June 7th, 2010

SGA-M-Oh Canada

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.

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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.