Not a Feature

The Canadian Press covers yesterday' s CMEC conference on Bill C-60 and education.  The article includes comments from an Industry Canada official who provides assurance that "very little should change for schools under Bill C-60."  I agree.  Unfortunately, the fact that the bill does little for education and increasing access to knowledge is not a feature, but rather its most significant failing.  

One Comment

  1. Russell McOrmond says:

    Little will change?
    I find this comment by the Industry Canada official interesting and frustrating. While the Orwellian named “educational use of the Internet” isn’t in C-60, there is much already in the bill that will greatly harm the educational sector.

    Bill C-60 contains legal protection of Technical Protection Measures (TPMs) such as access controls that falsely claim to protect copyright. These abuses of TPMs are often called Digital Rights Management or Digital Restrictions Management (DRM). This is a contrast from the use of technology to track information about works under copyright or the users such as Rights Management Information (RMI) or other technology used by copyright holders for customer management.

    While this is not the entire harm of C-60, it is an area that will harm schools.

    The purpose of access control TPMs is to tie the ability to access digital material to the use of specifically branded tools which contain the “keys” to unlock and access the content.

    Having school libraries forced to use branded DRM in ILL will affect schools. Cash-strapped schools may feel forced to use the same branded technologies for all digital loaning, imposing those brands on all patrons.

    Having distance learning forced to use branded DRM will affect schools. Only those students who have purchased specific brands of technology will be able to participate in these distance classrooms.

    Having all IT (Information Technology) brand choices and features for the schools imposed on them based on the decisions of DRM vendors (with the help of the duped educational publishing and other content industries) will affect schools.

    This was simply an attempt by an Industry Canada official who wants to confuse the educational community into thinking that they don’t need to participate in a strong opposition to Bill C-60.