Copyright Is Back: Why Canada is Keeping the Flawed Digital Lock Rules

Later today, the government will table Bill C-11, the latest iteration of the Canadian copyright reform bill that mirrors the previous Bill C-32. It was widely reported this fall that the government would reintroduce the previous bill unchanged, re-start committee hearings where they left off in March (with prior witnesses not asked to return), and move to quickly get the bill passed by the end of the calendar year. That seems to be what is happening with today’s tabling and a new legislative committee to follow.

Assuming it is the same bill, the government’s talking points remain relevant as does its clause-by-clause analysis, both of which I obtained under Access to Information.  From “Radical Extremism” to “Balanced Copyright”: Canadian Copyright and the Digital Agenda, the book that I edited on Bill C-32 that includes contributions from 19 leading copyright experts from across Canada, is still useful and is available from Irwin Law in paper or as a Creative Commons licensed download. For those looking for background information on key elements of the bill, there is my initial analysis, a five-part series on the C-32’s digital lock provisions in a single PDF, a lengthy post on C-32’s fair dealing reforms, data on the effectiveness of the ISP provisions, and a post that puts statutory damages into perspective.

When Bill C-32 was introduced in June 2010, I described it as “flawed but fixable”, noting that there was a lot to like in the bill but that the digital lock provisions constituted a glaring problem that undermined much of the attempt to strike a balance. Months later, those remain my views. The bill has some good provisions, but the unwillingness to budge on digital locks – even as the U.S. has created new exceptions – is easily its biggest flaw.

In trying to understand the government’s copyright strategy, it increasingly apparent that this is really an omnibus copyright bill that combines two bills: the Copyright Modernization Act together with the Reduce U.S. Pressure Copyright Act. The Copyright Modernization Act portion is a reasonably balanced piece of legislation that seeks to strike a compromise on many key issues:

  • on fair dealing, it adds education, parody, and satire as categories. This isn’t as far as the government could (or should) go in creating a flexible fair dealing provision, but the government deserves credit for sticking by the fair dealing reforms in the face of a relentless misinformation campaign by publishers and copyright collectives.
  • on education, it creates several limited new exceptions, that arguably are too limited, but still mark an improvement over the current act.
  • on consumer rights, it creates important new exceptions for time shifting, format shifting, and backup copies. Those exceptions are undermined, however, by the digital lock rules.
  • on Internet providers, it creates a notice-and-notice system, which has proven effective and will require active cooperation from ISPs to deal with allegations of infringement on their networks.
  • on creativity, it establishes the new remix provision that protects individuals who create their own non-commercial mashups
  • on enforcement, it distinguishes between commercial and non-commercial infringement for the purposes of statutory damages (which will not stop Hurt Locker-style lawsuits) and establishes new powers to target websites that enable infringement (despite the fact that CRIA has an ongoing lawsuit against isoHunt using current Canadian law).

While my copyright bill would look somewhat different, the same can be said for virtually all stakeholders and interested parties. Perhaps that is a sign of a compromise copyright bill.

On the other hand, a portion of this bill might be described as the Reduce U.S. Pressure Copyright Act. This part of the bill contains the digital lock provisions, which are amongst the most restrictive in the world. As the government’s own clause-by-clause analysis of the bill states, these provisions apply even when there is not “an infringement of copyright and the defences to infringement of copyright are not defences to these prohibitions.” It is worth noting that:

  • the government admitted at the C-32 legislative committee that the digital lock rules trump education rights
  • the digital lock rules extend far beyond those required for compliance with the WIPO Internet treaties
  • many of our trading partners, including New Zealand and Switzerland, have adopted more balanced digital lock rules
  • Canada itself proposed a more balanced approach in Bill C-60, a prior copyright bill
  • even the U.S. offers more flexibility than Canada, with an exception for DVD circumvention in some circumstances and a mandatory review of the digital lock rules every three years
  • concerns over digital locks was the top issue raised during the 2009 national copyright consultation and in the submissions to the Bill C-32 legislative committee. As noted yesterday, a wide range of large stakeholders, including virtually every education group in Canada, consumer groups, and technology companies all support compromise language
  • creator groups such as the Documentary Organization of Canada have called for compromise language on digital locks
  • Canadian copyright collectives have expressed doubt about the benefits of digital lock rules. For example, CMRRA and SODRAC told the C-32 committee in their submission that “these measures would be unlikely to result in any substantial increase at all in legitimate online revenues for the music industry.”

So why is Canada sticking to digital lock rules when a more balanced approach that is consistent with the WIPO Internet treaties is readily available?  The answer is obvious – the digital lock rules are primarily about satisfying U.S. pressure, not Canadian public opinion. The U.S. pressure on Canada is not a secret with criticism of past bills and regular demands for action on copyright in return for progress on other border and trade issues. Nor is the internal Canadian response:

  • Prime Minister Harper personally promised U.S. President George Bush in 2008 that Canada would pass copyright reforms
  • former Industry Minister Maxime Bernier raised the possibility of leaking an advance copy of the copyright bill to the U.S.
  • former Industry Minister Tony Clement’s copyright policy advisor encouraged the U.S. to pressure Canada by elevating us on their piracy watch list
  • former Canadian Heritage Minister Bev Oda caved to U.S. pressure by enacting an anti-camcording bill despite departmental analysis that no changes to the law were needed
  • an official at the Privy Council Office leaked the content of mandate letters for then-Ministers Prentice and Verner
  • Canada participated in a WTO complaint on copyright against China at the request of the U.S. despite the inability to amass credible evidence of harm against Canadian interests

After years of false starts, it is clear that this copyright bill will pass, likely before the end of the year. While there is much to like in the bill, the unwillingness to stand up for Canadians on digital locks represents a huge failure. Moreover, it sends the message that when pressed, Canada will cave. The Europeans have already figured that out with their extensive intellectual property demands in the Canada – EU Trade Agreement and the U.S. will no doubt be back again, this time demanding new IP enforcement rules not included in this bill. If global intellectual property developments over the past two decades teach anything, it is that efforts to reduce foreign pressures invariably lead to a brief respite before escalating demands and political pressures. The failure of C-11 is that the government isn’t relieving the copyright pressure. It is asking for more.


  1. Next Steps
    The good news is that the recognition of these “two copyright bills” means it shouldn’t be too difficult to reform copyright again, once the government finally changes.

    The other parties simply need to make this issue a prominent part of their platforms in future elections, clearly stating the changes they would make to the digital lock rules (remove them altogether, add a requirement for actual infringement to occur, list exemptions, etc.). This will attract a lot of votes, and give them all the legitimacy they need to enact those changes once elected.

    It’s just about time to give up on the government and focus our attention on the opposition.

  2. I’m sensing….
    A lot of the next government’s agenda will be to undo a fair portion of Harper’s political kow-towing. ‘Can do, Mr. US corps! Ayup ayup!’

  3. Monetizing Culture
    The obvious goal of past and present copyright bills are the monetization of cultural industries. Although there are significant opportunities to profit from music, film, and arts, these sorts of laws force cultural producers to focus ONLY on those endeavours which can gain enough profit to afford licences. It gives unfair advantage to established media groups, which seem to have a stranglehold on the Harpers of the world. These kinds of laws substitute “most profitable” rather than “best”. This is sad because the whole idea behind copyright law was to encourage creativity. The carrot has become the destination, not the motivation.

  4. They’re just going to pass a law most people are going to ignore because they don’t have the backbone to tell the US to go screw themselves.

  5. The very idea of a digital seems ridiculous today…
    considering most copyright infringement (I think), is internet download, be they p2p or not. Where is the breaking of the digital lock there? All this really does is harm people’s fair use of time and format shifting.

    Personal: I have a vast collection of DVDs and Bluray films. I’m quite the movie buff, with collection at over 1000+ films now, all purchased either new or used, over the last 10 years. 2 years ago, I ripped my whole collection to a computer that I have connected to my TV with a program called Handbrake. It is so convenient to watch now. I still purchase new films on DVD and the first thing I do is add them to the my MediaPC. I still have all the original copies too.

    Under this new provision, I’m a criminal?

    Elwy Yost for ever!

  6. Un-Trusted Computing says:

    Most of the focus should be on Digital Locks
    Like the title says…

    No one really needs to re-hash all the reasons why on this site but the message should be passed on clearly to our MPs why this clause shouldn’t stand.

  7. Mat Janson Blanchet says:

    Reading through this leaves me wondering if the RCMP or the police would still not be required to have a warrant to look through a user’s data traffic. As I understand, it is currently not mandatory, is this issue addressed anywhere?

  8. Russell McOrmond says:

    What do “Conservatives” have against property rights anyway?
    I still believe if Conservatives understood what real-world technical measures we are talking about that they would be as offended by this policy direction as I am. They claim that the mere registering long-guns is something to be opposed, and yet are sleep-walking through the legalization and legal protection of locks being applied to tangible information technology (computers/etc) where the owners are denied the keys!

    There are 4 classes of owners , and all 4 (including copyright holders) are negatively impacted by anti-interoperability locks on content and non-owner locks on devices. While the few tech companies who manage the keys to these locks may benefit from anti-competative behavior, the overall impact for the majority of owners is negative.

    I have allocated as a shortform for the pages on the reintroduced bill.

  9. Pointless Anyways
    Their flawed faith in digital locks speaks to their ignorance anyways.

  10. Well, shit.
    It’s a hard life for a pirate, arrrghhhh.

    There is little hope of getting this bill repealed later too, the government(s) in waiting will probably be as effective as Obama has been at reversing policy from the previous governments: Not effective enough.

  11. Russell, if memory serves the opposition to the long gun registry (certainly my opposition to it) is related to the idea that the reasons put forward for it (especially the public safety rationale) are not addressed by a registry; the public safety aspects are primarily addressed by the vetting and licensing system for gun owners. But that is a different issue.

    Part of the issue with digital locks is simply that the concept, to the layman, is so broad and that the usage is for many different reasons.

    For instance, the media industries (audio and video recordings, eBooks, etc) use them as a means of copy protection; you own the media and the implicit right to use the information only on the systems it was explicitly purchased for (in the case of digital) or only from the purchased media. In the case of software, what you purchase is a license to use the program; the lock enforces the license. Installation media may be sold separately. It is expected that you won’t run the program(s) from the media.

    Just as there is multiple ways to use the technology, we need to recognize that there is multiple copyright holders whose rights need to be addressed. As such, it may in fact be simply a case of removing a blanket prohibition against breaking the lock and instead having breaking the lock as a consideration in punishment. For instance, the difference between robbery and armed robbery (in that the punishment for armed robbery is greater than that for robbery… I admit this isn’t the best example as armed robbery is a specific charge, but please consider the spirit of the example).

  12. Does U.S. pressure on Canada to reform its copyright laws actually extend to such a point that digital locks trump all fair dealing? If this is the case, why do the U.S’s own protections on digital locks explicitly contain exemptions for things like fair use (which Canada’s fair dealing provisions have a lot in common with)?

    And even assuming that Canada has obligation to concede to U.S. demands on this matter (which I would doubt, but let’s assume that we do), it seems to me that Canada is going *WAY* above and beyond any call of duty here… and to such a point that it’s just going to criminalize acts that everybody and their dog is going to do in the privacy of their own home anyways (format shifting, backing up for personal use, etc… simply whenever the content provider had utilized digital lock). Bill C-32 with the digital lock provisions restricted in a similar vein to how Mr. Geist has proposed would still represent a significant reform of Canada’s copyright laws, thus allowing Harper to keep his promise to Bush, would still offer legal protection for digital locks in the event of actual infringement, and therefore satisfy the terms of the treaties that Canada is obligated to with regards to modernized copyright law, so I really can’t see any defense that the conservatives have for holding out against such a compromise other than to be all like… “nyah nyah… I’m bigger than you, so your opinions are worthless”.

    Have I mentioned that I really, and I mean *REALLY*… hate the fact that the conservatives have a majority and have effectively turned our nation into a dictatorship as it pertains to this issue?

  13. CBC quoting Michael Geist.

    “Michael Geist,… said the government’s approach “sends a strong message that the government thinks they struck the right balance” between consumers and creators in the way it was introduced before.”

    I voiced my concerns in the comments on this story. I feel this quote does a great injustice to Mr. Geist because it gives the impression that Mr. Geist agrees with the governments position when in fact, all it says in what Mr. Geist thinks the government thinks and avoids the question entirely as to what Mr. Geist thinks about this legislation.

    I call this quote a psychological manipulation. What do you call it?

  14. RE: Digital Locks
    Most will consider the provisions unfair, most will ignore them. This makes it an unenforceable waste of time and tax dollars. Like Jerrycan, I have a vast movie collection in excess of 1400 DVD/BD that I would eventually like to copy to a media PC. For this, they would call me a criminal. For that, I call them morons, because they haven’t got a clue and are protecting outdated business models. It has already been proven that digital locks are ineffective and do more harm than good, which is why the music industry abandoned them years ago.

    Destruction of course materials 30 days after the end of a course? What the hell is that all about?!?!?! More digital lock, more digital control. It’s a blatant money grab which will cause no end of grief for many students. MANY courses feed subsequent course and those materials are often essentially required reference materials.

    This bill certainly doesn’t make me proud to be Canadian.

  15. All parties have been brainwashed by big media
    If you write to any party leader they will parrot back the same big media line. Law makers are under a barrage of lobbying from media and the US government to the point that they can’t hear anyone else.

  16. The end of the Internet
    The Internet, with its level playing field, upon which anyone can publish with as much authority as the “established” media, has been a threat to the rich and powerful ever since we first heard the words “new economy”.

    But with this protection for digital locks, coupled with “lawful access” and the “trusted identities” law in the US, the Internet returns once again to the kind of platform, like television, where only authorized creators can publish (get their “apps” approved in the various appstores).

    While it is too late to stop these laws, what can still be done is to render them ineffective by using anonymizing services: proxies, email and web forwarders, virtual private networks, onion routing networks, usenet, freenet, encrypted peer-to-peer, terminals in libraries, public wi-fi and mesh networks.

    Here’s why. Prohibitions can only end once it becomes clear how corrupt, expensive and useless they are. Take marijuana for example. While it has been illegal for decades, millions of Canadians use it regularly. It is only because millions do so, and everyone knows people who do, that we can begin to think about legalizing it.

    The same kind of history must pass before everyone realizes that information in itself can do no harm, but rather that the suppression of information allows great evils to be done.

  17. Doug: Incorrect. The only party that is supporting this bill as it is currently worded is the Conservatives. *EVERY* other party in Canada that has a seat in Parliament wants at least some concessions made to it, and some are against it in entirety.

    Unfortunately, because the Conservatives have a majority, that doesn’t really matter very much.

  18. PMO's Office says:

    Mr. Harper
    “compromise language”

    Never heard of it.

    Yours etc.,


  19. And how, as normal Canadians who did not support the bill when it was first tabled, can we fight it? I want to know, seriously how we can tell the government how we as consumers feel about this bill, and fix it before “pushing it through”. Is there any way to stop the bill from going through now?

  20. Damm The site I was refering to is Jamendo

  21. This is the man!
    Please address your concerns to Christian Paradis, Minister of Industry. Here’s his email address:
    Go get ’em!

  22. Hmmm…Reduce U.S Pressures Act, more like Increase C***sucking Greedy U.S. Corps Act. Well, time for me to defend myself, my family and friends…this is going to be very ugly very quickly once it begins.

  23. By banning the sale and importing of technologies that people utilize to infringe, a situation is created where it can potentially be less convenient for the average person to commit copyright infringement owing to the unavailability of the tools, and the fact that it also makes it equally inconvenient for perfectly legitimate users to actually utilize their works in ways that that don’t amount to copyright infringement, but aren’t consistent with how the content provider expected, is, I suppose, seen by the Conservatives as a somehow acceptable loss.

  24. Mwahahaha, It’s already begun you dweeb. We own the content, and now we own the medium.
    Our vertically integrated markets are assured. When you ‘buy’ content from us, you will be locked into our platform. Whether it is a kobo, an iphone, or very soon, a Windows PC, you will not be able to leave our empires without very great expense.

    We will sell you the content, then we will delete it from your reader and sell it to you again. Ha ha ha, you cannot escape.

    Yesterday we owned the content.
    Today we own the medium.
    Tomorrow we own you.

  25. The Minister best be careful at Zebra crossings …

    Up is down, left is right in the world of the conservative majority. How Moore can say the above with a straight face just shows that he really does have a future with Hollywood.

    The hope for ‘technical adjustments’ I’m afraid is just a ‘red herring of hope’ till the bill actually passes. With this legislation consumers are screwed once again [DRM], creators are just as run over [Education exemption]and the only winners are American corporations.

    Ah well, all in all most will ignore this legislation for the past due date sour mess that it already is. Respect for copyright will continue to diminish, creators will loose out due to lack of goodwill and we will all be ‘criminals’. Enforcement will be spotty if not impossible but all is well as the US government will throw a bone our way. Damn our Sovereignty anyway … who needs it?


  27. I should probably talk to my MP, but I’m pretty sure he’s Conservative and his ignorance would make me head hurt.

  28. Un-Trusted Computing says:

    @Ki re: MP
    Talk to him/her anyway, their job depends on your vote, so if you’re irritated about this copyright bill it means you won’t be voting for them next time around. All MPs should be made acutely aware of this.

  29. Appalling
    Appalling piece of legislation when it would be so easy to make it something workable for everyone. The problem is politicians (of all parties) who are more interested in bowing to the large corporations than they are their own citizens.

    BTW, there are no property rights in Canada except those few embodies in British Common law (and try and enforce some of those in court). Property rights were deliberately left out of the Canadian Constitution by the (Liberal) government of the day due to lobbying by big business.

  30. R. Bassett Jr. says:

    @Un-Trusted Computing – I’ve been waiting two years and 3 months for my Conservative backbencher MP to reply to my two emails on the matter (of digital locks and the inability for the average Canadian to protect himself against fishing scam – settlement “lawsuits” by the US media companies). His office assistant did assure my that my letters were placed in my MP’s “reading list”, so I am sure that I will get a reply some time before the man leaves the public office. I look forward to waiving to him in a friendly manner for the third year in a row, as he drives past my house in the Santa Claus Parade again. I do very much enjoy that sort of satisfying one on one interaction with my MP; I feel that we accomplish a lot in that short time.

    Now without sarcasm…

    They don’t care. We may as well give up for the next 4 years. Please don’t blame me – I voted NDP, because my candidate is a stand up guy who actually does take the time to reply to his community (but that doesn’t matter in our failed and hopeless broken party politics system of “fauxmocracy”…)

    Fauxmocracy: A system of government where the majority of citizens elect anyone associated with one of several brightly coloured banners as their leaders rather than electing individuals with the most personal merit. Any exceptions to the preceding rule (The Honourable Mrs. Elizabeth May, for example) will be have their input marginalized in all but the most incredible of circumstances.

    I have exactly no “faith” that our system of government is sustainable; Canada will fall, in time. Awesome, eh? Who should we thank first?

    Ps. Thanks for trying Michael. It’s been a nobel effort.

  31. sad
    It is unfortunately but the time to deflect this bill was during the last election. Giving these morons a majority government allows them to fire anything through they bloody well like. Sadly votes of this nature you’re told to tow the party line not vote with your ideals so after failing twice which should be a sign we don’t want want it as a country they now get a third kick at the can to force it through. Last thing anyone wants is bad legislation in place that needs to be ratified at a later date when it becomes a talking point in an election campaign. We should be telling the yanks to get bent and designing law to fit us not what they want. Government and corporate interest groups shouldn’t be the driving force behind legislation that us as consumers have to live with. I’ve read this damn bill and from my personally standpoint I’m made a criminal several times over because I choose to use something in a manner other then what the rights holders wants. I’m sorry but once I purchase it then it becomes my property. If i want to rip it to PC, phone, ipod, use the disk as a damn coaster for my drinks or as a set of wind chimes that is my prerogative.

    DRM ? so i can buy the DVD…kids can watch it at home no issues. We decide to go on a road trip and I think do i want to listen to them fight for hours and have the blood pressure rise or just rip it to a laptop, ipad whatever so it becomes portable? No sorry that is illegal what you need to do is buy more hardware to play your existing format in the car or buy an electronic copy for your travels. Now as a consumer I’m of the impression I don’t need or want 2 copies. It would be like a car manufacture telling me sorry this car is a city commuter only you want highway driving you need a better road car, what you need to move some thing well you’ll have to buy a truck. When do we get to say no to the insanity here? Why can I hit record on the DVR I got from my ISP and record a tv show and be legal but if I download it instead I’m a criminal? I paid for the right to see it. ISP is more then happy to take my money for bandwidth to download or the cable tv package. Both are digital copies, both stored on a hard drive.

    Micheal as always I appreciate your no BS approach I’ve written my MP many times after reading your blog to express my concerns it is to bad politician don’t read it. They only seem interest in my opinion when it might get them a vote. Once that is done however the general public loses it’s usefulness.

  32. Mark said: a situation is created where it can potentially be less convenient for the average person to commit copyright infringement owing to the unavailability of the tools,

    Umm maybe if this was 1997. SO whats next the government forcing the ISP’s to filter out sites that host software tools that are illegal in Canada.

    I’m glad the gov can spend so much resources on passing paid for laws than actually really start solving real issues affecting Canadains. Yes we don’t have any other more important things that are wrong in this country.

  33. fair response says:

    Anyone know what the dear ministers car looks like? I’d like to put a ‘digital’ lock of my own on his car so he will better understand what it is to have a third party dictate what you can do with your own property.

  34. Wendell Chrysler says:

    The end of the Internet
    In reply to a couple of posts: Yes, I suspect that the next step is in fact to ensure that ISPs log EVERYTHING, and that is already being worked on. In the US cell providers were recently shown to be retaining not only personal data (like IP and location data), but content of conversations as well. Once they start monitoring everything in detail, very few of the current anonymizing strategies will be effective. The content providers will be quite able to sue like crazy, and the ISPs will have all of the info so that if they can place your IP at naughty site X, you’re screwed. Of course, then they’ll also be able to identify people who “don’t think right” by the sites that they visit … the government is probably even more interested in this total control of all web and cell phone traffic than they are in cracking down on copyright. Copyright “crackdowns” just put the tools in place for complete monitoring and control. This will sound like paranoid fantasy to some, but from what we’ve seen lately, I’d suggest that it’s almost a certainty that some folks out there are drooling at the prospect of a leisurely stroll through your browsing records as provided by your oh so willing ISP. It would be so useful at election time, and would be particularly fun for “Minority report” style “pre-crime” identification.

    Personally, I’m backing away from this Internet thing … it was a lot of fun for a long time, but I have an aversion to supplying data for Big Brother to browse through. The cat and mouse game will continue forever, but the possible wins are too big for the corporations to ignore. This is not about copyright … it’s about putting the tools for control in place, and it’s moving along very quickly. The ISPs are totally on board (after all, they by law get compensated for keeping the record and providing them to the lawyers) … their new business is going to be surveillance, and it will be lucrative.

    I’m starting to read a lot more books … free from the Public Library (until the corporations figure out that those folks are giving away their content). I think that I might also get back into swapping physical content (like sending CDs through the mail), like we’ve done forever …

  35. serial infringer says:

    US corporations literally bought a,law that will criminalize every pc user I know. Is this treason by our government?

  36. James Plotkin says:

    Well to be honest, I never expected anything else, the CPC has been pretty upfront about the fact that they were going to re-introduce the same bill. I guess this means the next major leap forward will be the first judicial interpretations of these new laws. I can’t wait to see what happens when a Federal Court judge has to decide if someones Youtube remix fits into the UGC provision.

    No one here every truly thought (though we all may have hoped) that the Conservatives wouldn’t lighten up one iota on the anti-circumvention provision. Though it’s sad, it’s the reality we’ll be living for at least 5 years (pretty sure the bill comports a mandatory review although I’m sure someone will correct me if I’m wrong).

    Personally, I’m a little exhausted with this whole affair. Maybe this can be chalked up to my youth, but I’m really sick and tired of reading and writing about Canada’s new copyright fiasco. The frustration is overwhelming.

    Eg. Using WIPO compliance as a guise to put in oppressive DRM clauses…anyone who’s read the WIPO standard would know that it’s stupidly broad and non-descriptive. It says “Contracting Parties shall provide adequate legal protection and effective legal remedies against the circumvention of effective technological measures…”

    It’s up to each country to define “adequate”. One might say that the anti-circumvention provision in C-11 goes beyond adequate. Adequate doesn’t mean “must trump fair dealing and consumer exceptions”

    I guess I’ll stop ranting now…it’s just really frustrating is all…

  37. To paraphrase, Anon-K said that most programs don’t run from media (it’s installed).

    Ah, don’t think so. Many games come with two disks–install to your ‘puter with both and HAVE to have Disk 2 in the drive in order to play.

    Funny how that 2nd disk always develops a scratch or two that renders it into a coaster.

  38. I think we are overdue for another Louis Riel, a person who will stand up to the feds to protect our rights. Geesh, where are the rebels when you need them?

  39. Any party that will repeal section 41.1 will get my vote.

  40. Let’s not be deluded
    There isn’t a political party with a chance of election (not even the NDP) who could successfully repeal or stop this bill. The industry lobby is just as strong in Canada as it is in the US–perhaps moreso, since it’s backed by “warm fuzzy” groups like songwriters, the CBC, etc. Remember, we instituted a levy on fucking blank CDRs… That was, what, twenty years ago?

    This bill was inevitable.

  41. The digital lock provisions will destory R&D in Canada
    In the software industry, the automation and control systems industry, and in every high-tech manufacturing plant, research and development often requires reverse-engineering existing digital systems in order to modify them or to figure out better ways of interacting with them. That frequently means doing things that will violate the digital lock provisions in this new bill.
    This work leads to better, faster and more precise machining, new features for software, and a hundred other improvements that enable Canadian companies to compete globally.

    But if this new bill does not contain exceptions for research and development, it will put an end to our ability to compete in critical sectors of our economy. We will no longer be able to modify the control portion of CNC tools to broaden the ways they can cut metal, we will no longer be able to properly troubleshoot database systems, we will no longer be able to develop prototypes of complex control systems for power plants, oil refineries, or chemical plants. We will no longer be able to reverse-engineer and test new combinations of electronic devices when developing specialized automation systems for manufacturing.

    This is simply an unintelligent bill that fails to consider the impact on much more critical areas of the economy than those it is designed to protect.

    Further, by fixating on existing intellectual property, it fails to consider what is needed to create new intellectual property. As a result, it will lead to stagnation in research & development in this country.

  42. The Retail Sector Will Be Hit Hard
    If I do not have the legal option of transfering DVD content to my iPad, I am forced to buy that content form online sources where it is already in an iPad-friendly format.
    The problem with this is all of the online sources are American (and to be honest, there is really only one source, iTunes).
    Does the Harper government intend to force Canadians to choose non-Canadian sources from which to buy their digital content? Are the American copyright demands less about copyright than they are about steering consumers south of the border? Will it be the Governor-General who signs the bill into law or the American Ambassador?

  43. @end user: I said less convenient, not necessarily overly difficult, particularly for a technically competent or knowledgeable individual.

    It only stands to reason that if products that perform a particular functio are outlawed in a nation, then citizens of that nation will be inconvenienced somewhat if or when they attempt to acquire such products. It does not matter what technology is available or what year it happens to be.

    This inconvenience will not even actually stop piracy, of course…. all it will do is create a facade where the government will say that they have done all they possibly can to address it. It *WILL* adversely impact fair dealing, however… and that is why it is such a joke that the conservatives consider this thing balanced.

  44. Why Canada is Keeping the Flawed Digital Lock Rules?
    Because we live in a mentally hill society which want to put virtual nonexistent locks on virtual nonexistent media which contains imaginary properties.

  45. Richard Pitt says:

    So stupid they might just be smart
    Has anyone given any thought to the possibility that someone in the government knows that the digital lock rules proposed are likely to get struck down (eventually, after the damages are done) by the courts as treading on the provincial jurisdiction – but having implemented them, they can say with straight face to the US “we tried”.


  46. @Richard
    That is a real possibility. The problem is that the way digital locks are entwined into C-32/C-11, the whole bill would have to be struck down. The time, money, and effort that went into modernizing our copyright laws would be simply wasted. If you are going to do something, do it right.

  47. @Wendell: “The ISPs are totally on board ”

    I doubt that. Once the whole place starts to stink, people will figure out that just for online banking and e-mail with aunt Edna a dialup connection at $4.99 per month is good enough.

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  49. Just so typical of Conservatives…you`re either with us or you`re with the child pornographers. No gray, just black and white. To all you who voted for them, welcome to 1984.

  50. BILL C-32
    Hey All

    May be it is time to start a colective law suit against all the companies that make recording equipment for public use??

    They make the equiment under the legality of the law it is used to copy music,movie,TV series what else will you buy a recorder for?? wake up and smell the coffee if the producer don’t want there stuff copied start by suing the compagnie that makes the recording equipment no equipment no copies??

    Oh sorry DUM ME these compagnies have a lot of money to defend themself so they will attack the small guy he has no money they will win and increase profit on the lousy movie they made WOOT. Their we go they are smart we won’t see them comming!

    You realy want to stop copy right there is only one way outlaw the recording equipment, it is no different downloading a movie on the net for home use as it is to record it on TV using the cable provider equipment DA or the DVD recorder or the old VHS what about the copy right here it is still for home use may be it is time people get together stop going to the movie just for one month and show them the power those same people they are trying to nail have over their profit.

    Lets twiter this one talk to all your friend no one goes to the movie in June 2012 and make those companie rethink their way of doing business, lets try that one


  51. Max Brenner says:

    Opressed slave of the political-corporate elite
    Is the bill passed or not? Are we dead or not?
    I can’t figure it out.
    None of the SOBS are getting anything out of me. I’m going to turn everything off and spend the last of my days reading my books which I already have. There is nothing outside of my home except a repressive state, nothing worth knowing.

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  53. Botchegalupe says:

    Why can’t they simply go after the software developers that produce the software that enables individuals to unlock digital locks?