Australian Parliamentary TPM Report Accepts User Concerns

Kim Weatherall provides a quick summary of what is an exceptionally important Australian parliamentary report on TPM provision implementation.  The report includes 37 recommendations with a long list of protections.  Kim points to coverage of region coding (specifically excluded as TPM), linking access controls to copyright, and exceptions when the amount of non-copyright material protected under a TPM is substantial (and modestly doesn't reference the committee's citations of her own work). 

There is lots more including exceptions for fair dealing, education, and libraries.  Moreover, the committee made it clear that changes in the law that facilitate greater access (such as format shifting or backup rights) should be matched by a TPM exception.  As Kim concludes:

"Two arms of government have now spoken: the High Court of Australia, and a committee of the Parliament. Both have affirmed that copyright law must be balanced; that anti-circumvention laws should be matched to copyright rights, rather than overly extending them . How will the executive react?"

This report should obviously be required reading in Canada.  In fact, it should be more than just read.  It should be matched by a similar process (just as recently occured in the UK) that ensures that Canadian law similarly preserves the appropriate balance should we enact anti-circumvention provisions. 

The copyright lobby argued that Bill C-60 did not go far enough in protecting TPMs.  It seems to me that this report from independent parliamentarians (no pro-user zealots there) confirms that the opposite is true: the bill did not do enough to provide consumers and the marketplace with adequate protections from TPMs.


  1. Sean Swayze says:

    Apple’s TPM Implementation
    Hi Michael!
    Very timely report! Thanks for keeping us abreast of our privacy concerns. I wanted to make mention that Apple is currently shipping TPM enabled in their new iMac Core Duo and Macbook Pro product offerings. It’s VERY concerning that neither product’s specifications includes this device, nor have Apple provided end-user verification controls to ensure that the trusts enacted by the TPM are valid for the consumer in the security context of the machine. As we have discussed, I had sent a letter outlining my concerns to Apple Privacy and received a bleak response and no end-user tools, nor have they documented the presence of the device in their system specifications:

    I suspect the new duo-core mini also is sporting a TPM module as well. This is in flagrant violation of the Trusted Computing Groups OWN recommendations for privacy concerns of the end user. I urge ALL Canadians to refuse to purchase this product until such time as these issues are properly disclosed and the end-user tools are created to verify the TPM trust settings.

  2. Anne-Catherine Lorrain says:

    Australian report at the French Parliame
    I was just watching live the debates of the French National Assembly on the Copyright Act. One of the deputies opposing the law has just pointed out the Australian report as an example of the seak of a more balanced copyright in the advantage of users that should be adopted by the French legislator… to be followed!