TPM and Bill C-61

Here is a quick summary of some of the negative effects on everyday activities from my reading of the bill

29.21 (1) It is not an infringement of copyright for an individual to reproduce a work or other subject-matter that is a photograph or is contained in a book, newspaper, periodical or videocassette, or any substantial part of such a work or other subject-matter, onto another medium or device, if the following conditions are met:

(c) the individual, in order to make the reproduction, did not circumvent a technolog- ical measure or cause one to be circumvented, within the meanings of the definitions “circumvent” and “technological measure” in section 41;

It is interesting that the legislation specifically mentions videoCASSETTES here but makes no mention of DVDs. Does this meant that circumventing CSS on DVDs would not be a crime? Assuming that somehow "videocassette" does include DVDs BlueRay and other video mediums, this would have the effect of locking you into the licensed BlueRay players. If you have become accustomed (as I have) to being able to bypass those annoying copyright notices and (in some cases) forced previews by using Linux based players, you can forget ever being able to do this or even play BlueRay media with open source software.

29.22 (1) It is not an infringement of copyright for an individual to reproduce onto a medium or device a musical work embodied in a sound recording, a performer’s performance of a musical work embodied in a sound recording, or a sound recording in which a musical work or a performer’s performance of a musical work is embodied, or any substantial part of such a work or other subject-matter, if the following conditions are met:

(c) the individual, in order to make the reproduction, did not circumvent a technolog- ical measure or cause one to be circumvented, within the meanings of the definitions “circumvent” and “technological measure” in section 41;

Look forward to all CDs and all online music sales being encumbered with TPM. The music industry will now legally be able to force you to repurchase everything for each and every device you own.

29.23 (1) It is not an infringement of copyright for an individual to fix a communication signal, to reproduce a work or sound recording that is being broadcast or to fix or reproduce a performer’s performance that is being broadcast, in order to record a program for the purpose of listening to or watching it later, if the following conditions are met:

(b) the individual, in order to record the program, did not illegally circumvent a technological measure or cause one to be illegally circumvented, within the meanings of the definitions “circumvent” and “technological measure” in section 41;

(d) the individual keeps the recording no longer than necessary in order to listen to or watch the program at a more convenient time;

Well for the first time it will be legal to record the TV with your VCR. Unfortunately, this has the effect of making the broadcast flag legal and binding in this country in a way that has so far been rejected in the States. You can expect that future broadcasts will increasingly be tagged "DO NOT COPY" unless you start paying the broadcasters or cable company extra for this privileged. As for your existing video library on VHS? Throw it out now. This bill explicitly makes it illegal to keep the copy past the first viewing.

41.1 (1) No person shall

(a) circumvent a technological measure within the meaning of paragraph (a) of the definition “technological measure” in section 41;

This section, I believe, makes it illegal to unlock your cell phone or load Linux onto your Xbox, or do anything the manufacturer doesn't want you to do with the hardware you bought from them. So ask yourself the next time you buy a cell phone or game box or other machine which has TPM installed. Do you really own it?

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Videocassettes

Note that 29.21 is enumerating exclusions to copyright law ("It is not an infringement..."), so the fact that they don't mention DVDs or other media means that copying them is always an infringement. Bizarre though it may seem, the wording of 29.21 is intentional:

"With respect to audiovisual material such as films, the format-shifting provision would apply only to videocassettes and would not allow you to make copies of material stored on other media, such as DVDs."

-http://www.ic.gc.ca/epic/site/crp-prda.nsf/en/rp01158e.html

Format shifting is allowed, but only for specific formats. And, of course, only if they have no TPM which would prevent format shifting. Which, I suppose, means you have to check and find out if your VHS tapes are Macrovision protected before you format shift them (since Macrovision is completely useless and never actually stops anyone from copying anything anyways, but whether the TPM works or not is immaterial in the eyes of the law).

Note also that trying to format shift old laser discs onto some more recent media would also be against the law.

effective TPM

Actually section 41(b) offers this definition:

“technological measure” means any effective technology, device or component that, in the ordinary course of its operation,

so if Macrovision could be shown to be ineffective, then it would not qualify as TPM. The question then becomes what is the definition of effective? It might take a few expensive lawsuits regarding DeCSS, Macrovision, and other methods to clarify that.

Effective for lawyers and judges, not technical people.

The fact is that no technical measure used to stop copyright infringement can ever be effective. The drafters of the NII bill in 1995, the WIPO treaties in 1996, the DMCA in 1998, and the CDMCA in 2005 and 2008 generally don't understand this technological fact.

The fact is that if you can view it in your home then the locked content and the unlocking key must be present in your home, and thus is not effective in stopping you form accessing the content.

What is scientifically true isn't all that relevant to this policy debate, only what non-technical people believe it true.


Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS) consultant.

Effective for lay persons

It does not need to be effective for lawyers, judges, or technical people. It only needs to be effective against most consumers. Hell even CSS is still effective against most people as most software and hardware is still licensed and respects the content coding, and it's been broken for many years now.

You missed a spot...

The additions to section 29 are not Fair Dealings-like limits to copyright, but entirely useless changing of the "default" situation when the specific use is not mentioned in a contract. Each of these non-exceptions include language such as the following:

(2) If the individual has downloaded the work or other subject-matter from the Internet and is bound by a contract that governs the extent to which the individual may reproduce the work or other subject-matter, the contract prevails over subsection (1) to the extent of any inconsistency between them.

I believe this is the fine print that we need to be exposing as it is seems to be a dishonest way for the government to claim that they have added some balance to this bill where none exists.


Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS) consultant.