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    Why Copyright Reform Is Not the Cure for What Ails the Music Industry

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    Monday November 07, 2011
    This weekend, I was pleased to deliver a keynote address at the Nova Scotia Music Week conference. While groups like CRIA (Music Canada) position themselves as industry-wide representatives, discussions with many in the industry in Nova Scotia revealed considerable disagreement. My talk - Why Copyright Reform Is Not the Cure for What Ails the Music Industry (YouTube, Blip.tv) - focused on CRIA's conventional talking points and assessed Bill C-11 provisions on statutory damages, ISP liability, the enabler provision, and digital locks.


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    The Daily Digital Lock Dissenter, Day 24: Federation Etudiante Universitaire du Quebec

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    Monday November 07, 2011
    The Federation of University Students of Quebec represents 15 member associations and roughly 125,000 students in Quebec.  In its submission on Bill C-32, it added its voice to the criticism of digital lock rules, noting that the regulation making process for new exceptions is insufficient and that new exceptions should be included within the law from the start:

    Another element that seems inopportune in the current bill is article 41 on digital locks, better known under the acronym DRM (Digital rights management). These technologies lock certain digital contents so that they cannot be reproduced. This article includes a series of exceptions that can apply, but the academic exception and fair use seem once again absent in this regard. As an example, we allow people with a “perceptual impairment” to be excluded from the provisions of clause 41.1(1)a).

    On the other hand, article 41.21(1) specifies that the “governor in council can, by regulation, exempt from application of article 41.1 all technical protection measures of the work (...).” Among the categories that could eventually make use of this modality are educational institutions and those that act under their authority. According to the FEUQ, it is preferable to limit the problems at the source and include educational institutions in the exception set out for other categories rather than wait for a law suit to occur, which would lead to acting in a regulatory manner and ad hoc.

    Previous Daily Digital Locks: Provincial Resource Centre for the Visually Impaired (PRCVI) BC, Canadian Consumer Initiative, Retail Council of Canada, Canadian Council of Archives, Canadian Teachers' Federation, Canadian Federation of Students, Canadian Civil Liberties Association, Documentary Organization of Canada, Canadian Library Association, Council of Ministers of Education Canada, Business Coalition for Balanced Copyright, Canadian Association of Research Libraries, Canadian Historical Association, Canadian National Institute for the Blind, Canadian Bookseller Association, Canadian Home and School Federation, Film Studies Association of Canada, Canadian Bar Association, Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, Appropriation Art, Privacy Commissioner of Canada, Association of Newfoundland and Labrador Archives, Canadian Association of Law Libraries
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    The Daily Digital Lock Dissenter, Day 23: Canadian Association of Law Libraries

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    Friday November 04, 2011
    The Canadian Association of Law Libraries currently has approximately 500 members representing a wide variety of law library interests across Canada. It provides a forum for the exchange of information and ideas among members, fosters cooperation among Canadian law libraries, and plays an active role in promoting access to legal information for all Canadians. CALL has addressed digital locks within the context of Bill C-32, noting the implications for access to law:

    Libraries and other knowledge institutions are increasingly dependent on works in digital form and are acutely affected by the deployment of TPMs to limit access to or use of copyrighted materials. Vendors should not be permitted to undermine the balanced rights users have been granted by the fair dealing clauses of the Act. Vendors should not be permitted, as part of their business model, to make otherwise fair (and therefore legal) dealings with copyrighted materials effectively illegal. Effecting what is or is not legal in our society is the job of our legislature. To say that this issue is fairly resolved because purchasers have a choice not to buy materials with digital locks is disingenuous and misleading. Vendors often have exclusive rights to sell particular content, and libraries and knowledge institutions have a mandate to meet all of the research and educational needs of their users. It is rarely possible for us to purchase the same content from any alternative vendor, let alone one who has chosen not to prevent what are legal uses of the material under the Copyright Act.


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    The Legal Side of Gaming's Digital Revolution

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    Friday November 04, 2011
    Peter Nowak has a great interview with Maxime Gagne, a lawyer with Heenan Blaikie who represents video game developers. Asked specifically about an exception to the Bill C-11 digital lock rules for private use, Gagne states:

    I haven’t seen the exception but there could be ways that it’s crafted that wouldn’t necessarily make it pointless. It would allow private copying but still prevent the uses that are technically restricted to the author of the work, meaning distribution or public performance of the work. That would still be considered infringement. You could break the DRM and make a private copy but you can’t break the DRM and make 160 copies and sell it. It doesn’t render the provision pointless, it just makes clear that there are certain limited uses that you’ll be able to do.
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