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61 Reforms to C-61, Day 13: Music Shifting Provision and One Copy Per Device

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Wednesday July 09, 2008
Today's proposed reform comes directly from a reader of the blog who writes:

While I was reading your latest entry in "61 Reforms to C-61," I realized that the "one copy per device" limitation on "format shifting" as described in Section 29.22(1)(d)(i) makes a common practice of mine illegal - one that I don't believe has been touched upon yet. I rip (err, "format shift") some of my audio CDs in two different formats: a lossless encoding (such as Apple Lossless or FLAC) and a lossy encoding (such as AAC or MP3).  I keep both copies in my iTunes music library on my computer.  I use the lossy versions on my iPod shuffle and iPod touch where space is in short supply and the lossless versions on my iPod classic and Mac. Although only one copy usually exists on any of my iPods (although sometimes I'll accidentally get both versions with my Smart Playlists), both copies always exist on my Mac within iTunes as it acts as my sole repository.

I don't know if this is common or not, however, it is another example of how the strict requirements penalize purchasers of music. In this case, the law effectively limits users to a single format since making duplicate copies in different formats is forbidden.  These examples do not involve commercial infringement but rather target individual, private uses, yet Bill C-61 scarcely differentiates between the two. 
Comments (21)add comment

Joel said:

Largely Discretionary
The loose provisions in this law show just how easily it will be for a rights holder to exploit it to penalize a perceived infringer.

It appears as though we are rubber stamping American style DMCA where innocence will be up to the accused to prove.



July 09, 2008

ENO said:

pedant idiocy
My CDs collection is my backup repository. I do not have a CD player and I use to format shift CDs in a lossless format (flac) to play them on my computer since I'm working with it all day long.
For any CD I also have an MP3 version on the same computer in order to copy it on my MP3 player (just 1Mb) and listen to it while I'm cooking, running, traveling, etc.
If this bill would pass I will automatically be an infringer although I have legally purchased all my CDs.
Why should it matter how many copies I have on the same device? This is just pedant idiocy.
July 09, 2008

Icarus said:

ipod owners have more then one
I can attest as a fellow ipod owner that I have most tracks both on my old ipod mini and my new touch.

This surely affects every ipod owner who, over the years, will get to have more then one ipod (or iphone?).
July 09, 2008

Serge said:

...
One copy per device is probably silliest clause in c-61. I wonder, if I have 5 CD players at home am I allowed to create 5 copies of the same CD, or all physical CDs are automatically associated with my computer? And what if I have several computers? Also, depending on how you rip it is hard to have only one copy on computer. For example, you rip CD as WAV, and then convert it to MP3. So you always create a second copy on your computer at least temporarily.
July 09, 2008

Mark said:

Computers would be affected
One copy per device? OK. I bet Jim Prentice didn't think of how a computer works. Sure, a copy of a song can be stored on the computer, but as soon as you open it, bam, 2 copies are made - one in storage and one in RAM. Automatically breaking the law just play playing a song.

Good going Jim Prentice. If you have mp3s on your computer, this would also make YOU a criminal, and your family.
July 09, 2008

JF said:

Flac
Yes, many people use FLAC as a lossless backup alternative + mp3 for day to day usages. Most Audiophile concerned with sound quality are probably using at least 2 format.
I am personally not interested in music formats that use lossy compression for most of my music (Classic and Jazz) but ease of use and day to day reality necessitate MP3.

This law is making them all criminals.
July 09, 2008

Exploder said:

commercial vs. individual
"These examples do not involve commercial infringement but rather target individual, private uses..."

And that should be the only distinction EVER made. Commercial infringement vs. individual, private uses. Individuals must have the right to do ANYTHING we want for individual, private uses. The future demands it. People who would steal by engaging in commercial infringement must be liable.

C-61 meddles every which way with what we do as individuals, with our own property, for our own private reasons. The ONLY reason C-61 takes this approach is because the Big Content Industries want absolute control, which they do not deserve. The result is laws that are absurdly complex, immorally restrictive, practically and economically unenforceable, obsolete as written, and incalculably destructive to society. C-61's only merit is as a prime example of absolute failure.

61 reforms are not enough.
July 09, 2008

Saul Arias said:

Fairly common, I think
I keep a lossless copy (flac) of my CDs in my PC hard drive, which I re-encode on the fly (with Amarok) to mp3 format while transferring to my iPod. So, yes, sometimes I do have two copies of a particular song in my hard drive, even if only for the two or three minutes it takes my PC to re-encode and transfer it to my iPod.
July 09, 2008

Stephen said:

Motive?
Is it possible, if we think optimistically, that all these measures will be mute since online distribution of music is moving toward DRM-free, mp3s? And if DRM is nixed (at least for music), no one is circumventing. All this nonsense is brought about by established businesses fighting to control distribution channels and has nothing to do with consumers or creators. But in the end, even the business heads will realize that the money is in DRM-free tracks (though we're still waiting for it in Canada). Unfortunately, we might still be left with a law that gives the government too much power (which is, I think, real motive behind the bill).
July 10, 2008

Chris said:

RAID arrays
One of the comments that came up at the last Fair Copyright Montreal meeting was, "What about RAID mirrors?" Is a RAID-1 array one device or two devices? Is there one copy or two copies?
July 10, 2008

a guest said:

@stephen
"Is it possible, if we think optimistically, that all these measures will be mute since online distribution of music is moving toward DRM-free, mp3s? And if DRM is nixed (at least for music), no one is circumventing. All this nonsense is brought about by established businesses fighting to control distribution channels and has nothing to do with consumers or creators. But in the end, even the business heads will realize that the money is in DRM-free tracks (though we're still waiting for it in Canada). Unfortunately, we might still be left with a law that gives the government too much power (which is, I think, real motive behind the bill)."

Sure if you choose to trust an industry that sues it's own customers. Children and homeless people included.

Why should we give up rights and hope that the content industry will play nice? The content industry is big business, and assumption you can make is they will do whatever they feel is right for the bottom line, which is not necessarily the right thing to do.

July 10, 2008

BCDD and Music Lover said:

Restoration.
I do some Vinyl to CD transfers / Tape to CD / or any other format.
I may have on my DAW 6 to 8 copies of a song while i clean up the sound.

Looks like they will toss the key out on me
July 10, 2008

Stephen said:

RE: @Stephen
"Why should we give up rights and hope that the content industry will play nice? The content industry is big business, and assumption you can make is they will do whatever they feel is right for the bottom line, which is not necessarily the right thing to do."

Yes, but in this case I think that what's profitable and what's right are aligned. Big business may be slow to change, but suing consumers for claimed lost profit is just not sustainable. They will follow the money in the end, and that will mean abandoning DRM.
July 10, 2008

CDC said:

Backup?
I have lost 4 hard drives in laptops over the past five years, so I have very quickly learned the value of backing up my information. I have two laptops, both of which are backed up on a 250GB external hard drive. Right there -- four copies of the same file. Prior to getting the external HD, I backed up to DVD RW disks, all of which I still have somewhere. Likely 4 or 5 backups of each music file somewhere or other around my place.
I also have an iPod, a Blackberry that plays mp3 format (with an 8GB Micro SD card), various CD players, and a DVD player for which I make mp3 disks, so I can play them in the living room through my stereo. Without a bit of exaggeration, I would expect that at least some of my songs (which were legally purchased) have been copied in some form or other in 10-12 places, on 6-7 devices.
Should THAT make me a criminal?
July 10, 2008

Maynard G. Krebs said:

RAID arrays
Chris wrote: "One of the comments that came up at the last Fair Copyright Montreal meeting was, "What about RAID mirrors?" Is a RAID-1 array one device or two devices? Is there one copy or two copies?"


RAID-1 is, by definition, two copies.

A strict reading of C-61 by a typical judge will result in a guilty verdict for RAID-1, RAID-10, and maybe even RAID-5, even though RAID is a technological approach to avoiding loss of data, not an intent to infringe for profit.

Having a 'hot' or 'warm' backup machine is also an infringement.


A strict read of C-61 will also result in a guilty verdict for the copy on-disk and the simultaneous copy in RAM when you are reading/executing the file.



Where it gets more interesting is the 'making available' provision....

A SAN (storage area network) physically decouples the storage from the devices using the data. This is a technical solution being installed more and more frequently by companies, and even in homes on a smaller scale. A SAN makes all data available to all connected computers (via LAN or WAN or even via the internet if so configured).

Without a 'locking' (check-out/check-in) mechanism on all files, the SAN will happily serve any file to anyone simultaneously (there are also group/world/owner read/write/execute/delete permission issues in this as well).

So your corporate SAN could be serving out hundreds of copies of the same copywritten document simultaneously to people both within/without your organization, never mind your web server.


I've seldom met a lawyer or politician who understood much about technology, past, present, or future. Much legislation written by lawyers/politicians covering technological issues these days is adversely coloured by the limited exposure they have to Windows on their desktops. They know nothing of techniques and capabilities which have been in use since beginning in the late 1950's through to today in the realm of data processing, storage, or networking as it relates to anything past their desktop. They know nothing about distributed processing, cloud computing, clusters, N-tier computing, disaster tolerance, disaster recovery, or fault-tolerance.

Once-size-fits-all legislation, like C-61, is a recipe for disaster for many corporations if followed to the letter, and an invitation for widespread violation because it is so flawed as it does not reflect the realities of operational issues of EVERY company in the country.

C-61 should only be going after the violators of copyright who are flagrantly trying to make a buck, not those whose violations are incidental to their business or personal use.

July 10, 2008

fedge said:

...
Much of C-61 is moot - unless there is an addition to C-61 that allows music industry players, police or government unrestricted 24/7 access to homes to enforce it, then you are unlikely to be trapped in C-61's much and mire.
July 10, 2008

Maynard G. Krebs said:

Moot?
Fedge,

It may be moot if you're never searched, but it become highly relevant (and expensive) if you are.

A cop *might* have the right to search/seize your iPod when you are stopped for a traffic violation. Who's going to stop him from asking you for it?

Don't cross the border in either direction with a laptop or iPod-like device, or even an MP3-playing cellphone because your electronics can be searched/seized without probable cause.

According to [ link ], 7% of returning US business people (citizens/green card holders) have some of their electronics seized for 'customs' inspection, and getting devices back is typically a 2 week exercise.
July 10, 2008

margaret said:

...

Aren't laws supposed to be what the people support and want collectively?

We collectively don't want speeding - therefore we pass a law. We collectively don't want people assaulted so we pass a law. Aren't laws supposed to be by the people for the people?

Having laws drafted by industry groups violates the core principles of democracy.



BTW - I guess those new HP media servers are going to be illegal!



July 10, 2008

Me said:

The People Should Write Laws NOT Corpora


HA - LOL - this is the funniest law out there!! SO if you rip a CD to MP3 you're breaking the law if the program like Audiograbber creates a copy first on your hard drive before encoding - which is common.

As for: "What about RAID mirrors?" Is a RAID-1 array one device or two devices? Is there one copy or two copies?" -- a RAID mirror provides 2 copies - if one drive fails you have the back-up.

So do I now have to buy a copy of every song for every Hard drive, Music Player in My House???


This is what happens when we allow corporations to write our Laws.


Laws should be written by the people for the people. And not by Conservatives funded by Big Business. Now you know why they want a majority - so they can railroad stupid, ill conceived laws down our throat.
July 12, 2008

Blaise Alleyne said:

Increasingly common
I'm helping my parents to do this now. They want to digitize their large library of CDs. We decided to encode all of the music in the FLAC format. Audio files will likely be converted to a lossy format (MP# or Ogg Vorbis) for use on my parents' iPods, but we didn't want to spend days ripping into a lossy format like MP3 and have to one day go through the process again. Ripping into a loseless format is better in the long run, but a second copy will be created when we make lossy copies of the entire library.
July 12, 2008

Jean Naimard said:

Oh, great!
I have four computers on my desk, for a total of 8 disk drives.

Since disk drives are devicesӔ, this means Im allowed 8 copies of my legally downloaded from Napster/torrent and legally copied songs from the library.

Neat!
July 14, 2008

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