The Daily Digital Lock Dissenter, Day 5: Canadian Teachers’ Federation

The Canadian Teachers’ Federation is a national alliance of provincial and territorial teacher organizations that represent nearly 200,000 elementary and secondary school teachers across Canada. The CTF’s take on digital locks:

The Canadian Teachers’ Federation supports amendments to section 41 that would permit users to circumvent technological measures in situations where the use of the material would not be an infringement of copyright.

Previous Daily Digital Locks: Provincial Resource Centre for the Visually Impaired (PRCVI) BC, Canadian Consumer Initiative, Retail Council of Canada, Canadian Council of Archives


  1. copyright expired = no infringement = no illegal TPM circumvention?
    Hopefully. Why would this be relevant?
    Today the news came that the fifth largest faction in the European Parliament (Greens-EFA, 56 seats of 736) now supports a copyright term limited to 20 years. See here: position on copyright 28sept11_EN.pdf

    This is a great victory for the Public Domain in Europe. In order to get something similar done in Canada (which would be wise to start voicing its support and pledge cooperation where it comes to changes made to international treaties) we preferably still need the TPM-hurdle for public domain works out of the way.

  2. Indeed. International business interests have extended copyright through government lobbying across the globe over and over again.

    They are international and governments aren’t. It’s logical, from their viewpoint, to take advantage of this. ACTA is the culmination of their long-term governmental manipulation across the globe. One just has to look at the length of copyright increasing a ‘reasonable’ amount over and over again. Could Mr. Geist provide a timeline of each copyright increase in Canada and WHO were the major actors responsible for each increase? I’m sure that would be illuminating.

    Back to the previous post: twenty years sounds more than fair–if you can’t make a buck after that kind of time you are either doing it poorly or its not worth much. Keeping it around longer just creates a roadblock to other innovators.

    While copyright is good and too little medicine for creativity can be ineffective, too much can kill it.

  3. Bypassing a digital lock is a different violation than copyright infringement
    Even if what’s on the other side of the lock has no copyright, it will still be a crime to get past the lock.
    This is true regardless of whether the copyright has expired or the locked data was public domain in the first place.
    You still go to jail.

    If the owner of the copyright (prior to its expiry) openly gave permission for the public to access the data, but it still required individuals to crack the lock to get to it, they are still going to jail.

  4. Digital Lock
    Maybe I don’t understand the digital lock provision, but would breaking a digital lock not only apply if I am not the authorized user and therefore do not have the “key”?

    In other words, if I playback the contents of a movie DVD using a proper legal device or application I am not breaking a lock but making authorized use of the content. If I then capture the analog or digital video content in a new file, I am also not breaking any digital lock. As long as the copy is for format shifting it would be fair use and no locks were broken….

  5. @JohnnyBoy
    What you are referring to is called the “Analog Hole”. This is a hole in the whole digital data+encryption which is the basis for most, if not all DRM systems. If you do some research on it, the cartels of rightsholders have been trying to plug this hole for a while now. For Bluray Disc players, subject to the AACS Adopter Agreement, the “Analog Sunset” applies. This means start January 1st 2011 new players are limiting BD analog video output (incl. component that could go up to 1080i) to standard def. interlaced only (grandfathering then-existing players until the end of 2011). Starting January 1st, 2014 no licensed BD player will have any Analog outputs!

    This is one example of how the rightsholders treat ordinary citizens, and is one reason why the DRM circumvention for non-infringing purposes is so important. Note that this is a fight fought on separate front from the near-perpetual copyrights vs. Public Domain Enrichment battle.