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61 Reforms to C-61, Day 35: TPMs - Unnecessary Coverage of Circumvention Devices

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Friday August 08, 2008
I have spent much of the past month identifying problems with Bill C-61's anti-circumvention provisions.  While the bill misses many necessary exceptions and includes exceptions that do not withstand careful analysis, even the current list of exceptions pre-suppose that a person has the technical ability to circumvent.  There may be a group of Canadians with sufficient technical expertise to do so, but my sense is that the overwhelming majority would not even know where to begin. 

There are several mechanisms that could be used to address this issue (and note that it must be addressed or else even the meagre exceptions within C-61 will be illusory).  The first would be to ensure that the bill does not touch the legality of circumvention devices themselves.   Section 41(1)(c) provides that no person shall:

manufacture, import, provide - including by selling or renting - offer for sale or rental or distribute any technology, device or component if

(i) the technology, device or component is designed or produced primarily for the purposes of circumventing a technological measure,
(ii) the uses or purposes of the technology, device or component are not commercially significant other than when it is used for the purposes of circumventing a technological measure, or
(iii) the person markets the technology, device or component as being for the purposes of circumventing a technological measure or acts in concert with another person in order to market the technology, device or component as being for those purposes.
 
From a WIPO ratification perspective, there is no requirement for this provision.  Indeed, Bill C-60 provided a model that did not touch devices themselves, choosing instead to target conduct involving circumvention for the purposes of copyright infringement.  By removing the unnecessary ban on devices that can be used to circumvent, there is a greater likelihood that Canadians would have access to programs that could be used to retain their existing rights and protect their privacy.  Bill C-60 got this issue right and C-61 should be amended by restoring an approach that avoids regulating technologies in this manner.
Comments (6)add comment

a guest said:

...
[ link ]

"Market will solve text message concerns: Minister"

O RLY?????

Here is Minister Prentice again, ignoring wireless crisis and net neutrality issues, and known to be pushing American cartel agendas.

"The two telecommunications giants say the new charge is necessary because of the increased costs on their networks of handling the growing popularity of text messaging and that the fee will only affect a small number of customers because most already subscribe to a plan that allows them to send and receive a certain number, or unlimited, text messages."

"increased costs" and "small number of customers" do not make sense... unless the goal of these wireless companies is to force you into a plan, where you end up paying more.

Usual Bell and Telus BS.
August 08, 2008

Off Topic said:

Canada: MS as Editor for ODF-OOXML Conve
New OOXML Fiasco: Germany and Canada Propose Microsoft as Editor for ODF-OOXML Convergence

[ link ]

August 08, 2008

Wesley said:

applicability toTor software?
Would you be able to comment on the applicability of this Section 41(1)(c) to the open source Tor software? You can find more details about Tor at [ link ].

It can be used to circumvent technological measures which inhibit free speach, and impose other restrictions.
August 09, 2008

Janos said:

Devices
This sounds like they are setting us up for more US monopoly that the MPAA and RIAA enjoy. They obviously don't care about our thoughts and opinions on this or any matter. These provisions will hinder innovation. Wait and see... soon we will have "Industry" approved devices that you're allowed to play your music/movies on. Any other devices/software would be illegal.
August 10, 2008

Marco said:

Purposes of circumvention
Targeting conduct involving circumvention for the purposes of copyright infringement does not make sens to me. The copyright infringement is already illegal, why adding unclear thing like the circumvention of TPMs for purposes of copyright infringement? it's useless. It's better to have no anti-circumvention provision at all. If the ratification of the WIPO treaty requires it, I know we signed it, but can we change our minds(it won't be the first time I think)?
August 11, 2008

UNCONSTITUTIONAL said:

UNCONSTITUIONAL
(i) the technology, device or component is designed or produced primarily for the purposes of circumventing a technological measure,
---------------------
Excuse me like i said if i get a pre 1958 dvd rip i can do as i wish with it as of now but the new law makes that illegal effectively making this law CRUEL AND UNUSUAL in its punishment.
---------------------
(ii) the uses or purposes of the technology, device or component are not commercially significant other than when it is used for the purposes of circumventing a technological measure, or
---------------------
um what other purpose is there?
---------------------
(iii) the person markets the technology, device or component as being for the purposes of circumventing a technological measure or acts in concert with another person in order to market the technology, device or component as being for those purposes.
---------------------
Last i checked if i want to recode a dvdrip of some pre 1958 movie and you want to buy it i can sell it.
Funny thing is its free to find it and do as you wish as well, so paying for it beocmes a convience of :
you not having to look for it,
you not having to dl it,
you not having to recode it.

As such i doubt your going to get top dollar for non copyrighted stuff anyhow......
August 12, 2008

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