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.

Letter to Scott Simms, MP, about Bill C-60

Scott Simms is the the Member of Parliament for for Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor in Newfoundland and Labrador, and is a member of the Heritage Committee in parliament. On November 24, 2004, he was asking the Minister of Heritage about the unauthorized music downloading situation.

Mr. Scott Simms: I have a ten-year-old son who is able to get about a hundred songs by going click-click. You talk about protecting the artists, but it's a delicate balance here. We have thousands, if not millions, of people out there breaking the law, and unseemingly. I won't say all of them are completely innocent, but there's a lot of innocence out there. How are we going to deal with this? What stage are we at right now with the industry department? We do have free downloading, so how can we protect the artist while at the same time trying to be sensible? We're seeing examples in the United States where it's approaching the ludicrous. We're arresting young children for doing something they're unaware of. Are we going in that direction? Where are we at this stage?

Reply from legislative assistant to James Rajotte (Conservative Industry critic)

I received the following reply to a letter I sent to Industry and Heritage critics about the The DMCA (AKA: Lehman report, 1996 WIPO, C-60) vs The Darknet paper.

August 15th, 2005

Dear Mr. McOrmond:

Thank you for your e-mail with the above paper, and for your continuing series of e-mails regarding copyright and digital issues. I have printed a copy of the paper you sent today for Mr. Rajotte. I am sure he will review it at the earliest opportunity.

Michele Austin
Legislative Assistant
The Office of James Rajotte, M.P.

Blu-Ray DRM Plans Released

An ExtremeTech article by Mark Hachman discusses how the Blu-ray Disc Association has settled on the AACS rights management system to secure its discs, together with an additional watermarking and DRM update scheme. Both the competing Blu-ray and HD-DVD formats will use the Advanced Access Content System.

It is important to remember that any DRM system only negatively effects the activities of law abiding citizens who will be able to do less lawful things with their content and devices than the law otherwise allows. Those willing to break the law will be unaffected, whether that be the small number of people who will crack the DRM system and make unencumbered versions of files available to others, or the larger number of people who will then receive these unencumbered files.

The DMCA (AKA: Lehman report, 1996 WIPO, C-60) vs The Darknet

A new paper by Fred von Lohmann, senior staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, has been released. It is also republished on p2pnet and likely on other sites as well.

I sent a letter to Heritage and Industry parliamentary committee members about the paper. The summary of the paper is pretty important for the analysis of Bill C-60.


It is time to reconsider the wisdom of relying on legal protections for TPMs to address the challenges posed by digital technologies for the copyright industries.

RealNetworks fears legal action from Apple over Apple's anti-competative DRM system

This Silocon.com article by Jo Best includes:

RealNetworks has revealed its attempt to break the DRM that protects iTunes might not only mean a hit on its bottom line but could also land the company in court.

Real introduced its Harmony technology last year. It enabled consumers to buy iPod-compatible tracks from its online music shop. That involved breaking Apple's FairPlay DRM (digital rights management), which ensures that music bought from rival online music sellers won't play on the iPod.

Microsoft takes steps to replace major label/studio control...

In a Freedom to Tinker article, Princeton computer science and cryptography professor Edward W. Felten wrote about how he believes that Hollywood is controlling features in the new Microsoft Vista operating system. A Microsoft white paper speaks of "robustness" which Ed believes the legacy content industries are imposing on Microsoft.

What "robustness" requires is that the technology and software be under the control of the manufacturer, and not the owner of a communications tool. Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS) is obviously excluded as not being "robust" given FLOSS is accountable and transparent to the user. Microsoft admits in many of its recent SEC filings that FLOSS is the largest competitive threat to its market and business model, so it is no wonder that Microsoft sees FLOSS such as Linux and OpenOffice.org to be its primary enemy.

Federal Libraries: Ahead of the Digital Wave: Transforming Services, Building Communities

I will be on a panel at the Council of Federal Libraries Annual Fall Seminar. This year it will be on Wednesday, September 14, 2005 at the Ottawa Congress Center.

2005 Ahead of the Digital Wave: Transforming Services, Building Communities

Information Panel: Current and Future Intellectual Property Issues - Their Impacts on Service Delivery and Community Building.
Moderator: Steven Cohen


  • Virginia Jones, Access Copyright
  • Ross Gordon, CFL Consortium
  • Russell McOrmond, Digital Copyright Canada

Canadian New Media: Copyright Act protection for rights management inappropriate

An article I wrote for Canadian New Media was published today.

Both Henderson's suggestion for subscription radio and Bill C-60 is to propose to mandate or legally protect technological protection measures (TPMs) that claim to protect copyright. Henderson claims there are relatively inexpensive and simple technological fixes to accomplish his goals. When a technology vendor claims they can stop people from copying works without permission, we must ask how they accomplish this goal.

While TPMs can provide access control and authenticity, they can't directly control the creation of copies. All so-called "copy control" technologies either use access controls (like the technique used on DVD movies), or deliberate defects in the media (used on some music CDs) that behave certain ways with specific access technology.

Microsoft’s anti-piracy program cracked

In this TheInquirer article By Nick Farrell the author talks about an article in Rediff describing how someone fairly easily circumvented Microsoft's "anti-counterfeiting" system called "Windows Genuine Advantage". Long before I became involved in copyright issues I questioned the whole concept of anti-copying and anti-counterfeiting techniques. As long as a computer has access to some data or software then a smart owner/operator who is adequately in control of their own computer will have the same access.

Security techniques which only grant access to information to specific computers, and deny access to eavesdroppers on a communication link, are becoming better all the time. The concept of denying access to the owner of a computer to information accessible to that computer will always be snake-oil. The best way for companies to protect themselves from the growing number of technologically literate owners of computers is to switch away from business models that seek to deny access to the owner any data that the computer has access to.

CAAST misinformation on Bill C-60

p2pnet.net News View:- In a recent press release the Canadian Alliance Against Software Theft (CAAST) again misrepresents itself as representing the software industry. On About, it says, correctly, that it represent an industry alliance of "software manufacturers”. But it fails to acknowledge that its largest competitors come from different parts of the software industry and use alternatives to "software manufacturing".

Moreover, far from trying to ensure the software industry is competitive and innovative, it’s actively promoting changes that will stifle innovation by attacking their largest competitors.

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