Technology issues in Budget 2011?

I haven't read Budget 2011, and would like to hear in comments what people think.

I read on Twitter a few times about a mention of Copyright legislation under "Recent Federal Initiatives in Support of Canada’s Digital Economy" where they said, " Modernizing policies to build confidence in e-commerce through the passage of new anti-spam legislation and tabling privacy and copyright legislation" (Page 142 of the paper/PDF version)

While most of the technology community will agree about the benefits from the passed anti-spam legislation, the claims about Bill C-32 will seem absurd for those of us on this side of the technology law debate. As I indicated in my intervention, "legal protection for access controls in copyright law can be abused to circumvent the traditional contours of contract, e-commerce, privacy, trade, and consumer protection and property law".

The threat to e-commerce was discussed:

We should always be asking who owns what is locked: who has the keys? If it's somebody other than the owner who has the keys, you should be wondering exactly what they are trying to pull on us.

There's something dishonest going on there, which is why I suggest taking these things into the right areas of law. For instance, if you have an access control that's protecting your electronic commerce website, well, e-commerce, first of all, is a provincial responsibility, which gets us right back into the constitutional question. But that's where that legal protection should be, in the right area of law. Copyright is not the right area of law to be protecting an e-commerce site.

While not part of the numbers of the budget, it does highlight a policy disagreement on the effect that C-32 will have on electronic commerce and other aspects of Canada's Digital Economy. Far from being a help, C-32 would introduce considerable uncertainty as misunderstood and misapplied technical measures are abused to circumvent a wide variety of laws.

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There's other stuff in C-32

The "notice-and-notice" stuff is surely good for e-commerce. Admittedly, it may be overshadowed by the DRM stuff.

N&N

Do you mean Notice and Notice is better than things like Notice and Terminate or Notice and Take-down? Having no bill passed accomplishes the same goal of not having these worse policies put into place.

Or were you thinking mandated N&N was better than the status-quo of voluntary N&N? Having some regulation here would make things better. If it was a priority, a smaller bill could have been introduced and passed a decade ago.


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