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Bill C-11 Committee Review Concludes: What Happened and What Comes Next

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Wednesday March 14, 2012
The Bill C-11 legislative committee concluded its clause-by-clause review yesterday as eight government amendments were added to the bill and all opposition amendments were defeated. The amendments included an expanded enabler provision and some modest tinkering to other elements of the bill. There are still several steps needed before the bill passes including third reading at the House of Commons, Senate review, and ultimately royal assent, but Canadian copyright reform is well on its way to completion before the summer starts.

In the days leading up to the clause-by-clause review, many focused on three key issues: no SOPA-style amendments such as website blocking or warrantless disclosure of information, maintaining the fair dealing balance found in the bill, and amending the digital lock provisions. By that standard, the changes could have been a lot worse. The government expanded the enabler provision, though not as broadly as CIMA requested. Virtually all other copyright lobby demands - website blocking, notice-and-takedown, iPod tax, copyright term extension, disclosure of subscriber information - were rejected. Moreover, the provisions supported by consumer and education groups including user generated content protection, time shifting, format shifting, backup copies, Internet provider liability, and statutory damages reform were left untouched. This represents a major victory for the many Canadians and groups such as Open Media that spoke out on these issues.

The fair dealing provision was similarly left unchanged despite a full court press from publishers and copyright collectives who sought elimination of the education category within fair dealing (didn't happen), inclusion of the Berne three step test in the law (didn't happen) or a new fair dealing test that overrules the Supreme Court of Canada CCH test (didn't happen). The expanded fair dealing provision will not cause the horrors claimed by those groups and it is heartening that the government dismissed the misinformation campaign.

The only loss was the least surprising - digital locks. Despite widespread support for compromise legislation and sensible amendments from both the NDP and Liberals, the government rejected any changes. Given the government's consistent support for digital locks, the ongoing pressure from the U.S., and Prime Minister Harper's direct intervention on the issue in 2010, amending the digital lock rules presented a major challenge. Government MPs yesterday emphasized the possibility of future new exceptions via regulation but that will be cold comfort in the short term to those with perceptual disabilities, researchers, documentary film makers, consumers, and the many others adversely affected by the restrictive approach. In fact, one NDP MP raised the possibility of constitutional challenges to the bill.

As for the weeks ahead, Canadians must continue to make their views known to their MPs and the government ministers. As Russell McOrmond has accurately noted, the bill gets the copyright provisions right and non-copyright provisions wrong. In other words, those seeking balanced copyright may have lost on digital locks, but won most other battles (even Terence Corcoran acknowledges the impact). The copyright lobby groups that saw many of their demands rejected will undoubtedly be out in force in the weeks ahead in an effort to make last minute changes. Canadians should continue to speak out in order to preserve the many good provisions in Bill C-11 and hold out hope that modifications to digital locks - or at least a commitment to some additional exceptions via regulation - are possible.
Comments (63)add comment

Herschell said:

Best of Both Worlds
"Virtually all other copyright lobby demands - website blocking, notice-and-takedown, iPod tax, copyright term extension, disclosure of subscriber information - were rejected."

Ah well, these so-called copyright lobbyists have now got at least 5 more years of work. Perfect: McCarthy, Blakes, Osler, Gowlings, Smart & Biggar, Kestenberg Siegal Lipkus et al can now create and maintain 2 divisions. One: continually feed the gov't with false and misleading info and smears. Two: top litigators can now sue and threaten innocent canadians into oblivion and continue to fund their Muskoka cottage grounds crew, their Glen Abbey memberships and their Rosewater Supper Club dues.

Party On!
March 14, 2012

Graham J said:

Smokescreen
These latest additions were clearly just a smokescreen to take focus away from the digital locks issue. They were never meant to pass.
March 14, 2012

Mark said:

...
Well of course the opposition was defeated... when you control more than 50% of the parliament votes on any issue, you effectively have a dictatorship until at least the next election.

Near as I can tell, they can write up any law they want and pass it without batting an eye. These "reviews" were merely a formality, and not a serious examination of any of the problems that might have existed.
March 14, 2012

Jerome Downey said:

Positive Follow Up
Just wanted to say thank you for the positive well rounded feedback and summary of the Bill C-11 committee review.
I look forward to seeing how the next steps move forward.
March 14, 2012

Crockett said:

What we wish for ...
@Nowak "In the end, the general public supported more of C-11 – with the exception of the locks clause – than the entertainment companies did. Hopefully that bodes well for the future and is not lost on the government, because it’s a little clearer now who the 'radical extremists' are."

While I'm not convinced the barrage of requests from the media lobby was anything more than a 'we didn't get what we wanted' counterpoint to the digital lockdown, it is good nonetheless that they were rebuffed.

If nothing else it has reinforced the perception that the media industries are out to grab all they can at the expense of the consumer. This will do nothing to endear them to the general public, nor modify or stem the behavior it perpetuates. Copyright has once again had more respect leeched out of it, and the short term gains of this legislation will in the end weaken its proponent's position.
March 14, 2012

Arc said:

ISP provisions
Can someone explain what ISP provisions exist in the current bill in simple terms?
March 14, 2012

Anonymous Coward said:

When will people learn
It comes down to this. People need to make their voices heard by punishing the big media companies. And by punish I mean don't consume. If you don't like they way they treat you then why do you spend money on their CD's, DVD's and theater and satellite/cable?

But then again if we all stopped consuming their media then they would just come back and say, "See they are all pirating our stuff!" When in reality people are just tired of they way they treat us and the horrible content they create in the first place.
March 14, 2012

Byte said:

No defeat!
With the illegitimate (not talking robocalls, talking
March 14, 2012

Crockett said:

Duck, Deflect, Deploy ...
http://www.theglobeandmail.com...le2369109/

I predict that this will be a consumer friendly announcement, while possibly good I'm cynical enough to note the timing will be to take some of the sting out of C-11.
March 14, 2012

shadowbearer said:

levy
So if we aren't allowed to make copies of any media we purchase legally. Then shouldn't the 'blank media levy' we pay here be scrapped? Why would I pay a tax for something I'm not allowed to do.
March 14, 2012

David Latimer said:

Red Herring
I agree with other commenters: the huge, ridiculous, relatively last-minute demands from media companies were likely at strategic move either on their part alone or in collusion with the government so that the resulting legislation could appear to be balancing interests (which was the main talking point early on when the bill was introduced).
March 14, 2012

Trevor Tye said:

There goes open source users
To bad the digital locks provision will kill anyone using any kind of open source software. All the digital content that comes with dvd's is only for itunes and windows media player, which leaves out all android devices, linux and other open source systems. The current government really knows how to kill innovation in Canada.
March 14, 2012

Simon said:

Internet provider liability
This one kind of concerns me.....if the provider will be liable...will this be similar for consumers to three strikes and you are out????
March 14, 2012

Brian said:

Prof. Geist hoodwinked
Now don't get me wrong, I have a lot of respect for Prof. Geist and the work he does here and I don't for a minute want to see that stop but I wonder how Prof. Geist can raise a cheer saying "the provisions supported by consumer and education groups including user generated content protection, time shifting, format shifting, backup copies, [...] were left untouched. This represents a major victory for the many Canadians and groups such as Open Media that spoke out on these issues." when we all know all of those are trumped by digital locks?

You can mark my words -- all of those "victories" will be empty and will all go away with the use of digital locks.

And his accolades on fair dealing being left unchanged... all trumped by digital locks. There will be no more fair dealing at all in the future when all content is locked down.

Geez. Not even an exception for disabled people. How #$%@ heartless are these people?

And in Prof. Geist's words: "those seeking balanced copyright may have lost on digital locks, but won most other battles". Uhm, losing on digital locks means losing on all other battles.

I'm really at a loss as to why Prof. Geist is at all positive about any of this. Anything that can be considered a victory for consumers in C-11 is completely an empty victory, apart from the damages reform perhaps.
March 14, 2012

MadClownDisease said:

...
@Arc

From what I remember in the early copies of the bill, ISPs had to provide notice to the owner of the IP address unless they are unable too. If they are unable to provide notice, they must give the initiator of the complaint a reason why they are unable to notify the owner of that IP address. There is a time limit to doing either or.
March 14, 2012

mike said:

...
Prof. Geist, could you comment on whether Canada is on par or even worse off for consumers if Bill C11 is passed as is with the Conservative amendments?

I think ordinary Canadians would be more than interested to see if we got badly shafted by these media companies, and whether Canada is being used as a test case to pressure Americans into even more restrictive copyright laws.
March 14, 2012

Keith H said:

Big content let off the hook......for now.
Have to agree with Brian and other commentators that the "victories" for fair dealings are moot next to the draconian digital locks provision. Asking for such unrealistic demands by the Big content industry, such as the 'three strikes rule' definitely deflected the attention away from the digital locks issue. Their myopic and unreasonable demands will not be forgotten. When this law passes (which is now inevitable) a constitutional challenge will surely arise. Just picture digital locks being used to prevent a visually impaired person from reading; not very 'balanced', is it?
March 14, 2012

Mark said:

...
Yes,the blank media levy will probably be scrapped when this goes through... (the conservative's agenda is to scrap it, at least) The levy is utterly untenable if the very thing that the levy is supposed to compensate for (private copying) is not generally achievable without breaking the law (having to break encryption, since explicit legal protections for such locks creates incentives for content makers to utilize them so that they can enjoy the protection, lowering the available of unprotected works and rendering the so-called fair dealing provisions that only appear to apply to unprotected works all but irrelevant).
March 14, 2012

G_thang said:

....
So the divx movies and music I put on DVD & CD will be illegal and how can they police this, wouldn't they have to come into my home or would they be snooping on computers watching us?
March 14, 2012

Connor Behan said:

This is pathetic
If it was ethical to veto every single suggestion made in a committee examination of a bill on the sole grounds that the suggestions came from another party, then we wouldn't have the committee system would we?

I long for the day when somebody sets a precedent that wasting everyone's time by not letting parliament serve its intended purpose has consequences.
March 14, 2012

RL said:

...
I agree with other posters. Can't believe how celebratory Geist is. The digital lock would defeat all those "victories".
March 14, 2012

JL said:

...
What does this mean for Internet companies, are they going to have to install anything to watch what we're doing on the net and raise our prices for Internet or is that up to the owners of the content to track us?
March 14, 2012

swm said:

overal explenation in simple terms
i would truly love the "idiots version translation" of what this all means. this would be essential for someone like myself to truly understand the whole thing. perhaps once this is all done someone can break the whole thing down.
March 14, 2012

Mark said:

...
G_thang: Yes... it will be illegal. However, no, you don't have to worry about the police coming into your home and taking your stuff. The conservatives have said, explicitly, that people will *NOT* be accountable for any "private circumvention". While it's fairly obvious to anyone that matters of enforceability are likely a reason for this particular policy, the fact that such acts will still nonetheless be entirely illegal is so utterly self-contradictory as to defy any kind of explanation that does not point quite clearly towards anarchy. Are the conservatives actually closet anarchists?
March 14, 2012

Crockett said:

Are the conservatives actually closet anarchists?
No, they are just trying to appease their US masters while not pissing off the electorate.

Who says you can't have your cake and eat it too?
March 14, 2012

Mark said:

...
Not annoying the electorate is a moot point... trying to cope with cases where only private circumvention and copying has occurred is wholly unenforceable anyways... at worst, the new laws may make it less convenient for people to get access to the tools they need to engage in such actions. This will become more problematic as technology advances, and the body of currently existing tools that are readily available become less effective at coping with newer types of locks.

Somebody else above pointed out, however, that this law could very easily end up making playing DVD's under Linux illegal, when the manufacturer does not explicitly support that operating system, and the only tools that could be used to accomplish it could also bypass protections on other manufacturers DVD's, and thus illegal to import or distribute.
March 14, 2012

ralph lauren sale said:

http://www.ralphlaurenbrandpolo.com/
I know that no matter how much rhetoric used to describe the extent of LZ your wonderful articles are not enough, and are hypocritical, so I just want to say: You have read this post very good!
March 15, 2012

Mr Smith said:

blogger
what about people that share files on bittorent, are they still gonna be fined 500 dollars a movie or song, and 10,000 dollars for uploading the file there downloading?

Is it still legal to use a vpn for privacy??

Will the entertainment company's have access to our internet records.
March 15, 2012

John said:

.....
See this is the problem a lot of people are confused and when this comes into effect maybe people will try to follow the law but how can they when they don't know what they are doing is wrong until obviously they get caught which could be a lot of people. This bill really needs to be turned down it's so horrible and thought out so badly not funny.
March 15, 2012

JDL said:

...
I found this it's old but as I heard they haven't changed it much since C-32 so could be still relevant.


http://jamesgannon.ca/2010/06/03/top-5-myths-about-the-new-copyright-bill-and-digital-locks/
March 15, 2012

Crockett said:

Blogger ... some answers to your questions:
"What about people that share files on bittorent, are they still gonna be fined 500 dollars a movie or song, and 10,000 dollars for uploading the file there downloading?"

Under Bill C-11 the maximum TOTAL penalty is $5000, I think this is per conviction not per infraction.

"Is it still legal to use a VPN for privacy?"

I don't see how this can be outlawed as there are many fully legitimate uses for both business and personal uses of a VPN. For instance, when I travel I need access to my office network. I will not connect on anything less than a fully encrypted VPN tunnel. Even an online game I like to access (No, not that one) I must use a VPN else I get banned from the site as a rouge account because of the country I am logging in from has a lot of known hackers.

"Will the entertainment company's have access to our internet records?"

They would certainly like to, this was the danger of Bill C-30 and what the media lobbyists such as James Gannon were pushing for in C-11. Fortunately, these have both been rebuffed, but only by many of the public vocally making known their avid opposition to such legislation. Be warned though that the courts could allow this to happen if a trolling lawyer finds a sympathetic judge. The $5000 cap may discourage actual court cases becoming common (I expect only desperate barristers would bother), but watch for those $4999 pay up or else letters regardless, that bottom scraping fear tactic has been known to scare the witless into paying.
March 15, 2012

Bobbet said:

DMCA
In response to a complaint we received under the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act, we have removed 1 result(s) from this page. If you wish, you may read the DMCA complaint that caused the removal(s) at ChillingEffects.org.


What will ours read?
March 15, 2012

Sunny said:

Enforcement Date
When is the earliest date (theoretically) that this bill can come into force if passed ?
March 15, 2012

Mr Smith said:

...
Thanks Crockett

I am a little confused about the this, lets say someone downloads 9 movies so 4500 dollars.

Does this mean someone can sue you for 4500 dollars? or

Does it mean the Government will fine you 4500 dollars like a speeding ticket , meaning if you cant pay or work it off, you have to go to jail?? I assumed it was criminal offense punisble by law.

how would they most likely catch a downloader, would it be from those trolls that attach themselves to torrent files and log all the ip's?


March 15, 2012

me said:

legal purchase
i will continue to download any media i purchase to all devices i choose to. i will continue to use usenet and VPN. I would also spend 5 k on a lawer before i give any of these greedy dishonest media thieves.
March 15, 2012

IamME said:

@Mr Smith
"how would they most likely catch a downloader, would it be from those trolls that attach themselves to torrent files and log all the ip's?"

Yes. This is exactly how they do it. It is notoriously inaccurate since IPs are easily spoofed and home wireless systems easily hacked. The nature of Bittorrent makes IPs easy to track. The trick is to mask your IP or block connections from would-be detectors.

Personally, other than the odd TV show I might have missed, I do pretty much no downloading that would hit American big-media radars. However, I still use a box in Europe, even for most legal stuff, then download the stuff from there using secure FTP. Much more difficult to track this way. Tracker trolls are looking to make a quick buck with these pay-up-or-else letters, so they're only usually looking for domestic IPs and will usually ignore international IPs. I'll be damned if I have them track me...even for legal stuff. It's the principle of the matter for me.
March 15, 2012

Mark said:

...
IanMe: IP's are only easily spoofed for raw IP or UDP-based protocols that are one-way communication only. They are not easily spoofed for TCP-based protocols or any protocol where there is data flowing in both directions, such as bittorrent. At the very least, for any 2-way communication, the IP address showing up online will point at the cable modem or router that connects your home to your ISP. Although all computers on your home lan might share single IP address as far as the outside world is concerned, that IP is not spoofed - it is assigned to you, specifically, by your ISP.

That said, of course, an IP still does not uniquely identify a person. Although the ISP will know which subscriber had received any given IP at a given point in time, that does not mean that the subscriber was personally using a computer doing whatever activity was recorded for that IP.

Notwithstanding, there is an entirely reasonable argument that a service subscriber might ought to be held liable for activities that utilize their subscribed connection, and it is not an unreasonable demand that consumers take some measures to prevent abuse of their connectivity by other people... at the very least, failing to do so being a violation of an ISP's terms of service, and grounds for disconnection. Owing to the fact that there are not an inexhaustible supply of ISP's at any given location, a person who repeatedly leaves themselves set up to be exploted like this will eventually find themselves unable to get online at all.
March 15, 2012

Norm said:

...
@swm,

Let me try this idiots version and others can tell me if it is wrong.

CDs generally do not come with a digital lock. DVD's do but I do not know if you are required to physically do something to download or make a copy. I've never done anything with DVDs and every CD on my computer was bought...No copies from friends etc. are on my computer.

It should be fair ball if you buy a CD, download it onto your computer and maybe also onto an I-Pod for personal use only. Make sure your computer/media player has file sharing "off".

Making a back-up copy of a purchased CD is a copyright infringement. I don't see how anyone could get themselves into too much trouble if was still for personal use and to protect your original investment.

March 15, 2012

IamME said:

@Mark
"Notwithstanding, there is an entirely reasonable argument that a service subscriber might ought to be held liable for activities that utilize their subscribed connection, and it is not an unreasonable demand that consumers take some measures to prevent abuse of their connectivity by other people"

Why should an ISP be held responsible for the actions of it's users? Legally, they can't track what their users are doing, especially if encryption is used. ...AND anyone with half a clue uses encryption, especially if they're doing something illegal, or if they simply value their privacy. ISPs should be held to no more liability than the telephone company is for people phoning each other to plan terrorist activities. Just because tracking is easier, does not mean it should be allowed.

They might be able to tell I'm using Bittorrent or USENet, but if I encrypt the connection, they can't tell whether I'm downloading the new Avengers movie or a Linux distro for Ubuntu. On the wireless side, yes, one can argue that one should be responsible for their own connections, but even if you perform due diligence and encrypt your wireless, it can be hacked. The security light on my router, indicating it's blocked some sort of intrusion, flashes every few seconds. It's the "not easily spoofed" for TCP-based protocols that worries me. There is a big difference between not easy and impossible. Worms do this quite effectively, essentially routing traffic through host clients to the final destination. Only the front end will be reported. Granted this is rare these days and quickly quarantined, but as the Internet lock-down continues, such tools will quickly mature become much more popular.
March 15, 2012

Crockett said:

A entertainingly informative break ...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?f...ZadCj8O1-0
March 15, 2012

IamME said:

@Norm / swm
"CDs generally do not come with a digital lock. DVD's do but I do not know if you are required to physically do something to download or make a copy. I've never done anything with DVDs and every CD on my computer was bought...No copies from friends etc. are on my computer."

For DVDs you need something to circumvent the CSS encryption, say DVDDecryptor if you want to make a copy, or DeCSS on Linux. The software will be illegal as will the act of breaking the encryption. Region coding is another form of copy protection on DVDs and software, such as VLC Media Player will ignore region coding without having to change the region on your DVD player in your PC. VLC will be illegal under C-11.

The same goes for older CDs, some which had some sort of copy protection preventing the ripping of the disk on to a PC. I have at least 3 or 4 such disks. That protection will be illegal to circumvent under C-11.

They don't care if every CD was bought...plain and simple, they want you to buy it again when you put it on your iPod, just like when people started switching from tape to CD. They want people to replace, not convert, their antiquated business model depends on it.

Backing up a CD is only infringement if a TPM was broken in order to do so. In the case of DVDs, this is almost universally true and for BluRay, it is an absolute. You can legally back up an encrypted file, say the data files that get downloaded from Steam, but in the case a system failure, those files may or may not be of much use if any keys are lost. Some TPM protected music and movies would/will store keys locally on the PC to ensure only that device can access the content, but if the PC suffers a catastrophic failure, those keys are lost and the content becomes unplayable, even if the content is backed up. The only option offered is usually to repurchase the content.
March 15, 2012

Norm said:

...
@IamME
Thanks for your response. My needs are very simple but it is obvious that others have more complex needs for varous reasons.

I suspect format shifting for what I do will be included in the bill when passed. A previous government ticked off only the gun owners with their firearms legislation. The present Government would tick just about everyone off if format shifting on legally purchased CD/DVDs is not allowed. Even those that were in favour of the firearms legislation would be impacted by this.

Some of the terminology used is way above my head. When I was in school, a printer was the pointy end of a pencil and the delete button was the eraser at the other end. A notebook was also called a scribbler. I think I'll go and put Sgt Pepper on again or maybe Janis Joplin. ha ha.








March 15, 2012

IamME said:

@Norm
"The present Government would tick just about everyone off if format shifting on legally purchased CD/DVDs is not allowed."

Under C-11, for current CDs format shifting would be allowed, but if they started using copy protection again, and I think it naive to think they won't, format shifting would be illegal. Currently, under C-11, format shifting essentially all commercial DVDs and BluRay would be illegal. Since a vast majority of DVDs and all BluRay have copy protection, C-11 removes all fair use rights, right off the get-go.
March 15, 2012

Norm said:

...
@IamMe

I can see that happening and could deal with that at that time. My understanding is that a company like I-Tunes does allow for format shifting and will allow a back-up to be made. The question is I suppose is that I-Tunes is a US. Will that comply with Bill C-11? I seem to recall that there is a Canadian version of I-Tunes so maybe it will if my ISP is based in Canada.





March 15, 2012

Crockett said:

Really, Only time will tell ...
What will the future look like for both creator and user rights? It looks like Bill C-11 will pass as is with the amendments the Tories allowed, saving some verbal diarrhea from Towes or Moore. Some may see this as the end but the cat is just peeking out of the bag. Once it has been enacted the details will be ironed out over the next few years, here are some things to watch for:

- Will user restrictions be abused by the media industry as Michael Geist predicts or will it be all rosy and unnoticeable as James Gannon assures us?

- Will investment and innovation of the Canadian digital economy flourish with these new digital lock restrictions, or will we continue to be a Digital services backwater on the world stage.

- Will there be no copyright trolling with 'pay-or-else' letters on Canadian citizens as the media industry has avowed, or will it come to pass anyways as most of us here expect?

- Will there be an increase in the use of digital locks, even to currently unlocked media formats, or will market pressure move us towards even less?

- Will the new sought after restrictions in this bill bring further innovative digital services to Canada such as Hulu, Pandora or a worthwhile Netflix, or will demands of the Canadian rights holders continue to keep them at bay.

- With circumvention tools being illegal will the use of common programs such as VLC or services such as secure VPN be disallowed.

- Will the public come to accept these increasing restrictions of copyright as just and necessary to protect the rights and livelihoods of creators, or will they see them as intrusive and the avarice of the media industry.

- Will piracy diminish as these locks thwart the hackers and foreign sharing sites, or will the technological 'war' escalate leaving many unintended consequences in its wake.

- 5 years from now, at the next scheduled legislative look at these issues, will we be better off having a more robust digital economy, piracy curtailed to the dustbin and copyright regaining its proper place and respect in the minds of the public.

... I suppose we'll just have to wait and see.

March 15, 2012

IamME said:

@Crockett
Well said and summarized!!

While I think most here fear the worst, mainly due to well documented experience as to the ineffectiveness of such legislation in other jurisdictions, copyright holders haven't given us a reason to think otherwise. Contempt begets contempt. You're right though, at this point it is just a waiting game.

I personally think there is little hope this bill will see any more amendments before passing. Other than the 5-year review, I think the best we could possibly hope for at this point is a constitutional challenge and for the SCC to overturn part(s) of the bill.

While the bill could have been much worse, I truly wish the conservatives had actually listened to Canadians and not the US media lobby, undoubtedly lining their pockets. Their approach to digital locks along with their laughable anti-privacy bill C-30 is nothing less than contemptible. If they hold such contempt for Canada as to sell us out to the US, why should I hold anything less than contempt for them?
March 15, 2012

Mark said:

...
@IamMe: I wasn't suggesting that an ISP be responsible for its users, I was suggesting that an ISP *SUBSCRIBER* to a home-based package be willing to responsible for how their connectivity was utilized. Try reading the details of your terms of usage for your ISP subscription sometime. You'll probably find in there that it prohibits redistribution to anyone outside of your household. And if somebody's in your own house, it's not unreasonable to be held somewhat accountable for their activities (you can still face penalties for someone in your house violating noise bylaws late at night, for example... even if you are not at home at the time).

@Crocket: You've asked several good questions, and here's my take on them:


- Will there be an increase in the use of digital locks, even to currently unlocked media formats, or will market pressure move us towards even less?

Increased use of digital locks is an almost absolute certainty in this bill's aftermath... the bill offers explicit protections for digital locks, creating at least some additional incentive for content creators to be motivated to use them. The result will be an increased amount of material with digital locks, and an ever diminshing amount of material that has no locks... effectively rendering the fair-dealing provisions that this bill would also offer utterly moot.

- With circumvention tools being illegal will the use of common programs such as VLC or services such as secure VPN be disallowed?

VPN has a plethora of legal uses. I use it at work all the time, for example.

- Will the public come to accept these increasing restrictions of copyright as just and necessary to protect the rights and livelihoods of creators, or will they see them as intrusive and the avarice of the media industry?

The public will largely ignore them, as it's unlikely that most people are even going to notice anything. Since the conservatives have explicitly stated that their policy is to not hold consumers accountable for "private circumvention", I don't expect that anyone is going to notice any real difference. Such private circumvention, however, would still be illegal... and there may be certain ethical boundaries that get affected. What I expect is that, as time passes and technology advances, that the tools necessary to engage in reasonable practices like format shifting may eventually get harder to find without going to more obviously underground sources. Other than that... no real effect, except on some peoples' conscience.

- Will piracy diminish as these locks thwart the hackers and foreign sharing sites, or will the technological 'war' escalate leaving many unintended consequences in its wake?

Bill C-11 will not diminish piracy at all. Medium-term consequences are so obvious that it's difficult to argue they are unintended... although the conservatives have never actually said as much. The conservative's chief official position is that any of the proposed unintended consequences that have been presented to them are an exaggeration of what is actually likely to happen, and insist that it will not come to pass.

- 5 years from now, at the next scheduled legislative look at these issues, will we be better off having a more robust digital economy, piracy curtailed to the dustbin and copyright regaining its proper place and respect in the minds of the public?

Most of bill C-11 is actually pretty respectable... the key sticking point, IMO, is the digital locks provisions issue, and while I understand that some legal protections for digital locks may be required as some sort of concession in today's age, the law could still be made VASTLY better by not outlawing circumvention in cases where no actual copyright infringement had occurred (such as fairly format shifting a lawfully owned movie to owns own iPad, for instance).
March 15, 2012

Mnnn said:

...
How can they possibly know I'm using VLC? bogus
March 15, 2012

Pirate said:

March 15, 2012

IamME said:

Mnnn
"How can they possibly know I'm using VLC? bogus"

They can't!! Which is what makes the law ridiculous, it's unenforceable from the onset. However, if they really want to be pi$$y about it, they could force CNet, Sourceforge, FileHippo and other such sites to block Canadian IPs for specific content, much like Youtube does now. Some may choose to block Canadian IPs just to ensure they avoid litigation. Progress marches on. LOL

Really, you could just go to BitTorrent to get it then, but that's a different story.
March 15, 2012

Zod said:

zod@krypton.com
You don't need to to circumvent a digital lock to break the copy protection they put on cd's a few years back. The copy protection required "Autorun" to be enable so it could install software on your PC. If you have autorun disabled, the software doesn't install and the CD acts like any other cd. You didn't circumvent a digital lock. You just don't like autorun on your computer :) Besides who lets any disc auto-load when they put it in a drive anyways.. its just asking for trouble.

March 15, 2012

JL said:

End of Piracy
Well looks like sucks to be American but I have no doubt soon we'll see this here.

https://torrentfreak.com/isps-to-begin-punishing-bittorrent-pirates-this-summer-120315/

:(
March 15, 2012

Norm said:

bersdla shall
I just want to make a couple of points..

1) Thanks to the OP for taking the time to post his opinion.

2) I hope the artists/actors and the various groups that represent them realize this legislation inlcudes them as well. Artists, song writers, directors and just about anybody else you want to include in this get their inspiration and creativity from other peoples works in addition to their own. It also includes the lobbyists and politicans that passed this bill. Are they expected to pay the same way the consumer is. I don't know but certainly something to think about.

The legislation is not genre specific nor is it specific to any race or political idealogy. It will have an impact on everyone. Competition is pretty fierce among the various media moguls. I wonder what would happen to one of them if they were on some sort of black list for some reason.

Might be a good idea to throw in a few loopholes that involve fair usage for private use as opposed to commercialization.



March 15, 2012

Norm said:

...
Re above post.

Not sure where BERSDLA SHALL came from in the above post, please ignore.
March 15, 2012

JoeBlow said:

..
https://rt.com/usa/news/internet-providers-year-sherman-661/

Internet providers to start policing the web July 12
March 15, 2012

Canoe76 said:

Cause and effect
I am worried that C-11 + C-30 will drive average people towards heavy privacy/anonymization techniques, hard-line privacy advocacy, and expand distrust of RCMP/government/law enforcement. Good people shouldn't have to move into the alleys, but we're forcing them there.

While an increased concern for privacy is justified (I'll be among those advocating), it can't help but enlarge a veil that can also hide real crime, and I think that is a huge unseen cost. Sorry Toews, I can strongly support privacy and free speech and also oppose rape. (Jerk.)

The Internet is one reason hard crime is down in Canada. People have a place to vent and share. If that aspect of the Internet is lost, we are putting a cork back in, and should expect the pressure to build up.

I don't want to go back in time, or towards a Canada with more violent crime.

Yet, whenever good average people disagree with laws, or are compelled to disrespect them, true/hard/real crime will undoubtedly thrive.

These attitudes toward the Internet are promoting anarchy in the real world. We can see the hazard and we should turn the wheel.
March 16, 2012

IamME said:

@Canoe76
"I am worried that C-11 + C-30 will drive average people towards heavy privacy/anonymization techniques, hard-line privacy advocacy, and expand distrust of RCMP/government/law enforcement."

This is absolutely what will happen. Look at what TOR is currently working on. On top of their anonymizing tools, they're working on a method to make encrypted traffic look unencrypted to tracking software so people in places like Iran and China can communicate safely. These dinosaurs in our government and media execs simply don't understand the technology enough to be making such decisions, and well, Gannon, what is he a lawyer AND MIT grad?, should know better. He is just a moron who is behind the times looking to get rich off copyright litigation.

Now that the US is beginning to adopt a graduated response system, the demand for anonymizing tools and privacy layers will only increase exponentially. Perhaps these are the days we're seeing the death throws of BitTorrent...perhaps not...but one thing is an absolute truth, if BitTorrent is somehow miraculously killed, something more secure for file sharing will pop up. Whether the government or media execs like it or not, file sharing is part of our society and is here to stay in one form or another.
March 16, 2012

Sunny said:

Enforcement Date?
When is the earliest date (theoretically) that this bill can come into force if passed ?
March 16, 2012

IamME said:

@Sunny
It should easily pass by summer.
March 16, 2012

This Is sad said:

Complete Power?
" ...in the short term to those with perceptual disabilities, researchers, documentary film makers, consumers, and the many others adversely affected by the restrictive approach. In fact, one NDP MP raised the possibility of constitutional challenges to the bill."

So this bill is basically anti-consumer, anti-persons with disabilities, and will quickly kill off our freedom to create and share Canadian culture?

Really?

A constitutional challenge, should be the first thing the opposition does, and if that fails...then we should cease to call ourselves Canada.



March 17, 2012

Frankly Speaking said:

Don't support crap.
The issue of downloading copyrighted content is simple: DON'T DOWNLOAD OR BUY CRAP. For the last decade most of the entertainment that comes out of the United State is crap and sadly other crap from the rest of the world, too. Support quality entertainment and take no exception. We Canadians have become too at ease with downloading lots of free crap from bitorrents that have us consume hard drives and optical medias. Life will be easier and less strain in the pocket if we become discernible towards better entertainment. Use better judgement. It does work.
March 29, 2012

awehr said:

All the "victories" are crap.. There is nothing to celebrate here.
If nobody is allowed to sell the tools necessary for fair use to the people, the people don't have that right anymore.

from the bill:
41.1 (1) No person shall..
(c) manufacture, import, distribute, offer for sale or rental or provide — including by selling or renting — any technology, device or component if

(i) the technology, device or component is designed or produced primarily for the purposes of circumventing a technological protection 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 technolog- ical protection measure, or

(iii) the person markets the technology, device or component as being for the purposes of circumventing a technological protection measure or acts in concert with another person in order to market the technology, device or component as being for those purposes.
May 04, 2012

troy said:

Dont understand the implications surrounding downloading movies
I dont get it, not yet! So, someone please be kind enough to tell me what the Bill C 11 implications surrounding downloading movies - for free - from the net are?
November 29, 2012

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