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.

A (non-)debate on Bill C-11 starts today: the 4 quadrants of the bill

The Hill Times is reporting that "debate" on Bill C-11 will start later today. During the debate, take note of what components of the bill get discussed and which parts are misunderstood and/or shoved under the rug.

I like to break the bill up into 4 parts (quadrants) based on two axis: Is the policy related to copyright, or Paracopyright (technical measures, etc). The other axis is whether the policy is related to the two 1996 WIPO treaties, or not.

Will you explain why DRM is bad?

I was asked on twitter to explain why DRM is bad. Given I have spent more than a decade talking about this topic, you would think there is a simple twitter-length answer: but there isn't.

Will governments protect all property rights from all threats?

While the federal Copyright bill is on the order paper and likely to be tabled Thursday, it is not the only issue currently under discussion where people are concerned about IT property rights. Many people have expressed concern with how newer machines shipped with Microsoft Windows may be unable to boot alternative operating systems. Given the confusion over how the property rights of computer hardware owners are adversely impacted by so-called “Copyright” legislation, discussing this related issue may help clarify.

Industry Minister misinterprets "Who is Candice Hoeppner" letter.

In May I sent a Who is the Candice Hoeppner for information technology owners letter to each MP. The following reply from The Honourable Christian Paradis, P.C., M.P. indicates that he didn't understand what owner I was focused on.

The letter referenced the 4 owners (copyright owner, owner of media, software copyright holder, owner of hardware). I specifically emphasised the owner of the hardware, which is what the term "IT property rights" referenced. He misunderstood and spoke only about copyright owners.

It is critical the government understands that Bill C-32 didn't recognise or respect the rights of the owners of information technology (hardware), otherwise they will make the same mistake in any upcoming technology bills.

Choosing Our Future starts with allowing choice (City of Ottawa consult)

The City of Ottawa sent me a request to participate in a consultation on sustainability. While hitting delete I changed my mind and decided to submit feedback via their site explaining why I wasn't participating: their choice of what to highlight as a potential prize for participating.

Kitchener-Waterloo Debates and C-32

Reading message from the Kitchener-Waterloo Linux Users Group, I'm learning that non-owner locks protected by the Conservatives in C-32 is turning out to be an election issue.

A video of a debate included discussion of the massive transition costs that C-32 would put on people wanting to adopt RIM's Playbook (The "Playbook tax"), and the incumbent defending the bill. Mr Braid repeated his misunderstanding of the effect of non-owner digital locks, demonstrating that being on the committee and hearing from experts didn't help him in understanding this technology.

Michael Geist weighs in on issue with: Digital Locks Emerge As Election Issue in Battleground Riding.

MP vows to quickly revive Copyright Bill in next Parliament

A Hill Times article discusses copyright, including some interesting quotes from Mr. Dean Del Mastro.

"If we want to maintain good trade relationships with the United States, if we want to be able to get a free trade agreement in place with the European Union, if we want to see the kind of growth in the knowledge-based economy that we believe is so important to Canada, then we have got to update the Copyright Act," Mr. Del Mastro said.

Past Heritage Minister James Moore steps out of election to work for Apple

According to CTV news and CBC-Radio Canada, past Heritage Minister James Moore has decided to step out of the election race to work for Apple Computer, inc. While it is not unprecedented for past cabinet ministers to leave politics for jobs in the private sector, of even for nominated candidates to step out after the election is called, this is an unusual combination.

Technology issues in Budget 2011?

I haven't read Budget 2011, and would like to hear in comments what people think.

I read on Twitter a few times about a mention of Copyright legislation under "Recent Federal Initiatives in Support of Canada’s Digital Economy" where they said, " Modernizing policies to build confidence in e-commerce through the passage of new anti-spam legislation and tabling privacy and copyright legislation" (Page 142 of the paper/PDF version)

While most of the technology community will agree about the benefits from the passed anti-spam legislation, the claims about Bill C-32 will seem absurd for those of us on this side of the technology law debate. As I indicated in my intervention, "legal protection for access controls in copyright law can be abused to circumvent the traditional contours of contract, e-commerce, privacy, trade, and consumer protection and property law".

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