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.

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".

A Discussion With Russell McOrmond on Hollywoods New Intel Chip

Drew Willson interviewed me for ZeroPaid on some new non-owner locked hardware being offered by Intel. We discussed this new example of Dishonest Relationship Misinformation (DRM) and the various legal problems that will come with it.

Copyright related policy discussion for 2010

(This article originally posted to CLUE's blog)

For New Years eve I thought I would be useful to visit our Copyright-related Policy summary in the context of events in 2010. After a summary I will offer some suggestions of what people should do in the coming year to protect our rights and interests.

The Conservative government tabled a copyright Bill C-32 on June 2 which was debated and then passed at second reading on November 5'th. It was sent to a special legislative committee that held 8 meetings before parliament was adjourned until Monday, January 31, 2011. Being passed at second reading doesn't make it law, and there are many more stages for this bill to follow.

The property rights statements I wish opposition parties were making.

Since Michael Geist had fun with a derivative of the statements from Ministers tony Clement and James Moore, I thought I would do the same.

While I am not a fan of levies on devices, I consider this a much lesser evil than non-owner locks on devices. I've written a modification of the statements with what I wished the opposition parties were saying.

Smoke and mirrors from Clement and Moore

Today Ministers Clement and Moore had a little show in Ottawa's Rideau Center where they made statements about the so-called "iPod tax". (See press release)

I find it frustrating that the Ministers claim to be so concerned about a levy on devices, while at the same time including legal support for non-owner locks on our devices in C-32. If I had to choose between non-owner locks or levies, I would choose levies every time. This whole exercise seems to be smoke and mirrors aimed at misdirecting technology owners from the attack on their rights embedded within C-32.

An honest expansion of cinema into the home

I have never hidden that I consider so-called Digital Rights Management (DRM) to be dishonest, often calling it Dishonest Relationship Misinformation. I have also suggested that fairness is a matter of law and not technology. I will use the expansion of cinema into the home to illustrate the differences.

Read full article on IT World Canada's BLOG >>

IT property rights and the Xbox-Modding case

According to a Wired Magazine article by David Kravets, federal prosecutors have dropped their prosecution of the first case involving the DMCA and Xbox-modding on Thursday, “based on fairness and justice.” This is not to say that the US courts considered what was done to be legal, but that the methods used to investigate were inappropriate.

This case offers me an opportunity to discuss my own history and feelings on the matter.

Where do you draw the line with Canadian Copyright?

Canadian copyright is excessively complex, and makes illegal things which most Canadians don't even believe are illegal when you tell them. Given this complexity and over-coverage, I believe nearly every Canadian infringes copyright many times a week.

There is a line that each of us draws that fits our sense of right and wrong. It sits somewhere between recording a television show to watch later, and mass producing videos to be sold for profit. Both of these activities are illegal under current Canadian law. Most Canadians believe the first is a perfectly legitimate activity, even if they are part of that small minority that realize it is illegal in Canada. Most Canadians believe the second is wrong, know it is illegal, and agree it should be illegal.

No need for copyright law to be so complex

My opinion piece has been published in the November 15'th issue of The Hill Times. This was in reply to an opinion piece by lawyer James Gannon who took NDP MP Charlie Angus to task for something said in the House of Commons.

Using misinterpretations of the impacts of C-32 on real-world technology by Mr. Gannon's McCarthy Tétrault LLP colleague Barry Sookman, I demonstrated the complexity of Bill C-32's anti-circumvention rules.

I concluded by saying:

While I believe we should excuse Angus' usage of a few legal terms in a larger speech, we should be far more critical of those who promote excessively complex law that they are not always able to understand themselves. I believe that the more complex copyright law becomes, the less it will be possible for Canadians to understand and respect it. If the lobbyists promoting these laws get it wrong, how can average Canadians, including our children be expected to always get it right?

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