Archive for July 24th, 2008

61 Reforms to C-61, Day 24: TPMs – No Exclusion of Non-Infringing Access

Bill C-61's anti-circumvention approach ranks among the broadest of any statute in the world.  One area where it is particularly (over)broad is in its failure to exclude non-infringing access.  Under the current bill, Section 41.1(1) simply states that "no person shall circumvent a technological measure within the meaning of paragraph (a) of the definition of 'technological measure'".  Technological measure "means any effective technology, device or component that, in the ordinary course of its operation controls access to a work. . . "

By using such a broad approach – any circumvention of any effective access control – the statute prohibits the circumvention of TPMs that have absolutely nothing to do with infringing copying.  The most obvious example of this comes from the region coding found on DVDs and many computer games.  Many DVDs include Macrovision (designed to stop copying a DVD to VHS), Content Scramble System or CSS (the subject of important litigation involving DeCSS, a software program created to allow Linux users to play DVDs since they were otherwise unable to do so due to CSS), and region coding. 

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July 24, 2008 6 comments News

Varsity on C-61

The Varsity focuses on the effects of the Canadian DMCA on students.

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July 24, 2008 3 comments Must Reads

Hamilton Chamber of Commerce Challenges National Chamber IP Approach

As Copyright Watch recently chronicled, local Chambers of Commerce have been singing from the same songbook as Industry Minister Jim Prentice in letters to the editor on Bill C-61.  This is consistent with the national Chamber, which earlier this year formed a new lobby group to push for copyright reform and issued a press release supporting the introduction of the copyright bill – complete with local quotes – within 90 minutes of the tabling of the bill.

Notwithstanding these lobbying efforts, a crack in the coalition has emerged.  At least one chamber of commerce has decided that it wants to look at the bill with an eye to the impact on small and medium sized businesses. The Hamilton Chamber of Commerce had adopted a resolution that it is hoping to get the Ontario and Canadian Chambers of Commerce to adopt seeking studies on the impact that IP legislation would have on SMEs. The concern is that SMEs would bear the burden of enforcement directed at businesses. The Hamilton chamber argues:

  • The estimates of piracy used in support of the Canadian and Ontario policies are unsupported by verifiable Canadian data;
  • Most small businesses are not aware of IP issues and would likely be at a disadvantage if action were ever taken against them on any alleged IP infringement;
  • Small businesses would have a disproportionate increase in expenses in complying with the costs that the policies would create;
  • In Canada, many large owners of IP have ‘over-reached’ the protection that IP has given them to the detriment of small businesses;
  • The proposed change in laws does nothing to favour Canadian businesses;
  • Many IP users are funded by tax dollars (i.e. education, libraries, archives) and an increase in enforcement is likely to increase their costs, which will, in turn, lead to higher taxes which disproportionately affects small business.

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July 24, 2008 5 comments News

Hamilton Chamber of Commerce Challenges National Chamber IP Approach

As Copyright Watch recently chronicled, local Chambers of Commerce have been singing from the same songbook as Industry Minister Jim Prentice in letters to the editor on Bill C-61.  This is consistent with the national Chamber, which earlier this year formed a new lobby group to push for copyright reform and issued a press release supporting the introduction of the copyright bill – complete with local quotes – within 90 minutes of the tabling of the bill.

Notwithstanding these lobbying efforts, a crack in the coalition has emerged.  At least one chamber of commerce has decided that it wants to look at the bill with an eye to the impact on small and medium sized businesses. The Hamilton Chamber of Commerce had adopted a resolution that it is hoping to get the Ontario and Canadian Chambers of Commerce to adopt seeking studies on the impact that IP legislation would have on SMEs. The concern is that SMEs would bear the burden of enforcement directed at businesses. The Hamilton chamber argues:

  • The estimates of piracy used in support of the Canadian and Ontario policies are unsupported by verifiable Canadian data;
  • Most small businesses are not aware of IP issues and would likely be at a disadvantage if action were ever taken against them on any alleged IP infringement;
  • Small businesses would have a disproportionate increase in expenses in complying with the costs that the policies would create;
  • In Canada, many large owners of IP have ‘over-reached’ the protection that IP has given them to the detriment of small businesses;
  • The proposed change in laws does nothing to favour Canadian businesses;
  • Many IP users are funded by tax dollars (i.e. education, libraries, archives) and an increase in enforcement is likely to increase their costs, which will, in turn, lead to higher taxes which disproportionately affects small business.

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July 24, 2008 Comments are Disabled Stop CDMCA

Kerr on Privacy Idealism

My colleague Ian Kerr posts a great speech he recently delivered on the importance of privacy "idealism" in advocacy.

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July 24, 2008 1 comment Must Reads