A Week in the Life of the Canadian DMCA: Part Two

The week in the life of the Canadian DMCA continues (day one here) with Rona, Jim and Josee's ten year old daughter.  Rona is a huge American Idol fan, faithfully watching each episode and buying CDs released by former contestants with her savings.  Last January, Jim set the family's PVR to tape and retain each episode to allow Rona to watch how the contestants progressed. That night, Rona records an Internet-only broadcast of American Idol highlights on her personal computer.  She also asks her brother Stephen to transfer songs from her newest CD to her computer.  The CD is copy-protected, but Stephen uses a circumvention program to transfer the music files.

If Industry Minister Jim Prentice’s Bill C-61 becomes law, all of these copying activities arguably violate the law.

Bill C-61 gives Canadians the right to record television shows with their PVR.  However, the recordings may only be kept long enough to allow for the program to be viewed at a more convenient time.  By retaining copies of earlier programs, Rona (or Jim) is likely violating the law. (Section 29.23 (1)(d)).

Rona’s recording of an Internet broadcast also violates the law.  Bill C-61 explicitly prohibits recording Internet-only broadcasts (Section 29.23 (3)).

The copying of the music files also violates the law.  The act of circumventing the copy-controls on the CD violate Bill C-61 (Section 41.1).  Moreover, the much-promoted provision to allow users to transfer their music onto their device of choice doesn't apply either, since one of the conditions is that users cannot circumvent a digital lock as part of the music transfer process (Section 20.22(1)(c).

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