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. Petition asks government to prohibit TPMs on IT devices

An article by Shane Schick includes:

Russell McOrmond, an Internet consultant based in Ottawa who runs, said the group has only obtained about 30 signatures so far, but they only need 25 in order to present it in Parliament. He said Digital Copyright is in discussions with a Conservative MP who would champion the cause in the House of Commons.

“I want to get an MP who will hold up a camcorder and say, ‘From my cold dead hands,’” he said. “If we can manage to do that, then we win.”

Sony executive doesn't understand what he is promoting...

The following comment was added to an article by Candace Lombardi, Staff Writer, CNET

Like Hillary Rosen, this executive vice president of the digital policy group at Sony Pictures Entertainment is unaware of the technical details of the technology that he is promoting.

Mitch Singer said, "The problem with DRM now is that we have no interoperability."

The way DRM works is by encoding digital content so that it is only interoperable with "authorized" access devices. These "authorized" devices are devices where the manufacturer, not the owner, is in control of the device. I consider the legalization of allowing manufacturers to put technical measures on devices that consider the *OWNER* to be the attacker of the device to be state-sponsored theft.

What happens when the legal community is confused about technology?

I find it frustrating when I read articles like the one in the New York Times about how the French constitutional council, the country's highest judicial body, has declared major aspects of the recent digital compatibility law as unconstitutional.

I suspect that it is based on some myth that this law was misappropriating some property right that Apple has, when in fact that it is Apple that is circumventing the property rights of their hardware customers.

Letter to James Rajotte about Information Technology property rights

The following letter was sent to James Rajotte, MP for Edmonton Leduc, and current chair of the Industry, Science and Technology Standing Committee.

In previous parliaments you spoke up for the rights of citizens to own tangible property. With digital issues these rights are being eroded, but not in the way that governments are currently being told.

Today I posted an article to the website of CLUE: The Canadian Association for Open Source, titled "Whose hardware is it anyway?".

You tabled signatures for the "Petition for Users' Rights" in the past, and I hope you will also table signatures to the "Petition to protect Information Technology property rights". Unless our property rights are protected, it will not be possible to protect the rights of authors or any other citizen who use information technology.

Whose hardware is it anyway?

The following was posted to my BLOG on CLUE. It was also published by p2pnet.

With the recent launch of the Petition to protect Information Technology property rights at the Ottawa Linux Symposium (French translation in progress), we now move to the harder stage of explaining the petition not only to those who we want to sign it, but those whose activities we wish to influence. It is not only politicians who must help protect our property rights, but also software authors who we want to discourage from working with monopolies in the hardware manufacturing and content industries to circumvent our property rights.

Linux Australia has a petition to "Ban Piracy, Not Competition"

I have been collecting signatures to the Petition to protect Information Technology property rights at the Ottawa Linux Symposium. Separate from this I received a message from someone in Australia doing similar work with Linux Australia, who also have a petition to their parliament documented as part of their legal issues. The focus on the petition is to tie anti-circumvention provisions to actual infringement, something that was contained in Bill C-60 in Canada. The concept is to "Ban Piracy, Not Competition", although I see no way to accomplish this while at the same time disallowing the owner of IT from choosing whatever software they wish to run on their hardware, and still be able to access any content they have purchased.

Their information lists Rusty Russell as the IP Policy Advisor for Linux Australia, and I hope to bump into Rusty at the conference.

DRM and other attacks on our property rights have no place.

The following is a letter to the editor. Letter was published by p2pnet.

In an article "Bull from the entertainment industry" (Computer Dealer News, July 14, 2006, Vol. 22, No. 10), Grant Buckler suggested that DRM has its place, but needs to have limits. One of the problems with the term Digital Rights Management and/or Digital Restrictions Management is that different people are operating with very different definitions.

From a technical standpoint I would define DRM as the application of a technical protection measure (TPM) to devices which are used to create, communicate or access digital content. While these TPMs are usually applied by device manufacturers based on agreements they have with copyright holders, it is important to remember that neither the copyright holder nor the manufacturer are the owners of these devices.

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