Archive for November 24th, 2011

Challenging the New Digital Lock Talking Point: Why European Rules Are More Flexible Than C-11

The debate over C-11 resumed this week in the House of Commons with Paul Calandra, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, invoking a claim that raises the question of how the Canadian digital lock rules compare to those found in Europe. In response to the ongoing concerns with Bill C-11’s digital lock rules – they are easily the most discussed issue during the debates – Calandra stated:

We know that in Europe there is much greater support for TPMs and that has not actually reduced the availability of content online. Does she have any rationale for thinking Canada’s less stringent use of TPMs through the bill would somehow reduce the availability of content for Canadian consumers?

Calandra’s comments raise two issues: (1) whether the Europe has stricter support for digital locks; and (2) whether digital locks reduces the availability of online content.

The first issue is an important one since claims that Europe has stricter digital lock rules than those proposed in Bill C-11 are plainly inaccurate. Indeed, many Canadians would be far happier with the Bill C-11 digital lock rules if we matched some of the approaches found in Europe. European implementations include:

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November 24, 2011 14 comments News

The Daily Digital Lock Dissenter, Day 37: British Columbia Teachers’ Federation

The British Columbia Teachers’ Federation (BCTF), established in 1917, is the union of professionals representing 41,000 public school teachers in the province of British Columbia, Canada. All public school teachers belong to the BCTF and their local teachers’ association. The BCTF provided a submission to the 2009 national copyright consultation and said the following on digital locks:

Including a provision that prohibits the unlocking of content from anticircumvention features is particularly a threat to libraries – school as well as public libraries. Users (teachers, librarians, or individuals) should have the right to access resources that they intend to use within the copyright provisions.

Telling potential users that they can use material, appropriately, and then putting a roadblock in the way of actually accessing the material, makes a sham of recognizing the rights of users. Again, the public interest requires that libraries, in particular, be able to offer access to people who do not have the personal resources to access important materials – materials that contribute to their roles as citizens and as participants in the Canadian economy.

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November 24, 2011 Comments are Disabled News

ECJ Rules Courts Cannot Order ISPs to Block File Sharing

The European Court of Justice has issued a crucial ruling on Internet freedoms, concluding that national courts are not permitted to order ISPs to block file sharing activities. The court stated that “the filtering system would also be liable to infringe the fundamental rights of its customers, namely their right […]

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November 24, 2011 2 comments Must Reads

Dutch Parliament Refuses ACTA Secrecy

The Dutch Parliament has set the standard for how countries should address the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. It is refusing to even consider the agreement until all ACTA negotiation texts are published.

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November 24, 2011 6 comments Must Reads

CRTC Releases Do-Not-Call Report

The CRTC has released a report on the functioning of the do-not-call list. The report notes that there were 103,890 prima facie valid complaints during the reporting period. The Commission initiated 197 investigations.

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November 24, 2011 3 comments Must Reads