The Daily Digital Lock Dissenter, Day 2: Canadian Consumer Initiative

The Canadian Consumer Initiative brings together four of Canada’s largest consumer advocacy groups: the Consumers Council of Canada, Option consommateurs, the Public Interest Advocacy Centre and Union des consommateurs. Their comments on Bill C-32 included:

The legislation’s protection of digital locks will be detrimental to Canadian consumers and eliminate many of their rights with respect to copyright. It opens the door to the loss by consumers of the kind of durable lifetime access to purchased content traditionally associated with books, for example. It could make the transfer of access to content to inheritors more difficult and less likely. Consumers’ ability to unlock the content they purchased is not overtly protected in the legislation.

Previous Daily Digital Lock Dissenter: Provincial Resource Centre for the Visually Impaired (PRCVI) BC


  1. Ding … Ding .. Ding … Fight!
    There is a dichotomy between the increasing restrictiveness of some creators, and the growing expectations of many consumers, that is only widening with the advent of the digital age.

    Both, I think, are in synchronously feeding the other.

    On one extreme end is the ‘pirate’ who thinks all should be free for him, damn the consequences. On the other is the creator who feels that any use of their work is another opportunity for profit from the endless money pit. Somewhere in the middle is the bulk of the populace who want fair return for their work and reasonable value in return for the commerce.

    The legislative quagmire we currently face is a tug of war between these forces. For quite some time the legislators have had their ears tickled by well financed lobbyists for the creative industry, I say industry because such bodies do not always represent the views of the creators themselves. As such laws and regulations have tugged the flag to their side of the centre line.

    Now with the rise of the digital industries such as Google and Apple the power base (which let us be honest here, any power is driven by money) has started to tug the other way. As with anything there is momentum in the favour of the incumbent so the tugging has only made the home team dig their heals in harder. I see though that as we move forward there will be a new surge as people realize they too have pull.

    I see it as unfortunate that this is the way of our species, to hoard power (sometimes called ‘my rights’) at the expense of others. A more nuanced and cooperative approach would be preferable and beneficial to all if we could look up from our own corners once in a while.

    This legislation is flawed, strangely enough both corners are adamant that they are giving up too much to the other. Possibly that is the intention, rather than trying to solve the problems, just keep the combatants nose to nose and no one will notice that nothing is really being done.

    *re-posted in part from

  2. Radical extremist says:

    What would happen if…
    …instead of this law, we said to artists:

    “Look, the Internet is essentially the ultimate recording, copying, and sharing device, and people have been sharing media that they like, with their friends, since the age of the mixed tape.

    We can no longer promise you that you alone will be allowed to copy your work unless we:
    1- repeal everybody’s privacy rights
    2- take away all general purpose computers and replace them with machines that only run approved “apps” and connect with other machines through monitored “ISPs”
    3- require that everything online be tagged with the poster’s identification
    4- require that all art be “approved” by a major studio in order to be protected

    since nobody in their right mind would want such a thing to happen (except studios – and government wants to chill dissenting speech) we can no longer guarantee copyright.”

    Do you think musicians would stop making music? Writers would stop writing? YouTube alone adds more content every day than you could watch in a lifetime. Look, the whole Internet has been written for free (except behind the NYTimes paywall, perhaps:) ending copyright is not going to change anything.

    But laws like copyright and legal access, and ACTA are going to change everything. Together they spell the beginning of the end of the public domain. These people are the “radical extremists”. For God’s sake stop them any way you can, while you still can.

  3. Joke?
    Consumers’ ability to unlock the content they purchased is not overtly protected in the legislation

    Is that supposed to be funny? I’d say: au contraire, the law does a good job of making it hard for you to unlock the content. Do you know anyone with a Home Theatre PC who ripped their DVD collection to it? Let them know that they will soon be breaking the law! They might also start wondering about what’s going to happen with their lifetime ****** upgrade license (** = a well-known DVD backup product).