Yesterday’s opening debate on Bill C-32 gave each party the opportunity to outline its specific concerns and perspectives on the copyright reform proposal. The comments from the lead critic on digital locks provides a good sense of the broad opposition to the current C-32 approach to the issue:
During the consultations, creators told us they needed new rights and protections to succeed in a digital environment, and so the bill before us implements those kinds of rights and protections of the WIPO Internet Treaties and paves the way for a future decision on ratification.
Copyright holders told us that their 21st-century business model depends on strong technological protection measures. And we listened: Bill C-32 contains protection measures such as digital locks to protect against piracy and to allow creators to choose how they wish to protect their works.
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Second reading of Bill C-32 kicked off yesterday with hours of discussion
from MPs from all political parties. Six months after the bill was first introduced, the debate offered the first opportunity to get a sense of where the various parties stand and which issues will be most contentious when the committee tasked with review the bill begins hearings within the next couple of weeks (coverage from PostMedia
The issue at the top of the Liberal and NDP agenda is digital locks. Both parties (along with the Bloc) expressed concern with the digital lock approach in Bill C-32. The Liberals repeatedly emphasized the need for consumers to have the right to circumvent for format shifting, backup copies, and other consumer activities. This would require changes to both the consumer provisions and the general anti-circumvention provision, since both create barriers to these basic consumer activities. Given that the U.S. now allows circumvention of DVDs for some non-commercial purposes, this seems like a reasonable compromise. The NDP placed the spotlight on the impact of locks on education and teaching, describing the exceptions that require destruction of teaching materials 30 days after the end of the course as a digital book burning.
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Apple is extending the length of iTunes music previews from 30 seconds to 90 seconds for songs longer than 2 minutes and 30 seconds. It appears that the extension is a take it or leave proposition to music labels.
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