Different people have different expertise

I have been asked by more than one person to comment on a blog posting by James Gannon. The first thing to note is that he appears to be part of the smear campaign against Michael Geist. It is unfortunate that some people in this political debate are lowering themselves to this level.

The other is to note that he is a lawyer, and there is no requirement to take computer science courses in order to become a lawyer. While there may have been no requirement, I consider it an obligation of those dealing with this area of policy to obtain a basic working knowledge of a series of real-world technological measures.

Most of what he had to say about the focus of Bill C-32, technological measures, was part of a conversation I had with a lawyer a few years ago that was hosted by Heritage, Copyright Policy Branch. (See: Access and use "technological measures" - a legal distinction without a technological difference?, which was a presentation built upon Protecting property rights in a digital world)

I invite all lawyers, politicians and other people engaging in trying to analyse C-32 to do the same thing that this lawyer did: sit down with an independent software author who understands real-world technology and go through a series of example technological measures. You may be surprised what you learn.

It is critically important that this analysis be done in conjunction with an independent software author. There are a few technology companies that are offering Trojan horses to creators which do not do as they are claiming to creators (reduce copyright infringement, etc), but instead circumvent free markets to build a technology platform monopoly. If you are a lawyer that represents copyright holders, or a politician that is trying to protect creators' rights, it should be understood as your duty to obtain a basic working knowledge of these concepts in order to ensure that your advise/policy will actually help rather than harm those you represent.

Side-note: The 1996 WIPO treaties are largely based on the failed National Information Infrastructure Copyright Protection Act of 1995. Those who call implementations of similar policies a "DMCA" can be excused for being 3 years out of date in referencing the act that passed in the USA after this example of policy laundering.