Archive for November 22nd, 2010

The False Link Between Locks and Levies

The Bill C-32 legislative committee meets for the first time tomorrow with hearings likely to begin later this week.  The digital lock provisions will undoubtedly be a major focus of discussion with all three opposition parties calling for changes to the current approach. Industry lobby groups will continue their effort to keep the C-32 lock provisions, one of the world’s most restrictive implementations of anti-circumvention legislation, unchanged.

While their support has not wavered, the lobby group rationale for supporting the existing digital lock approach continues to evolve.  Some have tried to argue that the approach is required by the World Intellectual Property Organization Internet treaties, a position that the legislative history and international practice conclusively demonstrates is wrong.  Others have suggested that Bill C-32 is consistent with other countries, only to find that many other countries adopt less restrictive approaches (e.g. New Zealand and Switzerland) with even the U.S. implementing exceptions on DVDs and jailbreaking phones not found in Canada.  Those that hoped that ACTA would provide a reason to keep the C-32 digital lock provisions have been also disappointed, as the ACTA text retains international flexibility with the EU’s interpretation providing firm evidence that C-32 goes beyond what is required (the same will presumably be true for CETA).

With these lines of argument lost, the industry lobby groups now appear set to argue that the opposition to extending the private copying levy provides a strong rationale for strict anti-circumvention rules. 

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November 22, 2010 28 comments News