61 Reforms to C-61, Day 23: TPMs – No Exception for Obsolete or Broken Digital Locks

The inclusion of a right to circumvent in the event that the TPM breaks or becomes obsolete should be relatively uncontroversial.  The U.S. Registrar of Copyrights has included a specific exception that addresses this situation since 2000.  The exception reflects the recognition that the continual evolution of technology places the investment that consumers make in entertainment and software products or that libraries make in materials at risk in the event that a TPM ceases to function or becomes obsolete.  While products do not come with a guarantee to function forever, the law should not impair consumers and libraries that seek to circumvent techologies that are no longer supported and thus create a significant barrier to access to their property.

Despite the obvious, recognized need for such an exception, Bill C-61 does not address the issue.  There is an limited exception for software interoperability, but that provision does not come close address the concerns associated with obsolete or broken TPMs.  Given the frequent changes in technology, it is a question of when, not if, technologies become obsolete.  The Canadian DMCA must anticipate these technological changes by providing a right of circumvention due to obsolete or malfunctioning TPMs.


  1. Perpetual Criminality
    The law as stated will make criminals of us all (on paper at least) this is further proof that these changes will give maximum leverage to the copyright holder rather than the defendant.

  2. Nathan S. says:

    all this bill is trying to accomplish is the old saying of everyone being guilty until proven innocent. In fact this bill makes me wonder whether or not Jim P. actually got his position on his own or with “help” from the business sector that is supposedly getting hit bad by our day to day “piracy”

  3. TPM’s do NOT deserve protection. TPM’s in themselves are a business model and therefore should live or die by the free market.
    As far as I am concerned there are only two options on how to handle TPM’s.

    1 – Outlaw them completely.
    And if they are not outlawed completely then:
    2 – There must be repercussions for abuse and a strict set of rules for their use.

  4. Let’s go for it
    Let’s go for it. I have old VHS tapes and a macrovision enhancer so I can copy the tape for archival purposes. It should also be able to be used for me to make an archival CD of the movie since tapes are on the way out.
    Let me break this obsolete TPM, publically, if this stupid piece of law ever gets on the books.

  5. justanexer says:

    Yahoo! music is doing this
    Here’s a great example – Yahoo! Music is shutting down and turning off it’s key servers soon, once this happens music that had been LEGALLY purchased from Yahoo! will no longer be able to be unlocked and played C-61 is pure BS it does nothing to protect consumers, NOTHING! I can’t believe our government put this reform forward, I really don’t understand where they are coming from or what world they are living in.

    Link to article on Yahoo! Music shutting down, [ link ]