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Michael Geist's Blog

U.S. Developments Demonstrate Canada's C-32 Digital Lock Rules More Restrictive Than DMCA

Since the introduction of Bill C-32, I have consistently argued that the digital lock provisions are far more restrictive than what is required under the WIPO Internet treaties.  Now two recent developments in the U.S. demonstrate that the Canadian proposal is also considerably more restrictive than what is found in the U.S.

First, a significant new appellate court case from the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has concluded that the restrictions on circumventing an "access control" (ie. a digital lock that restricts access to a work rather than a copy control which restricts copying of a work) are far more limited than previously thought.  With language that bears a striking similarity to those arguing circumvention should be permitted for lawful purposes, the U.S. appeals court states:

Merely bypassing a technological protection that restricts a user from viewing or using a work is insufficient to trigger the DMCA’s anti-circumvention provision. The DMCA prohibits only forms of access that would violate or impinge on the protections that the Copyright Act otherwise affords copyright owners.

In other words, the U.S. court has found that DMCA is limited to guarding access controls only to the extent that circumvention would violate the copyright rights of the copyright owner.  This is very similar to what many groups have been arguing for in the context of Canadian legal reform.


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British Library on Copyright: Help or Hindrance?

The British Library has released a new report that includes a dozen short contributions reflecting on whether copyright helps or hinders from a research perspective.  The contributions include several suggestions for extending the British fair dealing provision.
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CRTC Launches Consultation on Basic Service

The CRTC has launched a new public consultation on basic access, including a YouTube video designed to generate broader participation.  The consultation, which is part of a broader proceeding, includes five questions on telephone, wireless, and Internet services.  The deadline for submission is August 10, 2010.
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