Petition to protect Information Technology Property Rights

The Petition to protect Information Technology Property Rights seeks to protect your rights as the owner of information technology such as your computer, your home entertainment system, your digital camera, your camcorder, or your portable media players.

Welcome to this site!

The new Copyright bill expected to be tabled for first reading in December is getting a lot of attention. Michael Geist posted an update to his 30 Days of DRM: 30 Things You Can Do which included reference to the petitions on this site. This article was referenced by many other sites, including SlashDot.

This may be the first time some people visit this site.

Petition to protect Information Technology property rights

We have other petitions we are sending to the Canadian parliament. Please print and sign all of them.
"It's very important to remember that it's your intellectual property -- it's not your computer. And in the pursuit of protection of intellectual property, it's important not to defeat or undermine the security measures that people need to adopt in these days."

- Stewart Baker, then US Department of Homeland Security's assistant secretary for policy, speaking to a group of copyright holders in 2005.

Rather than using the term "digital locks", it may be helpful to understand these as "digital handcuffs". When "technological measures" are applied to our devices by other than their owners, they are like handcuffs being put on without us having committed or even being accused of any offense. We merely want to own and control our own computers, and use them for any law abiding purpose.

Please print and sign the following!

The text of the petition is available in English (PDF)/ English (OpenDocument) or French (PDF) / French (OpenDocument).

ComputerWorld Canada: Throne speech suggests copyright reform is coming

Shane Schick writes in ComputerWorld Canada about the mention of Copyright revision in the Throne Speech.

Earlier this year activist group Digital Copyright Canada sent a petition urging the government to prohibit the use of TPMs in technology products, but those concerns were largely ignored in a response from Industry Canada which promised to review the country’s overall approach to governing copyright.

What if the builder of your home burnt it down if you changed the locks?

Some copyright and patent holders like to make analogies between copyright and tangible property. I would like to make a much more valid analogy that actually involves tangible property.

Here is the scenario. A home builder builds homes and puts their own locks on the door. They retain the keys, and do not give the keys to the new owners when the homes are sold. The builder, not the owner, then decides who can have keys and who can not -- and the owner is not given a key.

Removing unauthorized locks applied by non-owners to cell phones

Michael Geist's weekly lawbytes article titled Unlocking the Mysteries of Locked Cellphones makes me think of the standard questions that I have of any technology these days.

  • Who owns my cellphone? (I bought my phone outright, and it is not part of a plan -- but it does have a "Fido" lock on it)
  • If I own it, why is anyone other than me legally allowed to put a lock on it?
  • If I own it, can it be illegal for me to remove a lock that someone else (a non-owner) put on it?
  • Will the so-called "Conservative" government in Canad protect tangible information technology property rights and ensure that people who own digital devices, including cell phones, be legally protected in their right to remove unauthorized (by the owner) locks -- including the right to hire someone else to remove these unauthorized (by the owner) locks?

IT World Canada: Industry Canada disappoints anti-TPM petitioners

An article by Rafael Ruffolo in ComputerWorld Canada discusses the recent government reply to our Petition for IT property rights. This article quotes me from an interview this morning.

Please note: We always appreciate more signatures to the petition so that we can continue to have batches tabled in parliament, giving the government the opportunity to actually provide a useful response.

Conservative Government doesn't rule out ignoring property rights to protect legacy business models

I received today the response to a batch of signatures to the Petition to protect Information Technology Property rights. The response is from May 7, 2007 and signed by then Industry Minister Maxime Bernier. While our petition is about protecting tangible technology property rights against circumvention by third parties, the response indicated that they considered the subject matter to be "copyright".

My first letter to the new Heritage and Industry Ministers.

Date: Tue, 21 Aug 2007, sent in e-Mail. This version cleaned up to read better in HTML. Also published on: p2pnet

Dear Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of Industry,
Honourable Josée Verner, Minister of Canadian Heritage,

Congratulations on your new cabinet positions. As you likely know, one of the joint responsibilities you will have is Copyright, an area of policy that is of great interest and concern to me as a software author, as well as an internet/security consultant.

Who's computer is it anyway ?

Wired reports on a DMCA lawsuit (in the USA) where somebody is accused of creating and distributing both instructions and a program for defeating the limits on the number of coupons from that can be printed from one computer.

This sounds pretty straight-forward until you read that defeating this particular DRM involves deleting files or registry entries from your computer.

According to the experts cited, there's definitely a case here.

Mr. Angus tables petition signatures to protect Information Technology property rights!

Mr. Charlie Angus, member for Timmins-James Bay, just tabled the first batch of signatures for the Petition to protect Information Technology property rights. He managed to read nearly the entire text of the petition into Hansard, and I believe that by doing so will alert other MPs to these critical property rights issues!

The Transcript from Hansard:

Technical Protection Measures

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