Letters to the Editor

Several noteworthy letters to the editor on Saturday – a terrific one from Steven Comeau, the President of Collideascope Digital and a Gemeni Award-winning producer in the Vancouver Sun, as well as a rebuttal to Corcoran's National Post piece by David Skoll, the President of Roaring Penguin Software in Ottawa.  Meanwhile, Industry Minister Jim Prentice again defends his bill, this time in the Kingston Whig-Standard, where he notes that consumers will only be liable for $500 in damages for downloading five "non-lock-protected movies without authorization," yet neglects to acknowledge that the consumer faces $100,000 in statutory damages for transferring five DVDs that they have purchased to their video iPod.


  1. Xetheriel says:

    To Mr. Geist:

    While I appreciate all of your work on the copyright topic, you must be carefull to interpret Bill C-61 correctly.

    Your claim that one would be liable for $100000 in statutory damages for transfering 5 DVD’s to a video iPod is simply incorrect. The language in section 41.1 specifically negates statutory damages if the digital lock was broken for personal use. Thus, only *actual* damages could be sought after. In this case, actual damages on 5 DVD’s would be about $100 (approx $20 per DVD).

    Here is the clause:

    41.1(3) The owner of the copyright in a work, a performer’s performance fixed in a sound recording or a sound recording in respect of which paragraph (1)(a) has been contravened may not elect under section 38.1 to recover statutory damages from an individual who contravened that paragraph only for his or her own private purposes.


  2. Michael Geist says:

    Statutory damages

    That is true for the act of circumvention, but it is not true for the act of copying the DVDs. Each copy of the DVD would bring potential liability of $20,000 statutory damages.