Must Reads

CFHSS Issues Call for Copyright Action

The Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences (CFHSS) has issued a Call for Action on the current copyright consultation.  The CFHSS, which made up of 69 scholarly associations, 75 universities and colleges and 7 affiliates, as well as more than 50,000 scholars, students and practitioners across Canada, focuses on flexible fair dealing, linking circumvention to copyright infringement, and the elimination of crown copyright (h/t Sam Trosow).

8 Comments

  1. laughingSoHard says:

    The minute anyone says circumvention should be linked to copyright infringement all credibility goes out the window. If I decided to lock this comment with a simple math equation and you solved the equation in order to read this you infringed my copyright. Pathetic… one would think a group of this size and magnitude would be slightly more knowledgeable about how much circumvention is around them. Every single day, in every corner of any given technology.

    2+2 = x . Whatever you do, dont solve for x! If you did? Pay me $20,000 so I can continue to sue others at no cost. The irony is this group calls itself “The Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences”. Completely asinine.

  2. I don’t think that is what is meant – presumably what they are trying to say is not liability for circumvention unless it’s done for an infringing purpose? Right? equally idiotic of course because they also want a good faith defence and flexible fair dealing so it becomes impossible to prove infringement.

    More perplexing is what seems to be the suggestion in “Host Your Own Townhall” that it should be ok to bust any DRM on heart monitor and car service software. Bad examples I think as most people would prefer that these not be tampered with in the name of fair dealing.

  3. @Bob
    Agreed, in particular with respect to infringing purpose. In a sense I also agree with you about the “good faith defense”. All that this does is encourage people not to find out what their rights and responsibilities are. After all, ignorance of the law is no excuse for breaking the law.

  4. If you make breaking the locks illegal instead of the actual crime (copyright infringment) you giving corporations veto power over all the fair dealing restrictions making fair dealing basically useless.

    More than just fair dealing is lost if you make the practice of circumventing locks illegal. Your assuming these digital locks are only used for legal (in canada) purposes, which they are not. They are used for whatever the company feals like using them for. They are used to try to prevent copying in any form (including the forms that are supposed to be legal in Canada), usage in whatever form the company doesn’t like (or hasn’t predicted, or screwed up and blocked anyway), and also just to block out competition from being able to play the media at all. Alot digital locks on software currently require the software company to be available to open them for you even if you have a legitimate copy. If the company goes out of business you would suddenly no longer be able to legally use the software you purchased. However, there is nothing in any of the licensing contracts that say you are only allowed to use the software while the company is still around and feels like letting you use it.

    Plus I’m not sure why you think proving intent is so difficult when so many laws rely on it already and we don’t have any trouble enforcing them.

  5. laughingSoHard says:

    “If you make breaking the locks illegal instead of the actual crime (copyright infringment) you giving corporations veto power over all the fair dealing restrictions making fair dealing basically useless.”
    ——————————————————————————
    @crade, This sentence said it all. This is why I disagree with giving any form of DRM, any kind of legal protection. Anything could be considered a digital rights management lock or a technical protection measure. Where do you draw the line? For me its here. Breaking digital locks is a fact of life that I will not stand to see criminalized. Lawmakers are running out of things to legislate. So lets tackle technological protections because the lobbies say so right?
    ———————————————————————————–
    This comment was locked with the following equation 2+2=x Unless you have been given the variable x by me, you are breaking a digital lock. You are hereby ordered/extorted to pay $20,000. Once again, completely asinine.

  6. Bob Morris says:

    Many laws involve proving intent to do something, not disproving good faith. There is a difference.

  7. @Crade
    Not sure that I’d agree with your comment about “Alot digital locks on software currently require the software company to be available to open them for you even if you have a legitimate copy.” The ones that I deal with (and there are many) will operate without an internet connection, which would be required if I understood your posting correctly. If the company goes out of business it may not be possible to perform a re-install of the software if the machine gets replaced, but the licence installation is typically a one-time operation; it is rarely, in my experience, validated on a regular basis (an exception is for the Micro$oft Windows operating system, where the “Windows Genuine Advantage” did a check each time you tried to do an update). I admit I may not have experienced what you did, can you supply an example please? I have even used $20K software packages that didn’t phone home, so I’d be interested in hearing of some.

  8. “If the company goes out of business it may not be possible to perform a re-install of the software if the machine gets replaced”
    Yes, this is what I was talking about. Perhaps I shouldn’t have said “suddenly”, the products usually will usually keep working until you need to reinstall. An internet connection isn’t neccesarily required. Often the software locks will have a telephone alternative if you do not have an internet connection.

    Sorry for the rant, but the software example that pissed me off the most was install shield. I have install shield on vmware, and I had to delete and recreate the image twice because I kept breaking it in my testing process for my project. Apparently they keep track of how many times you have installed the product on their server. If you cannot connect to the server, you must call them in order to install. I had to reinstall it more times than they allow, so I had to wait until the weekend (and my deadline) was over to finish my work, and then when I politely (I swear!) called and asked them to fix it for me, they wouldn’t do it without a bunch more time wasted explaining what exactly I was doing and asking to speak to superiors, blah blah. Eventually they fixed it and we were allowed to install again. Only because the company was still around, otherwise I would be complete up the creek.

    Another example is the walmart scandal that happened recently:
    http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2009/07/big-content-ridiculous-to-expect-drmed-music-to-work-forever.ars

    DVD region code protection is another example that wouldn’t neccessarily be against the law here in Canada, but is illegal and breaks trade agreements in some countries.

    Besides it isn’t what they are already doing with this law, it’s the amount of potential for abuse that really worries me.