of party affiliation, remain focused on how TPMs may circumvent fair dealings. While this is appropriate when discussing use control TPMs, access control TPMs in C-11 presumably regulate activities never before contemplated in Copyright law.

Conservatives believe this is something where consumer choice can solve any problems, not recognising that much of the harm from abuses of TPMs impact people other than the copyright holder and their audiences.

MPs remain largely unaware that there are 4 classes of owners impacted by Paracopyright, not only the familiar two which the Copyright portions of the bill impact.

Discussing NDP MP and party leadership candidate Romeo Saganash's Copyright article

When I noticed Mr. Saganash's tweet about his Huffington Post article, I replied to say that while I didn't agree with everything he wrote about Bill C-11, I was glad he noted the harm to creators and owners from TPMs. I suspect it would be worthwhile for me to unpack that comment.

In a reply to Mr. Saganash, Jason J Kee disagreed with the suggestion that most countries don't prohibit circumvention for non-infringing purposes. I believe this reply conflates two very different types of technological protection measures included in Bill C-11: use controls, and access controls.

A free culture trip through Kobo land

This year finally the kids are getting ebook readers for Christmas. So far I have been holding off from purchasing such devices because of the Digital Restrictions Management which is associated with them.

My opposition to them changed somewhat when I found that one of my favorite book publishers (O'Reilly) does not use any DRM and they actually trust their customers enough to take their word for it when they state that they already own the paper copy of a book so that they can then qualify for a $5 upgrade to the digital version. And these are not cheap books often between $50 and $100 per copy. This has bought a lot of good will from me, and when I am looking for technical books in the future (which I do frequently) I will certainly try to give preference to O'Reilly.

Why Heritage Minister James Moore is wrong on Bill C-11 "technological protection measures" (TPMs)

I received a reply from Heritage Minister James Moore dated December 2, 2011. I'm not certain which letter it was in reply to, but it could have been my Who is the Candice Hoeppner for information technology owners? letter I sent to all Conservative MP's back in May/June.

While I am posting the full text of his reply, I wanted to offer a quick response explaining why I think he is wrong on the impacts of the "technological protection measures" aspects of Bill C-11. (See: earlier article for a description of real-world technologies being discussed)

Would Dr. Colin Carrie be as cavalier about pharmaceuticals or medical devices?

Prior to entering Parliament as MP for Oshawa, Dr. Colin Carrie co-owned and operated a chiropractic and wellness clinic in Oshawa. I suspect it was the fact that he worked in the medical profession that his misunderstanding of so-called "digital locks" in the C-11 debate has bothered me so much.

I have to hope if we were talking about a pharmaceutical or medical device, he would have analyzed the issue far more closely. My hope is he reconsider his current dismissing of this important issue, given the underlying policies we see in the Paracopyright part of C-11 will have impacts in areas as serious as medical devices.

Protecting IT property rights not a short-term calling

I've been asked over the last decade how my activism will change once Canadian legislation that includes Paracopyright passes. Will my activism be finished, and will I admit "defeat" if a bill abrogates the government's responsibility to protect IT property rights?

TPM provisions should be closely tied to copyright law as suggested in 1996 WIPO treaties

[The following article was first published in the Nov 21, 2001 issue of the Hill Times on page 13]

OTTAWA -- While Bill C-11 has the title of "An Act to amend the Copyright Act," it includes provisions that will impact our usage of modern technology far beyond activities related to copyright. This bill includes policy which fits within traditional copyright law, and parts that are often called Paracopyright which offer legal protection to specific uses of technology. While the copyright parts of the bill are important, it’s the implication of the Paracopyright provisions that are cause for alarm.

Ending the Long-gun Registry #C19, Beginning the computer lockdown #C11

The House of Commons will begin debate on Bill C-19 (Ending the Long-gun Registry Act) later today.

When I spoke in front of the Bill C-32 committee, after discussing how the "technical measures" aspect of the bill will protect non-owner locks on computers, I ended with the following observation:

For no other type of property would this be considered. We would never legally protect non-owner locks to all guns in a country where many are uncomfortable with the mere registration of long guns. We would never legally protect non-owner locks on our homes, alleging it was necessary to protect the insurance industry from fraud. We would never legally protect non-owner locks on our cars, allegedly to ensure that automobiles could never be used as a getaway vehicle.

Why I'm offering moral support, but no signature/tweet, to @ccercanada campaign.

The Canadian Coalition for Electronic Rights has a campaign currently that encourages people to tweet out the following:

ACT NOW - Speak out against the anti-consumer copyright Bill #C11 being rushed into law. Takes 2min. ccer.ca/speakout via @ccercanada

While I agree with the text contained in their letter writing tool (even if I would have worded it differently), I feel their campaign page is misleading.

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