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Liberals Say Digital Locks Top Issue as Moore Open To Changes

The Wire Report reports that Liberal MP Marc Garneau believes that C-32's digital lock provisions is the most significant issue raised by bill.  Garneau says "the question of how to proceed on legal protection for digital rights management remains the most significant one. The provision has to balance the interests of industry stakeholders, who want the locks protected, and the interests of consumers." Garneau indicated that there is a way to balance the interests and that the party would make some proposals on the issue. Meanwhile, Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore indicated a willingness to entertain reform proposals.  When asked specifically about reforms to the digital lock provisions, Moore said that parties should bring forward specific language.

7 Comments

  1. Vincent Clement says:

    There is no need to balance the wants of industry and the interests of consumers regarding DRM. The industry needs to be told that DRM does nothing to stop anyone from copying your content and actually costs the industry money to implement.

    Remember how Blu-ray was supposed to be so secure? Didn’t take that long to find the keys. And today you can copy a blu-ray disk.

  2. It’s fairly reasonable to have restrictions on redistributing content which was originaly locked, and has had the locks disabled/removed (e.g. ripped DVD to DivX file). However there should be absolutely no restriction on someone’s freedom to disable/remove the locks for their own purposes (e.g. play a Dvd on Linux, format shifting).

  3. @Mike C
    I agree with you, but have a suspicion of why the publishers don’t want the consumer to be able to do that; revenue.

    Think about how much it costs to produce a DVD. You can buy a DVD-R at retail prices for about $0.42 per. Add another $0.50 for the jewel case, and you are looking at a total cost of, let’s say, $1.25 to produce the DVD (I use the retail prices as the retail price would contain a markup which would, I suspect, be about the same as the royalty paid to the studio). Now, how much do we pay for it? ~$25 for a new DVD (~20x the cost of producing). Even allowing for the markups along the way, that is still a big chunk of profit for everyone in the food chain (assuming there are 5 steps, each can have a 100% markup on their cost)

    So, if you have a CD or DVD get damaged, or want a copy to keep in a high risk location (CDs can warp in the heat of a car), it is in the interest of the publisher and retail chain to have you purchase a new copy rather than use a personal copy.

  4. @Mike C
    Sorry, in my previous I should have said 111% markup.

    Cost Price charged
    Publisher $1.25 $2.64
    Distributor A $2.64 $5.59
    Distributor B $5.59 $11.82
    Retailer $11.82 $25.00

  5. If I purchase a DVD, do I or do I not now “own” the content (for my personal use)? It appears that the spirit of the proposed law is that I do.

    If corporations insist on retaining locks on DVDs, the law should insist that they conform to that spirit: They must provide for trade-ins. I bring in my old Disney VHS tape (or damaged DVD), and, for a small fee to pay for new media, they replace it with a new DVD.

    I believe in paying for content once. Requiring me to pay twice or more is just greed.

  6. Digial locks….
    I am not aggainst Digital locks(mostly because I am myself in the tech industry and I can see the reason behind it). However, protecting them without placing restrictions on what is considered a good digital lock(say… cd-checks for software) and a bad digital lock(say… sony rootkit). Furthermore, the ban on breaking a digital lock must not prevent the following:
    Format shifting,
    Back-ups,
    Accessibility for the disabled,
    Student related work,
    Encryption/Security research,
    Backwards Compatibility(running applications from the 9x Era in win7).

    Also library/theachers should not be forced to apply drm schemes to books/teaching materials.

    TLDR version:
    Ok to protect digital locks IF AND ONLY IF it’s directly linked to infringements (like India).
    Must also not add burdens on libraries and teachers.

  7. @Liz
    I think the best description is that you own the media that is the DVD. You have also licensed the right to display privately the material from the DVD.

    @Anonyme: Agreed. I also have no problem with the concept of a digital lock. I do have a problem with the implementation of the concept. I have an issue with the distribution of “broken” material beyond the members of the household where the original media is held, either commercial or non-commercial. I view the TPM as a means to increase the fines for such distribution, as it took an effort to break the TPM which made the distribution possible. However, where the TPM is broken and the material does not leave the possession of the household members, I have no problem with that. With respect to software, the idea of licensing generally means a given number of platforms. To break the license mechanism in order to distribute the software to more platforms isn’t right. To break it to TRANSFER the license is a different beast.