Open Letter from Federal Pivacy letter on possible amendments to the Copyright Act

The Privacy Commissioner of Canada, Jennifer Stoddart, sent a letter to the Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of Industry and the Honourable Josée Verner, Minister of Canadian Heritage, regarding possible amendments to the Copyright Act. The letter further referenced the document Fact Sheets: Digital Rights Management and Technical Protection Measures.

Those not familiar with how DRM systems actually work may be confused by this letter. It is important to realize that this letter refers to DRM systems without breaking the components down and analyzing who owns each part. Digitally encoded content can not make decisions, nor collect information, so other than the interoperability problem (anti-competitive in nature), all other problems with DRM systems -- including privacy issues -- relate to the DRM applied to devices.

The idea is simple: If governments allow and legally protect foreign locks being applied to devices that private citizens own, then those who have the keys to those foreign locks will be able to invade the privacy and other rights of the owners.

If foreign locks are to be allowed on private devices, the industry holding the keys should clearly be regulated at a level far exceeding what we currently do for broadcasters given the public impact is far greater.