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.

Thanks to MP Carol Hughes for mentioning my name in C-32 debate

The following is a letter I sent this morning. Thanks to Kevin McArthur for letting me know yesterday that my name was mentioned.

Mrs. Carol Hughes, MP for Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing,

Thank you for mentioning my name, and a quote from my clause-by-clause analysis of the bill at: http://BillC32.ca/rwm-clause

"All of the comparatively positive aspects of the bill are nullified by the legal protection of technological measures, including by allowing these all too often abused technologies to supersede and effectively replace the rest of the Copyright Act."

Heritage committee to study vertical integration

The minutes of the Heritage Committee meeting of Thursday, October 21, 2010 includes the tabling/debate and approval of the following motion tabled by Charlie Angus:

That given the dramatic ownership changes in the private television sector and the increasing move towards digital, mobile and next-generation viewing platforms that the Heritage committee examine: 1) the implications of increasing vertical integration between large content providers and ISP-mobile phone carriers; 2) the role and viability of small and independant television broadcasters; 3) the role of the CBC in an increasingly changed media viewing landscape; 4) the role of the CRTC in ensuring diversity of voices in a changing media landscape and; 5) the role of the Canada Media Fund and other funding mechanisms in ensuring the success of new programming on next generation media platforms.

I believe the committee must become aware of real-world "technical measures" alleged to protect copyright, which are in fact a less understood form of vertical integration.

Charlie Angus tables petitions concerned about digital locks

From the Hansard for October 18, 2010

Mr. Charlie Angus (Timmins—James Bay, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to bring forward a petition from people who are concerned about the misuse of digital rights management to digital locks on copyrighted material. Of specific concern is the move by the government to support the sacrosanct protection for digital locks that will override existing copyright rights that exist for Canadian citizens, educators, consumers, people who buy products and for people who use copyrighted works. They are not able to access them because the digital locks placed on top of them interfere with legal rights.

We know that many of the WIPO compliant countries have dealt with the issue of digital locks by ensuring that those that remain on products are not counterfeited or broken. However, in other WIPO compliant countries they have a balance so that citizens are still able to use and be educated with materials that they have a legal right to.

The Conservative government, of course, has it all wrong in terms of digital rights management.

The petitioners are calling upon Parliament to restore some sense of balance between the rights of creators and ensuring protection for copyrighted works, but also ensuring that we have a vibrant domain where people can actually access works within a digital realm.

Why the ease of circumventing locks doesn't matter.

Andrew Currie posted an article to his Open Attitude blog titled The gate at the top of the stairs where he talks about a scenario with a real world lock, and made the connection to "software locks and restrictions on our digital media". The overall message can be seen when he said, "the sole point I’m trying to make here is that all locks — physical or otherwise — can be broken; many of them much easier than you’d think".

The real cost of free

A great essay from Canadian born science fiction author and human rights activist Cory Doctorow.

You know who peddles false hope to naive would-be artists? People who go around implying that but for all those internet pirates, there'd be full creative employment for all of us. That the reason artists earn so little is because our audiences can't be trusted, that once we get this pesky internet thing solved, there'll be jam tomorrow for everyone. If you want to damn someone for selling a bill of goods to creative people, go after the DRM vendors with their ridiculous claims about copy-proof files; go after the labels who say that wholesale lawsuits against fans on behalf of artists (where labels get to pocket the winnings) are good business; go after the studios who are suing to make it impossible for anyone to put independent video on the internet without a giant corporate legal budget.

Copyright is no justification for digital locks

The Province has published my reply to an article by Stephen Ellis. In my reply I describe how digital locks are harmful to creators, and how he got his analogy to other physical and digital locks wrong.

Bill C-32: My Perspective on the Key Issues

Law professor Michael Geist has posted an article where he offers his opinion on what he sees as the 5 key issues that are being discussed in the context of C-32. My opinion on these issues are in the C-32 FAQ, but I thought it would be interesting for me to write about the same five issues.

The long computer registry and IT control

(Note: In the 41'st parliament bill C-32 became bill C-11, and Bill C-391 became bill C-19)

When meeting with some members of parliament I have used a gun control analogy to explain digital locks applied to communications technology. A minor form of gun control is being hotly debated in parliament and the media in the context of a private members Bill C-391, which has "repeal of long-gun registry" in its title. A highly controversial form of third-party control over communications technology is part of copyright Bill C-32, even though this key aspect of the bill is not yet adequately understood.

I felt it might be an interesting thought experiment to compare and contrast these two proposals and the political debate surrounding them. In my case this thinking was useful for me to better understand the opponents of the Canadian firearms registry, and thus it may be helpful in allowing others to better understand opponents to legal protection for technological measures.

Jailbreaking must be legal, but should you do it?

You will be hard pressed to find someone who find the practise of applying technology locks to someone elses property more reprehensible than I do. This is what I feel of the practise of companies like Apple and Sony who sell technology where they, not the owner, retain the keys to the technology and treat their owners as attackers of their own property. I believe that this practise should be clearly outlawed, while backward facing legislation such as the Conservative Bill C-32 seeks to legally protect it.

While this is true, I recommend against what has become the most common form of jailbreaking.

Read full article in IT World Canada's blog >>

ZeroPaid Interviews Russell McOrmond 2 – Canadian Bill C-32

Drew Wilson of ZeroPaid has posted a 3 part interview (Part 1,Part 2,Part 3)with me discussing Copyright and Bill C-32.

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