The prohibitions on the circumvention of digital locks in Bill C-32 exceed Canada’s obligations under WIPO copyright treaties. Canada agreed to distinctive wording and flexibilities inherent in WIPO Internet Treaties. WCT art.11 and WPPT art. 18 both protect the right holders but also allow flexibility in national laws for permitted legal uses. Bill C-32 gives a new right to copyright owners negating the flexibilities in the Internet Treaties and directly contravening the basic, longstanding individual rights sanctioned in Canadian copyright law. With this provision, Canada is allowing a technical feature to override a nuanced information policy, permitting owners’ rights to overreach their legitimate limits, and impinging on users’ rights.
Bill C-32 makes it illegal to circumvent digital locks for most legal purposes including quotation, parody and satire (fair dealing uses), library preservation, and the copying of content for which there is no copyright (facts and information) or copyright has expired. The Government’s attempt to exempt persons with perceptual disabilities from the constraints of digital locks (Section 41.16(1)) is nullified by the condition â€œto not unduly impair the technological protection measure.â€ There is no efficient way to remove the TPMs and restore them after an alternate format has been created.
CLA believes Canadians deserve regard for their statutory rights in the digital environment. Section 41 of Bill C-32 can be simply amended. The definition of â€œcircumventâ€ in Section 41 (a) and (b) must include the words â€œfor any infringing useâ€ thus insuring Canadians’ ability to invoke their full rights as information users.
Previous Daily Digital Locks: Provincial Resource Centre for the Visually Impaired (PRCVI) BC, Canadian Consumer Initiative, Retail Council of Canada, Canadian Council of Archives, Canadian Teachers’ Federation, Canadian Federation of Students, Canadian Civil Liberties Association, Documentary Organization of Canada