Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore’s Missing Copyright Tweets

Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore was busy on Twitter yesterday, pointing to many groups expressing support for Bill C-11, the new copyright bill. While he omitted pointing to releases from students (“anti-circumvention provisions will seriously undermine students’, teachers’ and the general public’s use of copyrighted works.”) and librarians (“legislation which does not include the right to bypass digital locks for non-infringing purposes is fundamentally flawed”), it is interesting to look at some of the organizations he did cite.

For example, the Canadian National Institute for the Blind is quoted as saying “this copyright legislation ensures Canadians who are blind or partially sighted have opportunities to participate in life.” What did the CNIB tell the Bill C-32 legislative committee in its brief?

Ironically, previous attempts to reform copyright have introduced measures that would potentially restrict accessibility by locking down content and locking out Canadians with print disabilities that use text-to-speech and other adaptive technology. While Bill C-61 did permit for Technical Protection Measures to be circumvented for non-infringing use, it outlawed the tools required to do so. More to the point, it is unreasonable to expect any consumer to have the technical savvy required to acquire and use circumvention tools.

CNIB recommends that business practices such as Technical Protection Measures, which restrict accessibility, not be enshrined in legislation. Rather, Canada should invest in a digital publishing industry that produces formats designed for universal access and broadens the market for its cultural products. However, if technical protection measures are legislated, then expand S.32 so that it recognizes that circumvention (and circumvention tools) are permitted when it is for the purpose of making material accessible to persons with perceptual disabilities.

Moore also tweeted that the Canadian Association of University Teachers was of the view that “this represents a genuine effort to introduce balance into Canadian copyright law.” What did the CAUT submit to the Bill C-32 legislative committee?

While one of the main objectives of Bill C-32 was to allow educators, libraries and students to make greater use of copyright material, the prohibition on the circumvention of technological protection measures undermines tht objective completely. It means, for example, that material that is in a paper format and can be legally copied now under fair dealing, cannot be copied for educational or research purposes, if it is in electronic format and digitally encrypted. The current Bill thereby fails to ensure that the Copyright Act remains electronically neutral, another objective for this copyright reform. This unnecessarily restrictive approach to dealing with technological protective measures negates the benefits provided by the expansion of fair dealing rights.

There are many other groups that Moore failed to cite. He could have cited the Retail Council of Canada, which submitted to the C-32 committee:

We join the chorus of many manufacturers of consumer electronics and many artists themselves who believe that overly rigid technical protection measures are bad for artistic creativity, bad for innovation and last but not least, bad for retailers’ business and business in general. If Bill C-32 as now exists had been on the books in 1980, we would not have had the VCR, the personal computer and countless other products that we have depended upon. 

There should be no prohibition of devices or services that have substantial non-infringing uses. Consumers should be free to do whatever they want with their hardware and software, as long as that use is for private purposes and is otherwise non-infringing. That is all that is required by the treaties and that is as far as Canada should go.

Or he could have cited the Business Coalition for Balanced Copyright, whose members include the Canadian Association of Broadcasters, Canadian Association of Internet Providers, a division of CATAlliance, Canadian Cable Systems Alliance, Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association, Computer and Communications Industry Association, the Retail Council of Canada, Bell, Bell Aliant, Cogeco Cable, EastLink, eBay, Google, MTS Allstream, Rogers, SaskTel, TELUS, Third Brigade, Tucows, and Yahoo! Canada.  Their submission to the C-32 committee stated:

To provide greater consistency between the personal use provisions (which as drafted currently prohibit circumvention of both access control and copy control TPMs) and the general anti-circumvention provisions (which only prohibit circumvention of access control TPMs), we propose that the personal use exceptions would continue to be available where a copy control measure has been circumvented, but not where an access control measure has been circumvented. Providing consumers with consistent personal use rights in this manner would prevent confusion and foster innovation.

Moore could have pointed to the Council of Ministers of Education Canada, representing all provincial education ministers outside of Quebec, whose brief stated:

The Copyright Act provides a number of users’ rights that permit use of copyright material for educational purposes. Enacting laws prohibiting circumvention, or possession of devices for the purposes of circumvention, would prevent users from exercising the rights given to them under the Copyright Act by successive Parliaments over many decades. The recommended approach is to provide that circumvention of TPMs is prohibited only when the circumvention is for the purpose of infringing copyright.

or the Documentary Organization of Canada, which told the C-32 committee:

Already documentary filmmakers are encountering problems when attempting to access content behind digital locks. Documentarians are experimenting with new media and interactive documentary content using digital media. In order to access this material, they may have to break digital locks, which under the proposed legislation is considered illegal. However, their use of the material under a fair dealing defence would be legal. DOC considers this contradiction to be at odds with the purposes of copyright: it protects the rights holder, but it does not act in the interest of the public for dissemination nor does it foster creativity.

The digital locks provisions lock up cultural objects so that they cannot be accessed even for legal purposes. Furthermore, the instruments by which one could access these materials are prohibited. In order to rectify this contradiction, DOC recommends that the digital locks provisions be amended so that Canadians can circumvent digital locks for non-infringing purposes, and in particular under fair dealing. This can be done by adding an exception to section 41.11, where the bill outlines the other exceptions. In addition, the creation of tools to circumvent for this purpose should not be prohibited.

As I noted earlier this week, he might have mentioned music copyright collectives CMRRA and SODRAC who stated:

Contrary to the government’s public statements, it is unrealistic to expect that the other measures contained in Bill C-32 as initiatives to implement the WIPO treaties would result in an increase in online music revenues for authors and publishers and musical works that will be sufficient to offset the revenue losses documented above. In fact, these measures would be unlikely to result in any substantial increase at all in legitimate online revenues for the music industry.

After Moore is done recycling the talking points produced by his officials, perhaps he can explain why the government is rejecting the views of business, creators, consumers, educators, and the general public who are merely asking for balance on the digital lock rules.

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  1. Because the US (either government or big business) told him too. And like a good boy, he’s doing what he’s told.

    *is just a little overly cynical with this issue*

    That said, I did email my MP, the industry minister and Mr. Moore about this issue but I don’t expect to be taken seriously or listened to. At this point waiting for the talking point auto-respond email.

  2. I think this explains it well …

  3. Radical Extremist says:

    I suspect, now that he isn’t really all that accountable (majority), there is simply less motivation for him to pay attention to the frivolous cries of irritation from the citizenry who don’t agree with him. There will be many things to do, once the bill is passed, and he’s gotta be quite occupied reading the post-bill game plan submitted to him.

  4. Perpetual Copyright
    The digital locks extend copyright indefinitely, that is clearly not in the interests of Canadians. Furthermore this legislation will bestow protection on data that is not currently eligible. Factual data like phone numbers, property assessments and climate are protectable by coating with a digital lock and presto it’s a crime to use them like you did in the past. Universities could publish data in locked form so others can’t use it resulting in additional costs or research having to be redone at each institute.

    This digital lock legislation is so obviously flawed the drafters are either stupid or they think we are.

  5. Anonymous, always says:

    Michael Geist wrote, and it bears repeating:

    “After Moore is done recycling the talking points produced by his officials, perhaps he can explain why the government is rejecting the views of business, creators, consumers, educators, and the general public who are merely asking for balance on the digital lock rules.”

    Moore is selling out his fellow man to the American media and the powerful political interests that want to control that media.

    What, I dare ask, has been the punishment, historically, for such treasonous acts? I, for one, would like to see such justice.

  6. Caroline Fortier says:

    Executive Director at l’Association des réalisateurs et réalisatrices du Québec
    Dear Michael,

    Thank you for your interesting tour of James Moore’s discretionary quotes on Bill C-11. You say rightly: “After Moore is done recycling the talking points produced by his officials, perhaps he can explain why the government is rejecting the views of business, creators, consumers, educators, and the general public who are merely asking for balance on the digital lock rules.

    Your analysis would be more complete if you also mentioned in the not quoted category the Joint Statement of Cultural Industries on C-32, signed by over 95 cultural organizations from across Canada covering all disciplines and representing artists, creators and copyright owners:

    “The legislation and the exceptions will deprive creators, artists and producers of hundreds of millions of dollars in income (…) Unintended consequences of new exceptions to copyright law will result in significant revenue flows being unfairly expropriated and new, fledgling markets disappearing before they can develop. From the perspective of a number of rights owners, the net effect is therefore a step back, rather than a step forward.”

  7. Since DRM is a different issue than copyright (as according to Bill 11 DRM is protected even when applied to non-copyrightable material), should DRM be legislated at federal, provincial or municipal level?


  8. Never forget the Harper.
    Moore, Moore, Moore. I’m seeing a lot of his name but little of Harper’s. You think Moore is doing this in rebellion of Mr. Harper’s wishes? I highly doubt it given all of Harper’s previous government people that has been listed in the wikileaks.

    Repeat after me: Moore AND PM HARPER are trying to pass off bill C-11’s digital locks as wanted by everyone when most Canadians want them gone or fixed.

    Harper’s a true politician, only by threatening his votes will the Cons work to fix this.

  9. DRM discriminates says:

    Bill C-11 diiscriminates against Francophone Canadians on the basis of language.
    The DRM provisions protect the region encoding of DVD and Blu-Ray. This favours the importation into Canada of English content over French content, because the creators of these region encoding schemes placed Canada in the same region as the US but in a different region than France. This discriminates against Francophone Canadians. For example: An English speaking Canadian, who visits New York, purchases a DVD or Blu-Ray intended for the US market and brings it back to Canada, can play the DVD or Blu-Ray at home. On the other hand a French speaking Canadian, who visits Paris, purchases a DVD or Blu-Ray intended for the French market and brings it back to Canada, cannot play the DVD or Blu-Ray at home unless the DRM is circumvented. What the government is doing with the DRM provisions in Bill C-11 is giving legal protection to discrimination against Francophone Canadians on the basis of language.

    Is there Charter challenge here?

  10. R. Bassett Jr. says:

    Unacceptable Governance
    Michael Geist wrote: “After Moore is done recycling the talking points produced by his officials, perhaps he can explain why the government is rejecting the views of business, creators, consumers, educators, and the general public who are merely asking for balance on the digital lock rules.”

    Clearly our current “Conservative” Government feels that it is “above the law”, Michael, and that it has carte blanche to subject the Canadian people to its every whim and fancy. There is no reasoning with such people when they have clearly thrown the democratic process aside. They just don’t care, but they sure spent a lot public money pretending that they do (by holding public consultations).

    Please read my full comment on my website,

  11. End of the DivX player!
    The legal fallacy of this upcoming copyright law is that it destroys the DivX player industry! The true intended use of the DivX player is so that the consumer can play TV shows and movies in a compressed digital form opposed to DVD formatted media. If consumers cannot legally share these digital media files among themselves anymore, there will be no need to purchase DivX players; how does destroying this technology lead to creating more jobs?

    The entertainment industry has a very myopic outlook regarding the distribution of its products and services. This industry is shooting themselves in the foot by lobbying (i.e. paying off politicians—which is legal?) politicians to restrict consumers’ options of streams of choices to see and/or hear entertainment related products. This industry needs to be reminded that the PVR (Personal Video Recorder), MP3 player and DivX software were all consumer led designs. By now restricting consumers to watching TV shows to either a one time showing or allowing personal recording via PVR’s (including the use of time-shifting); future innovation will become stagnant! How will this strategy help create jobs?

    This sort of copyright law, which the Canadian government wishes to enforce, will in fact reduce employment because no other legal options will be allowed for consumers to experiment with, thus the entertainment industry will be now stuck with the PVR until the world ends! This industry owes its existence to the creativity of the consumer but instead, it looks upon each generation of young people as a threat rather than the drivers of new media devices to playback their movies, TV programs and songs.

    Understand that every new application or app as it is known for smart cellular phones are consumer driven. How idiotic would it be for the cell phone industry to lobby politicians to pass a law that prevents any person writing an app whose is not employed by one of these cell phone companies? It would be sheer lunacy because hardily any new apps being written by cell phone companies would meet the real world needs of the consumer. Consumers would be limited to a few bland apps, this is end result of a myopic oligopoly who fears the consumer rather than embraces the future innovation of choices that are led by the consumer.

    This copyright law will not enhance the future of the entertainment industry rather it places a stranglehold on the consumers’ ability to experiment with new technological software and hardware in order expand their options to playback their entertainment. Thus, this new copyright legislation will be a jobs killer, all the benefits that the entertainment industry has received as a result of consumer-based innovation will now be eliminated. This is the reason why I say this myopic industry is shooting itself in the foot!

    Finally, ironically at a time when the economy badly needs technological innovators who will help spawn the next generation of new electronic products with the strike of a pen, Canadian politicians have screwed their nation! As of now, all entertainment related products will be in an economic standstill, as long as this current copyright law remains on the books, the consumers’ choices to playback their entertainment will be forever stuck in the year 2011. And in the long run, research and develop in the electronic and Internet field will all dry up except for the large entertainment providers. But even the entertainment industry will eventually run out of ideas because it chose to be hostile to consumers, who were in fact their lifeline towards renewal and innovation!

  12. Government supporting the special interests
    DRM is being promoted to protect artists incomes. I seriously doubt that artists whose works are intensely copied are poorer than those who copy digital versions of their creations. The income redistribution/economics is at the heart of the argument. Of course the same groups RIAA, MPAA, etc.. are the key promoters of copyright bills because their own income and control is threatened in the digital world. Not only does this bill return the lions share of revenue to themselves (NOT the artists) but also the control. Of course, DRM legislation allows the owners of the intellectual property to charge for use. In the information age, this means that those with capital move it into ownership of “information”. I’m sure these owners will have well paid lawyers and lobbyists and won’t be interested in paying royalties for the “commonwealth” of ideas, technologies and tools in the public domain that were the precursors for what they claim to own. This will be a very sad end to the information age, democracy, education and will no doubt usher in an age with greater disparity between the haves and the have-nots.

    Of course the governments role should be in support of the voting masses (and our interests!) not in support of the few. Especially by legislating the redistribution of wealth from the poor to the rich. If government is really interested in helping the struggling artistic community, why not fund artistic programmes appropriately by taxing those who can afford to pay more, like foreign corporations who have control of Canadian forests, water, gas, mining, manufacturing and service industries.

  13. I am starting to think that the reason that the Conservatives are being inflexible on the digital lock provisions is so that they can wash their hands of the issue of piracy if (when) it goes unabated. If the government has outlawed the very tools that people would have to utilize to infringe on copyright, and copyright infringement is still happening, then there is little else that the government can actually do to ever hope to address the problem.

    All that is actually left for the prohibition on such tools to do is to impact otherwise completely legitimate copying is, such as fair use or format shifting. When the Conservatives are pressed on this matter, they are often quick to point out that such privileges will still available for any analog or any unlocked works, but in an age where virtually everything comes on digital media, and where on some media formats, such as for video, such locks are even ubiquitous, one might question the sincerity of this alleged “merit”. Coupled with the fact that a consumers choice to even consume unlocked works only if they wish to exercise such privileges is inherently limited by the widespread availability of alternative or unlocked materials in the first place, a decision that the consumer is not in any way a part of, and it is obvious that this so-called benefit for consumers does not come anywhere close to balancing this bill the way the Conservatives claim. While its certainly true that content providers interested in maintaining good PR are going to explicitly grant certain private copying format shifting and backup provisions to the consumer, allowing them to enjoy the provisions that would otherwise be outlawed, it is worth pointing out that such provisions are, for digital works in particular, inherently very dependent on particular technologies, and can quickly become obsolete or unavailable, leaving the consumer with *NO* ability to access such works in a way that content provider may have even actually intended without such consumers “voluntarily” choosing to be technologically irrelevant.

    It seems to me, however, that the Conservatives believe that this negative impact that these digital lock provisions would have on fair dealings is too small to be concerned with, or that it cannot actually be addressed in any way without utterly compromising the purpose of the digital lock provisions, which are almost assuredly (intended) to reduce piracy. That it is unlikely to achieve this goal is irrelevant to the issue that the Conservatives likely feel there is little else they could hope to do.

  14. Un-Trusted Computing says:

    Re: Linux users
    One (un)intended? consequence of this law, is that it will prevent Linux users from playing DVDs by making the libdvdcss set of libraries illegal.

    My questions for the ministers responsible for copyright are these:

    Are you sanctioning the use of Windows and Apple’s OS X over Linux and if so what beneficial economic consequences do foresee in Canadians giving more money to American software giants?

    Secondly, I still don’t understand why the ministers see it as beneficial for me to buy a $20 DVD or Bluray disc, and fine me $20K for ripping it to my smartphone or tablet, but yet when I forgo the purchase process entirely, depriving the artist of any revenue, the maximum fine for infringement is only $5K.

    Don’t even get me started on the logistics of enforcement.

  15. UnTrusted: I suspect that they would answer your question by presenting the notion that the free market would determine which operating system(s) they want to utilize – if manufacturers are interested in supporting Linux, then they would… and if people are wanting to use Linux, then they are free to not endorse the companies that don’t support it. The Conservatives appear to naively believe that this principle alone will keep the field balanced and equitable for consumers and content creators alike.

  16. Un-Trusted Computing says:

    Agreed somewhat.

    The free market (when it exists and is actually free) does provide us with choice, but the larger players, either Operating system creators (MS, Apple) or large OEMs (Dell, HP etc.) will use their position to leverage enforce their choices, making the market not actually free.

    If I’m not able to legally bypass the upcoming UEFI which will be present on all machines shipping Windows 8, then installing Linux makes me a criminal (at least on paper)

    I’m sure these problems will work themselves out eventually, but it’s complete idiocy right now, because the government’s understanding of TPMs and their reach is flawed.

  17. Free market
    I don’t think there is such a thing as a really “free” market in our modern world. The concepts of patents, copyright, trademark, trade secrets, privacy, and many others are antithesis to a really “free” market. Never mind corporate and consumer protection laws.

    Once you accept the premise that we don’t truly have a “free” market, and perhaps we don’t really want one, then you can get on with the task of deciding exactly how you want to regulate things, and balance the benefits among everyone.

  18. Balance
    oldguy said :”Once you accept the premise that we don’t truly have a “free” market, and perhaps we don’t really want one, then you can get on with the task of deciding exactly how you want to regulate things, and balance the benefits among everyone.”

    I would say that the Conservatives were elected because we do, in fact, want a free market.
    I would also subscribe to the premise that there are no longer any free markets in the G20, and balance is desirable. I see copyright, especially as it is being legislated, as a choice, rather than a meeting-in-the-middle, though. It would seem that the government has been convinced that it must choose between creators’ rights and consumer’s rights, and the consumer appears to be the lifted side of the scale.
    For instance, it is entirely reasonable to me that, if the movie and music industry no longer cares for what Joe Canadian is doing with his purchased home entertainment media, then the balanced solution is to have them stop feeding the home market and retreat back to their controlled environments – theatres and arenas. By doing this, the consumer’s rights are preserved, and Big Media’s desire to control their product is also preserved.
    Obviously, this does not address every issue facing copyrighted (copywritten?) material, but it *is* a solution that doesn’t necessitate criminalization of common behaviour. If music and movies were removed from influencing Bil C-11, how different would it be? Quite, I’d say.

  19. The less appealing watching movies would be, the more time you’ll have for healthy outdoor activities.

    Fight obesity! Vote C-11! Boo cellulite!

    Mandate pictures with fat, unhealthy people on DVD boxes!


  20. @Untrusted Computing: “One (un)intended? consequence of this law, is that it will prevent Linux users from playing DVDs by making the libdvdcss set of libraries illegal.”

    Well Blockbuster Canada just closed shop too, due to lack of customers. Apparently people found other ways of watching movies than playing DVD discs. So at this point I believe that DCSS is a non-issue.


  21. @Untrusted: “If I’m not able to legally bypass the upcoming UEFI which will be present on all machines shipping Windows 8, then installing Linux makes me a criminal (at least on paper)”

    You already know that you have to buy only every other version of Windows. Like Vista, 8 is the one you don’t buy.


  22. JamesMoore_org
    Montreal Gazette: “For the most part the Copyright Modernization Act strikes a good balance between the rights of consumers to use products they buy and those of copyright-holders who are entitled to due compensation for their creations.”

    mgeist @JamesMoore_org Agreed. Gazette gets it right – for the most part, bill strikes a good balance. On digital locks, it does not.

    Excuse me? Bill C-11 = C-32 is now suddenly fair except for the digital locks? Have I missed something?

  23. Michael Geist says:

    That reflects my view on C-32 – “flawed but fixable”. Fair compromise on fair dealing, ISPs, statutory damages, consumer provisions. Digital locks undermine some of the compromises and contain no balance at all.

  24. Bend … 123 … squat … 123
    @Nap “The less appealing watching movies would be, the more time you’ll have for healthy outdoor activities. Fight obesity! Vote C-11! Boo cellulite! Mandate pictures with fat, unhealthy people on DVD boxes!”

    LOL Nap … maybe there can be a ‘sin’ levy on each DVD, the CRIA or SOCAN can collect it on our behalf 😉

  25. Free market
    To all that commented the “free market”:

    First of all, it actually means “unregulated market”. It was called “free” because the term was found to be more appealing to the general public.

    Second, it’s just an academic concept, an extremely simplified model used to explain some basic concepts during economy classes.

    Third, a pure “free market” means that there’s no enforcement of private property either. So you could use a club to get what you want without having to pay. Including “intellectual property”.


  26. C-11 Unfair even without digital locks
    One of the outrageous rules that are being legislated in bill C-11 is that you aren’t allowed to keep any tv-shows you record:

    “(d) the individual keeps the recording no longer than is reasonably necessary in order to listen to or view the program at a more convenient time;”

    Back in the old days, we used video cassette tapes and a VCR to record TV shows. VCRs and tapes are still available, and the interesting thing is that they feature a little plastic tabs that when removed, write-protect the tape – for what other reason than you want to keep the recording? How many people still have old VHS recordings on a shelf in the rec room?

    I subscribe to digital tv, and have a multi-room dvr with 2 extra boxes. With the dvr I record a single show but also opt to record every new episode of a series.

    Who is going to enforce this provision? Is my cable provider going to remotely connect to my DVR and inspect how old the recordings are and how many times they have been viewed? And if so, are they going to send me out a notice? Or, what’s more likely, are we going to see an “expiration date” on recordings in the next few years? Plugging the analog hole will then also prevent you from dusting off that old VHS recorder. You will be locked-in with no legal possibilities of getting out. Bill C-11 is sticking our heads in the noose, the tightening will come later.

  27. Free Market / Open Market
    @Nap – I’m pretty sure that when most Canadians refer to a “free market”, they are not referring to (3) an anarchic free-for-all, but rather a market defined by competition for consumer demand (wherever possible), or served by a Crown corporation when a vital part can’t sustain itself competitively. What we are getting with Bill C-11, in great part, appears to be a market niche controlled by the supplier(s) and enforced by the government – a Crown corp without Crown accountability.

    This, to me, seems the very opposite of what a right-leaning political party is supposed to be promoting. We elected a party that (IMO) was supposed to keep our economy serving our society with the fewest possible hindrances to our consumer demand. Frankly, if government intervention is necessary, the act should be to break apart controlled markets, not fortify them in law.

    The kind of controls being proposed here are (IMO) preposterous, they do not translate well into other common market segments. Imagine having to destroy an automobile after 1000 uses, in order to maintain perpetual purchase transactions for the car manufacturers. Imagine having to first contact a chair manufacturer for permission to use a DRMed kitchen chair in your living room, or to gain permission to use a certain spice in a certain dish of food. It’s an absurd set of laws that seem to have very little to do with demand-based economics, and is certainly not the economic mandate I expect my government to promote. It *feels* like the Conservatives are handing over a whole new swathe of societal control to a private collective.

  28. @Danux: “It *feels* like the Conservatives are handing over a whole new swathe of societal control to a private collective.”

    Feels? The Mr. Harper Hand Puppet(US approved) is setting it all up with bright neon, fifty foot lettering.

    I want to feel better about this, I know digital reform is needed, but I really can’t without knowing all the background hidden from public eye. How much are the US corps threatening the government? With how the Cons seem to be willfully ignoring protests from almost all across the board there better be threats because collusion against the Canadian public is much worse.

  29. @Danux: “We elected a party that (IMO) was supposed to…”

    The PC was always pro-business, that’s what they promise during campaign and that’s what they deliver once elected.

    It is the liberals promising a balanced system, with fair competition and consumer protection rules, the problem is that they don’t deliver once elected.

    And then we have NDP that promise tipping the balance in consumer favor.

    What happened during last election was people losing faith that the liberals will ever deliver and picking either PC or NDP depending which one was closer to their interests.

    Since most voters were adults in the “close to retirement or retired with money invested in RRSPs/businesses”, they voted PC to conserve/increase/guarantee their golden nest. And they outnumbered the younger electorate which went for NDP, but didn’t participate to voting in sufficient numbers.

    And PC is delivering. You cannot fault them for not being consistent with their promises.


  30. Un-Trusted Computing says:

    @Nap re: dvdcss and UEFI
    libdvdcss is a general purpose example vs. UEFI.

    Regarding libdvdcss it’s simply about breaking the law to watch legally purchased content whether it’s a dvd or a Bluray disk in which case you’d need some type of AACS decoder instead, or some type of DRM-compatible streaming software for Linux which may or may not be legal to create depending on how this law pans out. I’m sure it’ll be legal somewhere and I can download it from that somewhere, but that’s specially where the law is flawed, because it makes the whole exercise a waste of time and money.

    As far as UEFI is concerned, I have small children and a dog. Which means occasional laptop casualties. I may have to get a UEFI enabled laptop whether I like it or not. (I can build a PC without the excess garbage, laptop not so easy) so I’d be in the position of having to crack a TPM to get Linux onto my laptop unless I look long and hard, and I’m willing to drop the extra cash (you know it’ll be more expensive) to get a laptop where I can switch UEFI off.

    Free markets need regulation in order be free, unfortunately.

  31. All units, we have a code 6
    Code 6 means hostage situation; the hostages being the Canadian public and hostage-takers being the Copyright Collectives and licensing organizations.

    Normally, these things are being kept to the back rooms – far away from public scrutiny. Luckily, the hype around the new Amazon Kindle Fire and its tight integration with its media streaming services lifts a little bit of the veil. This is why the Kindle Fire won’t be shipped to Canada: no streaming. Same for Spotify. Same reason why “our” Netflix pales in comparison to its US counterpart. I’m a subscriber since day 3, but so far the situation remains the same.

    Why is this relevant? Because right now you can use a VPN service to access these services, actually paying for your content, regardless of any petty regional bickering. Unfortunately, this will probably be considered a TPM which would make “circumventing” it illegal which means you will be at the mercy of the same few, small, way-too-powerful groups that are now holding Spotify, Netflix and Amazon hostage.

    With patents, this has been solved (more or less) with the FRAND system: Fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory terms. There’s nothing like that for copyrighted works. Another reason why C-11 is not fair to consumers.

  32. @Byte and Untrusted:

    Who said that the laws have to be “fair” and even if so who can objectively measure “fairness”.

    We voted a pro-business party and they’re doing exactly what they promised, passing laws that favor corporate interests over the consumer ones. If we don’t like the results after 4 years we can vote in a different direction.

    As for code 6, get a shortwave radio and listen to music and news from all over the world. Or find the equivalent internet streams, about every country has its own CBC.

    Of course if you insist to listening to the same tired US “rock” and “pop” and watch Seinfeld for the 6th time then prepare to bend over and beware that C-11 makes vaseline illegal.


  33. Business Bias & Criminal Law
    Another issue with C-11, for me, is that the DRM provision appears to go beyond mere market bias toward business. DRM, without defined limits, looks to be a carte blanche for writing (and amending) law by private interests; it transcends financial protection and wades into criminal law, without the burden of governmental oversight.

    Should DRM schemes, in their current form, not meet the controls that the DRM enthusiasts desire, they may simply alter the DRM definition to encompass a wider variety of habits & circumstances. This, IMO, is rewriting law, because “undesirable” DRM-based endeavours will be punishable criminally. AFAIK, there has been no attempt to define the limits of DRM or what it is meant to encompass, how it may be altered, or who may enact change to it. C-11, I think, is simply letting the DRM creators define the law as they see fit.

    As an example, I have a game console which, due to the possibility of piracy, had a marketed feature removed. This behaviour (the ability to take & add whatever the manufacturer feels like), if framed in a DRM-protecting/enhancing context, would seem to qualify under the broad definition of “thou shalt not mess with DRM-locked material”, and I see no recourse by citizens.

    Isn’t there some provision in Canadian law (constitution?) that keeps private bodies from manipulating the definition of criminal action? Surely, one cannot simply rewrite a law, then tell the courts to work it out. Or am I just not seeing how DRM has been limited, in the bill?

  34. Act now!!
    If this law passes, that means DivX players will be useless! Just as a cigarette is a nicotine delivery device, Bill C-11 is a legal tool for the enforcement of the PVR (Personal Video Recorder)! What the distributors of Television programming don’t seem to understand is that there’s a technology out there that most of the public wishes to use. Why not embrace this technology just as the music industry adopted the consumer driven choice of downloading MP3 files. The MP3 epitomizes how the entertainment industry adopted a technology that most of its customers preferred and they did not lobby politicians to make MP3 files illegal to download. Rather than outlawing that technology and forcing consumers to buy CD’s, the law allows customers to legally download and pay for MP3’s.

    There is no need for TV cable and satellite providers to lobby politicians in order to legally wipeout compressed digital files such as AVI, which can be run on computer media players and DivX players! This is an act of desperation by a frighten industry that wishes to exert full control over a perceived threat and thus, rather than embrace the consumers’ choice of technology, they decided to kill AVI’s altogether. The music industry embraced MP3 technology, the world did not end for them and in fact, an entirely new economic niche was serviced by the portable MP3 player. As a result of the MP3 player, jobs were created (in R&D, product design and manufacturing) in order to supply this product to meet the market demands of the consumer.

    The same type of job growth could be created only if the entertainment would embrace the legal distribution of compressed digital files for TV programs and movies. With TV programs, there is absolutely no reason why subscribers of TV from cable and satellite providers can’t be offered the option to download TV shows legally. Customers could have the added luxury of viewing after aired TV programs on their computers or via their DivX player! Rather than perceive AVI’s as a threat, TV cable and satellite providers could adopt this technology in order to meet the needs of their customers. Because after all, more and more Canadians have adopted downloading TV shows in compressed digital files over watching TV programs live when they first air. If TV cable and satellite providers adopted the legal downloading of compressed digital files, this would create jobs and most likely this economic niche would be worth more than the MP3 market! It would also spawn the next generation of DixX players, which of course would create a multimillion-dollar market. But this economic dividend is now gone because of a bunch of frightened and myopic ‘control freak’ TV program providers!

    The irony of Bill C-11 is that the Tories tout it as a jobs creation bill when in fact the opposite is true! There is a very small window of opportunity to amend this bill, unless TV cable and satellite providers can be swayed to see the business model of legalizing AVI’s to download, the DivX industry will shrivel and die! If the music industry could embrace the business model of legal downloading of MP3’s for their consumers, why can’t TV cable and satellite providers embrace the legalization of downloading TV shows via compressed digital files? And AVI’s can be easily encoded with copyright protection along with a password key that customer can enter in order to activate these files. It’s absolutely disgusting and reckless for Canadian politicians to allow the passage of Bill C-11 as is because of an oligopoly’s irrational fear of AVI files! Please write, phone, fax and E-mail your MP about the seriousness of this potentially devastating piece of legislation! Tell your MP that Bill C-11 needs to be amended to allow for the legal downloading of TV shows and movies (which can be done just like MP3’s) because this would reinvigorate the DivX industry. It will spawn off jobs, jobs and more jobs—so go now and act, do it today or otherwise DivX technology will be dumped onto the dustbin of history. And yes—you may use my essay—I claim no copyright to my opinion!

  35. cui bono?
    How does the majority of the voting public benefit by such legislation? This is the crux of the matter!

    It’s clear to me that the concept of “freedom of speech” is being tested in this digital age, when “copying” should not be treated as “piracy”. Using words like “piracy”, “theft”, “stealing” are provocative and using them in unqualified discussion is unfair. Typically it meant that something was taken from someone, who doesn’t have it any more. Digital copying is not the same. This is a fundamental to all arguments regarding copyright and IP law. In my understanding the limitations of our english language and polarized value systems makes discussion very difficult. But if we take a different approach – say we are all decision makers or part of “government” then maybe a better direction can be taken when we make laws to allow tangible benefits to be accrued by our “shareholders” and costs mitigated possibly by other measures.

    If we assert that digital copying without some sort of compensation is “theft”, then surely it’s a small step to opening up another can-of-worms regarding the consequences of free-speech and “intellectual property”. Any laws or regulations approved by government (who are supposed to act of behalf of the majority of voters) should be enacted to support the long-term well-being of the voters, not corporations. Corporations are not democracies and should first be good citizens of the province and country to which they are chartered. It appears for the most part corporations have taken over from the “robber barons” of early Canadian history and elected government hasn’t had to change its modus operandi very much at all.