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CBC’s The National on C-32

CBC’s The National ran a good story on Bill C-32 over the weekend, focusing specifically on the impact on consumers.

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48 Comments

  1. Thanks. It’s a good piece, even if short. Hopefully it will catch the attention of most consumers who do not follow this stuff.

    Its only failing is at the very end where the reporter says. “In targeting Internet pirates the legislation also targets law abiding consumers”. At least where digital locks are concerned, it doesn’t target pirates in the least. It only targets, and was only event meant to target, law abiding consumers. In this regard the Bill is doing exactly what it was designed to do.

    Compromise in committee would probably come easier if the Bill drafters were at least honest about this aspect of it.


  2. Much better than then previous stories I’ve seen, which for the most part have been non-existent. Still, it is a shame they had to resort to the inaccurate term “pirate” to describe music sharing. This is even more apparent with the recent news of real pirates who raided a boat and killed its operator, leaving the daughter stranded and hoping for rescue. Yeah, I can totally see how that can be equated to someone downloading Star Trek II.


  3. I was quite impressed by the movie collection of that guy Alex. He must be a “model customer” – and yet it is exactly him that “the industry” wants to piss off.

    Nap.


  4. And I loved Mr. Moore: “We definitely allow you to copy but we’ll let “the industry” decide how many copies”.

    ROFLMAO. Are there any special prizes for such statements? Like Wooden Spoons or Rotten Tomatoes?

    Nap.

  5. A much more truthful piece than I have seen so far, but I would have liked to have seen it go more in depth.

    As for Mr. Moore’s comments, I hate to believe it, but it seems Mr. Moore does not understand the technological aspects of his portfolio and even more worrisome the sociological aspects either. The flip side is he does understand and doesn’t care as long as policy is meeting the PMO dogma.

    Either way, a job ‘well done’ 0_o


  6. Moore is full of CARP!!!! Like the guy featured in this spot, I have a huge collection of media and spend a lot of money on it, though not quite as large. I also have a full blown media PC, media server and a smaller, more user friendly, media player (For the wife) with plans to build a full blown home theatre at some point. We really aren’t the guys the industry should be pi$$ing off.

    Like myself, judging from this guy’s setup, he’s likely quite capable of downloading in such a fashion that would be untraceable, or at least very difficult to trace. Like him, I “choose” to buy my media, not because I’m incapable of setting up tools to ensure a secure download, but because I want to own it. If I can no longer own it or control my use, what incentive is there for me to buy it?

  7. I’m the guy in the interview
    Hello everyone,

    I’m the guy in the video, some of you may know that I’ve posted here before.

    I was disappointed by the fact that the final broadcast used only those segments… The actual discussion was about one hour long, and I touched upon many things, from digital locks and freeware to time-shifting and format-shifting.

    A main point was that digital locks and copy protection mechanisms enshrined by Bill C-32 could go much further than prevent unauthorized copying: they have the potential of criminalizing the act of watching DVDs produced in other regions of the world. Considering that Canada has a very large immigrant population (1 in 6), I doubt that these people and their children would hesitate when faced with the choice between breaking a law which does not allow them to watch films that are part of their culture, or remaining ignorant (regrettably, I used the word “stupid” instead).

    I’m not too sure how I came across in the end – it seems to me that the chosen footage makes me look like a pirate 🙁

  8. @Crockett
    Unfortunately it isn’t unusual for a minister to not have a good understanding of the issues of their portfolio. The system, after a fashion, seems to discourage it. Remember, ministers in Canada are drawn from MPs and occasionally Senators. Thus, you can’t just go out and get the best person for the job, as the pool of candidates is fairly shallow. Even if you have someone in caucus that should understand the issues they may not be the right person for the job. For instance, Gordon O’Connor served in the military (he is a retired Brigadier General. Thus you would think that he would be an ideal choice as Minister of National Defence. However, many would argue that he wasn’t the most effective minister in that portfolio. Peter McKay appears to have been, in general, more effective in that same portfolio, even though he doesn’t have military experience. Add to this the rotation of ministers and you pretty much guarantee that a minister won’t be an expert, or even have a better than average understanding.

    The job of the senior civil service is to ensure that the minister has the best info available to take to cabinet to make the most appropriate decision. What cabinet, and hence the caucus, does with it is up to them. Meaningful discussion can take place, or a directive from on high (the PM) be made or group-think can occur. As a leader you don’t necessarily need to be able to do the job of your subordinates. However, you do need to be able to tell when they are feeding you a line.

  9. @Alex S.
    I would love to see the full interview, perhaps you could request a copy from CBC. I don’t think you came across as a pirate. Anyone looking at your walls would be difficult to argue you’re anything but a large consumer of media. I think you more came across as someone who simply wishes to have access to your purchased content. Out of curiousity, how many movies do you own?

    I also agree on the out-of-region stuff and sure, it’s one thing if you’re importing a copy of Spiderman from India for $3. But if you’re bringing in something like “Ukraina slyozam ne viryt” from the Ukraine, something that is regional and NOT available here, that should be allowed. Under the Berne convention I could legally download it, or even buy a legal “copy” from somewhere like Video Screams, so why should I not be able to import the DVD. As someone who enjoys obscure European and Asian horror movies and listens to primarily European music, I often wonder if making EVERYTHING out-of-region illegal violates any rights under the charter of rights and freedoms or even if it violates any WTO treaties. I consider this to anti-immigrant at best and outright racist at worst. I am not an immigrant, but working at a university and my chosen line of work, I have many immigrant friends who regularly import local content or bring stuff back to Canada when they visit “home”.

    Recently, I imported (from France) the “Black Symphony” BluRay from the Dutch band “Within Temptation”. Might be something Napalm would like. It was recorded in full 1080 HD, but only released here as a DVD. It is an all-region BluRay, but it came with a PAL DVD which holds many of the special features as well as a second “bonus” concert, would this be considered illegal under C-32? I’d bet so.

  10. Alex,

    Ce faci.

    I don’t think you look like a pirate, but I do think you look like a consumer with slightly unrealistic expectations – what other product offers free backups?

    I really don’t think the bill as drafted is intended to criminalize normal enjoyment of electronic entertainment. If consumers demand the ability to back up their content, industry will respond with solutions.

    Sneaking around industries intentions does no-one any favours. You don’t voice your opinion in any sort of positive way, and industry does not hear genuine consumer requests. Instead, industry sees that others are making money providing ways to teal their content. I know you aren’t doing that, but you are encouraging it.

    If “consumers” want industry to partner with them, they need to act in good faith as well. I have a friend… a criminal lawyer, in fact, who admitted to breaking region coding and used the old “but I just want to watch the content I legally bought” excuse. I asked him if he’d bothered to contact the content provider directly to ask about the same content for his region, or at least to express interest in it so they’d know there’s a market. You can guess his answer.

    Just because TPM hacking is fast and easy and anonymous doesn’t make it the best solution in the long run. Apple heard customer demand about iTunes and responded.

    In point of fact, the law does not target law-abiding consumers. It seeks to show consumers that when you buy a copy, you also buy the restrictions of that copy. So it has always been. Tried to back-up a paper book lately? Your car?

  11. yes listen to Deagen, industry just has our best interest in mind. Never mind they ignored the request for how mnay years befoere allowing digital files.

  12. “In point of fact, the law does not target law-abiding consumers. It seeks to show consumers that when you buy a copy, you also buy the restrictions of that copy. So it has always been. Tried to back-up a paper book lately? Your car? ”

    Ah yes the inevitable comparision to actual physical goods.

  13. Ford doesn’t lock my car and keep the keys, they also don’t tell me where I can get it fixed, or what roads I can drive on.

  14. @ Degen
    In the event of something like a fire, a paper book is covered by your house insurance as are DVDs. Again I consider a copy of something I already own to have no value. Should I expect my insurance company to pay me for a copy of a DVD I have on my computer? Of course not, they’d laugh at me and only pay me for the value of the hardware, probably deprecated value at that. Why should I have to pay to make that copy, if I have no way to recoup that copy or my money if it’s lost? A copy on my computer is nothing more than a convenience, only the origianl has value. Your car is covered by vehicle insurance. What insurance is there for purchased downloaded media? If it’s lost, many services generally expect to buy it again. eMusic and Puretracks offer a limited “re-download policy” in such an event as does Steam for games. A good reason to stick to such services.

    “I asked him if he’d bothered to contact the content provider directly to ask about the same content for his region, or at least to express interest in it so they’d know there’s a market. You can guess his answer.”

    How many people would even know where to begin to look in order to ask such questions? European/Asian distributors are often different than those in North America and generally know little about eachother. What about stuff that has been verified is not available in region 1 (DVD) or “A” (BluRay). Should it still be illegal to import it? The reason I ask is that the way I read C-32, it is, and I consider that to be wrong. Just because they’re produced in Germany or Korea or Japan or Hong Kong and not released here, why should I not be allowed to purchase a movie I can legally download under the Berne convention AND have some expectation that I can legally acquire the hardware to play it? Even if I can LEGALLY download it, I would rather BUY the original, regardless of the region!!! C-32 forces me to download it because it makes it illegal for me to buy it. It makes no sense to me. It’s a completely US corporate, monoply serving clause.

    We’re NOT all the pirates you make us out to be John.

  15. Alex,

    Ce faci.

    I don’t think you look like a pirate, but I do think you look like a consumer with slightly unrealistic expectations – what other product offers free backups?

    I really don’t think the bill as drafted is intended to criminalize normal enjoyment of electronic entertainment. If consumers demand the ability to back up their content, industry will respond with solutions.

    Sneaking around industries intentions does no-one any favours. You don’t voice your opinion in any sort of positive way, and industry does not hear genuine consumer requests. Instead, industry sees that others are making money providing ways to teal their content. I know you aren’t doing that, but you are encouraging it.

    If “consumers” want industry to partner with them, they need to act in good faith as well. I have a friend… a criminal lawyer, in fact, who admitted to breaking region coding and used the old “but I just want to watch the content I legally bought” excuse. I asked him if he’d bothered to contact the content provider directly to ask about the same content for his region, or at least to express interest in it so they’d know there’s a market. You can guess his answer.

    Just because TPM hacking is fast and easy and anonymous doesn’t make it the best solution in the long run. Apple heard customer demand about iTunes and responded.

    In point of fact, the law does not target law-abiding consumers. It seeks to show consumers that when you buy a copy, you also buy the restrictions of that copy. So it has always been. Tried to back-up a paper book lately? Your car?

  16. me,

    Does a movie company lock their content away from you? That would be dumb. Isn’t getting you to view their content sort of crucial to the whole transaction. Funny thing, I’ve never, ever run into a problem watching my own DVDs on my own DVD player. And, I’ve never lost a single one to those famous “scratches” or other problems.

    Ownership is ownership, me, you need to accept that. When you buy a DVD, you own the plastic disk and a limited right to manipulate the content on it. That’s what you won. If you wanted more, you shouldn’t have bought less.

    IamMe, I think you need to come back to earth. No-one is forcing you to download anything. Sometimes we can’t get the things we want. Is there anything illegal about buying a Euro-regioned DVDed player to play your Euro-regioned DVDs? Have you ever considered that option?

    Not the cheapest option, I know, but you, and most here, don’t seemed bothered by the costs of technology, only content.

    God forbid my house should burn down, but if it did, all my e-books are safely stored in the cloud on my Kobo account. See, I waited for industry to come up with a legal, consumer-friendly solution. Then again, I’m patient that way.


  17. @IanME: “I often wonder if making EVERYTHING out-of-region illegal violates any rights under the charter of rights and freedoms”

    It sounds like broad censorship to me. “If we don’t distribute it then it is illegal to watch it”.

    Nap.


  18. @Degen: “but I do think you look like a consumer with slightly unrealistic expectations – what other product offers free backups?”

    Haha. You know, even that company Microsoft, one of the most vocal supporters of the “War Against Piracy”, offers instructions on how to backup your Windows/Office installation media? Did you know that you can actually download Office 2010 setup from their servers for free? Legally?

    Have you bought a brand name computer recently? Did you find the enclosed instructions on how to create Windows installation media? Didn’t it also come with a backup program for your data?

    WTF. Even the software industry, who pioneered the first anti-copying technologies, have abandoned those long time ago….

    Nap.


  19. @Degen: “the law does not target law-abiding consumers.”

    How perceptive…

    This one qualifies for the Wooden Spoon too, eh?

    Nap.


  20. @Degen: “Ownership is ownership, me, you need to accept that.”

    Degen, can you explain to me in plain English how exactly both the author and me can own the same copy at the same time?

    Nap.

  21. Napalm,

    You’ve made my point. If you ask for it, perhaps they’ll give it to you, and C-32 says when they give it to you, you don’t have to worry about Michael Geist jumping around saying “but it’s illegal – Canadians are being made into criminals.”

    It’s great Microsoft offers back-ups. Of course, you need to buy a new operating system every three years, so I think they’ve got that figured out.

    My point is that back-ups of creative content are not the norm- never have been. If you want them, you can’t just claim them as a right. It doesn’t work that way. Ask for them, and engage in negotiation over price and terms. C-32 will let that negotiation take place. Without TPM protection, there is no negotiation, and that’s unfair.


  22. @Degen: “Tried to back-up a paper book lately? Your car?”

    Degen, if you can provide me with some inexpensive hardware and media that are adequate to the purpose, I will definitely back-up my car.

    But right now it looks to me like it’s easier and cheaper to buy one than to try to build a replica.

    Same for books.

    Now if “the industry” would bring down the price of CD/DVDs in line with the production costs, we wouldn’t need no copyright law.

    Nap.

  23. “Tried to back-up a paper book” Have ever heard about this new thing called EBOOKS 🙂


  24. Degen said:
    “IamMe, I think you need to come back to earth. No-one is forcing you to download anything. Sometimes we can’t get the things we want. Is there anything illegal about buying a Euro-regioned DVDed player to play your Euro-regioned DVDs? Have you ever considered that option?”

    Of course I thought if it…I have two region/system free players. Bought legally in Canada…both become illegal under C-32 as circumvention devices. The issue is that out-of-region disks will also become illegal under C-32. If I can’t get them, I can’t play them. You dodged my question about content that is not available in North America. Do you think it should be illegal to import such material? The statement “Sometimes we can’t get the things we want.” is obscene, especially in today’s world. I’ve been using mail order to buy music, movies, books, etc. internationally for years, long before the Internet and the worst I’ve had to worry about was duty.

    You also dodged my question about paying for personal copies, but not getting reimbursed for them if something happens. How does a copy made for my own use have value over above the value of the original?

    If you think I need to come back down to earth, I think you need to wake up and smell the 21st century!!


  25. Hey I can back up my car right now…just lay the TPM section of C-32 on the ground behind me and I’ll show you just how fast I can back up my car. LOL


  26. “The statement “Sometimes we can’t get the things we want.” is obscene, especially in today’s world.”

    I should have qualified this with the statement, “within reason”, and some European sitcom or horror movie is well within reason. What, am I expected to wait 5 years, or more, for it to come out here? I think that’s how long it took the Japanese movie Kairo. And only after the American remake, Pulse, was released.

    I accept that not everything is available. For instance, we have some bizarre obscenity law that blocks content at the boarder that it deems obscene. I only bring it up because I recently read an article about the law since it sounded familiar. I think I originally heard it mentioned in the movie, “Better Than Chocolate”. In any case they recently banned a couple anime shows called “Cool Devices” and “Wordsworth” in Canada. Admittedly, these are NOT nice show and certainly not for the feint of heart. While I would not spend my money on such things, I personally consider this censorship. What right does the government have to tell me what is obscene and that I cannot make that determination for myself? Morality police…in Canada.

  27. “God forbid my house should burn down, but if it did, all my e-books are safely stored in the cloud on my Kobo account. See, I waited for industry to come up with a legal, consumer-friendly solution. Then again, I’m patient that way.”

    And if, at that time your house burns down, Kobo is out of business? If all the e-Reader companies bomb and you’re left with, say, just Kimble who doesn’t read PUB format? My goodness, how your patience with a “consumer friendly solution” will have paid off.


  28. @Degen: “My point is that back-ups of creative content are not the norm- never have been. If you want them, you can’t just claim them as a right.”

    They’ve always been except since some 300 years ago when Her Majesty decided to gift her favorite printer with a monopoly.

    Supposing that the yankees go for a “fertilityright” law, 300 years from now some other Degen will argue that having a baby was never a right, and if you want one, “you can’t just claim it as a right”. You’ll just have to buy a license from Turner Fertility, as it always had been.

    Nap.

  29. @Degan
    I don;t think you’re going to convince anyone that they should not be able to back up their media. Would I love to back up my paper books? Sure I would! Just provide me with the method and I’ll jump on it. But of course there is no method, but there is with digital data. I can copy any digital data (encrypted or not) and make as many backups/copies as I want.

    This is not something that is going to destroy the creative industry no matter how much you try to spin it that way (or anyone does for that matter). The digital copies I make have no extra value to you over the one I already bought (and if you want to licence it, the industry is going to have to try new models). It’s something the creative industry is going to have to learn to live with, and the world will go there dragging you kicking and screaming if it needs to.

  30. “Does a movie company lock their content away from you? That would be dumb. Isn’t getting you to view their content sort of crucial to the whole transaction. Funny thing, I’ve never, ever run into a problem watching my own DVDs on my own DVD player. And, I’ve never lost a single one to those famous “scratches” or other problems.”

    oh so FORD should be able to tell me what roads I can an cannot drive on then?

    “Ownership is ownership, me, you need to accept that. When you buy a DVD, you own the plastic disk and a limited right to manipulate the content on it. That’s what you won. If you wanted more, you shouldn’t have bought less. ”

    I didn’t pay for the disk I paid to be able to use the content, like I paid to be able to use my car. I am not asking to be able to be able to sell copies of the car or the disk (or it’s contents). I’m saying I should be able to drive on what ever roads I choose and ‘consume’ my media on what ever device I choose. While I can not ‘BACK’ my physical car up as it would cost too much, if my car gets scratched it fully in my rights to be allowed to make it whole again (it may not be economically or physically possible depending on the anmount of damage) I don’t have to go back to FORD to buy a new one, I can get it repaired anywhere or do it myself. So I should be able to do whatever is in my power to be able to use what I paid for, and in the ase of the content on the DVD, I should be able to back it up. Again I paid to be able to use the content, not for the container.


  31. @Degen: “My point is that back-ups of creative content are not the norm- never have been. If you want them, you can’t just claim them as a right.”

    No, back-ups of creative content hasn’t been the norm, but it HAS always been covered by my house/apartment insurance. The 1200+ DVD/BD collection, the 500+ CD collection, even the Andre Gisson painting hanging over my bed and my substantial pottery collection…all covered by my insurance. Sure, due to rarity, many items might not be easily replacable, but at least I can get the money for the what they’re worth. If I have to PAY to make a copy of one of my own CDs or DVDs, then how do I get a return on my investment if it’s all lost. My insurance company will only pay me for the original. Your arguement is weak at best.

    “It’s great Microsoft offers back-ups. Of course, you need to buy a new operating system every three years, so I think they’ve got that figured out.”

    Every 3 years? Windows XP came out in 2001 and is currently supported through to 2014 with talks to extend it further. Likewise, Vista came out in 2006 and currently has an unbounded support period. There is no requirement to upgrade, even if the support period ends. I have an OLD laptop that I use for watching movies in hotels that’s still running Windows 2000, which is no longer supported. Like Napalm said, Microsoft IS ‘one of the most vocal supporters of the “War Against Piracy”‘. BUT, Microsoft had the whole thing figured out years ago. They only persue commercial infringement operations. Microsoft NEVER, EVER persues individual infringers because they figured out LONG AGO that, one, it’s not cost effective and, two, a majority of consumer infringers turn in to paying customers!!! I realize this may not feasible in all industries, but it certainly works well for the software industry. Suing individuals will ALWAYS cause far more harm to the industry than good. The bad press alone will cause far more damage than any pauldry amount recovered. Linux would hold a substantially higher market share if Microsoft actively persued individual infringers…and the Internet would be a far more secure place.

    Now, if you look at the Microsoft XBox 360, again, they never persue individuals, BUT if they catch you with a modded machine (That allows playing of pirated copies) they will ban your machine from XBox Live, but the machine will still work locally and only the individual machine is banned, not the user. One could still go out and buy a second XBox and get on XBox Live without issue. Again, they’ve only persued those making money from either selling pirated games or modifying systems for profit.

  32. More observations
    I lost a few discs to defective packaging. One of them was an expensive Special Edition of “Pulp Fiction”. Just try to take out a disc from a cardboard sleeve a dozen times, see if it gets scratched…

    I am amazed that anyone, in this day and age of globalisation, would suggest that the industry’s unilateral decisions (such as dividing the world into DVD regions) should become law. Industry =/= Government. Do you jailbreak/unlock your phone? Criminal! Do you browse sites like videohelp.com? Criminal! Do you use VLC or Linux on your computer? Criminal! Do you rip your CDs to play them in your car, or on your personal media player? Criminal! Lending a physical book to a friend? OK; doing the same with a digital book? Criminal! Back-up a laserdisc or a HD-DVD (yes, I have some of those!) to DVD? Criminal! And the list goes on.

    During the interview, I rhetorically questioned the wisdom of making laws which have the potential to criminalize a large percentage of the population. It does not matter – I argued – if the law is used against you or not, because this poses two dangers by default: First of all, the fact that such a law could be used against people at any given time would provide the authorities with the opportunity to go after any individuals deemed to be undesirable for various reasons. During the years of Communism, the Romanian authorities claimed there was no such thing as “political prisoners” – and they were right, because the inconvenient people were imprisoned on charges ranging from theft to domestic disturbance. Second, I pointed out that the existence of a “silly law” in the books does not automatically invalidate the law. What it can do, instead, is encourage younger generations – those who grow up under such laws – to dismiss the law as “stupid”, and generalize this feeling towards other rules or laws. This, in turn, could lead to an erosion of the state from within, and can be prove toxic for the society. I’ve already seen that happen in post-Communist Romania, and I do not want my adoptive country to take the same path.

  33. @Degen: “My point is that back-ups of creative content are not the norm- never have been. If you want them, you can’t just claim them as a right.”

    I PAID TO BE ABLE TO USE THE CONTENT, whether I use it from the original or from a backup what is the difference, why should I pay a second time to use the contents I already paid for?
    Why should I pay for format shifting? I PAID TO USE THE CONTENT, the creator or more realistically the copyright holder should have no say over what devise I use to view/listen to the content I PAID for.

    A business model based on me buying the same thing over and over again is ridiculous. If this is really about ‘content’ (God I hate that word) creators, then the copyright law should be about getting them fair wages for their work. NOT about granting the right or ability to charge customers over and over again for the same ‘content’.

    I don’t pay FORD a fee when I drive on paved roads instead of gravel roads, why should I pay again when I listen to music I ripped from a legitimately purchased CD to my mp3 player? Why should I pay again when I rip a DVD to a divx format so my daughter can watch it in the car on a long trip? I hear people stating that listening to music on these devices was not the original intent when the cd was made. So if that’s the reason, then I guess when you stand on a chair to get something off a high shelf you send a cheque to the chair manufacturer? Cause that sure the hell is not the original intent of the chair. BUT listening to the music was the intent for a cd, so that hasn’t changed, watching a movie was the intent for a DVD, so that has not changed, so why pay again, to be able to use ‘content’ you ALREADY PAID FOR? So far ENTITLEMENT is all I can come up with. I did something once so I’, entitled to be paid forever or at least for life plus 50 ( oe 70 or whatever ridiculous number it is now)


  34. @IanME: As for the Microsoft example. You should note their pricing/licensing strategy changed too. The cheapest Office 2007 that was available for a home user was in excess of $300 for one PC. Now you have Office 2010 “Home and Student” available at $147 for 3 PCs (which pretty much covers all your household). And the installation media is free to download, copy and backup.

    They concentrate on *usage* not the media itself. Which is what “the industry” should be doing too, i.e. that you don’t *distribute* copies not that you don’t make them.

    As for the discussion with Degen about “rights”. Historically humans had all the possible rights including punching and clubbing each other to death. It was only with their progress towards a “civilized”, non-violent society that, through laws, they gave up some of such “rights”.

    As for copyright. It started some 300 hundred years ago in a nearly medieval England as a censorship and monopoly tool (bully-law). Compared to the whole, global, humanity history, it was just a small, non characteristic event isolated in space and time.

    Then recently US the global bully found “value” into it and is bullying the world into accepting it.

    And Degen tells you that copyright *gives* you rights. On the contrary, it *takes* your rights.

    Nap.


  35. And on the theory that if we had a certain law for some time now it must be good to have it and it should be continued. And if it doesn’t work then we just fix it through some “reform” (like C-32, eh)?

    May I remind Degen and Mr. Moore that law about making illegal for mooseheads to have sex in the city’s streets. It’s old thus it must be good. And if it doesn’t work well these days then we just reform it.

    Like in adding some “locks” provisions, eh? We could retrofit the mooseheads with wireless controlled locks that will automatically engage when they get close to the city, preventing them from breaking the law.

    And it would create jobs too! Imagine a whole new industry manufacturing the locks and fitting them to mooseheads!

    Ahoy Mr. Moore!

    Nap.


  36. Forgot to mention that Degen could then advocate that sex was never a “right” and how the new law is actually giving mooseheads this shiny brand new “right”, provided they keep a distance from the city.

    Nap.

  37. Thanks everyone. Very passionately argued points. I respectfully disagree with the ones that I was able to understand.

    For those looking to back up their physical books, you should check out a relatively new technology — the photocopier. Of course, it’s illegal to photocopy an entire book, even for private use, without the permission of the copyright holder. There’s that pesky law again, getting in the way of “consumer” expectations.

    Something about mooseheads.


  38. @Degen: “Of course, it’s illegal to photocopy an entire book, even for private use, without the permission of the copyright holder.”

    If I train a monkey to use a photocopier, what would be the legal status of the copies she makes?

    Nap. 🙂

  39. @Degan
    “For those looking to back up their physical books, you should check out a relatively new technology — the photocopier.”

    I wouldn’t really call that a backing up a book since it doesn’t give me another book, just a pile of paper. Though I suppose I could make it into a book. Would that be a consumer mashup then? Hm….

  40. @Degen
    Again John, you dodged my question. Let’s see if the third time is a charm.

    Regardless of region coding do YOU honestly think it should be ILLEGAL to import material that we cannot get here? Considering the size of our immigrant population, do you think a broad-based ban on all out-of-region imports is fair and balanced? Again, I’m only talking about foreign/regional stuff that is not physically available here. (Provided, of course, it doesn’t violate other laws, such as the afore mentioned obscenity law.) I want to know what YOU think.

    I’m talking right now in the here and now. And don’t spout off carp about trying to contact distributors to get region-specific versions released here. In reality both you and I know this is not really feasible. If I phoned up someone like Newline, Anchor Bay, Lion’s Gate, Tartan or any other distributor and asked them to pick up a title, they would probably laugh at me and you know it. The reality is that titles might or might not be looking for North American distribution, distributors generally are not actively looking to hunt down material, unless they control a niche market such as Criterion who goes after very specific, critically acclaimed movies. If I want to see what’s coming out in the next 6 months, the easiest way to find that out is to look on Amazon…not contact random companies. If it’s not on Amazon, it’s not coming out.

    You also fail to effectively justify how format shifting and backups warrant any extra cash. In my understanding, the private copying levy, in it’s original conception, was more intended to reimburse artists for when I borrowed a tape or CD from a friend and made a copy for myself. Not so much for when I’m make copies of my own media for myself since, realistically I can’t use more than one at a time. I’ve already purchased it at this point, no one in their right mind, especially in those days, would expect me to purchase it again…one for the house, one for the car…c’mon!!! Over the years, like copyright, the levy has been perverted and twisted from it’s original intent.

    NOW, if I borrow a movie or CD from someone and make a copy for myself on to my computer, does anyone get paid for that? No, and this is a problem. But are levies the answer? Since pretty much all DVDs and BDs are encrypted, is the immediate ban on “all” fair use that C-32 offers, really the answer? Is this fair and ballanced? Honestly ask yourself these questions?

    ** Will people listen?

    ** Is it truely enforcible?

    ** If it’s not enforcible, then what’s the point?

    In court, a generally unenforced law is truely a valid defence against being prosecuted for breaking that same law. Let me elude back to the quad/skidoo example. In Alberta, it is illegal to ride such machines down the right of way next to a provincial highway. Now, say it’s the fall and I’m putting in concrete pilings for new signs and it snows before I’m completed. If I don’t mark those pilings and someone hits one with a quad/skidoo, even though they were breaking the law, they can take me to court over it and they would win on the basis that the law is not enforced. I know because I’ve seen it happen!! This is what will happen with TPMs at the consumer level. They will be a USELESS pain. TPMs pose a much larger threat at the corporare level where stakes are much higher and they could easily be manipulated to stagnate innovation, much like what has happened in the US with the DMCA.


  41. “much like what has happened in the US with the DMCA.”

    Ah, but you see Ian, Degen prefers not to look at reality. TPMs are completely infallible, so infallible in fact that laws are need to reinforce them. And the people on YouTube who break these TPMs to make hilarious parodies obviously should be fined through the teeth and sent to jail because they are clearly bad bad people. In Degen’s world, corporations are completely in failable in regards to how they implement TPMs and the restrictions put on the customer by the corporation are always fair, and said TPMs are only used to help the artist and never ever used for exploitation, abusing of a monopoly, etc., etc.

    Hey Degen, let’s say I set the factory that publishes your books on fire, and you lost several copies of books, not to mention the loss of natural resources and human casualties that would occur. Heck, let’s say I steal copies from a bookstore and in my haste several people are injured. So apparently to you, this is 100% exactly the same as some guy making a digital copy of your book only for backup purposes? Hell, even if the book was shared on the Internet, you would still call them identical?

    Please…

  42. Ah, but you see Ian, Degen prefers not to look at reality.
    I realize that, but I’d still like to actually try and understand his point of view on these things. Specifically in regard to the fairness and enforceability questions in my previous post. On top of that I really don’t understand the push for TPMs since every country in the world that has tried them has failed. There are no precedents to say they will be effective and every precedent that says they will fail. As OldGuy stated in a different thread, “To even think they can mold or shape society to their desires is sheer fallacy. They might be able to influence governmental policy makers, but if that policy isn’t honored and respected by general society it will all be for naught. One need look no further than the Prohibition era(s) to see how society reacts when certain laws are perceived as unfair.” This also lends well to my previous questions.

  43. TPM
    I have yet to see a reason to protect TPMs under law that is not already covered under copyright.

  44. I have heard it said by some creator groups that copies have value and thus should be compensated. I can understand that reasoning, but I don’t want to make copies for simultaneous use, I just want to use what I purchased and have good value for my investment in your products.

    Now let’s apply it to a real world situation.

    I recently bought a DVD for my daughter called Tinkerbell. She just loves it and watches it often, I like it too (which is good as I have had to watch it with her a number of times). Inevitably, the DVD got scratched and now a section of the movie is not playable.

    Now the movie is only 3 months old and she has not tired or watching it, so to appease those tearing eyes I must replace it.

    I could:
    A) Buy another DVD of the movie.
    B) Reach for the backup I made.

    Option A is attractive to content creator as it will earn them more money. Option B is attractive to the consumer because it will save them money. So who should benefit from this situation? Which is fair?

    The creator could argue that if something breaks too bad, buy another one. The consumer could argue that the product is easily damaged, thus poorly designed and should include some type of warranty. Which is fair?

    Under Bill C-32 it ironically gives the right to the consumer to make that backup and then takes it away by giving that choice and control to do so to the creator. The movie has a digital lock, 99% of movies do. Is that fair? Is it logical?

    When Bill C-32 passes is the content industry going to all of a sudden stop putting digital locks on DVDs? I think not, so a ‘market solution’ is not in the cards, regardless of what Mr. Moore says.

    John, you have asked that there be more clarity in regards to educational fair dealing and feel the provision is too broad. Well, consumers also wish clarity on the use of the media they purchase and feel the provisions are too restrictive.

    You mentioned earlier that too narrow a focus on the consumer experience is not helpful, well sometimes it is. Case in point.

    Addendum: John, I just read the rather long conversation thread you had on my previous oats topic do I can see we will just have to disagree. I would like to add a a point though, you mentions an analogy to not being able to ‘backup’ a car. This is true but a car has a five year warranty, media ‘containers’ have none. If you are going to offer content on easily damaged media (CD, DVD, and even worse vinyl) without any warranty or replacement program then is it surprising that people would want to protect their investment? The creator has been paid where is the consumer protection? You have already said there should be none, but I’m afraid 98% of the world disagrees with you.

  45. Some further thoughts …
    Did you have children in the home during the DVD phase? Those ‘durable’ DVDs all of a sudden take on a new character. And $20 may not be much to some but to young families it often is, especially when you multiply it by a dozen or so shows. But that is still besides the point, I do not see the harm to the creator in making a backup, how is this impacting them?

    The only way I can see an impact is if there is planned obsolescence built into the product and thus a scheme to get more $$ out of the customer. Otherwise why would the creator care?

    Is it instead the manufacturer of the media and equipment that is to blame? Possibly, but then why is it copyright law that is preventing the making of a backup instead of an industrial law?

    This is why TPM does not belong in copyright law, it’s preventing the satisfactory use of technology. It does not, or should not, impact the creator who has already been paid by the consumer for the content.

    One final obvious note. TPM is utterly ineffective in curbing piracy, thus again in this capacity is of no impact to the creator. It would be so much less disingenuous if the ‘content’ industry would be up front on that so we could discuss the real issues.

  46. @Crockett
    Mr. Degen does not answer your question much like he either skirted mine and still didn’t answer after asking 3 times in this thread alone. Why? Because there are no plausible reasons for TMPs and region coding other than corporate level market control and planned obsolescence and either case makes the industry look bad…like greedy megalomaniacs.

    In fact, many people have questioned whether region coding and such strict TPMs are in violation of WTO treaties. Historically, few countries would stand up to the US on such issues. With the realtive “failure” of ACTA to impose DMCA-style legislation on the world and perhaps with wikileaks, the US with be knocked down off it’s high horse. One can only hope, but I’m not holding my breath.

    Hey, my truck came with a 7-year bumper to bumper full mechanical warranty. Think I could get that on my movies?

  47. A conversation with Sandy on backup ‘right’ …
    @Sandy “Crockett,Do you actually question the concept of property protection as a principle?”

    @Crockett – Sandy, of course not. As I said I do not want anyone else’s property. I want to be able to use the PROPERTY I purchased. My question was how does making a backup of the content I purchased in case the media it is on becomes damaged is taking something from the creator?

    In such a case I am only in essence repairing the damage by moving the content to a working media to again use the content. I suppose there is the question of whether you are buying the physical media for $20 (costs pennies to make) or buying the right to use the content on the media. If it’s the former then I think the price needs to come way down, if the latter then how is the creator being taken advantage of by my ‘repairing’ the media to make the content usable again?

    I may not have a creator’s perspective on this but I can guarantee if you put this question to the man on the street then 99 out 100 will agree with me on this.

    And this is then the difficulty and I think the reason for so much infringement. What average people see as completely reasonable you are calling ‘theft’. Is it any wonder the two sides cannot see eye to eye?

    This is why I advocate for changes not just to laws to bring them into line with reality, but to the attitudes and tactics of the creative community. Calling people thieves for behavior they see as fair and realistic is no way to win friends and influence people.

    Why not just come out and say, “Hey everyone, we thinks it’s OK to make a backup of your DVD as we understand how easily they can get damaged. But, please keep that backup to yourself. Don’t you think that will go over way better than. “Hey everyone, when you make a backup of that DVD you are stealing the bread out of the mouths of starving artists”.

    People don’t react well to being accused of something they don’t think they are guilty off. That’s basic human psychology and something that is generally learned in the playground. True there are people who do steal from creators and they should have been taught better manners as well.

    Bridges over bombs, sugar over vinegar. Let’s work on hearing and understanding each other. Battling it out with lobbyists and lawsuits is a recipe for failure.

  48. Now I understand you better….
    Mr. John Degen.

    I read your site. I see where you’re coming from. And somewhere, on your site, I see you mention that in 1994 you used to work for the Canadian embassy in my home city of Bucharest, and that a particular memory from that fall will be at the centre of your upcoming new book.

    I want you to know that I understand why you may think that you have better answers than some of us. I’ve seen how you treat people like Cory Doctorow, Charlie Angus and Michel Geist on your website and in your interviews.

    I’d only like to point this out – if you made any Romanian friends during your stay in Bucharest, and if you happen to keep in contact with any of them even today, you’d do well not to tell them the same thing you’ve been telling me and everyone else in this thread.

    Because that Romanian (regardless of where he/she may be living) might not appreciate you – or anyone else, for that matter – deciding for him or her what he/she should watch, read, or listen to, according to the trade arrangements made by the people holding the copyrights (if any) in this or that part of the world. At best, you’d elicit pity. At worst, you might be subjected to verbal lashing.

    I am sorry that I am not more familiar with your “real” work as a writer than a polemicist, but I can only point out that my poor acquaintance with Canadian prose is probably compensated by a somewhat larger-than-normal baggage of international literature.

    You may very well argue that, by not reading your books, I am passively guilty for the diminished royalty cheques arriving in your mailbox. And I suspect you know that, no matter how outrageous it may sound, is also true, in a perverse sort of way.

    You see, as long as I can read, watch or listen to cultural products coming from other parts of the world, I’m not going to give you any money. This derives directly from what some researchers call “the principle of constant media expenditures”. And that is probably deeply hurtful for a creator – both financially and emotionally. I feel your pain, I really do.

    Well, sir, with all due respect, this is also where we draw the lines in this battle… You are asking the government to make sure that you will (continue to) get a steady revenue stream, because you’re a “creator” who should “benefit from the fruits of his labour”. I presume you – or people like you – are behind initiatives like “minimum 40% Canadian content on the airwaves” and other efforts – like making Franco-Ontarian poetry mandatory in local schools, for the sake of preserving the region’s traditional language and culture. Such initiatives are laudable, but also lead to complacency and a “crowd mentality” (Hey, it doesn’t matter if your song really sucks, ’cause it’s Canadian, so therefore it has to receive exposure to a captive audience!)

    The truth is a bit more complicated. I am not your captive audience, sir, and do not wish to be forced to become one of its members. You might want it quite badly, but it takes two to tango, and as they say in sexual harassment classes, “No means no!” The reality is that we live in a globalized society, and people are more mobile than ever. You can not – and probably should not – attempt to interfere with the newly-emerging structures, whether it’s for the sake of nostalgia or otherwise. You’re only delaying the inevitable.