Bill C-32: My Perspective on the Key Issues

With the House of Commons back in session this week, there has been growing speculation that Bill C-32, the copyright reform bill, will emerge as a government priority.  Given the rhetoric we’ve seen over the past three months, it seems likely that proponents of the digital lock approach will seek to paint critics as anti-copyright, pirates, and radical extremists.  While the rhetoric may seek to delegitimize consumers and many Canadians vocal on the copyright issue, the reality is that many consumer and education groups have been far more supportive of the bill than proponents such as the music industry.

With the caveat that I can only speak for myself, the following post covers the most contentious aspects of Bill C-32 by aggregating some of my posts and comments.  When the bill was first introduced, my immediate response was that the government did a good job compromising on some very contentious issues (ISP liability, fair dealing, consumer provisions, statutory damages) but that the digital lock approach represented a huge flaw that undermined many of the positive steps forward.  This remains my view – if we can find a compromise on digital locks, I think this is a bill worth supporting.  The following five issues are likely to be the among most contentious in the upcoming hearings:

1.   Digital Lock Provisions (anti-circumvention rules)

The digital lock rules, which are an import from the U.S., are by far the biggest problem with the bill.  I outlined the problems with the digital lock provision in a five-part series (1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or PDF of entire series).  I touched on a wide range of issues, including how the digital lock rules effectively trump virtually all other rights in the bill (particularly fair dealing and the new consumer exceptions) and extend far beyond what is required to comply with the WIPO Internet treaties.  In the months since the bill was introduced, it has become apparent that the Canadian proposal is far more restrictive than that found in the U.S., where the DMCA now has exceptions for DVD circumvention in some non-commercial cases and for jailbreaking cellphones.  I have also posted specific recommended reforms to the digital lock rules, available as a PDF download.  Note that all opposition parties have expressed concerns with the C-32 digital lock approach.

2.   Fair Dealing Reform

I have characterized the fair dealing reforms, which add education, parody, and satire to the list of fair dealing categories, as a reasonable compromise between those seeking a U.S.-style fair use provision and those against new exception categories.  More importantly, I’ve posted on why those arguing that the reforms will result in hundreds of millions of dollars being lost by the Canadian cultural sector are engaged in fear-mongering and hyperbole.  Indeed, the recent Federal Court of Appeal decision involving Access Copyright made it very clear that the reforms would have had no impact on that case.  This is because the inclusion of education as a category of fair dealing does not mean that any use for educational purposes qualifies as a fair dealing.  Rather, all uses must still meet the six-part fair dealing test.  The C-32 change only means that the use can undergo a fair dealing analysis, not that all uses are fair.  In fact, observers must be cautious about claims that the fair dealing reforms merely require clarification, as those claims appear grounded in an attempt to rollback fair dealing more broadly.

Closely related to fair dealing are the new consumer exceptions, including time shifting, format shifting, backup copies, and the YouTube exception.  I supportive of these exceptions as they reflect reasonable consumer expectations and help encourage new creativity.  The primary problem with the new consumer exceptions is that they remain subject to the digital lock, meaning that those new rights disappear anytime a rights holder locks their content down.

3.   ISP Liability

Bill C-32 adopts the successful notice-and-notice approach that has been used in Canada on an informal basis for many years.  The creation of a legal safe harbour that protects Internet intermediaries from liability for the actions of their users is critically important to foster a robust and vibrant online world.  Without such protections, intermediaries (which include Internet service providers, search engines, video sites, blog hosts, and individual bloggers) frequently remove legitimate content in the face of legal threats.  Canadian law should include an explicit safe harbour that insulates intermediaries from liability where they follow a prescribed model that balances the interests of users and content owners. I’ve written frequently over the years on how notice-and-notice has proven effective (here and here) and why alternatives such as notice-and-takedown raise serious concerns.

4.   Statutory Damages Reform

Bill C-32 contains important provisions that distinguish between commercial and non-commercial infringement for the purposes of statutory damages. Canada is one of the only countries in the world to have a statutory damages provision.  It currently creates the prospect of massive liability – up to $20,000 per infringement – without any evidence of actual loss.  This system may have been designed for commercial-scale infringement, but its primary use today is found in the U.S. where statutory damages led to the massive liability for several peer-to-peer file sharing defendants and leaves many with little option but onerous settlement.  Bill C-32 recognizes this problem and creates a $5,000 cap on liability in non-commercial cases.  This is still significant potential liability, but it represents a good compromise, notwithstanding CRIA claims that it would create a licence to steal.

5.   Extending the Private Copying Levy

The fifth major issue involves a change not contained in C-32 – the extension of the private copying levy to cover iPods and other devices.  I have expressed concern with previous private copying extension proposals, arguing we should fix the problems with the current system first as well as highlighting the potential for very broad coverage including cellphones and personal computers, the risk of extending the levy to video with a significant bump in costs, the competitive impact on Canadian consumer pricing and the development of a large grey market or cross border shopping, and the interaction between private copying and digital locks.  Moreover, I have noted that many proponents of extending the levy are reluctant to acknowledge that doing so should fully legalize non-commercial, personal downloading, engaging in a policy bait-and-switch where they use file sharing as the basis to obtain the levy extension but then do not legalize the sharing (the Songwriters Association of Canada are a notable exception, though they call for a new levy on ISPs as an alternative).

Those are my major positions (I have also called for reforms on issues such as crown copyright) on C-32.  Not only is this not “anti-copyright”, but it far more supportive of the bill than many in the music and publishing industries.


  1. DRM
    Agree with Michael except on a “compromise” to be done on digital locks. IMHO the only sensible approach is this one:

    Thank you Brazil.


  2. @DRM
    Naplam, that Brazilian approach is a good one. At the end of the day, it protects the consumers rights while making it an additional offence to break DRM in the process of another violation. While I can imagine that some won’t be too happy about it, those folks can’t say much as it would make them appear to be advocating screwing their customers for the sake of profit.

  3. Un-Trusted Computing says:

    @Napalm and @MG
    Your links are always welcome and are great source of information about the Open Source movement… thank you,


    “Not only is this not “anti-copyright”, but it far more supportive of the bill than many in the music and publishing industries.”

    There’s no need for you to justify your position but anyone reading your work should know that your position would benefit the artist, the individual and society as a whole.

    No need to feed the industry trolls my friend.

  4. The industry looses everything at #4
    I don’t see any major copyright holders (not artists) willingly accepting the commercial/non commercial separation in statutory limits.

    While actual damages in most non-commercial infringement cases are subjective and relatively low, the punitive damages and the fear of such is the only tool they have to continue the business model they rely on. Forcing a maximum of $5000 would likely make it economically unfeasible to threaten or pursue non-commercial infringement on a large scale.

    Of course the argument that personal infringement is a loss of revenue is the basis of said legal action, but I think research is badly needed to prove how accurate that is.

    As far as I know, there are only theories on how related number of downloads are to lost sales, and actual numbers are badly needed in order to accurately and properly set statutory min/max and damages assessments of personal infringement cases.

    A 100:1 download to lost sale ratio makes sense to me. Just because you are downloading a movie/album doesn’t mean you would have bought it otherwise, and likely the only reason you actually bother is the lack of cost/investment (This movie looks crappy, but since it takes 20 seconds of clicking to download it i’ll take a look and see if its any good vs. This movie looks crappy and costs 5$, its not worth it)

  5. Default
    Remember that the default is not to have any copyright law at all (and have open season on copying anything you can).

    So any copyright law no matter how lax is still in favor of “the industry” over the consumer.

    The art is to find a fine balance where the consumer is not impeded in using his purchase while “the industry” gets remunerated for the efforts in making the product.

    The problem with C-32 is that it give complete control to “the industry” over the consumer. This is as “radical extremist” as completely repealing the copyright law.


  6. RE: The industry looses everything at #4
    I disagree. There is still strong support to enforce commercial infringement, which is where much of the loss is…especially in movie sales. If I download 10,000 songs (And don’t share them back out), that would aproximately be equivelent to 1000 albums and at $20 an album, there is a theortical loss of approximately $20,000…if I purchased EVERY album, which certainly wouldn’t be the case. BUT I would certainly buy some of them, along with other albums from those bands I liked. I have a great deal of purchased music from bands which I had originally downloaded music from…back in the university days when I had more time on my hands. This DOES NOT justify the million dollar law suits we see in the US. I’m generally not sharing it out and I’m not selling it.

    I don’t have the time to buy music nor a great deal of time to listen to it these days, but if I did I cerainly wouldn’t buy it without being able to hear it first. These days, in general, I do buy the music I listen to, but it’s very genre specific and without the Internet, much of it would, unfortunately, not be available. Gone are the days of buying an album just because it was from a certain artist or because it had cool art work. When I was a teenager, cool artwork automatically meant the music must have been cool. Teenagers are stupid and impressionable and it was a long time before I grew out of that. YouTube is a WONDERFUL tool for previewing music before you buy it.

    I don’t care what anyone says, no matter how much a private consumer downloads, the negative press generated by sueing a single user will ALWAYS be far more damaging to sales than any moneies recouped. You can sue an average blue-collar Joe for $10,000,000 in statutory damages, but how much actually gets paid back? A few thousand maybe, perhaps $10,00-$20,000 before he has to claim bankruptsy or goes to jail for defaulting on payments? Does this justify the huge costs of the litegation? Does it justify the loss of this person, his/her family and friends and likely countless others as customers due to the negetive press? Sueing individual infringers, no matter the size of the infringement, does not make sense and does nothing to deture others. The US is a prime example. A fine of $5,000 is reasonable…perhaps even $10,000 I could understand, even confiscating the computer hardware on top of that or temporarily suspending the Internet service on “PROVEN” offenders might be considered reasonable.

    Microsoft figured the consumer/Internet relationship out years ago when for every registered copy of Windows there at least 4 pirated versions…that may still be the case today. Woo your current customers to keep them and, in time, many of those who use pirated versions grow up and and start buying. This is why Microsoft is so successful!! After the “Devil’s Own” release of Windows XP, they didn’t even really try to stop the illegal copies. To My knowledge, the Devil’s Own release was the only release Microsoft actively tried to kill…the attempt failed. They understand how the consumer thinks and how Internet works and took advantage of that early on. The entertainment industry needs to learn, to evolve, not sue and bully.

  7. A dying breed.
    @IamME – “no matter how much a private consumer downloads, the negative press generated by sueing a single user will ALWAYS be far more damaging to sales than any moneies recouped.”

    I agree completely.

    This is certainly obvious to those who actually consume media, and realistically to the ones who produce/distribute [not necessarily write/create] as well. But, it does them no good to admit this. They need a purpose because in their current form they are becoming increasingly irrelevant.

    Better to have a ‘war’ … What better way to ‘rally the troops’. Unfortunately, it’s the hapless soldiers are the ones who are injured, while the bosses ‘pillage the museums’.

    OK, that allegory may be a little over the top but it holds a kernel of truth. And in the spirit of Bill C-32, I’ll link a parody on the subject. And please do not take offense it is really meant as tongue-in-cheek 😉

    A growing number of artist/creators are not buying into the industry propaganda anymore. I suspect it will soon be a majority of them, if it has not reached that already. Here is a snapshot of the media world today:
    – Consumer expectations have changed.
    – Ways media is consumed has changed.
    – Artists/creators are finding new ways to meet these changes.
    – Distributors are trying to make it all go away.

    Laws, litigation, technical measures will all be ineffective in curbing most infringement. As IamME said such efforts will only continue to drive customers away.

    In fear of getting my hands slapped by Degen, I will say again that it really is about the customer, for without them artistic efforts will be regulated to hobby status. If artists want to market their works as a business, then provide a product or service people want. It’s the same for any other business or industry. Laws and litigation against the behavior or desires of your customers is not beneficial to you but rather an attempt of your contractor to maximize THEIR profits and control.

    I enjoy art, music, entertainment. I pay for what I consume. I would rather support an artist than a corporation. With today’s new technology and distribution systems I can do all the above. To the benefit of myself and the artist. This is what the traditional distributors know, fear and will do all in their power to prevent.

    Do I feel any remorse for those workers in the the traditional production/distribution industry who will likely loose their employment (along with many others whom in other industries have lost their jobs when technology changes)? Of course I do.

    I do not though for the **AA’s ‘leadership’ who through greed and self interest have harmed the very people they are sworn to represent. Like a dying breed they will fight for their existence, so watch out for collateral damage.

  8. Publisher, Acorda Press.
    I have just received a response to a letter I sent to the Hon. Tony Clement and James Moore.

    My reply appears below.

    Thank you for your correspondence regarding Bill C-32, An Act to amend the
    Copyright Act.

    This legislation will bring Canada in line with international standards
    and promote homegrown innovation and creativity. It is a fair, balanced,
    and common-sense approach, respecting both the rights of creators and the
    interests of consumers in a modern marketplace. The Government of Canada
    is working to secure Canada’s place in the digital economy and to promote
    a more prosperous and competitive country.

    The popularity of Web 2.0, social media, and new technologies such as MP3
    players and digital books have changed the way Canadians create and make
    use of copyrighted material. This bill recognizes the many new ways in
    which teachers, students, artists, software companies, consumers,
    families, copyright owners and many others use technology. It gives
    creators and copyright owners the tools to protect their work and grow
    their business models. It provides clearer rules that will enable all
    Canadians to fully participate in the digital economy, now and in the

    For more information, please visit


    Tony Clement
    Minister of Industry

    James Moore
    Minister of Canadian Heritage
    and Official Languages

    My reply

    ” It gives creators and copyright owners the tools to protect their work and grow their business models”

    I respectfully disagree.

    It gives LICENSORS the tools to grow their business models. Copyright holders, which are the original creators of works, will not gain anything from the digital lock provisions and penalties under the proposed bill C-32. Under current legal practice and Canadian law, certain inalienable rights of copyright cannot be transferred, therefore virtually all publishing agreements are licenses. Copyrights typically remain in the name of the creator.

    Keep in mind that I am a LICENSOR, a creator and copyright owner, and I still fail to see how bill C-32 will help me grow my business model. Maybe by ripping off consumers and creating an adversarial market? I don’t think so. All commerce is based on trust, I am not at war with the marketplace, and I believe this sets a bad precedent for all business dealings.

    Unfortunately this sort of misrepresentation is only clouding the issue of the digital lock provision. I am strongly recommending that Canada follows the more progressive lead of Brazil with regards to digital locks and penalties for hindering fair dealing.

  9. For more information, please visit
    I have a better suggestion – visit these instead:

    I’m sure you’ll find interesting stuff like this one:–town-hall-with-michael-ignatieff-and-martin-cauchon.aspx?Lang=en

    so you may check what their opinion on C-32 is.

    Nap. 🙂

  10. lol, Christmas has come early for me 😉
    “Metallica, among the most ardent crusaders against online music file sharing, have indicated they might .. be releasing tracks for free over the internet.”

    “The music industry has changed tremendously in the past eight years.”

    “While many, even most, users will be content with the freebies, even if a small percentage go on to buy the music, THE BANDS, thanks to the low overheads of online distribution, can turn a tidy profit.”

    “We want to be as free a player as possible”


  11. I respectfully disagree.
    Our supreme court ruled that privacy was more important than piracy. Now, this bill sacrifices our expectation of privacy online, so that private companies, indeed any artist, can spy on us.
    Privacy is essential for parents to protect their children from tracking technologies, much harder to avoid than ‘cookies’ used to be. Privacy may be our only solid defence against identity theft. We count on our privacy to allow us to be intimate with each other, to seek information when we’re vulnerable, to give of ourselves in a way that we can only do anonymously. And it is VITAL to democracy, we do not have free speech if we can not be anonymous online. This is what we have now, a free Internet, something we’re building for all of our children, not just the ones that can afford it. What is extremely radical, is to bring copyright onto the Internet and change everything. Artists have still been creating for a decade now since Napster, people are spending millions on itunes, on Netflix and cable TV. People who share buy more. People with libraries buy more books. Please stop following the recording industry fantasies into this dangerous future.

  12. I believe they recorded a song titled “When Hell Freezes Over” … I bet the temperature just dropped a few degrees on F Street in D.C. 😉

    Good for you Metallica, if you can see the light .. we just may all get through this yet.

  13. Metallica
    Metallica screwed up big time with they “Death Magnetic” album and now are trying to get good with their alienated fans.

    Details here:


  14. copyright business says:

    copyright business
    copyright owners and singles to exact limitations on the application copyright business

  15. Free lesson
    Blockbuster went bust:

    What’s interesting are the comments on that page. They basically say that Blockbuster avoided to embrace new technology (kiosks and downloads) from fear of destroying their existing model. So some other companies ate their lunch.

    Dear CRIA: the model of selling encrypted plastic discs is kind of obsolete too. Stick to it, fight tooth and nail against any change and Steve Jobs will eat your lunch.


  16. RE: Blockbuster
    …failure to adapt…

  17. BTW….
    … isn’t it interesting that the recording and software industries are the only ones that have special laws that enable them to sue their customers (or the public at large)? And are happy to exercise this to great extent?

    When was the last time that your furniture manufacturer raided your house looking for “infringements” (like “illegal copies” of the table or chairs they sold you)? Or sued you for selling your old sofa “without being an authorized reseller”? Did your car manufacturer sue you for “selling counterfeited goods” because you sold your old car with aftermarket fog lights, tires and cd player?

    Why do we have to put up with this madness around the recording and software industry?


  18. DVD/BD
    Nap said: “Dear CRIA: the model of selling encrypted plastic discs is kind of obsolete too. Stick to it, fight tooth and nail against any change and Steve Jobs will eat your lunch.”

    Not too sure I agree with disks being obsolite. There’s still a huge market for DVD…much more so than BD. There will always be those who prefer a hard-copy over a download. On top of that, currently it’s not feasible for many people to download a full 1080p movie with a full HD audio track. Such a movie can easily run over 20G while a full disk image can easily run over 40G. It would cost me more in bandwidth alone than it would to buy the BD. I know a lot of people who have not yet adopted BluRay solely because of the closed standard HDMI uses and connection problems related to older devices. However, if the HDMI master key has indeed been cracked, then this should help quell some of these fears since over the next year or two we’ll start seeing encryption-free devices…wouldn’t that be nice…might speed up that HDMI handshake which takes place when the secure channel is connected.

  19. While there is much about the bill that is worth supporting, the “digital locks trumps everything” mechanism that the bill utilizes is far too high a compromise to make this bill worth supporting overall. The bill does some good by spelling out all sorts of private copying and fair dealing provisions for copyrighted material, and then proceeds to revoke said privileges whenever digital locks are present, which in an age where an increasing amount of material is stored digitally renders the provisions practically moot.

    I realy have no problem with copyright holders wanting to make their works more difficult to copy, if that is what they want to do, but I categorically abhor the removal of fair dealing and private copying privileges simply because the content provider happened to choose to put such protections in. A supporter of the bill might argue that to not have legal protection for digital locks would only result in larger piracy rates, but here’s a point of worthy note: people who don’t have a problem breaking a law prohibiting copyright infringement in the first place aren’t terribly likely to be more concerned by laws regarding the removal of digital locks to accomplish that goal (since they usually do that sort of thing already anyways). Since copyright infringement is already illegal, nothing is being gained by the introduction of protection of digital locks.

    Ultimately the *ONLY* people impacted by the digital locks protection in the bill are people who might otherwise want to copy a work for their own private use or engage in fair dealings, which has never really been a problem by itself because many copyright laws around the world have long contained such provisions without there being any problems from those legitimate activities. It’s only with the rise of illegal copying of content that it’s become a serious problem. So the only thing that copyright holders are really bothered by with regards to fair dealing and private copying provisions is when someone may be afforded them under the assumption they are not going to break the law and then they actually proceed to break it anyways. Guess what though? This bill *WILL NOT STOP THAT* (for the same reasons outlined above). Net result? *ONLY* the honest consumer loses, and people who might want a copy for their own private use are only going to be *MORE* likely to break the law to acquire it (and if it really is for their own private use, nobody else will even know it happened, so there can be no chance of punishment anyways, making it more likely that people will not care about that aspect of the bill).

    Okay, I’ve ranted long enough. I doubt I could even begin to convey how upset I am at the notion that this bill might actually make it into law in Canada.

  20. @IamME:

    There are already some good alternatives here in Canada. If C-32 passes “as is”, then buying DRM media like DVDs or BluRay discs is a weird proposition – since you won’t actually “own” them and will not be able to use them as you wish (without becoming a “criminal radical extremist pirate” lol). So rental comes as a good proposition. Apart disc rentals, HD is available right now either as cable “on demand” or as rental downloads via Sony Playstation Network (if you own a PS3 that is). I’ve tried both and was amazed that the Sony thing is actually very good quality and didn’t hog my internet connection as much as I expected.

    As for music, you can download high quality uncompressed unencrypted perfectly legal stuff from labels like our own Analekta:

    Seems that the model works for them. If you’re interested, the folks here maintain a list of legal sites that offer high res audio downloads:


  21. “There will always be those who prefer a hard-copy over a download.”

    Mind you there are still those who prefer vinyl. LOL I’ll qualify it. I think the quickly growing number of home-theatre owners in particular will prefer hard-copies…especially BD. You don’t get as much benefit from the BD otherwise…especially the HD audio. While the image quality difference is noticable between DVD and BD (Especially in animation), the HD audio track is very noticable on a decent sound system. Unfortunately I think we’re probably years off getting this kind of quality in a feasible download size or getting the Internet architecture in place that can consistently handle this sort of bandwidth.

  22. @IamME:

    Don’t worry, they’ve managed to compromise the Bluray HD audio quality too (again for DRM purposes). Google for “Cinavia”. Basically they add distortion/noise to what you would expect to be a pristine high quality audio track. Why would I want to *buy* this cr*p.


  23. @Napalm: With the use of DRM, the consumers’ rights with respect to physical media become ownership of the media, but licensing of the contents of the media.

    For some, downloads may be the way to go. It depends on where you live. In much of the country (geographically) high speed internet is either non-existent or restricted in speed compared to what you can find in the cities. For instance, my local wireless highspeed provider provides 3 Mbps links. For a lower price, if you have access to Bell’s Fibe service, you can get 12 Mbps (this is not subject to the vagaries of RF propagation and atmospheric conditions). If you can’t get a signal (like me) you are restricted to 28.8 kbps (dialup). Physical media is not dead.

  24. DRM
    @Anon-K: “With the use of DRM, the consumers’ rights with respect to physical media become ownership of the media, but licensing of the contents of the media.”

    But C-32 law makes it a criminal offense to separate the content from the media. So you’re stuck in a very weird position.

    Since they keep the control and can disable the “content” at any time, how about this really FAIR DEAL:

    My money is not paid, it’s just licensed. Licensed to be used in a single bank account (no transferring to other “unapproved” accounts). I also retain the right to control that bank account at my will. I can block it and/or withdraw the money at any time (thus indicating that I terminate my license to them).


  25. @Nap
    Granted, currently HDCP it’s a pain in the butt, especially for older non-compliant HDMI devices. I adoped quite late, and bought mainstream brands, so haven’t had any issues yet…at least not related to BD. If HDCP has truely been cracked, off-brand devices will start emerging…devices they can’t control, then there won’t be as much incentive to include such limitations in main-stream hardware. This, of course, relies on our government doing the right thing and killing the anti-circumvention protection clause in the bill.

    Thanks Nap, This is a great site, I’ve been looking for somewhere that has some “Within Temptation”, particularly the “Dark Symphony” album, at a decent price…one of these sites MUST!! Napster has it, but I can buy the hard-copy at HMV for less.

  26. C-32 Rentals
    Oh….and yes, I agree that with the current wording, under C-32, anything with a TPM becomes a glorified rental or perhaps more akin to a lease. No actual individual rights…this is what makes the anti-circumvention protection clause so scary. “Copyright” gives “rights” to the consumer…consumers have NO rights under C-32 with this clause, hence it’s a lease “contract” and has nothing to do with copyright. Such wording has no place in copyright law.

  27. TPMs are about restricting access, not copies. They really don’t have much to do with copyright. Anyone who is breaking TPMs to infringe on copyrights is obviously already breaking the law anyway. It’s like saying we are trying to fight breaking and entering by saying it is illegal to break glass for any reason. The only people this rule restricts are the ones who want or need to break the TPMs for legitimate and otherwise completely legal reasons.

  28. @Crade
    “Anyone who is breaking TPMs to infringe on copyrights is obviously already breaking the law anyway.”

    Not true. For example, recently I purchased several copies of video games that came with very draconian DRM schemes. I registered the games on publisher’s web site but the only way to disable the draconian DRM scheme (e.g., constant Internet access for a single player game) was to download a “crack” of the DRM/TPM scheme to allow me to play this game uninterrupted when I did not have regular Internet access.

    Also, one of the games would not run on my Windows 7 machine even with all the patches until I again found and downloaded a “crack” to the TPM that removed the need to have game disc in the drive at all times but also fixed technical glitches associated with the game itself.

    Since I opened both games, I would be ineligible to return them and as such would suffer a loss of over $120, even though neither issues was listed on the game packaging or on publisher’s web site.

    With Bill C-32, using the TPM “cracks” would be illegal and would make me liable for breaking the TPM, even though I did it to protect my own consumer rights.

    In my opinion, this is absolutely not the time to instill such a draconian measure when technologies that are being discussed in this Bill have not matured enough yet.

  29. Possible submission to MPs
    Here is a sample text for a submission to your MP to get them to stop Bill C-32. It is important to note that this issue goes across political spectrum. If they stand for all of us against media conglomerates and their corruption, that they will have our votes come election time.


    Subject: Bill C-32

    Dear MP,

    Just a small note urging you to stop the anti-Canadian, anti-Consumer, and anti-Freedom Bill C-32 that intends to instill highly draconian copyright protection measures into our society. Bill C-32 is not Canada where we respect each others privacy and freedom of information. Bill C-32 is not Canada where we do not condone frivolous lawsuits. Bill C-32 is not Canada where we use our tax dollars to protect foreign corporations that want to protect their dying business models at the expense of our Charter of Rights and Freedoms. And Bill C-32 is simply not Canada because Canadians regardless of their political affiliation do not want it. Please stop it and let technology mature before any measures such as this one are brought back into Parliament again.

    If you can stop Bill C-32, you can definitely count on votes of me and many of my fellow Canadians who share the same beliefs.

    Thank you.

  30. @Sam
    I don’t think you read my post 🙂 In the quote you copied for example, you seem to have missed the “to infringe on copyrights” part.

  31. Digital Restrictions Malware
    @Sam: I can feel your pain, but it’s not only about the DRM. It’s crapware that PC games are luring us to buy, knowing well that it doesn’t properly work, but they could always invoke the excuse of some “incompatibility” with your PC. Don’t buy such stuff period. I stopped buying PC games many many years ago – about when “Punkbuster” (and this was not copy protection, just an “anti-cheat” “feature” of the game) insisted to run on my computer at all times, even when I was typing in Word not playing the game. I figured out I don’t want anyone to be able to take screenshots of my online banking, so here it gets uninstalled and never ever again PC games. It also had the side effect that my computer became responsive, stable and in no need of any $800 video card upgrade. My gain their loss.


  32. @Napalm,
    Dude, that isn’t fair at all. The excuse of some “incompatibility” is just plain true. There is a good reason console games are taking over the market. Making games for PC is harder than making it for a console, mostly because you can’t test to make sure it will actually work on the customer’s system. You have to worry about other people’s badly written software as well as all sorts of hardware under the sun, and future hardware that doesn’t even exist yet. You also have to worry more about hackers, since PCs by design must have greater versitility than consoles. Avoiding PC games because they don’t work as consistently or because they often have incompatibilities is fine, but don’t accuse us of making up excuses about it.

  33. @crade:

    Oh and I forgot the poor programming practices that produce incredibly slow performance, but the publisher still releases the stuff with the secret hope that some faster hardware to be released in the future would make it acceptable. I wonder if EA Games ever got Crysis faster than a slideshow on their test machines before release. But they released it nevertheless.

    And since we are at EA Games. I don’t buy their stuff for console either as they insist that I have to register on their site too (in addition to PSN). Since there’s no reason to do that other than for reselling my personal info, I proposed them that I *license* them my personal data for a meager $59. They never replied, so no deal.

    Nap. 🙂

  34. PC Games
    Agreed. This is part of the reason you’re seeing more and more games designed for specific platforms. A game specifically coded to ensure it works for nVidia card or ATi cards. That’s not to say they won’t work with others, but that they have a higher probability of working on a certain platform. Always check the recommended hardware settings, if it specifically states a certain manufacturer it probably means they did most of their testing on that platform. Luckily for designers, these days, ATi and nVidia hold a vast majority of the gaming GPU market so if you design to support both makers will have few issues with compatability. It’s when they start trying to use invasive TPMs that I start seeing a lot of issues. You potentially can also have compatability issues trying to run older 32-bit games on a 64-bit platform. Quite often it will work, but sometimes not or be plaqued with crashes (Oblivion runs, but crashes so much as to be unplayible on my new machine)…again check the requirements to see if 64-bit is supported… It’s terrible to say but, sometimes, even after buying a game, downloading a crack can often stablize a buggy game because the cracker has bypassed the code causing issues. Bioshock is a good example of this. The retail game was plagued with issues and the crack worked flawlessly.

  35. PC Games
    Luckily for designers, these days, ATi and nVidia hold a vast majority of the gaming GPU market

    Sure, but you have to deal with a lot more potential compatibility problems than just the video card differences. You have to deal with those stupid anti-virus programs fubaring people’s computers for one thing.

    The trouble I have with DRM isn’t that it is the main reason for compatibility issues, but that it is an unneccessary one. They are basically intentionally coding the likelyhood of more problems into the games for what I personally see as no valid reason.

  36. pressure kinizer
    @crade: “You have to deal with those stupid anti-virus programs fubaring people’s computers for one thing.”

    True. And they are ineffective as well. They will keep thrashing the hard disk scanning the same old files for the same old viruses, while happily passing the 0day exploits.

    As an example of madness: I have a notebook that I exclusively use as a console to Unix servers. However it has an antivirus that continually thrashes it. What freaking virus does it think I would get through the serial port of a Sun server???????


  37. The best Virus scanner is a well educated user…bar none!!!

    Hey Nap, install Linux on the notebook…problem solved. LOL

  38. MP moore
    I read some of his rant about c-32 and copyright…he has to be the worst orator I have ever seen. I mean really, every paragraph had an insult in it, he hammered the same point over and over again and literally had nothing to say save “pirates are bad, C-32 is good and you’re dumb for not thinking same way”.
    Is…is he quasi-literate or something?

  39. @Blaze: Or maybe he’s a genius who is successfully hiding in a boring conversation what they really want – enabling CRIA to sue Canadians at a rate of 10,000 per day:


  40. @Napalm
    That’s one of the most frightening things I’ve ever read.
    They wouldn’t get a cent out of me, (they -would- probably a lot of revenge of the ironic sort) but what will most of the obviously large amount of people do when faced with this sort of stuff? Is this a cultural coup d’etat?
    Because it sure seems like the heavy-weights of the industry are trying to alter society in a very serious way while harming many in the process.
    (broken eggs and omelettes villain monologues come to mind)

  41. @Napalm, Blaze
    I agree totally. Truely scary happenings over in France. I’ve often compared the **AAs, their cohorts and their ideologies to a facist regime, much to the dismay of some on here, but we’re all entitled to our opinions. Reading through the comments on Slashdot, it’s nice to see someone else say the same.

  42. @Blaze: “Is this a cultural coup d’etat?”

    Naah, it’s just the multinationals taking over the role of governments. “Globalization”, “free trade”, “international treaties” that trump existing laws etc.

    Unfortunately we’ll be living interesting times.


  43. Releasing content under DRM should preclude one from receiving any copyright levy monies for said content.

  44. “Releasing content under DRM should preclude one from receiving any copyright levy monies for said content.”

    Agreed!!!! Under C-32, in the preasence of a digital lock, the collection of a fee would, by definition (As defined by the US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency), be money laundering…”any financial transaction which generates an asset or a value as the result of an illegal act”. I’m not sure if it’s as well defined in Canada, but in this case, if the definition is similar, it would be illegal for any group who uses DRM to collect anything from the levy.

  45. X
    Remember those old days when struggling artist were praying for a record deal. Well guess what they have a wonderful avenue to self promote squire fans who would happily support them from around the globe. They may not make millions but will make enough to get by and guess what they own there own materials. But I guess bills like these fall in with Canada and the crtc for that matter to take things we already have and make them suck. I know of a few artist that signed record deals with s*ny. They didn’t sell the way so#y thought so they threw them aside but when they tried to reinvent themselves and sell there old works again guess what they no longer own it untilled the contract expires. Big corps make struggling artist sign bad contracts that don’t favor artist and the artist gets the shaft. But everyone already knows that right. So what’s left hey self promote on the internet for free right. How long before big business tries to copyright the internet? Or wait people no longer need huge download caps I ll just get the minimum now. I won’t be downloading with this new bill so ill get the lowest cap per month. Fast forward 2013 it is the crtc decision with much input from bell and rogers that the internet will now be billed on web page visit. 25¢ per page and everytime we log onto the internet a 1$ charge will be applied OK everyone happy good. F*#k off.