While C-32 proposes a welcome expansion of fair dealing, the anti-circumvention provisions would prevent users from exercising this and all other rights granted to them by the act in any instance in which a digital lock is present. these provisions would allow corporate copyright owners to freely bypass users’ rights and exercise absolute control over what users are able to do with copyrighted works. these provisions would greatly limit what consumers can do with Cds, dvds, and other purchased media; how media outlets can use videos and other multimedia for news reporting; and how researchers can use media, software, and other copyrighted works in their research.
These provisions are especially concerning for members of the educational community who are increasingly turning to the use of digital works. as institutions increase their use of electronic course packs, e-textbooks, electronic reserves and other digital materials, students could be faced with the possibility of being unable to exercise their rights, including fair dealing, through the imposition of digital locks.
The blanket approach to anti-circumvention goes far beyond what is required for Canada to implement the World intellectual property organisation’s (WIPO) Copyright treaty. the treaty requires that â€œContracting parties shall provide adequate legal protection and effective legal remedies against the circumvention of effective technological measures… that restrict acts… which are not authorized by the authors concerned or permitted by law.â€ Simply put, the treaty requires that signatories prohibit the circumvention of digital locks for infringing purposes. this requirement could easily be met without criminalizing the many non-infringing ways that Canadians use copyrighted works by amending the definition of circumvention to specify that it be only for infringing purposes. Such an approach would meet the requirements of the WIPO treaty, without criminalising users and allowing rights- holders to lock-up content in a manner that is contrary to the public interest.
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