61 Reforms to C-61, Day 4: Format Shifting’s 12 Step Approval Process


61 Reforms to C-61, Day 4: Format Shifting’s 12 Step Approval Process

My final post on the format shifting exception focuses on the sheer complexity of the provision.  The idea behind format shifting makes a great deal of sense – consumers buy books, photos, videos, and other content and want the right to view or enjoy the content on the device or medium of choice.  Those rights can be priced into the purchase price and copyright law should facilitate that form of personal use. 

Yet even beyond the digital lock limitation, the provision contains so many conditions that it will leave many Canadians unsure as to whether they have complied with the law.  Just how complicated?  The PDF chart below shows the 12 step process that Canadians must meet in order to comply.  This is simply unworkable for all but a handful of lawyers.  The government has said it wants to target commercial infringement, yet complicated provisions like this one send a different message. The law should be amended to keep format shifting, but with a simplified process.




  1. Anonymous says:

    It appears that any Email sent to Minister Prentice is being deleted without being read. At least that is the automatic message I got back from mine. That means he mail box is getting flooded or he has absolutely no intention of listening to anyone (or both).

  2. Colin McInnes says:

    Actually, only #4 is a problem
    I’d argue that only #4 (don’t break TPMs) is completely unreasonable. But I agree that the rest just seem to over-complicate things.

  3. I found only #3 to be difficult to understand on first read.

  4. A suggestion
    If you e-mail Prentice, make absolutely certain you also cc your MP, industry critics and their party leaders, then follow up to all with hard copy (it’s postage free). Make certain your e-mail states that a hard copy will follow. It might also not hurt to drop a copy to the Conservative think tank voicing your displeasure.

    Both the Fibs and Cons need a severe reality check. There is too much incompetence painfully demonstrated by both sides.

    If we ever can get an election called, it is a requirement to get EVERYONE eligible to VOTE. Otherwise, we will have to put up with more of this B.S., and there is nobody but ourselves to blame.

  5. Levied Media???
    Although there are comments about reviewing the levy system, C-61 does not change it.

    This 12 step process seems incomplete if it does not mention copies on levied media. I was on the (possibly wrong) understanding that a copy on levied media was legal with entering into this process except at the TPM stage.

    That would mean that I can’t make a “C-61 copy” (on my iPod) from a borrowed CD, but I can make a “levied media copy” (on a blank CD) from that same borrowed CD.

    And then – try and work this into the 12 step process????
    — help, please!

    I’ve joked that in the future we’re all going to need to be intellectual property lawyers. Whoever overheard me – I WAS JOKING! PLEASE STOP THINKING I WAS SERIOUS ABOUT THAT!

  6. Thirteen, in the case of domestic photography: The photographer didn’t say you couldn’t.

  7. Unsure…?
    If this passes, it will join other silly legislation that most Canadians will simply ignore. If it’s so complicated that one can’t easily know what’s legal or not, most people will simply not bother worrying about it. In addition, if it’s simply bad legislation, most will just go ahead and do what they want assuming, probably correctly, that they won’t get caught anyway. Either way, you’d have to wonder why a government would want to put its citizens in such positions. But I guess it’s been done before….

  8. Anonymous says:

    It may be complicated but these are not unreasonable limits, and as the PDF is quite straightofrward, why say it needs lawyers? How should the format shifting provision be worded?

  9. Reasonable?
    4 is not, and never will be reasonable! 5 and 6 are not reasonable. There’s no need for a number limit if it’s kept to personal use only. 9 is unreasonable if you just want to lend out the original, for instance. 11 may be unreasonable as there are certainly some fair use examples of making copies that you might play, at, say, a wedding.

    1 is highly tricky…. If you buy something in good faith and have reason to believe it legal, how can you possibly confirm or deny it’s legal status. What about import titles for instance?

  10. #4 trumps everything. DVD’s are encrypted, itunes files have DRM.

    So basically they just need to put some sort of “lock” and then you have no right to do any format shifting.

    It’s the same crap as the American DMCA.

  11. Section 12 : Cruel and Unusual Punishmen
    And here i come to public domain movies and tv that were ripped from dvdr and now i am a criminal for having them.

    Like i said
    Section 12 : Cruel and Unusual Punishment

    I am spending the rest of the summer downloading all this type a content and when it becomes law im going to walk up to a police station and turn myself in and refuse to pay the fine.

    P.S. if you click right on the edge of the (get new image thingy) the word javascript will pop up.
    There must be a bug in the code

  12. Andrew Crawford says:

    Weak argument
    Michael, this is a bad argument. Most of those clauses are inherently fair, and a neutral reader would recognise them as such.

    This line of argument suggests that those of us who oppose bill C.61 are planning to, for instance, sell copies of movies we’ve rented, or buy a single music CD, put the songs from it onto our iPods and those of everyone we know, and then give away the CD, or stream it over the Internet to thousands of people.

    None of those activities are fair dealing, and I personally won’t step up to defend anyone who’s carrying them out. Digital locks, and the death of (real) fair dealing is the key point here. Focussing on “not being sure” if you’re giving away copies to your friends plays right into the hands of those who want to paint us all as teenagers in late-night basements.

  13. “Those rights can be priced into the purchase price and copyright law should facilitate that form of personal use. ”

    At 20$+ for a music CD or 40$+ for a DVD movie… Well, at the cheap cost of those media, how it will cost us more to have right to make whatever we want with what I buy? (we had already make too many compromise to our rights to the corporations since 40 years… enough, is enough, we need to take them back, not give them more)

    Duh! I have actually, all the right to do all I want with something I buy. I just must don’T “harm” others with it.

    Sharing my tools, my goods is from my culture point of View. I guess any Christians get “sharing” has a value. To respect my liberty of religion and to respect my religion, I should share with my fellow man.

    Putting a law that strictly come against my religion, is pure fascism.

    Corporation cannot dictate my comportment with the GOODS, I had buy with the hard labor I had done.

  14. Most reasonable
    I’d have to say that most of the items on the checklist are reasonable. I do have issues with items 4, 5 and 6. The issues surrounding item 4 have been covered ad nausem, I won’t add my 2 cents.

    With respect to items 5 and 6, the concern is the same. Both say that you are allowed to make one, and only one, copy for personal use. Many folks have mentioned that one reason to make a copy is as a general usage copy, protecting the original from damage. These items say (my reading) that if the copy gets damaged or destroyed, that you need to use the original. To say one copy at a time would allow replacement general usage copies from the original, so long as the replacement is one created for one damaged/destroyed.

  15. The PDF chart below shows the 12 step process that Canadians must meet in order to comply.


    What the hell going on? Do Canadians should comply to that type of chart if they are going to steal in store? Or any rapist did to comply a chart? Or whatever???

    Our society will put to jail for 5 months rapist of children and they spend more time to try to control the citizens for copying informations?

    Well, Let say this:

    The chart that corporations must follow:

    1- You can sell anything you want.
    2- You can\’t harm the freedom of the citizen in doing so.
    3- If a technology permits to use what you sell at the citizen advantage, all the power to him. Adapt your market or DIE! This is FREE MARKET! By god sake, don\’t make citizens criminals because you can\’t adapt.
    4- The citizen of Canada will never accept Corporations to spy on them to see what they do with their private properties.

    In another context. Do General Motors can sue UAP/NAPA because they do copy of every car pieces they get? Do Gaz CIE can sue people that do ethanol?

    The thing is, for any GOODS on earth, you will always get some evolution around it, that will boost the value of it. Do you think people would bought Japanese cars if they can\’t get cheap copies of pieces when reparation time comes? No… but Toyota and Honda are happy that UAP/NAPA is there, because they give a better value to their products.

    Gaz CIE get the shaft by organic GAZ, so they need to invest in it to adapt or die! But any cars CIE will do anything their consumer want to sell more cars.

    Now, the music industry had profit a lot of the Internet. Free marketing campaign, free spying on what the consumer want, what the consumer would buy. They take freely on us on the free internet, but try to keep their own protect to those same technologies they abused??

    Well, I prefer to be a criminals, and use any technologies to disrupt the law than being put in a cage in this supposed to be free WORLD.

  16. Another odd bit…
    1. You received the original copy legally.

    Ok. How does this work with stolen goods? Obviously the original thief can’t make copies. But at what point does a stolen good become legal again? If I purchase in good faith from a used CD store, am I ok?

    9. You destroy all copies if you give away, rent or sell the work.

    Ah. But I can keep the copies if the originals are stolen.

    Now – if I make copies of a CD I bought in good faith, and it is later seized as stolen goods, have I given away the original?

  17. Keith Rose says:

    “Ok. How does this work with stolen goods? Obviously the original thief can’t make copies. But at what point does a stolen good become legal again? If I purchase in good faith from a used CD store, am I ok? ”

    The bill has been paraphrased. The actual wording is arguably clearer on this point. The requirement is that the “original copy” not be itself infringing — that is you can’t whitewash an existing infringement just by making a copy under this provision. If a CD you bought from a second hand store happened to be stolen, it might not be legal to possess it, but that wouldn’t automatically make it an infringing copy.

  18. There needs to be another item added: If you obtained your content via internet, you didn’t agree to any EULA or other contract that stipulates how many (if any) copies you can make or forbids format shifting the media as such contracts supercede the law.

  19. NO TO AMERICA says:

    how about we scrap this law and leave things as is , only jerks that want this are the americans

  20. infringing worst than stealing?
    Of course if your CD collection is stolen you have to destroy all the copies in your possession since they become automatically “illegal” (you do not have the originals anymore to prove you made a legal copy of them). I do not know if a “list of stolen items” given to the police would be valid as a proof (it would be too easy to say “all my CDs got stolen” in case you would be on trial). Basically a thief will steal your possession and at the same time your rights.