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Another Copyright PSA

Hello Flist,

I'm sadly back from my NYC vacation (and am super itchy from bug bites :S). While I was gone, the Conservative government released their new copyright bill, C-32. I very briefly followed the news with my limited internet time in NYC but haven't had a chance to fully delve into it yet.

However, I've read enough that I wanted to make another PSA as soon as possible.

I'll admit, I was surprised that I didn't hate most of it. There's a lot of great new consumer rights and an expansion of Fair Dealing to include things like parody. The bill would make time shifting and format shifting legal (finally using a VCR would be legal :P). They even have a specific exemption for vidding!

Sounds great, right? Well, it would be, if it weren't for the section of Digital Rights Management (DRM). They've added a DMCA-like provision where DRMs trump all other rights. The minute something has a digital lock on it, you are no longer allowed access to the copyrighted material, even if your use is legal. So no vids, from DVD rips if you're talking fandom but this has such bigger implications than that. Groups that currently have copy right exceptions will lose their rights if DRMs are involved. The media, teachers, libraries.

This doesn't make sense. If you legally buy something, and want to make a legal use of it, the presence of a lock should not stop you from doing something legal. So, I'd like to, once again, send out a plea to Canadians to write their MPs, as well as the PM and MP James Moore, and ask that this part of the bill be fixed. Overall this is a good bill, and the Conservatives have said they're willing to amend the bill to get it passed. We want to make sure that what goes through is really the best law we can get, and this bill has that potential.

Contact Information
Prime Minister Harper
Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa
K1A 0A2

email: pm@pm.gc.ca
fax: 613-941-6900


Heritage Minister James Moore
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A6

email: Moore.J@parl.gc.ca
fax: 613-992-9868


Please also contact your MP. You can find their contact information by searching under your postal code here.

Further Information
Michael Geist really is the best source of information on this. He's put up a short video explaining the highlights of this bill:


Here's Geist's original sum up of the bill.

Here's a list of media articles from the day after.

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
canuck_kat
Jun. 7th, 2010 10:05 pm (UTC)
How would we know if something has DRM? I know in some cases it's obvious, but sometimes it's not.

For example, ripping dvds. They have this data files called VOBs which contain the audio/video files. I can play them in, say, VLC, and rip them. Obviously, if I can't do that for any reason besides lack of tech skills, there's DRM.

Also, what about those movies that let you have a digital copy, but have DRM on the DVDs?

BTW, does this trump the copyright law (where it says you can use copyrighted material for educational purposes)?
paraka
Jun. 7th, 2010 10:51 pm (UTC)
How would we know if something has DRM?
I'm not sure. I think they're assiming that the DRM will be obvious? There are also provisions making programs that ignore or break DRMs illegal so in "theory" such programs won't be available so you can't accidentally break the lock. *rolls eyes* Because yeah, any of that'll happen.

Also, what about those movies that let you have a digital copy, but have DRM on the DVDs?
That's another situation I'm not positive about. I'm assuming that since you didn't have to break any sort of digital lock to get the digital copy you'd be ok. Or you might make the argument that you got it as a two for one type of deal so you paid for both versions.

Logically, such a situation should be safe. However, I remember listening to something by Geist where he said you wouldn't be able to photocopy a physical text book if a digit copy with DRM existed, however I'm not sure if he said that before the bill was released and was just speculating. Still, even if that is a case, if they give you a digital version, no locks are being broken.

BTW, does this trump the copyright law (where it says you can use copyrighted material for educational purposes)?
Two things for this: Educational purposes don't currently have an exemption. Research has one, but elementary schools and stuff still have to pay fees to have access to copyrighted material. I believe. This new bill will grant them an exemption, however this brings up the answer to your question, because the exemption does not apply if there are DRMs involved. So for example the media will no longer be able to show clips of copyrighted material if they had to break a DRM to get to it. They're going to have less access to copyrighted material than they do now if this goes through as is.
canuck_kat
Jun. 8th, 2010 01:37 am (UTC)
Thanks for answering my questions! I hate being ignorant, but I also hate reading the news.

Put some vinegar on those bug bites if they still itch! It'll help.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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