Text: Small Text  Normal Text  Large Text  Larger Text

    Blog Archive

    PrevPrevApril 2014NextNext
    SMTWTFS
      12345
    6789101112
    13141516171819
    20212223242526
    27282930

    30 Days of DRM

    The 30 Days of DRM highlights some of the exceptions and limitations that the government should include if a Canadian DMCA is introduced. Contribute to the discussion through the 30 Days of DRM Wiki.

    France Establishes DRM Watchdog

    Wednesday April 11, 2007

    As part of my 30 Days of DRM series last summer, I called for the creation of a new collaborative body that would provide on-demand reviews for new circumvention rights.  I argued that the U.S. DMCA process, which occurs once every three years, simply does not provide the public with sufficient protection against DRM misuse and the need to identify potential exceptions rapidly.

    Today, Nicolas Jondet reports that France has moved in precisely this direction.  Effective this month, there is a new French DRM agency charged with focusing on interoperability and ensuring that users are not prevented by DRM from utilizing copyright exceptions (or user rights).  The agency is composed of six members and has the power to levy significant fines.  While the agency isn't perfect - private copying is largely excluded from its ambit - it is a step in the right direction and represents yet another illustration of protection from DRM.


    Tags:
    , , , ,
    Share: Slashdot, Digg, Del.icio.us, Newsfeeder, Reddit, StumbleUpon, TwitterTagsShare
     

    One Down, 29 to Go

    Tuesday January 16, 2007
    Many readers will know that over the summer I launched a 30 Days of DRM series that focused on the concerns associated with DRM and anti-circumvention. Day Seven called for DRM-free library deposits.  Well, one down and 29 to go - my weekly Law Bytes column (Ottawa Citizen version, homepage version, BBC international version) highlights recent changes to Canada's legal deposit regulations designed to accommodate the emergence of online publications and to address the DRM issue.  Canada introduced mandatory legal deposit in 1953, requiring publishers to provide copies of all published books to the National Library of Canada. With little fanfare, the rules for legal deposit have gradually been adapted to the Internet and digital technologies.  In 2004, the government granted the Library and Archives Canada, the successor the National Library, the right to sample web pages in an effort to preserve noteworthy Canadian websites.  The Internet sampling provision has been used to gather copies of political party websites as well as a handful of notable blogs.

    As of January 1st of this year, the rules have changed yet again as Canadian Heritage Minister Bev Oda introduced new regulations to accommodate the emergence of online publications and to address the concerns raised by digital technologies that potentially impede access. The latest changes will require many online-only publishers to begin submitting their publications to the LAC.  The rules disappointingly stop short of requiring all publishers to submit electronic versions of paper-based documents, however.  Such a requirement should be considered in the future to facilitate the creation of a national digital library.

    The new rules also address mounting concern about the potential impact of DRM to deny future generations access to the publications in digital form. 
    Tags:
    , , ,
    Share: Slashdot, Digg, Del.icio.us, Newsfeeder, Reddit, StumbleUpon, TwitterTagsShare
    View
     

    30 Days of DRM: 30 Things You Can Do

    Monday September 18, 2006

    Update (December 3, 2007) - I have posted a newly updated version of what you can do in light of the forthcoming Canadian DMCA. The posting includes a YouTube video, a Facebook group, and updated contact information.

    Update (November 29/07): With a Canadian DMCA seemingly imminent, the importance of speaking out has never been more important. Some details on the likely new bill can be found here.  I've updated the 30 Things You Can Do to reflect the new Ministers. 

    The House of Commons is back in session and, as I promised last month, the 30 Days of DRM project has now concluded.  The postings remain accessible via the 30 Days of DRM page, the wiki, and a new PDF version that incorporates all postings into a single document.

    The project generated considerable commentary online and lots of email offline.  The most frequently asked question provides reason for optimism as many people simply asked "what can I do?"  I typically responded that the best starting point was to write to their local Member of Parliament.  Upon reflection, there is more that can be done and to that end, I offer up 30 things you can do about the issues raised by the 30 days of DRM project.


    Tags:
    , , , ,
    Share: Slashdot, Digg, Del.icio.us, Newsfeeder, Reddit, StumbleUpon, TwitterTagsShare
    View
     

    30 Days of DRM - Day 30: Prohibition on Contractual Circumvention of Rights (Foundational Issue)

    Sunday September 17, 2006
    Yesterday's post identified the availability of circumvention devices as a one foundational issue. The second foundational issue is protection against contracts that seek to trump the law by contracting out of the copyright balance or, in the event that anti-circumvention legislation is introduced, statutory circumvention rights.  The use of contractual terms to effectively void privacy protection or basic user rights has become all too common with cases such as the Sony rootkit providing a classic example of how contractual terms that quash important legal rights are buried beneath the "I agree" button.

    Governments are understandably loath to intervene in privately negotiated contracts.  However, not every contract or contractual term is enforceable -  there are certain terms (and certain contracts) which run counter to important public policy goals that will often be rendered unenforceable by a sympathetic court.  On this particular issue, we should not wait for the courts to intervene.  Rather, Canada should identify the core protections and policies that underlie the copyright balance and establish rules that prohibit attempts to "contract out" of such terms. 

    The copyright lobby will obviously object, arguing that this constitutes an inappropriate intervention into the market.  Yet anti-circumvention legislation is also an intervention into the market.  I remain steadfast against such legislation (even more so having completed 30 days of discussion), however, if anti-circumvention legislation is to become part of the Canadian legal landscape, then this tradeoff must be part of the bargain.  If the copyright lobby wants its anti-circumvention rules, it must also accept statutory limits on the contractual terms associated with their use.

    Tags:
    , ,
    Share: Slashdot, Digg, Del.icio.us, Newsfeeder, Reddit, StumbleUpon, TwitterTagsShare
     

    30 Days of DRM - Day 29: No Ban on Circumvention Devices (Foundational Issue)

    Saturday September 16, 2006
    Over the past 28 days, this series has addressed circumvention issues both big and small.  I have saved the two most important issues for the end since I believe that without addressing these two issues, many of the other recommendations are rendered ineffective.

    The first issue is that Canada must not establish a ban or prohibition on devices that can be used to circumvent DRM.  Bill C-60 did not contain a provision prohibiting circumvention devices and that approach should be retained in any future legislation.

    The DMCA features just such a ban. Section 1201(a)(2) provides that:

    No person shall manufacture, import, offer to the public, provide, or otherwise traffic in any technology, product, service, device, component, or part thereof, that -

    (A) is primarily designed or produced for the purpose of circumventing a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under this title;
    (B) has only limited commercially significant purpose or use other than to circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under this title; or
    (C) is marketed by that person or another acting in concert with that person with that person's knowledge for use in circumventing a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under this title.

    The DeCSS case demonstrated the breadth of this approach when merely linking to a devices (devices really refers to software that is able to crack a DRM system) was ruled sufficient to violate the statute.

    The past 28 days have illustrated that there are numerous legitimate uses for all circumvention devices.
    Tags:
    , , , , ,
    Share: Slashdot, Digg, Del.icio.us, Newsfeeder, Reddit, StumbleUpon, TwitterTagsShare
    View
     

    30 Days of DRM - Day 28: Review of New Circumvention Rights (Circumvention Rights)

    Friday September 15, 2006
    The U.S. DMCA experience leaves little doubt that the introduction of anti-circumvention legislation will create some unintended consequences.  No matter how long the list of circumvention rights and other precautionary measures, it is impossible to identify all future concerns associated with anti-circumvention legislation.  The U.S. DMCA addresses this by establishing a flawed tri-annual review process.  The system has not worked well, creating a formidable barrier to new exceptions and long delays to address emerging concerns.

    If Canada establishes anti-circumvention legislation, it must also establish an impartial process that will enable concerned parties to raise potential new circumvention rights without excessive delay.  The process must be fast, cheap, and easily accessible to all Canadians.  It will require clear criteria for the introduction of new circumvention rights along with an administrative structure to conduct the reviews.

    Tags:
    , , , , ,
    Share: Slashdot, Digg, Del.icio.us, Newsfeeder, Reddit, StumbleUpon, TwitterTagsShare
    View
     

    30 Days of DRM - Day 27: Government Works (DRM Policy)

    Thursday September 14, 2006
    Government use of DRM represents a particularly difficult issue.  Some argue that government should never use DRM systems (thereby eliminating the need for a circumvention right), maintaining that it runs counter other government priorities such as openness and accountability.  Even governments themselves have acknowledged the problems associated with DRM.  Last week, New Zealand issued guidelines on government use of DRM and trusted computing systems featuring a lengthy list of precautions and safeguards.  They included requirements of minimal restrictions on content, assurances of future accessibility, full respect for privacy rights, retention of government control over a DRM-free version, and full access for all parties entitled to obtain the public information.

    The Canadian government response to the DRM must address several issues. 
    Tags:
    , , , ,
    Share: Slashdot, Digg, Del.icio.us, Newsfeeder, Reddit, StumbleUpon, TwitterTagsShare
    View
     

    30 Days of DRM - Day 26: Investigation of Concealed Code (Circumvention Rights)

    Wednesday September 13, 2006
    Consultations on anti-circumvention exceptions in the U.S. and Australia have raised at least two circumvention rights that involve the right to circumvent to access concealed information contained in software code.  In the U.S., there is a specific exception for circumvention to access the list of websites contained on "block lists" maintained by filtering companies, sometimes referred to as "censorware."  Blocked access to these lists has been viewed as a free speech concern. 

    In Australia, Linux Australia recently requested a right to circumvent to investigate suspected copyright infringement.  The group noted that open source developers would be unable to investigate suspected cases involving violations of open source software licensing agreements (which require users to make modifications available to the public) if the software vendor used a DRM system that blocked access to the underlying code.  Without a circumvention right, attempts to circumvent the DRM to access the underlying code would constitute an infringement.

    The commonality in these two cases is that there may be a public interest in gaining access to code that is concealed by DRM.  Bill C-60 would have addressed this concern by only making it an infringement to circumvent for the purposes of copyright infringement.  If that approach is abandoned, a general right of circumvention to access concealed information where there is a broader public interest concern at stake is needed.
    Tags:
    , , , ,
    Share: Slashdot, Digg, Del.icio.us, Newsfeeder, Reddit, StumbleUpon, TwitterTagsShare
     

    30 Days of DRM - Day 25: Statutory Obligations (Circumvention Rights)

    Tuesday September 12, 2006
    Section 32.1 of the Copyright Act features a list of several exceptions that ensure that the Copyright Act is compatible with other federal statutes that might require copying that would otherwise constitute infringement.  While none of these exceptions are particularly crucial from a user perspective, the principle of consistently retaining the Act's prescribed exceptions is an important one.  The statutory obligation provisions include disclosures under the Access to Information Act, the Privacy Act, the Cultural Property Export and Import Act, and Broadcasting Act requirements.  The Access to Information Act may be relevant here given that DRM's submissions to the government could fall within an ATIP request.  Similarly, the Broadcasting Act provision could become relevant.  To address the issue, a blanket circumvention right to meet statutory obligations is needed.
    Tags:
    , , ,
    Share: Slashdot, Digg, Del.icio.us, Newsfeeder, Reddit, StumbleUpon, TwitterTagsShare
     

    30 Days of DRM - Day 24: Time Shifting (Circumvention Rights)

    Monday September 11, 2006
    Given that my column today focuses on the WIPO Broadcast Treaty, the issue of time shifting and DRM comes to mind.  The concept of time shifting arose from the U.S. Supreme Court decision involving the legality of the Sony Betamax machine.  Arguments before the court focused on the fact that taping television programs simply enabled users to shift the time when they watch the taped program.  More than 20 years later, the VCR (and increasingly DVRs and PVRs) are commonplace and consumers give little thought to the legal consequences of copying television programs.

    While such activity is protected in the U.S., there is nothing in the Copyright Act in Canada that would expressly permit time shifting.

    Tags:
    , , , ,
    Share: Slashdot, Digg, Del.icio.us, Newsfeeder, Reddit, StumbleUpon, TwitterTagsShare
    View
     
    << Start < Prev 1 2 3 4 Next > End >>

    Results 1 - 10 of 34