Federal Bill C-32 tramples areas of provincial jurisdiction

2010-06-11: I sent a letter this afternoon to my Member of Provincial parliament for Ottawa South, who happens to be Premier Dalton McGuinty. I copied it to my federal MP, as well as to Andrea Horwath, Leader of Ontario’s New Democrats, and Tim Hudak, Leader of the Ontario PC Party.

Update 2010-07-29: I have sent an additional letter to Mr. McGuinty.

Thank you for your letter of July 27, 2010, in response to the letter I sent on June 11, 20101. I hope that you will reconsider the response, which was to say that it would be inappropriate for you to comment on a federal piece of legislation.

I forgot to include a link to the FAQ on why I disagree with what CMEC has been asking for.

Please take this letter, and send similar ones to your MPP/MLA's and other provincial representatives. I believe that the worst aspects of Bill C-32 are tied to the same issues that cause there to be constitutionality questions : issues which have little to do with traditional copyright concepts, are widely misunderstood, and actually implicate issues surrounding e-commerce, contract or property law.

I believe it is especially important to contact members of the National Assembly of Quebec, and hopefully through them the Bloc. If the Bloc recognise this issue, they might join in ensuring that federal Copyright law is not tainted by these outside issues.

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good luck with that

Yes, I'm in the process of penning one to my MPP along the same lines. WRT Quebec, all I can say is good luck with that. Quebec is experiencing the same siege mentality as the US regarding their cultural industries. They've actually been there a lot longer and show no signs of ever leaving. Getting them to look deeply and critically into these issues will be a formidable task. There is simply too much emotion clouding their judgement.

TPMs used by copyright holders != TPMs protecting Copyright

I believe various cultural industries have been confused about TPMs, to their own detriment. They should be opposing the addition of TPMs to the Copyright act as much as I am, and I believe they would if they had the same technological and legal understanding of these technology that I have.

There are legitimate uses for technical measures to help protect eCommerce sites and to protect contractual arrangements. When copyright holders don't understand that the TPMs they are using are protecting contracts, they are unable to determine whether their interests are protected in those contracts. Misunderstanding these technologies makes them powerless to protect their legal rights.

Legal protection for TPMs being added to federal Copyright law greatly threatens the moral and material rights of creators in the cultural industries. Legal protection for TPMs in appropriate provincial legislation may be helpful to their interests. Which specific laws protect TPMs is critical to the impact this legal protection will have.

There is a harmful tendency to believe that if a specific tool is needed by copyright holders then the tool must be in the Copyright act. This is simply wrong, and it is critical we move away from this tendency. Legal protection for TPMs do not belong in the federal Copyright Act any more than energy policy does. Nobody would ever argue that creators are not dependant on electricity for their business models.

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