I received today the response to a batch of signatures to the Petition to protect Information Technology Property rights. The response is from May 7, 2007 and signed by then Industry Minister Maxime Bernier. While our petition is about protecting tangible technology property rights against circumvention by third parties, the response indicated that they considered the subject matter to be "copyright".
The government is reviewing Canada's Copyright Act in order to ensure that it continues to advance important public policy objectives - economic, social and cultural. In particular, a modern copyright framework should provide effective deterrents against copyright infringement on the one hand, and reflect the current technological and legal realities in a manner that supports innovation, research and consumer choice, on the other. In this regard, the government will be mindful of the perspective raised by the petitioners as it considers copyright amendments to address the Internet and new technologies, including the use and application of technical protection measures to copyright content.
The government wishes to thank the petitioners for drawing attention to these important copyright issues involving technological protection measure and their use, and looks forward to hearing from Canadians, whether rights holders,intermediaries or users of copyright material, as it moves forward with copyright reform.
Our petition clearly states that these controversial technical measures are being applied both to content (which a copyright holder may claim to be the "owner" of) as well as devices which these copyright holders and device manufacturers are clearly not the owner of. This "response" doesn't even seem to acknowledge that it is not defensible for either a copyright holder or a device manufacturer to put digital locks (technical measures) onto something which they do not own, or to abuse digital locks on something which they do "own" (a copyrighted work) to force citizens to use hardware which a foreign lock has been applied to.
I have to wonder if the "Conservative" government is going to pay more than just lip service to the claim that they wish to protect property rights, or whether they are going to wipe out property rights when a lobbiest claims these property rights conflicts with specific legacy business models.